Mental Health and Goliath

4 mins read
Lorenzo Ghiberti’s Gates of Paradise

About 4 months ago, I sat in the coffee shop at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art during a Bible Study and I found myself crying. 

I was looking at Gates of Paradise, specifically the section that shows David severing the head of Goliath. I was holding my newborn son, overwhelmed with the fact that I was going back to work in a few days after three months off, and consumed by the crushing weight of postpartum anxiety. 

That specific section on the doors caught my eye because in looking closer at Goliath, I realized that he was wearing armor. And I thought, “What?! Goliath is a giant! He was fighting average size men. Why on Earth did he need armor?” It felt unnecessary, too much, and hit all too close to home. 

Being a new mom has been equally beautiful and challenging. It felt like I was already facing massive giants that I had never encountered before with all the new things that come with parenthood. And then it felt like these giants put on unnecessary armor when I started to meet these new things with postpartum anxiety. 

As so the tears came. It felt unfair. It felt overwhelming. Deep breaths felt impossible as the weight of anxiety was constantly making my lungs feel three-fourths full. 

While you may not be a new mom or a parent at all, I imagine many of you have experienced mental illness. Perhaps you can relate to life already being difficult and challenging enough that for mental illness to present itself feels like an already massive giant choosing to armor up. 

If you know the story of David and Goliath, you know that David defeats him using only a slingshot. 

I’m not here to give you a step-by-step method to defeating mental illness or to say you can do one magical thing and it will all get better. I come to you telling you I have been back at work for four months and, while there are some days the anxiety feels much more manageable, there are still days where the best I can do is take things one second at a time because that is all that I can manage. 

But I have found some slingshots that have been helpful. None of them have been the “deadly shot” like David had with Goliath. And with mental illness, I’m not sure that there will be one other than with the Second Coming of Jesus. But, I have found some ways of processing and coping that have made my mental illness’ armor look a lot less intimidating. As we journey together, I will share those slingshots with you. 

But for today, I want you to know that you are not alone. Mental illness is heavy and isolating and it can feel like it is a one-man battle. But you are not alone. 

There is a form of meditation called Loving Kindness that involves mentally sending goodwill, kindness and warmth to others by repeating phrases. 

So today, as you read through this magazine, may you pause and receive this Loving Kindness I am extending your way: 

May you be seen, heard and understood.

May you feel Jesus’ empathy and compassion.

May you know the battles you face are not ones you have to face alone.

May you experience inner peace and ease.

I looking forward to our journey together. 


Kylie Larson, MA, LPC 

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Outside of the therapy room, Kylie enjoys spending time with her family, exploring the world through the eyes of her son, adventuring with her husband, running around with her dogs, cheering on our Kansas City teams, gardening, being active, reading and exploring new recipes.

Professional Background
Bachelors in Elementary Education from Kansas State University, 2015
Master of Arts in Counseling from MidAmerica Nazarene University, 2020

Kansas Counseling Association
American Counseling Association

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