Christian author Abigail Alleman’s bipolar disorder is the focus of her new book, A Million Skies: Secure in God’s Strength When Your Mind Can’t Rest
By Jennifer Yos
LANSING, Ill. (March 26, 2022) – Living Word Church recently hosted a book-signing event for author Abigail Alleman, a Lansing resident and church member. Alleman, who moved to Lansing with her husband Jared and their three children last June, has been involved in Christian ministry for twenty-five years.
Alleman’s memoir A Million Skies: Secure in God’s Strength When Your Mind Can’t Rest —which is newly released on Amazon — chronicles her journey with bipolar disorder. She recounts the delusion, fear, shame, and despair brought on by bipolar episodes, and how her faith —her acceptance of and reliance on God’s support — led her to truth, openness, and strength in vulnerability. Alleman hopes that the sharing of her own spiritual journey will minister hope to others suffering from mental disorders.
A long journey to Lansing
“I’ve always been very strong in my faith. I grew up in a home of deep faith, and I took that and internalized that early, so it was pretty young that I felt sort of a calling to ministry, but I didn’t know what it would look like. … I got a degree in Math and Spanish education, so I wanted something really practical, but I also felt like the Lord was calling me into ministry,” she said.
“I worked with youth groups, but I was also a teacher for two years in Massachusetts. I began a seminary degree — this comes out in the book — it was actually at the end of that year  that I had what I recognize as my first manic episode where I didn’t sleep,” Alleman continued, “But I came out of that without a diagnosis for bipolar disorder or any medical treatment or medication.”
Choosing to return to her family in Pennsylvania, Alleman took a teaching job and eventually met Jared, the man who would become her husband. In December of 2003, the newlyweds met a couple who were missionaries in Hungary and were inspired to take a Short Term International youth ministry internship with Campus Crusade for Christ in Hungary from 2005-2006.
“We fell in love with the country and with the ministry, and so we wanted to go back long term. … We loved the ministry in Hungary because it was begun at the end of communism and it was an inroad into schools to provide moral education, abstinence, and drug intervention through morals, through teaching — and we were able to share the Jesus film, which is the life of Jesus through the Gospel of Luke,” Alleman said.
After returning to Hungary in 2008 and again in 2010, the couple made the decision to move to Hungary in 2012. Their third child was born there. In 2015 Alleman experienced an acute manic episode that led to her hospitalization and diagnosis of bipolar disorder, forcing the couple’s future toward a different trajectory. It is with this event that Alleman’s book begins.
In her introduction, Alleman alludes to her title A Million Skies: “Not every day is bright and sunny, but today I regularly dwell under blue skies. A lot of hard work, consistent treatment, and great faith helped me navigate a course toward a triumphant vista. I know my victory is real, and I know others can follow a similar path to sunlit horizons.”
The Allemans relocated to Lansing, IL, last year to become involved with The Welcome Network, a ministry in Hammond, Indiana, that resettles refugees and asylum seekers and works to aid immigrants in long-term residency. Alleman also works part-time in communications and event planning and part-time as author and speaker. She writes a blog and hosts the Messy Life Mighty Love podcast.