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 Yes… My anxiety was up… I was more withdrawn and wanting to isolate… There were some other warning signs as well… My chemistry was off… My routine wasn’t right…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

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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?

I’m Not A Doctor… I Don’t Need Patience!

Yes, a peanut gallery joke… But yet it rings true…

Let’s face it… We live in an instant “entitlement” world…

5 years ago I was just at the beginning of figuring what was happening with me… I knew I was depressed… I had these massive, horrible, would not wish them on anyone oppressive attacks…

But I didn’t yet realize the full scope… I remember talking to a psych nurse and asking how soon I would be back at work – a week or two? She looked at me and said “I’ve seen people a lot less sick than you are take way longer than that”…

I mean… Come on already… Give me a bottle of pills, I’ll get a few good night sleeps and I’ll be back to my old self and back to work!?!?

After all, I’m a Christian!! Right?!?!

Ok, so yes, I’ve been depressed and my thoughts are scrambled… And these horrible oppressive things are still happening…

And at times I really can’t get words out of my mouth for some reasons…

And I don’t understand yet why I have all these horrible thoughts… Even suicidal thoughts…

But I’M A CHRISTIAN! I’m better than all this! Aren’t I?

Well, it’s been 5 years… And I’m not back at work… And pending a miraculous healing, I’m not likely to… Which sucks because I really, really, really loved my job…

I’m not as ill as I was though… I’ve learned a lot about myself and about God… More specifically… About God and I together…

God has lots of promises… God only takes a few seconds to answer prayer… If you remember that a second to Him is like a thousand years to us 🙂

God told Noah to build a boat and he got to work on it right away… And finished 100 years later…

Abraham… Big, huge, immeasurable promise from God… how long did he wait to have his son Isaac?

Hebrews 6:15 (NLT): Then Abraham waited patiently, and he received what God had promised

An adapted quote from a book:

“it was the hand of God that was holding her now,’ the soft, white, strong hand of God. She sat patient, submissive, not understanding, but waiting and looking up for the reason”…

I’ve come to realize that for the most part when we ask God for something, not driven by the sinful nature, that God sometimes say no, says yes to some things but I think more often His answer is wait… He’s got something better planned…

Psalm 37:3–4 (NIV): Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.

He knows what is best for us…

The question is… Do we have the patience?

Not Just For Him

Genesis 22:2 (NLT): “Take your son, your only son—yes, Isaac, whom you love so much—and go to the land of Moriah. Go and sacrifice him as a burnt offering on one of the mountains, which I will show you.”

Genesis 22:8 (NLT): God will provide a sheep for the burnt offering, my son,” Abraham answered. And they both walked on together.

Genesis 22:9–12 (NLT): When they arrived at the place where God had told him to go, Abraham built an altar and arranged the wood on it. Then he tied his son, Isaac, and laid him on the altar on top of the wood. And Abraham picked up the knife to kill his son as a sacrifice. At that moment the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!”
“Yes,” Abraham replied. “Here I am!”
“Don’t lay a hand on the boy!” the angel said. “Do not hurt him in any way, for now I know that you truly fear God. You have not withheld from me even your son, your only son.”


Mostly people look at Abraham and his faith to God… Proving he was 100% faithful to God…

I’ve always been amazed at Isaac… He’s the one on top of the altar with his father about to stab him to death…

And we know how it ends… And Abe is the star…

Nothing more is said about Isaac but I’m pretty sure he was thinking… He asked God where the lamb was on the way up… He totally trusted his father…

And he walked away KNOWING that his father was 109% right… God had provided… The ram wasn’t not seen prior to the knife being in mid air…

As much as it was a test for Abe… It was a life altering event in Isaac’s life… How could he NOT know there was a God? He’d been in a pivotal position to watch…

With mental health there are many times of life altering moments… Positive or negative…

And it’s these events we can note for future reference… I journal these good events, regardless of how small… over time they do add up and it makes it easier to see the positive aspects of life…

And it’s these events which we can share… I learn from the path others share…

And sharing is Biblical

Romans 1:12 (NIV): … that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith

So do you have a network of support? People who you can text or go for coffee with… Both with and without mental health issues…

Not sure where to look?

