God Move, Delay, Pray

Decisions… We all need to make them… Big or small… Simple… What cereal should I eat for breakfast or for supper? (to me cereal can be great for any meal)

Larger more significant decisions… Move across town or to another country, career change, marry someone… You get the idea…

With Mental Health decisions can have a long lasting consequences… even terminal… Impulsively… Made with poor comprehension, reduced cognitive skills, unrealistic ideology… 

I’ve been acquainting myself with the incredible life of George Müeller, a man with incredible faith, but not the gift of faith (there is a difference)… 

After trying to make decisions in his life based on his own will and impatience, he learned the hard way and decided to follow two self-imposed rules which I’ll paraphrase… 

1. It’s always best in making big decisions to connect prayer with God’s word. They are interconnected.

2. When you are still not sure what God’s answer is, keep praying and wait… 

I like quick answers… Many many times I don’t even wait for the answer and I jump in feet first and find out the puddle is way deeper than I thought. This in my inner “man” being immature and premature… It’s my ego or often just wanting my way…

As a Christian I’ve been raised with verses like Rom 12:1-2

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

As a Christian with Mental Health Issues verses like this can really bounce around in my head… 

“Holy and pleasing? Maybe extra holes in the head”

“Pleasing God? Yah right… That’s up there with my pet unicorn”

“Renewing of my mind? My… Seriously? My mind… It doesn’t just need a renewing… It needs replacing… Or maybe some of “those” little pink pills”

So yup… Those voices can rattle around pretty good…

But I need to realize and understand my inside self is immature​ in making decisions and premature in action, they are to be considered as mistakes and unspiritual… I need to wait until I have a clear directive from God.

George realized that “God is often moved to delay that we may be led to pray, and even the answers to prayer are deferred that the natural and carnal spirit may be kept in check and self-will may bow before the will of God.”

OK, go back and read that again 

and then again slowly…

God isn’t just a God sitting on a throne up in heaven with a rod pointing and firing lightening bolts at will. Remember, God is love! 

He wants to be as close to us as possible… Reading the Bible and praying is how He communicates with us. How else do you expect to? 

As much as I can I talk to God… Notice I said CAN…I forget… I screw up… I grumble… I have pity parties… I have lousy days…

BUT I also have good days, spend quality time with God, enjoy time with my husband and family… Saying thank you God when He reminds me where I left my (pick one: keys, phone, wallet)… 

One practice I’ve adopted is Phil 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always and again I say rejoice… It’s a command​… Even when I’m frustrated or angry..  (check out verses 5-9 as well)

Here’s what rejoicing can be like…

One time I was low on funds and some money I was counting on didn’t come. Then when I returned to my car the extra ding sounded… I needed gas… I vividly remember taking my fist and hitting my steering wheel and said, “well praise God anyway!” and my gas gauge went from E to 1/2 full…  and stayed ​that way for 2 weeks until my allotment of funding did arrive…I was ticked off but obedient and God rewarded me and filled a need… God was moved to delay my need so that I could learn to pray and be closer to Him…

That memory so strengthened my faith and carried me through even tougher events to come… I had peace knowing that God really would supply all my needs… His move to delay so I would pray was perfect… I was growing on my reliance on Him…

But please realize that my life is far from perfect which is good in someways… I need, I must rely on God more… I need to pray more to make sure I’m in check with God’s planning…  It’s too easy to forget that we need God even on the good days… especially when Mental Health Issues decides to join the party…

Driving & Crying 

You don’t drive and arrive at a sign that says for depression drive and turn right, anxiety turn left, suicidal thoughts pick up at least 1 if not 2 other mental issues then take the first right after personally disorders…

Now more of a challenge to you… “Normal” people..

If I said I had to have surgery as I had carpal tunnel on my wrist… We all know that isn’t something that happens overnight. Anyone who uses a computer knows the risk... but people would post well wishes…

The same would be true about adult onset diabetes. It can be part genealogy but we all know that those extra cookies and ice cream have added up but friends will be supportive… 

People with mental illness actually do have a PHYSICAL illness. Our brains don’t work the same as “normal” people. There are papers and studies and scans which prove this (Google it).

Being diagnosed with a mental health issue is shocking, at least in my case. I figured a few pills and I would be back at work in a week or so…

I was oblivious and naive about how life changing it is…

your “best days”are the ones you aren’t thinking about suicide.

Right at the start when we begin to realize we do have Mental Health Issues is also a time where sometimes your”best days” are the ones you aren’t thinking about suicide…

Don’t forget there are a lot of information coming at you…

The irony at the beginning is the intake of the diagnosis, which is mind boggling… And the professionals then give you lots of information to help you understand about your issues and also control your thoughts…

For me when I found myself suddenly in what seemed another world… 

To say I was confused was an understatement.

I didn’t want to leave the house… In couldn’t leave the house…

A million thoughts were racing through my mind…. Control your thoughts? My thoughts were fractures. I couldn’t piece them together…

When someone posts they have a mental health illness most will either:

1.quickly scroll further and ignore

2.read it for gossip as they are “getting punishment for sins or had it coming”

3. Actually care… You don’t wake up one day with Mental Health Issues anymore than you wake up a diabetic or with carpal tunnel. 

