As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I have an opportunity to work with young adults who have returned home early from their mission service. Some return for medical reasons; some for a lack of representing Jesus Christ in honor and Truth through their actions; and some for mental illness struggles.
Some do not return home early but wish they could or would because the chaos in their head is so strong and it shows up as depression and/or anxiety or a number of other mental wellness challenges.
If I could speak to every missionary in any of these situations, I would ask two questions:
What do you think God thinks about you because (you came home early; you struggle with being mentally well; you were dishonorably released…) ?
What do you think everyone around you thinks about you because (fill in the blank)?
If I could speak to every parent who has a son or daughter in one of these situations, I would invite them to ask the same questions to their young adult child…and then listen. No “fix it”; no trying to convince them they are wrong. Just listen. Be curious. You might learn something about them and yourself in the process.
(image from ldsdaily.com)