Celebrate Recovery is where most of my support network has been built outside of family… And sometimes I want to share with someone who completely understands mental health from my side…

Celebrate Recovery

On Facebook there is a specific group

Why I Blog

Matthew 13:23 (NLT): The seed that fell on good soil represents those who truly hear and understand God’s word and produce a harvest of thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted

Being a Christian shining God’s light in the world is hard…

Being a person who deals with mental health issues is hard and often seems insurmountable…

Being, hopefully representing Christ as, a Christian shining a light for all to see while battling mental health issues and especially crisis is only possible with God’s intervention…

I need His intervention to get my thoughts under control… To stop the STOOOPID thinking that can persist without it…

I need His wisdom in knowing when it’s only spiritual battle or when it’s also a physical one and it’s time to see my doctor…

I need His love to surround me…

I need His unexplainable peace to still my heart and mind and soul which is my ultimate goal…

By my sharing, I try to show that God’s interventions can provide hope… Hope is the #1 desire which people dealing with mental health issues seek…

Hope means that dot of light so needed at the “end of the dark tunnel”… Hope means a chance to be accepted… Accepted means a chance to feel loved… Seeking a chance to be loved can lead them to the greatest love of all – God!

Luke 11:9–10 (NIV): “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened

My relationship with God is why I am where I am… I needed to see hope… Just a pin prick of light in my, then, dark existence…

1 These 5:5 For you are all children of the light and of the day; we don’t belong to darkness and night

I choose to blog not for fame or fortune but to show there is hope and love available to those dealing with mental health issues…

So everyone who glances at a posting will carry away a seed… There are different places the seed can fall… Hopefully, the seed I sow will be on good and ready soil…

Want to learn about the varied soils? Read Matthew 13 there are a few parables Jesus teaches about…

Rely on God vs Rely on Me

If you were thinking this was going to be a battle of wills between God and me… NOPE… that ship sailed long ago…

1 John 4:16 (NIV): And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.
God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them

A simple enough verse…

  1. Know God
  2. Know one can rely on God
  3. Know one can rely on the love God has for each person
  4. God is love… (HEY!!!) GOD IS LOVE!!!
  5. Live in love
  6. Live in love to live in God
  7. Know that living in love to live in God means God also lives in each person

Got that?

So where is the battle?

It certainly isn’t with God… He’s perfect of course!

So that leaves only one other person… Me…

I don’t know about you but for me starts around #5… Where my job starts…

Praise God… I don’t actually HATE myself anymore! This I know for fact… {God revealed that to me one day, at a Celebrate Recovery worship time… Just a still small voice whispered it to my soul}…

But there are days I don’t like myself and then again days I don’t feel worthy of love…

I’m often have been (and still can be) the “I’ll mess it up as usual” person so “why even bother”… Or “nothing ever works out for me”

I don’t trust myself that I can carry it through…

You see, I read verses like 1 John 4:16 and my negative thinking kicks in by habit… the STOOOPID thinking can start running full tilt…

With my mental health – depression & borderline – (wow!) Satan loves STOOOPID thinking… He’s busy firing his full arsenal at me… Thoughts, negative memories, past failures… Fireworks going off in my head!

If you’ve dealt with negative thoughts you know what I’m talking about…

And one statement Satan enjoys rubbing in our faces and is absolutely true!

WE DON’T DESERVE GOD’S LOVE!!

So I have to remind myself

GET OVER IT!

There is NOTHING I can do to earn it… The entire bill has been paid in full by Jesus on the cross…

There is one other reality… I am going to mess up… But here’s the secret… GOD ALREADY KNOWS AND HE STILL LOVES ME!!

So I have been learning to be more forgiving to myself… Not so hard… If I were to see someone else make the same error would I kick them out of God’s kingdom?

No

I have tools I have gleaned… Bible verses or passages… Armour of God (Eph 6), Spiritual battle weapons (2 Cor 10:3-5), Unexplainable peace (Phil 4:4-7), Good things to think about (Phil 4:8)

I have my own testimony… People can argue semantics but they cannot argue my testimony…

I have my journalling to look back on…

Prayer… Reading my Bible… Devotions… I never fails to amaze me how often I find the answer or direction with just doing my everyday devotions…

I just need to rely on God…

Blessed with Mental Health

Matthew 5 records Jesus Sermon on the Mount… The Blessed are…

On the face of it mental health issues don’t appear to be blessed at all…

We think of blessings of being 100% healthy, having $1,000,000 in the bank, a great paid for house, a fabulous high paying job… The whole 2.3 kids and the white picket fence and house…

But are these really being blessed?

Having everything possible in the world isn’t a guarantee of a great life…

What’s really important isn’t tangible but spiritual…

A relationship with God is the only way to peace…

Matthew 5:3–10 (NIV):
Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Poor in spirit… Not $ but realizing that without God we can’t hope…

Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.

When we look back, we realize we have blown it and sinned… We don’t deserve what we already do have… Our personal and our corporate sins are too great… But being humble and truly contrite, God forgives us and shows us how to move forward… God also allows us to mourn over our hurt and pain inflicted on us and provides healing…

Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.

Meek… It’s not weak… It’s us saying to God, take my talents, my strengths, my heart’s desire and guide me… It’s like being a stallion all ready to charge but God is in the saddle guiding us… Jesus said go into all the world… We may not feel like it at deep levels of a mental health crisis, but know that if you are using God to find your way out… others are watching… And down the line… People can see your path and follow beside it…

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.

Righteousness = Doing what is right…

Seeking God… Asking God… He will help us deal with our mental health issues… How to get to a positive life level and how to watch and maintain… But don’t kick yourself if can’t maintain… mental health isn’t 100% physical… By seeking God though, it can be easier to notice a spiral downwards… You can pray for healing, for wisdom of your doctor…

Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.

Merciful… This can be simple and hard… Forgive others and have compassion… Actually, compassion should be relatively easy… We know how the dark is… I know I don’t wish my mental health struggles on anyone… And if I’m tempted to… I always wonder how/why/ that person is that way… Likely they too are hurting…

Oh, and don’t forget… Be merciful to yourself…

Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.

Heart… When we are saved we invite God to rule our lives… To live in our hearts… Keeping close to God keeps us pure… The greatest commandment, according to Jesus is:

Matthew 22:37–38 (NIV): Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.

We’re to keep focused on God… Looking at God can help stop the spiral… We know that distractions work…

Phil 4:8 (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

So much better things to think about!

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

Peace… A break from chaos… I see it 2 ways… Peace with others in our physical world but also peace spiritually… The “Be still and know that I am God”…

We can show others dealing with mental health that peace IS possible… That there is hope…

Without hope what is there?

I believe that people who try to, or sadly do, commit suicide do so because they feel there is no hope for them…

I know that was the case for me… I was at the bottom of a dark hole and couldn’t see a way out… I was looking face down… Someone tapped my shoulder and only spoke a few words… “You should come to CR” and I started to see hope… I went to my first CR* meeting and saw the words “restore my sanity” and I found hope… I wasn’t instantly cured… But I started looking up at God…

Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven

I debated if I should keep this last beatitude in or not… Obviously I did… Basically… Life is like a rosebush… There are incredible times of blessings when life has an incredible fragrance, but there are plenty of thorns life throws our way… the thorns are not from God… Repeat they are NOT from God… They are a result of the sins of all mankind… From the freewill we all have…

Eccl 3:9–11 (NLT): I have seen the burden God has placed on us all. Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.

People are always so quick to wonder why God would allow such horrible events to happen to themselves or others, but they never stop to look to the sins that lead up to the event…

So, yes, during hard times of mental health we can still seek to be blessed with Mental Health…

*CR Celebrate Recovery

Jello in a Cannon

At times it seems that having mental health issues consumes me… And I need to step back…

Mental health definitely plays a major part in my life… When at its peak it does effect all areas…

Physically I’m exhausted and ache all over… Getting out of bed to get a drink of water or an effort of being Wonder Woman… Don’t even ask about showers or eating properly…

Mentally it seems like fireworks are bouncing around and finding the strength to find Bible verses is incredibly hard {see previous paragraph}

Spirituality it’s a battle ground… The thoughts… It’s easy to say “control your thoughts” but unless you’ve been there to get control is like using Jello in a cannon to stop the fireworks…

Isaiah 64:8 NIV Yet you, Lord, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.

My hope, my only way out is through God… Until I turned to God, Jello was all I had and it wasn’t doing squat…

Turning to God meant that I gave control to Him… I let Him start to mold me…

It wasn’t instant… And He’s still working on me but I have battle plans and an army of scripture to use… Sometimes I don’t even realize a battle has begun for a while… Spy’s have been poking and messing around..

Even when I realized the fireworks were happening I would still allow sparklers to fizzle away…

But slowly overtime I’ve been able to recognize this more and use proper tools for battle…

These are some I have gathered and use:

  • Phil 4:4-8
  • 1 Tim 1:12
  • 2 Cor 4:16-17
  • 1 Col 2:19
  • Isa 41:10
  • John 14:27–28
  • Psalms 9:9
  • 1 Thes 5:5
  • 2 Cor 4:6
  • Isaiah 59:21–60:1
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