Now change the diagnosis to depression or anxiety or anything of Mental Health and it seems like everyone runs away… They lose their friends… Most won’t visit… 

No one wants to take the time to see how they can help… Learn about it…

how friends can help… learn about it…

With little support, being off work, EI and sick leave exhausted… Many can’t manage payment the bills, the mortgage.. choose between groceries or paying bills… And many many (too many) fall between the cracks…

So be a good friend, listen… Sometimes taking to ourselves seems crazy but we need a sounding board…

Hugs… Hugs are often wanted.. we need to know we are not alone… We are still loved…

Ask if there is anything you can do? Maybe a load of laundry? Sort through the mail? If someone lives alone help sort out​ their medications (blister packs rock) and appointments. Maybe a cup of tea…  

But don’t take over unless asked our agreed to… 

Sometimes you just need to

Sit and cry with them

Reason or Mine or..

During today’s devotions, God’s word came out and did a Gibb’s smack in me… (reference NCIS TV show)

REASON… Reasoning… Self validated

We all use it… I’m a pro at reasoning… Especially with my ADHD and Mental Health Issues… 

Don’t forget for a while I reasoned that suicide was best…

Even without my health issues I’m good… I can reason I need to buy something (fairly expensive) as it will save money in the long run… Like the Kitchen Aid mixer on my counter that I still have a LOT of baking to see it justified…

Even after I wrote most of this I totally missed that I had reasoned something away… And my wise (yes favorite) daughter called me on the carpet and she didn’t know about this posting..(Gibb’s X2)

I can justify being too tired to go to church or Celebrate Recovery…

I justified my doctor’s initial suggestion to seek some Mental Health aid.

I’m also very impatient… which is how a lot of how are society runs… Instant drive through (and if we have to wait more than a minute in the drive through we are even more impatient!)

I serve and love God… Now God doesn’t wearing​ a man made watch… He has his own way of telling time… When I want answers and that aren’t coming fast enough I am doing the arms crossed, toes tapping, looking heaven ward rolling the eyes upward as I already how reasoned it out to God! God is reasonable right? 

Instead I need to have faith and patience… Which means I need with spending time with Him. 

I need to ASK

I need to SEEK 

I need to KNOCK 

Think about it… 

Has God ever let you down? And before you answer yes… 

  1. Was it something you reasoned or Him? 
  2. Sometimes the “my way” isn’t God’s way (people don’t live forever)
  3. Sometimes God isn’t saying no. He’s saying not yet – I have something better in mind if you have faith to wait.

Something better in mind

In the book of Numbers chapter 27 we read the end of Moses leading the Israelites in the desert. Moses was an incredible leader or was he? He was intelligent.. but from the burning bush until the end of his days, God was his best friend. Moses never moved unless he had been told to by God.

I think I need to find my burning bush…

Omission & Stigma

Omission… not saying something when you know you should have… It comes at the moment you realize you need to stand up and respond, even when if weren’t asked, and decide not to. Keeping silent is just as wrong as a person who committed or said or doing something wrong… 

This is called an omission of sin

I’ve seen an peer pressure exercise where one person is sent out of the room for some reason and while they are absent the leader tells the rest that they are going to play a gag and answer a few questions absolutely wrong and act normal… And see if the person will answer correctly​ or not…

We have an examples of omission sin do to a set classes in society in the New Testament… The high and mighty figure the Samaritan is beneath the and physicaly keep their distance…

Those people are guilty if omission… They knew what to do and chose not to….

In regards to Mental Health there are omissions… and this builds up the wall of stigma..

STIGMA BECAUSE:

  • The person who has the Mental Health is ignoring their condition
  • Hiding because of fear of rejection with family and peers.
  • Family/friends choosing to ignore or ostracize the person
  • Family/friends feel awkward so stay silent or just disappear

EDUCATE YOURSELF!!!!!

Family and friends have access to Google. Their is so much information, some bad so check your sources.

Sometime all the person needs is a text message of “I’m praying for you”. Maybe they just need to know they are not alone. 

Don’t take it personal if your offer to go visit was declined. There are days I don’t want anyone to see me – it can be I’m not ready as I can feel overwhelmed. It could be that I will feel embarrassed of the state I’m in…

But prayer and text messages are always welcome…

Each Day As Calvin & Hobbes

From my Oswald Chamber’s devotions…

He went out, not knowing whither he went. Hebrews 11:8 KGV

This is in reference to Abraham and his blind faith in God saying- want to trust me and walk to a land you have never been to – I’ll guide you there… but you don’t yet know where you are going…

So as for you and me – have we trusted God enough to change our life (for an hour or a day or week or year… you get the idea) and simply go OUT… (Noah went WAY WAY out for 100 years)???

calvin-1

 

 

Have you been ‘out’ in this way? If so, there is no logical statement possible when anyone asks you what you are doing.

One of the difficulties in Christian work is this question—‘What do you expect to do?’ You do not know what you are going to do; the only thing you know is that God knows what HE IS DOING. Continually revise your attitude towards God and see if it is a going out of everything, trusting in God entirely.

It is this attitude that keeps you in perpetual wonder—
you do not know what God is going to do next.

Each morning you wake it is to be a ‘going out,’ building in confidence on God*

So how does this fit with Calvin and Hobbes?

calvin-2

I have a basic routine like everyone else… morning routine – look at what is on today’s calendar…

But then it’s Calvin and Hobbes time – I can see what God & the Holy Spirit have on my schedule… and no please don’t think I have this Calvin thing down pat…
NOPE not even close!
B
ut on the days I do – it’s great

 

*Chambers, O. (1986). My utmost for his highest: Selections for the year. Grand Rapids, MI: Oswald Chambers Publications; Marshall Pickering.