Posted in adhd, anxiety, bipolar, church, depression, Faith, fear, mental disorders

The Church and Mental Illness

I was saddened to hear about the death of Jarrid Wilson..if you don’t know who he was, he was the associate pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in California. Sadly, he took his own life on Monday. He was 30.

Wilson and his wife founded “Anthem of Hope”, a program meant to help people who suffered from depression and mental illness.

I sit here in complete disbelief. But I realize that mental illness does NOT discriminate. It can strike anyone at any given time. Christian or not. Pastor or parishioner.

It’s time that the church step up and help deal with this mental illness crisis. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, nearly 43.8 million people experience mental illness in a given year. That’s 1 in 5 adults.

I believe that the reason the church doesn’t reach out is because they just don’t know how to handle it. But it’s time to change that. It’s time to start having meaningful discussions about the seriousness of mental illness.

There is a stigma surrounding mental health. It’s time to erase that stigma. Mental illness is REAL folks. Let’s stop pretending it doesn’t exist.

Its Not a Lack of Faith Issue

I have suffered from depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder for many years.  I was told by someone once that my faith was not strong enough and that’s why I was suffering. I’ll never forget that.

But it’s not a faith issue. What if what I had was physical? Diabetes, or cancer? We don’t question those illnesses so why is mental illness any different? According to Ed Stetzer,

We can talk about diabetes and Aunt Mable’s lumbago in church—those are seen as medical conditions, but mental illness–that’s somehow seen as a lack of faith.

Mental illness is a chemical imbalance in the brain. It shouldn’t be treated any differently from a physical illness.

My Thorn in the Flesh

Can God heal mental illness? Absolutely! He can do anything! For me, personally, I find my mental illness to be my “thorn in the flesh.” I have actually grown closer to the Lord these past several years. And I believe the verse that says, “And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. (2 Cor 12:9)


Warning Signs

  • extreme mood swings
  • talking about being burden to others
  • increasing the use of alcohol or drugs
  • talking about being hopeless
  • talking about having no reason to live
  • talking about being trapped and in unbearable pain

What Can You Do?

  • Ask–Talk to them.
  • Be There
  • Listen without judgement
  • Help them connect–create a network of resources and individuals for support
  • Follow up–continue to have contact with them

 

If you or someone you know is severely depressed and suicidal please contact

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

1-800-273-8255

Posted in church, Faith, fear, love

18 Years

Some of this post is taken from last year’s post, I just added some new thoughts.

It’s been 18 years since America was attacked by terrorists. That day, the world stopped turning for just a little while.

They say when a big tragedy such as 9/11 occurs that you will always remember where you were. It’s totally true.

I still remember where I was on September 11, 2001. It’s been 18 years but I will always remember where I was.

I was a freshman in college, taking classes at the local community college. I had a late day that day so I was sleeping in when the phone rang. It was my mom calling from work telling me to turn on the TV right away.

I turned on the TV just to see the second plane hit the tower. I was in shock. What was going on??

I went to class as usual and was sitting in my psychology class when the professor stopped talking and just looked at us. He then told us that he couldn’t teach, that everything that was going on was just so surreal and that we were dismissed.

That day changed America, obviously. People were nicer, kinder. Churches filled up. People were scared and looking for answers.

It’s been 18 years. But I remember it as if it were yesterday.

People flocked to the church. Pews were filled.

America was hurt. America was down. Down but not out.

As a nation, we rose back up slowly. We became united as one.

Where were you that September day?

 

 

Where were you when the world stopped turnin’
That September day?
Were you in the yard with your wife and children
Or workin’ on some stage in L.A.?
Did you stand there in shock at the sight of that black smoke
Risin’ against that blue sky?
Did you shout out in anger, in fear for your neighbor
Or did you just sit down and cry?
Did you weep for the children, they lost their dear loved ones
Pray for the ones who don’t know?
Did you rejoice for the people who walked from the rubble
And sob for the ones left below?
Did you burst out with pride for the red, white, and blue
And the heroes who died just doin’ what they do?
Did you look up to heaven for some kind of answer
And look at yourself and what really matters?
I’m just a singer of simple songs
I’m not a real political man
I watch CNN, but I’m not sure I can tell you
The difference in Iraq and Iran
But I know Jesus and I talk to God
And I remember this from when I was young
Faith, hope, and love are some good things He gave us
And the greatest is love
Posted in Landen's Story, Uncategorized

Update on Landen

Landen’s parents just posted this latest update about 45 minutes ago. Please pray for this family!

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, hat and indoor“We found out today that Landens liver is failing rapidly. It looks like Landen will be going home to be with Jesus soon. We are relieved that soon Landen will be completely well but saddened about the time of separation we will have from him. We thank God for using his life to be an inspiration to so many, none more than his mama and daddy.

We appreciate all of your love, prayers, and support for our family. Please continue praying for all of us during this time. #landensstory”

 

Posted in Faith, fear, prayer

Let Your Faith Be Bigger Than Your Fear

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I need to confess something to you all. I struggle with praying out loud in a group of people. I get so wound up, fear grips me. I mean, it really grips me. I fear I’m going to say something wrong or stupid. I fear I’m going to stumble over my words. (I mean, hey, I do that in normal conversations, lol)

Like Moses, I’m terrible with words. (speaking them, that is) My tongue gets all tied up and a bunch of rambling comes out.

At Prevail Church, at the end of the service, we get into groups and we pray. We pray for boldness, for compassion. We pray for whatever needs to be prayed for. It’s a time to just pour our hearts out to God.

I listen to the words of those around me and wish I could pray like that. I wish I didn’t have this fear of corporate prayer.

Well, as we gathered into our groups, I could feel the Lord impressing upon my heart to pray. He did this several times. And several times I would open my mouth and then shut it. Open my mouth, shut it….and before I knew it, I had lost my chance. I let the Lord down. I just know He was up there just shaking his head at my fear of public praying.

Last night as I was just doing some reading and writing out my thoughts, I looked up and saw a sticker I have on a notebook that says, “Let Your Faith Be Bigger Than Your Fear.” And I realized I really did let my fear overpower my faith yesterday.

Fear doesn’t come from the Lord. It says in 2 Timothy 1:7:

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

Fear is of the world. Fear is not godly. When we feel that fear creeping upon us, we must fight back with our faith. Fight back with, not OUR strength, but GOD’s strength. Because if we try to do it all by ourselves, we won’t get far. We’ll succumb to the fear. Just like I did yesterday.

Like my pastor has said in the past….”we must step over fear to reach faith.” Faith OVER Fear!

What fear grips you? Give it to Jesus. He’ll never let you down. 

 

 

 

 

Posted in bible verses, christian living, christianity, Faith

I Will Rise

I Will Rise When He Calls My Name!
Hey y’all, I hope your Sunday is going well! Church was amazing this morning. We had a great message, a wonderful time of prayer and an awesome praise and worship time.
I don’t know if you’ve heard of the song, I Will Rise by Chris Tomlin but it is AMAZING! Please take some time to go check it out!
The lyrics are powerful and so very true!
There is a line that I love, “And my faith shall be my eyes”–Oh, how wonderful will it be to wake up in heaven one day! To see our Lord and Savior face to face!
One day there will be no more sorrow, no more pain! I long for this day, as I know any chronic pain sufferer would.

We Will Have New Bodies (Praise the Lord!!!)

2 Corinthians 5:1-10 says:

For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands. We grow weary in our present bodies, and we long to put on our heavenly bodies like new clothing. For we will put on heavenly bodies; we will not be spirits without bodies. While we live in these earthly bodies, we groan and sigh, but it’s not that we want to die and get rid of these bodies that clothe us. Rather, we want to put on our new bodies so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by life. God himself has prepared us for this, and as a guarantee he has given us his Holy Spirit.So we are always confident, even though we know that as long as we live in these bodies we are not at home with the Lord. For we live by believing and not by seeing. Yes, we are fully confident, and we would rather be away from these earthly bodies, for then we will be at home with the Lord. So whether we are here in this body or away from this body, our goal is to please him. 10 For we must all stand before Christ to be judged. We will each receive whatever we deserve for the good or evil we have done in this earthly body.

No More Sorrow

In Revelation 21:4, we read that “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
I’m so excited for heaven, aren’t you? There will be nothing but singing and praising and worshiping the Lord!!

I Will Rise

(Verse 2)
There’s a day that’s drawing near
When this darkness breaks to light
And the shadows disappear
And my faith shall be my eyes
Jesus has overcome
And the grave is overwhelmed
The victory is won
He is risen from the dead
(Chorus)
And I will rise when He calls my name
No more sorrow, no more pain
I will rise on eagles’ wings
Before my God fall on my knees
And rise
I will rise
Posted in blogging

Self-hosted (eventually, that is)

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Hey y’all!

So I have decided that I will be going the self-hosted route in the near future. Not exactly sure when but I’m definitely going to be doing it.

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I have been researching exhaustively blogging advice on Pinterest. I’ve checked out books on SEO, on blogging, on WordPress. I’m going to do this right, lol. So it’s going to take some time before I switch over.

So I need some help from you all! What sort of advice, tips would you give me as I eventually take this journey?

I’ve been told that Bluehost is excellent for hosting. If y’all can provide some other hosting sites that’d be great!

(Oh and by the way, pray for us….we are awaiting Hurricane Dorian….we aren’t going to get hit directly but we will feel a lot of the effects, winds, rain and the possibility of losing power.)

Update on Landen (yesterday at noon)

Landen has been agitated but is resting well at the moment. His pain is under better control and his respiratory status is slightly improved. He is liking his break from BiPAP. 

There are a couple of concerns that popped up overnight that they are monitoring. After all tests, they believe the concerns with his heart are related to his renal function and fluid overload. These issues should resolve as those things get better.

There was an issue with the Hemodialysis machine so he has been back on CRRT (Continual renal replacement therapy). They have gotten a good amount of fluid off and his weight is at a good place.

We know you are but please continue praying. It’s very hard seeing him struggle so much. We are thankful for the strength God is giving Landen to fight and our family to persevere. Thank you for your prayers and support. #landensstory

(8 hours ago)

Landen will be getting moved from Cincinnati to Charlotte in about an hour. He has had a rough three days and continues to be in critical condition. They are getting things stabilized for now. We are glad to get closer to home. Please pray for a safe transport.

Posted in depression, disability, fibromyalgia, Uncategorized

Pain Awareness Month

I had no idea that September was Pain Awareness Month. As a sufferer of a chronic illness, I like the fact that awareness is being brought to those who suffer.

My journey with fibromyalgia has been a long one. I believe it started a few months after I contracted mono in my sophomore year of college…(2004, 2005) I went to the doctor but he brushed it off as depression and that it was all in my head. So I continued on in college…graduated and then decided it was time to find a doctor who would believe me.

I ended up moving back home to Virginia in 2008 and saw several doctors who didn’t believe me and told me it was all in my head.  So my depression, (which I have suffered from LONG before all my fibro symptoms started) reared its ugly head and I gave up on trying to get doctors to believe me.  *I* knew it wasn’t all in my head.

Flash forward to July of 2016. I was babysitting my niece and nephew when I had a seizure and fell to the floor, hitting my head and breaking my collarbone. It was a couple months after this that my symptoms became even worse. The pain I was in was excruciating. I read that sometimes fibro symptoms show up after a trauma of some sort. Mine were already there but became worse after the seizure.

I found a new doctor and decided to bring up my fibro symptoms one more time. Praise the Lord he believed me! He reviewed my history and did the pressure point test and blood work and agreed with me that it sounded like fibromyalgia. So he started me on Gabapentin (which did NOT work) so he then put me on Lyrica which I have been on for quite some time now.

Y’all, chronic pain may be an invisible illness but it’s still an illness! Just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Please remember that. 🙂





Update on Landen: (from yesterday)

Landen has had some trouble with the g tube and stomach issues so today they placed an NJ tube to bypass his stomach. The hope with this is to heal whatever may be causing the issues with his stomach. He did not have dialysis today!! His pain is not completely under control and the doctors are working on better pain management. He continues to sleep a lot but was more awake and alert today! His BP was higher today most likely due to pain. They continue to try to wean pressure support on his oxygen but this has been challenging due to his pain level. Please pray specifically for his pain! He has dealt with this pain for a long time and we would love to see it under control! We continue to thank the Lord for stable days! Thank you all for your love and support!!

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Posted in Uncategorized

Blogging Mistakes

So I’ve been seriously considering signing up for Blue Host and becoming self-hosted. I feel there are more options if I were to go that way.

I’ve been searching Pinterest and getting so many ideas and advice. One piece of advice made me freeze and have a mini panic attack. This person was sued for using an image she got from Google. I froze because in many of my older posts I have images from Google. A LOT of my posts have images that I just innocently thought were free game since they were there.

I’m so naive. LOL.

SO I am going to have a chore in front of me as I set to go back through ALL my posts and remove the images I got from Google.

Honestly, I started this blog in 2012 (but didn’t get serious about it until 2017) as a way to just get my feelings out. I knew nothing about starting a blog and honestly, to this day, still don’t.

I’ve also thought about starting all over and deleting this blog, starting fresh with a new name, new design, everything. All the while learning as I go that starting a blog is NOT an easy task.

I’m going to need some help from you all! Let me know what you think would be the best thing for me to do. Going back two years worth of posts and removing the images or just deleting this blog and starting all over again.

Ugh, I just don’t know what to do.