Gravity

Up – down – left – right…We’ve all seen astronauts in space floating around because gravity isn’t there…

Sometimes with mental health it seems to be the same… Finding where to head isn’t just a case of direction… It’s also trying to find that feeling of being grounded…

Thoughts are scrambled… time passes – sometimes too slow and sometimes too fast… sometimes it seems that time has stopped…

Often it seems like a dark road with no end but the beginning has disappeared…

Matt Maher has a song that resonates what it was like for me when I finally turned to God – Alive Again – The first verse and chorus:

I woke up in darkness surrounded by silence
Oh where, where have I gone?
I woke to reality losing its grip on me
Oh where, where have I gone?
‘Cause I can see the light before I see the sunrise
You called and You shouted
Broke through my deafness
Now I’m breathing in and breathing out
I’m alive again
You shattered my darkness
Washed away my blindness
Now I’m breathing in and breathing out
I’m alive again

The first verse words described exactly how I felt… Of how it was when I finally turned to God… That I had lost reality… I was in a very dark place locked inside of myself… And that it was God who HAD to rescue me… Nothing or no one else could…

that I was breathing again… that my darkness was shattering…

before that I was basically dead – I had a beating heart but emotionally I was dead – I only stayed alive as I sort of knew that suicide would only cause harm to those who loved me – but yet at times – suicide and finding a release for my pain inside was soooo strong…

Turning to God grounded me again – I started to find my way to walk – it wasn’t like Dorothy skipping down the yellow brick road… lots of ups and downs – turning this way and that…

But many prayers… love from people who simply loved me without always understanding… And yet reaching down to help pull me up…

In many churches there is finally the realization that mental health isn’t a lack of faith…

The fact of actually BEING in church is an attest to having faith!

When someone who is fighting a mental health issue &/or crisis is coming to church… Hug them! Love on them!

It’s a confusing situation for everyone… Even those not directly involved… And it NEEDS to be EVERYONE being involved…

Remember the statistics of 1 in 4 will battle some sort of mental health issue… Be it you, a family member, a friend or maybe even a person attending your church for the first time trying to make some sense of what is going on… They need love and support… Not whispers or avoidance…

Ask yourself… How welcome are new people in your church? Does someone greet them? Does anyone talk to them before and after the service? Does someone invite them to sit with them?

Here’s another question… How does someone dealing with mental health issues look like?

Do know what look for?

Do you know that at least one of your friends &/or family members will deal with it?

Often there are stories of people who acted “fine” during the day and then went home and committed suicide… Then it’s too late to seek out answers…

On any Sunday service I guarantee you there are people sitting in the pews who feel that they are dying inside… They think they don’t have enough faith, they think they are failing everyone because they feel as they do…

Some can be hearing the service and inside their heads are wondering if anyone knows they want to kill themselves…

I know because I was thinking the same thing while working… and at times after I started going back to church, and everywhere I went… Going to church a few times isn’t enough…

What saved me was having had a relationship with God… AND my support network… People who didn’t judge, people who prayed with purpose, people who went for coffee with me… People I could reach out to… Text… Call

I have a strong belief in God… I have a strong faith in God… I believe in prayer and the power of prayer… I believe that God is the great physian and can heal anyone anytime anywhere including from death…

I know that, for now at least, I have not been granted complete healing… And that I am where I am supposed to be and trying to follow what path God is leading me on…

I also know that from time to time I will have a harder battle with mental health issues which is okay…

Someone I know who also deals with mental health issues asked me what I had done to beat mental health illness – and my answer was… I haven’t… Mental health is a daily fight… It’s there right beside me and I need to be wary of it…

Thankfully I know God is still with me 100% of the time… And I am anchored to Him… That’s my gravity…

Peace Just Peace

Phil 4:4-7 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!

Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Ahh.. one of my most used – prayed – scriptures…

Finding peace when it seems that panic or worry or anxiety is dictating my life… I tend to lean more to the extremist view… Not catastrophic… But the pendulum is leaning more that way… (And I’m working on it)

One day this week wasn’t a stellar day… I have events coming up… Good events… But my mental health likes to kick the anxiety into high gear… When I have an event (totally new type) to attend my Borderline Personally Disorder (BPD), that’s been pretty well “controlled”, pops out to play…

Doubts… Will I fit in, will I dress appropriately, how awkward will my mental health make things, will people judge me because of my mental health… Do most people know about my mental health issues… Will I say inappropriate comments… Will I truly be a “fifth wheel”…

Rejoicing is hard… It’s hard, really hard… My anxiety was in a high gear… I knew that distractions help… I put on some Christian music and find something to do… It worked and I found I was more settled…

But then I feel ashamed… I didn’t pray enough… I didn’t rejoice and rejoice and rejoice… I hadn’t used my own advice! I hadn’t followed the “steps” with Phil 4:4-7… I was a fraud!

I talk about it – rejoicing, and I have successfully many times… But this day I didn’t…

The question is was I wrong in choosing Christian music and cleaning out a bag of yarn that needed sorting?

I was feeding my brain with Christain lyrics…

I know I found I had less anxiety after a while…

The music calmed my soul… It spoke God’s words to me… It sang of God’s character to me… It reminded me of God’s promises to me… It reminded me of God’s love for me… It blessed me in knowing that God is with me as He goes before me and beside me and surroundings me in His love… It revived my spirit and I was more able to listen to God’s spirit…

I was more at peace again…

It’s what I needed…

There are many ways to find peace with God… And that’s what I needed…

Peace… Just peace…

Battleship

When I was a kid we used to play a game called battleship…

The object was to have strategically place your ships on your grid and then both players would try to sink the other player’s ships…

Life the last few days has seemed like this… I was thinking I had some “ships” in good places and then they got bombed… One right out of the water… a couple others are heading to drydock for repairs…

The last few days have been really hard… Add in my mental health issues well… Yah…

The thoughts of negativity try to stir up a hurricane of thoughts… it’s easy to get off course as a fog of doubt starts to come in… I lose my focus and direction… I can start to feel overwhelmed… My ship stops dead in the water…

And then I realized it’s not about my horizontal direction… It’s my vertical direction that really counts that’s what I need to focus on!

I may not know if I should go left or right, forwards or backwards… But I can always look up and seek the peace and have God’s Spirit lead me on the path I’m to take…

I needed to take the hurricane of thoughts that are bombarding me and used scripture… Phil 4:4-8 Rejoice in Lord always and again I say rejoice!
2 Cor 10:3-5 the weapons of warfare are fought with God’s weapons…

I spent some time with God in His word… while David is requesting protection physically, my battles are mental… where Satan loves to reside…  with this take – Psalm 31 takes on a spiritual arena…

Psalm 31:1–2 (NLT): O Lord, I have come to you for protection; don’t let me be disgraced.
Save me, for you do what is right.
Turn your ear to listen to me; rescue me quickly.
Be my rock of protection, a fortress where I will be safe. You are my rock and my fortress.
For the honour of your name, lead me out of this danger.
Pull me from the trap my enemies set for me, for I find protection in you alone.
I entrust my spirit into your hand.
Rescue me, Lord, for you are a faithful God.

From my from my devotions, I am in Deuteronomy – Moses talking to the Israelites just before the new generation starts claiming the promised land… he reminds them of all that God has done…

And I needed that – a reminder of how faithful God has been in my life…

Psalm 13:24 Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the LORD.

There will always be days that blow up and make huge waves… causing fog around me… some bigger – some smaller…

This is where my spiritual first aid kit comes in hand…

Is it easy? No – do I feel like rejoicing? Ahh… no… but – I’ve learned… that if I start I will feel better… I can seek peace and battle the thoughts… and I know that I will be battling with hard for a few days… anxiety comes easynegativity builds quicklydepression descends and aims deep… the battle is on… but THE WAS IS NOT LOST…

Read Revelations… God wins!