Posted in anxiety, bipolar, church, depression, medications, mental disorders

Mental Health and Christianity

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I will never understand why every organ in your body gets support and sympathy when it is ill, except for your brain.

–Unknown

It’s hard having to deal with a mental illness. It can really become a burden sometimes.

As a bipolar sufferer I must deal with the rollercoaster of emotions quite frequently. I can be in the best mood one second and be crying the next. However, as of lately I’ve been pretty stable due to the increase of one medication and being put on a new medication. It seems like it’s a good balance. Recently, I was on the verge of a manic episode and I could feel it. So that’s why my doctor added a new medication to my “cocktail.”

I came across some quotes about mental illness that I’d like to share.

It’s called a mental illness for a reason….because it is an illness. Why can’t it be accepted like any other illness?

Unknown

There is such a stigma when it comes to mental illness. Just because you can’t see it, however, does not mean it’s not there.

Mental pain is less dramatic than physical pain but it is more common and also more hard to bear. The frequent attempt to conceal mental pain increases the burden; it is easier to say, “my tooth is aching” than to say “my heart is broken.”

C.S. Lewis

I think C.S. Lewis hit the nail on the head with this quote. Trying to hide mental pain just makes things worse. But he’s right….it’s easier to talk about a physical ailment than it is a mental ailment.

There continues to be a high level of suspicion, distrust and even fear in the church when it comes to psychology and psychiatry.

Matthew S. Stanford

When I first got diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2008, I was ashamed of telling people. I thought they would act differently around me. When someone hears that a person is bipolar they start treating that person as if they are a time bomb just waiting to go off. It’s frustrating and hurtful.

Mental disorders do not discriminate according to faith, but rather affect believers and nonbelievers alike.

Matthew S. Stanford

I’ve always believed this. Mental illness does NOT discriminate!! It can strike any one at any given time, regardless of religious beliefs.

Taking medication for any illness is simply making wise use of the abundant resources provided to us by a loving God.

Matthew S. Stanford

God created doctors for this very purpose.

For the stigma of mental illness to be broken, there must be direct, transparent speech from Christian leaders. We need more open dialogue in the church.

Ed. Stetzer

The church must stop being afraid of tackling the subject of mental illness. It exists. Simple as that.

If we immediately dismiss the possibility of mental illness and automatically assume spiritual deficiency, our actions amount to spiritual abuse.

Ed Stetzer

Whether a person suffers from bipolar disorder, OCD, anxiety, depression etc…the church must come together and help fight the end of the stigma surrounding the church.

I have so many more quotes that I could share but I think I’ve shared enough. Maybe I’ll do another “quotes” entry in the near future.

Posted in christian living, christianity

A Few Questions…

grayscale photography of people raising hands
Photo by Luis Quintero on Pexels.com

I was doing my devotions this evening and came across a few questions that really made me think.

WHO are you determined to bring to Jesus?

WHERE are you willing to go to follow Jesus?

WHAT sacrifices will you make to follow Jesus?


On April 6 my brother had a stroke. He’s 54 and had 3 heart attacks when he was in his 40s. I really feel lucky to still have him on this planet. I feel God is really trying to get his attention. He still continues to smoke and I don’t see him quitting any time soon, despite our efforts to talk to him about it. He just doesn’t want to hear it. So if you think about it, please pray for him. The next time he has a heart attack or another stroke could definitely kill him. And for him to die without Jesus is definitely a possibility. Pray that we can get through to him.

We don’t have the best relationship so it’s going to be a struggle to talk to him but I know God will be with me. I need to jump out of my comfort zone, which I have been living in for quite some time now. 

So to answer the first question….my brother. I’m determined to bring him to Jesus. 


I’m reading a book by Kyle Idleman called “Follower: Becoming More than Just a Fan of Jesus.” It’s sort of a spin off from his book “Not a Fan.”

He explains in this book that being a “fan” of Jesus just isn’t going to cut it. We are called to be followers of Christ, dedicated and determined to follow Him in all we do. 

He asks several questions throughout the book:

  1. Have you made a decision FOR Jesus or have you committed TO Jesus?
  2. Do you know ABOUT Jesus or do you REALLY KNOW Him?
  3. Is Jesus one of MANY or is He your ONE AND ONLY?
  4. Are you more focused on the OUTSIDE than the INSIDE?
  5. Are you a self empowered fan or a Spirit filled follower?

Fans of Jesus worry about what people will think of them. Followers are not concerned with this and are determined to follow Jesus in all they do and say. 

I definitely recommend reading this. Kyle really makes things clear on the difference between being a fan or a follower of Jesus. 

 

Posted in anxiety, fear, writers block, writing

I Don’t Feel Like Writing….

…but I’m going to anyway!

It’s been a long time! I haven’t been on here much throughout this whole quarantined life we have going on. (How are you all doing, by the way? Staying safe I hope!)

I can’t believe I haven’t been taking advantage of all this free time to write!

But the problem is this: I just haven’t felt like writing lately! I’m not in a bad place mentally, in fact I’m doing so much better. I just go through ruts where writing just doesn’t sound appealing.

But tonight I’m going to force myself to write and see what comes of it.

For as long as I can remember, writing has always been there for me. I could sit down and pop out poem after poem in a matter of minutes. Then it stopped. I stopped. And I let the years waste away when I could have been writing.

I came across this quote that I have since printed out and taped above my desk:

If you want to write, you can.

Fear stops most people from writing, not lack of talent.

Who am I? What right have I to speak? Who will listen to me?

You are a human being with a unique story to tell.

