What If ‘s x 2

Deep depression for me means isolation… Hiding from the world… Hiding from anything I can…

Un-depression is different, obviously… And useful is a hope for well, sometimes anything

Anxiety can kick in here… The what-if’s…

What if…

  • I fail
  • I make a mistake
  • No one needs me
  • No one noticed me
  • I’m not really needed

The head games… The thought battles… As my friend puts it… Satan is rattling around in my head getting free rent he doesn’t pay for…

Did you know that while Satan loves to fire flaming arrows thoughts that he actually can’t HEAR our thoughts?!!? So the take from this tidbit of knowledge is if you are going to get rid of him… You actually NEED TO STATE IT… Not just a think it…

1 Corinthians 13:13 (NLT): Three things will last forever—faith, HOPE, and love—and the greatest of these is love.

HOPE lasts forever… Think about that again… And if needed again and again and again and…

(And when you finally realize and allow yourself to have hope… Add in some rejoicing!!)

We are all uniquely made by God… We all have been created to honor God and give Him glory AND we all have perfect talents for the one place in the body of Christ that NO ONE ELSE fits!

Now, we might need some “spit and polish”… or some chiseling (take time to watch the video… These guys are great!)…

We may not totally fit… But here’s the secret… NO ONE DOES! and those “super” Christians are vulnerable to sin still just like us…

We may not really even know where we fit in and just out of a deep depression or a dip might not be the best time to validate your calling…

I’m a good while out of deep depression (3+ years)… I get dips and bumps… And I’m still a huge piece of work but I am starting to see where I fit in… I’m starting to see some of my deepest desires coming closer… God says He will give us the desires of our hearts…

Not sure where to start? Go ask your Christian friends… Or your pastor… What is in your heart? You know, it’s likely something you want but automatically go to the negative self-talk (don’t deserve, never be able to, I’m useless, I’ll just screw up so why try)…

Just ask yourself…

WHAT IF GOD also desires you to… After all… He built us and knows EXACTLY what we wish for… And He knows how to lead you to see you successfully obtain it…

Maybe what if’s can be looked upon through God’s view…

A New Moment to

The Borderline Personality Disorder in me loves to keep “safe” in the negative thinking… The old idea of not risking something might happen… Better to expect that it won’t or otherwise I’ll be (yet again) disappointed… Which my BPD already “knew”…

It’s easy to stay with what I already know… I’ve lived most of my life this way… Passive… Sometimes the jokester in the room but yet most of the time a wallflower…

I can try to fool myself that I’m being gracious and letting others go first or simply bowing out so others get to enjoy or have or… Well I’m sure you get the idea…

It’s not me being a martyr though… It’s the lifelong belief that I don’t deserve anything and should I get something… Wow! Then it’s… Well it won’t last, soon they will figure out it’s a mistake…

But God and I have been working on this… Working on my self-worth… About the now…

I’m really good at looking back and wishing I could do many things over and different…

And as I’m doing my devotions I’m reading in John chapter 8

John 8:31–32 (NLT): Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

Free… I’m free inside of all the darkness and the oppression that was inside…

Instead God gave me a really nice and simple truth:

Each moment is new:

  • For my mustard seed of faith to grow
  • A new moment to drop something from the past
  • A new moment to ask forgiveness
  • A new moment to acknowledge forgiveness
  • A new moment to forgive
  • A new moment to recall what God has done
  • A new time to step forward with God on my path of life
  • A new moment to just stop and breathe
  • A new moment to listen for the Holy Spirit’s voice
  • A new moment to rejoice
  • A new moment to enjoy peace
  • A new moment to be still and know God

Keep the Home Fire Burning

Keep the Home Fires Burning was a song composed in 1914 in Britain during the First World War…

As a Christian we are charged to always keep the light burning… To have His light showing…

With mental health all around it seems so dark… But God always provides a light to shine…

2 Corinthians 4:6 (NIV): For God, who said, “Let light shine OUT of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ

From within its so easy to just close your eyes and give in… You can become hopeless…

1 Corinthians 13:13 (NLT): Three things will last forever—faith, HOPE, and love—and the greatest of these is love.

When there has been absolute darkness even the smallest flicker of light is visible…

Why is this flicker showing? I believe it is because of someone being obedient with prayer when they felt the need to pray, and someone physically obedient to God’s voice and going where God wanted them. This is just a simplified version of what it takes but hopefully you understand…

As Christian’s, we have the great director inside… The Holy Spirit who whispers to us and can lead and guide us to carry out God’s will which we all have prayed…

Matthew 6:9–13 (KJV): Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

Thy kingdom come.

Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

We know praying is important… Daniel’s answered was delayed because of the spiritual battle.

2 Cor 10:3-5 spells out what type of battle exists…

Satan LOVES to get us – me – as isolated from God as possible…

Leviticus 6:13 (NLT): Remember, the fire must be kept burning on the altar at all times. It must never go out.

Keeping the home fires burning has been a command since the building of the first Tabernacle back with Moses…

It’s a good command…

The Rest of the Story

I can usually fall asleep better if my brain isn’t going a kazillion miles a minute… And one radio station used to play Paul Harvey and “The Rest of the Story” (Seriously, take to listen to a few stories they are always worth the effort)…

This week I started off well… Except for the cold snowy weather (which my cute doggie loves to play in)… But it wasn’t ending as well…

So why was I flustering?!?!?

Physical? Was my brain chemistry off (cool brain scan pictures)?

Spiritual? Did I need to pray more?

And the correct answer is YES to BOTH! And it always will be…

Stress (aka) anxiety was causing a chemical change…

Depression was also subtly drifting in…

Spiritually, Satan likes to mess with everyone so there was also a spiritual attack

Of course, just like anyone, spiritual attacks are always an issue…

And now, the rest of the story…

It snuck up on me slowly and I didn’t even realize I was heading off for a couple of days…

Then my ego and inner person wanted to fix it… I had helped people… I could help myself!

Ahh… Yeah… I needed to follow my own advice…

It finally dawn on me that I have a church based event coming up that I’m heavily invested in… Bullseye!

Once the attack was recognized then it all settled down with God’s help of course…

So was it physical? YES! The symptoms are certainly physical…

Spiritual changes internally equals physical changes…

A normal brain and depressed brain

Was it spiritual? YES! That’s what has triggered this mental blip for me…

And irregardless of what the triggers are, it is always going to be spiritual… God is who saved me 5 years ago at the height of my mental health crisis, and He’s the same today and forever…

The physical side? Yes… My anxiety was up… I was more withdrawn and wanting to isolate… There were some other warning signs as well… My chemistry was off… My routine wasn’t right…

Physical changes externally equals internal changes…

Now that it’s been noted I know what I need to do to help get off the bumpy path… And praying and communicating with God is a huge part of it…

So here’s the outcome of the story… It is and always will be both a physical and spiritual battle…

The spiritual battle will try to keep me off “balance” – these are the fiery darts of the enemy and that can effect my brain chemistry…

My time with God, my praying at all times, my acknowledgement of needing His help is utmost!

My personal schedule… Sticking to a good daily routine… monitoring myself and being accountable to someone is also paramount… they can also notice when things are starting to go sideways… Sometimes faster than I can…

So, it’s a balance of being aware both physically and spiritually that keeps me ensuring I have a good rest of the story…

A Kleenex, F-bomb and WWJS

Thoughts… Garbage in and garbage out… That is a true statement…

When I was in junior high school and one day I was having one of “those days”… I just seemed like everything possible was going wrong… I kept hearing the “F-bomb”… When I used the restroom it was scratched into the stall door… I was literally bombarded by that word…

Now, you need to understand that I was a quiet and fringe girl… Miss goodie two shoes… Polite… I went to church and had my personal faith in God…

But this day? Ugh! I was walking down the hall towards the end of the day and someone bumped into me and my papers and books went flying everywhere and boom… I dropped the F-bomb! I couldn’t believe I had actually said it and felt convicted and shocked immediately…

Now, many are going to say who cares?

For starters, this was back in the early 80’s… The F-bomb wasn’t the 3rd word in people’s sentences…

And secondly… The world isn’t supposed to influence me…

But more importantly, as Christians, we are supposed to let Christ’s light shine…

We are supposed to let only wholesome talk come out…

Ephesians 4:29 (NIV): Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

Luke 6:45 (NIV): A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of

Proverbs 10:11 (NLT): The words of the godly are a life-giving fountain; the words of the wicked conceal violent intentions

Proverbs 10:20 (NLT): The words of the godly are like sterling silver;
the heart of a fool is worthless

Many will say… Come on… They are only words… And how does this relate to mental health?

Mental health and thoughts?!?!? It can be like a tornado with thoughts whipping around in their… It’s hard to even find 1 word to control in the battle… Picture trying to grasp a single Kleenex in the tornado…

Only God can intervene… And if I have a plan in place to deal with these days it’s easier…

Whether I’m in highschool or at work or battling mental health or having a great day… I will ALWAYS want peace

Philippians 4:8–10 (NIV): Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

Keeping close to God… Keeping my eyes and thoughts on true, noble, right…. Will pre-load my thoughts and make it harder to need to have to catch that Kleenex…

How about throwing around Oh My God like people do today… And I’m sorry by OMG is not Oh My Gosh… Even if that’s what you intend, the rest of the world doesn’t and you know that…

I catch myself with the s word all too often…

People say (excuse) it just fitting in…

I found this article which shares the same view… are we to draw out of the world?

So where to draw the line on language?

What Would Jesus Say?

Could you imagine Jesus saying the F-bomb? How about all the other slang or OMG!?

Are We There Yet?

We all know those words… Are we there yet?!?!? And with healing, outside of a miracle, it takes time…

Noah: 100 years to build a boat

Abraham: Isaac came when he was around 100 years old

Paul: 3 years before he launched full-time into being an apostle

Me: 5 years into healing from a messy mental meltdown and I’m still not done!

God’s timing is always perfect… Never early, never late…

Remember the star with Jesus birth? The 3 wise men had been waiting for years to see that star… And they weren’t even Jewish!

The story of the Israelites leaving Egypt to claim the promised land is well known… They doubted God so the consequence was marching around in a dessert for 40 years until the adult generation dies and the next generation was ready and willing…

But… When they did cross over it wasn’t a quick run through every place… In fact God said:

Exodus 23:29–30 (NLT): But I will not drive them out in a single year, because the land would become desolate and the wild animals would multiply and threaten you. I will drive them out a little at a time until your population has increased enough to take possession of the land

Sometimes God wants to take the scenic route… make sure that everything is in order… Not rush to get where we are going… And, at times, we get impatient and try to go on our own… And you know how that turns out!

When I look back over the 5 years I can see God bringing me along at a good and doable pace… From where I was to where I am… I wasn’t ready before now! God made sure that when something was cleared out… Something was ready to move in… And if I decided to evict something on my own… Ahhh… Yah…

Having a goal with God is Biblical…

Hebrews 12:1 (NLT): Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us

So are we there yet? I know I’m growing in my faith… I’m changing as a person to hopefully shine God’s light and show others that live with God is good, great, wonderful…

And sometimes frustrating…

But most importantly the real question should be

Are we still following God?

Fear God and the Abyss

Fear of the Lord… Fear is a scary word… It can evoke many images… The 3 little pigs and the bad wolf… Jaws… Failing an exam… For some people they fear living at home so the streets seem safer…

A mental health crisis is scary… Spinning out of control… Not sure where darkness ends and light starts or at times that light still exists…

But what does it mean to fear God? Is He up in heaven ready to launch lightening at us? Watching us mess it up (yet again)? Is it that He is just plain angry and has given up on us?

No. God doesn’t cause our pain… It’s sin of the choses of others or ourselves…

So what does it mean to fear God?

One of my all time favorite pastor’s is Chuck Swindol and he has a great definition:

To fear God: “a wholesome, worshipful respect for God accompanied by a hatred for sin”

And with the fear comes service…

To serve is “a willing available obedience”…

Obeying Him out of devotion…

Fear is awe… Respect on steroids… a Biblical example is Moses and the burning bush…

My fear, my awe with God is in simply looking back on how far He walked with me on my journey through the darkness of mental health…

1 Thes 5:5 (NLT): For you are all children of the light and of the day; WE DON’T BELONG TO DARKNESS and night.

It took God’s light to help me see my way out… Now that’s a cliche saying… So physically that was by getting back in touch with God in attending Celebrate Recovery meetings… Doing CR 12 steps to get and keep my life right with God… My recovery was and is dealing with depression… And it meant going to church… It meant creating a network of support with CR people… It meant I was willing to believe in myself even when everything in me was saying the world would be better off without me…

2 Cor 4:6 (NIV): For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ

Light shine OUT of darkness… Not just shining in… Out means God is already in there… It means I have trust and faith in God otherwise how could light be in there?

Psalm 23:4 (NIV): Even though I walk through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff,
they comfort me

Realizing I am wanted by God, knowing He provides me the light I need and will be my Guide… That insignificant little me… That huge, omniscient God sees and loves me…

I, like Moses, many times I have dropped with my face to the floor, and cried out to Him with everything I could give… Opened my heart, my thoughts, my confessions and worshipped Him in awe… In fear… Ready to be His servant…

What else could I but do when He snatched me from the lip of the abyss of death?