You have every right.

—Richard Rhodes

I think, no I KNOW, that fear is keeping me from writing. So that is what I need to get past. I need to get past the fear that I’m not worth it. Past the fear that cripples me. Past the fear that I’m not good enough.

Remember a couple of years ago when I told you all that I was going to write a book? Yeah, I definitely let that fall by the wayside. I let fear win. I let my problems get in the way.

You know, I can’t go any further until I tell you that “Breakaway” by Kelly Clarkson (LOVE HER!) literally JUST started playing and I had to laugh. What a perfect song to be playing when I’m talking about my fear of writing.

Just take a look at the lyrics!

I’ll spread my wings, and I’ll learn how to fly
I’ll do what it takes till I touch the sky
And I’ll make a wish
Take a chance
Make a change
And breakaway
Out of the darkness and into the sun
But I won’t forget all the ones that I love
I’ll take a risk
Take a chance
Make a change
And breakaway

Coincidence? I don’t think so! 🙂

What is it that is holding you up in life? What is that one thing you know you’re meant to be doing but are letting fear take the reigns…

I’ve let fear of not being good enough take the reigns for far too long.

I’ve always been told to “write what you know” but I always respond with “I don’t know what I know!”

And it’s time I start figuring out “what I know!” No more “I don’t know”

Posted in Uncategorized

Stir Crazy!

I’m going completely stir crazy! Oh don’t get me wrong…I have plenty I could be doing. I have tons of books to read, movies to watch, rooms to clean…but I think the idea of me having to stay inside is driving me absolutely insane! It’s the thought that I CAN’T go anywhere that is making me crazy.

The mall I work at has officially closed for the time being. All non essential businesses are closed. I filed for unemployment but it might take some time on that.

So tell me…what are you all doing to pass the time?

Posted in Faith, fear, peace

Coronavirus: Is This God’s Way of Getting Our Attention?

This virus is causing so much havoc in our lives. I lost my job temporarily because the mall I work in shortened their hours, causing Barnes and Noble to cut my shifts. So I’ll be filing for unemployment. Ugh what a mess!

I am actually getting over the flu. It’s been a long week, lol. I’ve been trying to stay away from my mom as much as I can because I’m worried about her getting sick. She’s 76. So I’ve self quarantined myself to my room. Luckily I have a DVD case FULL of movies and I have TONS of books to read.

I was reading Matthew 24  last night and came to this passage:

….His disciples came to him private and said, “Tell us, when will all this happen? What sign will signal your return and the end of the world?

Jesus told them, “don’t let anyone mislead you for many will come in my name, claiming “I am the Messiah. They will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and threats of wars but don’t panic.

Yes these things must take place, but the end won’t follow immediately. Nation will go to war against nation and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in many parts of the world. But all this is only the first of the birth pains with more to come.

Matthew 24:3-8 (NLT)

Y’all, this pandemic is just another sign that the end times are coming. And we must be prepared! We must be on alert!

Further in the same chapter, we read

When the Son of Man returns, it will be like it was in Noah’s day. In those days before the flood, the people were enjoying banquets and parties and weddings right up to the time Noah entered his boat. People didn’t realize what was going to happen until the flood came and swept them all away.

That is the way it will be when the Son of Man comes.

Matthew 24:37-39 (NLT)

A few verses down in verse 44, it tells us to be ready! “You also must be ready all the time for the son of Man will come when least expected. (NLT)

Honestly? Things are going to continue to get worse.

I don’t say this to scare you but to warn you!

We as believers can take heart though! John 16:33 tells us this:

I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world!

John 16:33 (NLT)

None of this has been a surprise to God. No, He saw this coming way before we did.

This outbreak is perhaps just one more way for God to get our attention!

 

Posted in Uncategorized

Awkward….

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Yes, yes it is! I sneezed at work the other day and immediately turned to coworkers and exclaimed, “It’s just allergies, I promise!” LOL

The pollen on my car is crazy ridiculous! My eyes are itchy, watering…I’m sneezing like crazy.

Ahhh, welcome to allergy season in good ole Hampton Roads!

Posted in anxiety, bible verses, fear, peace, phobias

Coronavirus: Don’t Let the Fear Take Over

It’s crazy how quick this coronavirus has spread and the panic it has created. I went to Walmart the other day to grab some hand sanitizer and the shelves were EMPTY! (Ironically, the soap was still there.)

Toilet paper is being hoarded. Sanitizer and even alcohol swabs are disappearing off the shelf! (My mom is diabetic and had asked me to pick up some alcohol swabs for her and there were none!)

I get it, you guys. I get the scare. No one wants to get sick. But please…calm down! I saw a news report (and if you follow me on Facebook you may have seen it) about parents picking their kids up from school and wiping down their backpack, their clothes. I even saw a parent SPRAYING HIS KID WITH DISINFECTANT! (At this point I was laughing so hard)

Listen, I’m not trying to downplay this pandemic that the virus is now being called. I’m not rebuking those who are taking this seriously! I’m taking it seriously myself. As a chronic illness sufferer, I have to be careful myself! I’m taking precautions. I’m washing my hands. I’m trying (with difficulty, LOL) not to touch my face. I’m using hand sanitizer at work after dealing with a customer at the register.

We just shouldn’t be panicking about it. Panicking just causes stress and stress can actually lower your immune system, making you susceptible to illnesses.

As Christians, we are not called to live in fear. 2 Timothy 1:7 tells us that “God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love and self discipline.”

We aren’t called to have an anxious heart either.

Don’t worry about anything. Instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT)