Posted in anxiety, bible verses, christian living, christianity, Faith, grace

Present Troubles

I’ve been struggling lately.

My health, my finances, etc.

But I came across several verses in 2 Corinthians 4 that reminded me that our present troubles will not last very long.  In verses 8-9 we read:

We are pressed on every side by troubles but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down but we are not destroyed.

Then further down in verses 16-18 we are told,

That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone but the things we cannot see will last forever.

It’s so easy to feel sorry for ourselves, to have pity parties when things get rough. But God’s Word tells us that one day all our troubles will be gone. We will be forever in His presence where everything is perfect.

Also, in 2 Corinthians 12:9-10, Paul reminds us that God’s grace is all we need.

Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Can God take away my health struggles? Absolutely! Will He? I don’t know. But what I do know is this: His grace is all I need.

His grace is all YOU need.

 

Posted in anger, anxiety, bitterness, christian living, christianity, church, Faith, forgiveness, grace, money, peace

Heartbreaking

So in my last post I talked about how Prevail Church was being taken to court by former members, saying they are due the money that comes from the sale of the building we once met in. These people LEFT when they decided they didn’t like the direction Jonathan was taking the church. (although they were a part of the unanimous decision to sell the church building and relaunch as a new church. )

Well, the hearing was this past Tuesday and it was….awful to say the least. How these people can do this and still claim to be a Christian is beyond me. I sat and watched in disbelief as Jonathan was basically attacked on the stand by their lawyer.

My anger rose and my heart rate was 116 as I sat there, tears streaming down my face. A couple of times I glanced over at their side and just shook my head. It’s so heartbreaking that these people are doing this.

It says in the Bible, in 1 Corinthians 6 that we are to avoid lawsuits with other believers.

When one of you has a dispute with another believer, how dare you file a lawsuit and ask a secular court to decide the matter instead of taking it to other believers!

I Cor 6:1

Further down in verse 6-7 it says,

I am saying this to shame you. Isn’t there anyone in all the church who is wise enough to decide these issues?

But instead, one believer sues another—right in front of unbelievers!

What was the result of the hearing? Well, unfortunately it has been decided for this whole nonsense to be taken to trial.

You know what’s really sad about all this? The fact that there are unbelievers watching this unfold. People we could be leading to the Lord who are no doubt not wanting anything to do with Jesus because His people are fighting over something as trivial as money.

My heart is breaking as I type this. It’s not fair what they are doing and it’s not biblical. I think the best thing at this point is to just split the money in half. Give them half and we take the other half and just go our separate ways. It’s clear they aren’t going to back down any time soon.

OH how my heart hurts. The way they are treating Pastor Jonathan is just downright cruel.

I’ve been struggling with my feelings since this whole mess began. I struggle with my attitude towards them. I struggle with wanting to tell them off. But that wouldn’t be very Christ-like. I don’t want to repay evil for evil. (Romans 12 tells us not to) I don’t want to hate them. Honestly, I don’t. It’s just so hard right now.

I’ve been digging into the Scriptures to find verses on bitterness, anger and forgiveness these past several days.

*side note* Because I suffer from bipolar disorder, sometimes it’s harder for me to let go of things. I am in no way trying to make excuses, however. Please don’t get me wrong. I am praying to God about my attitude and reading His Word daily.

It says in Romans 12:9-10

Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection and take delight in honoring each other.

Then a little bit further, in verse 18,

Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone

That’s what needs to happen. We need to peaceably come to a resolution. And while right now it’s seems really really hard to love these people, the Bible says we should and that’s all that matters.

So y’all….please please continue to pray for this situation that it can be resolved quickly and peaceably.

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 adhd, anxiety, bipolar, christian living, depression, Faith, fear, mental disorders

Yes, I’m a Christian and I’m Bipolar…

I touched on this topic a little over a year ago but decided to add to it in case a new follower needs to read it.

Yes, it is possible to be a Christian, to have the love of the Lord in you and still struggle with a mental illness. The two CAN coexist! Because guess what? Mental illness? It doesn’t discriminate. It can strike anyone at any given time. It’s a chemical imbalance.

It’s taken some time to get this blog post out because as soon as I sit down at my computer to start writing, I start losing focus. I become agitated because I can’t get my thoughts out the way I want them to.  Oh, I have many many thoughts racing through my head but they won’t come out on screen. It’s a bunch of jumbled thoughts, not making sense.

So what do I do in times like these? I wish I could say I always turn to the Lord to help me (and I do most of the time) but every once in a while I sit and have a pity party. “Why me? Why do I have to be like this? Why can’t I just be normal?” I cry and cry.

I realize having a pity party is definitely not the best way to handle it but try telling me that when I’m having an episode. It doesn’t work. I eventually find my way out of the pity party and then turn to the Lord. (I know, I know…..I should have turned to God first….and believe me…I try! But sometimes Satan is stronger than me and pulls me down.)

So why can’t I just turn to the Lord the second I feel myself slipping? I wish I had an answer for you. I don’t know. I honestly have no idea.

I’m getting better at turning to the Lord in these times. I haven’t had a bad episode in quite some time. The Lord is slowly working in me and I’m becoming stronger.

The other day I was doing my devotions and came across Psalm 27. The first verse is one of my favorites:

1. The Lord is my light and my salvation–so why should I be afraid? The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble?

The Lord is ALWAYS with me even when I’m not with Him! He’s there for me when I’m suffering. He’s there when life is good! He’s my light! He’s my salvation!

The last verse has become a favorite of mine too.

14. Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.

If you’re suffering…if you feel lost and confused…turn to Jesus. He will never fail you.

 

Posted in adhd, anxiety, depression, Faith, fibromyalgia, worry

Fibro Fog

If you or a loved one suffers from fibromyalgia then you are aware of one of the more debilitating symptoms: the dreaded fibro fog. According to MedicineNet.com, fibro fog is:

 A type of cognitive dysfunction reported by many people with fibromyalgia. Also sometimes referred to as brain fog, its symptoms include difficulty with concentration, memory deficits, and confusion.

It can be very frustrating and I know for me it leads to depression.  For me, I will have moments where I will be talking and will completely forget what I was trying to say. I will stop mid sentence therefore making me look and feel pretty dumb.  My memory is terrible and I have the absolute worst time concentrating.  (Since I also have ADHD, the concentration problem can be worse at times)

I often have trouble recalling certain words when talking or even writing. Simple words for every day things. Words I never used to have trouble remembering.

(Funnily enough, I’m having trouble right now trying to get this blog post written.)

The combination of my struggles with the fibro fog and the insecurities it brings really puts a damper on things. I want to be positive, want to have confidence but the struggle is so very real.

I googled some verses on insecurity and came across several that have been very comforting:

7 But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart     I Samuel 16:7

I struggle with my looks quite a bit and reading this verse really helps me to put things into perspective.

Some more verses I came across

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.    Philippians 4:6-9

These verses give me comfort because I know that by placing my trust in Him I can overcome any struggle I run into. I need not worry because He is right there beside me as I go through my insecurities and doubts.

Fibro fog may not be curable but with God’s help I can get through the frustrations it brings. And when I struggle with finding the right word, God is still right there beside me helping me to get through the difficulties.

Posted in anxiety, bipolar, blogging, christian living, church, depression, Faith, fear, fibromyalgia, grace, mental disorders, peace, phobias, song lyrics, worry, writers block

Why Is It So Hard?

I have all but lost my desire for writing. Now that I’m back to work, it seems I have let my writing fall by the wayside. After I get home from work I’m in so much pain from standing all day that I have no interest in writing.

I’m going to be honest with you all for a moment…..I’m struggling. With life, with my relationship with God, with just about everything. I haven’t lost my faith. I still believe but I’m finding it hard to set aside time to spend with God.

I’m human. We all are. We have flaws and always will. But what happens when you lose your desire for God? Why is it so hard to follow Him? I see others who are so devoted to God and have a deep relationship with Him and I wonder why I can’t seem to find that sort of relationship. I know it’s available, I know it’s there. I thought I used to have it.  Maybe I never have.

I feel like a fraud. This blog is supposed to be me telling others about Christ and His love for us. And here I am, struggling. I’ve abandoned my blog in recent weeks.

I know we all struggle. As long as we are on this earth we will struggle from time to time.

I do know that God is still working in me. As I write this, I’m listening to Mandisa’s song, Unfinished. If you haven’t heard it I definitely advise you to check it out. Here’s some of the lyrics,

Not scared to say it
I used to be the one
Preaching it to you
That you could overcome
I still believe it
But it ain’t easy
‘Cause that world I painted
Where things just all work out
It started changing
And I started having doubts
And it got me so down
But I picked myself back up
And I started telling me
No, my God’s not done
Making me a masterpiece
He’s still working on me
He started something good
And I’m gonna believe it
He started something good
And He’s gonna complete it
So I’ll celebrate the truth
His work in me ain’t through
I’m just unfinished
I’m just unfinished
So I’ll celebrate the truth
His work in me ain’t through
I’m just unfinished
I know God is not finished with me yet.  And I know if you are struggling right now, like I am, that God isn’t finished with you yet either. Keep your head up and focused on Him.
That’s what I am doing.
But why is it so hard???
Here is another song that is speaking to me right now. It’s called Need You Now by Plumb. Such a powerful song!
Well, everybody’s got a story to tell
And everybody’s got a wound to be healed
I want to believe there’s beauty here
‘Cause oh, I get so tired of holding on
I can’t let go, I can’t move on
I want to believe there’s meaning here
How many times have you heard me cry out
“God please take this”?
How many times have you given me strength to
Just keep breathing?
Oh I need you
God, I need you now.
Standing on a road I didn’t plan
Wondering how I got to where I am
I’m trying to hear that still small voice
I’m trying to hear above the noise
How many times have you heard me cry out
God please take this?
How many times have you given me strength to
Just keep breathing?
Oh I need you
God, I need you now.

I don’t know where you are right now in your walk with God, whether you’re struggling, as I am right now, or if things are going great for you right now but just remember this: God is not finished with you and has great plans for you.

I honestly believe this though I’m struggling right now.
I just wish it wasn’t so hard.
Posted in anxiety, depression, Faith, fear, fibromyalgia, mental disorders, prayer, worry

An Apology

I would like to apologize to you all who read my posts. I haven’t been writing much lately and it just feels like I’ve lost my desire to write. I want to get it back but I don’t know how to do it.

I have been having issues with my fibromyalgia and not having my Lyrica for several weeks, leaving me in pain. I finally was able to get my medication but it will take a week or two to fully get back in my system.

I want to be completely honest with you: I’m struggling. Spiritually, Mentally, Physically. It’s so hard being a bipolar Christian.

This blog is supposed to be about me telling people about Jesus and lately I haven’t been doing that. I feel like a fraud.

I don’t want to shut down this blog. I want so badly to get back into the swing of things and be the person I was when I first started this blog.

So I’m going to dig deep into Scripture and pray that God will show me what I am supposed to do.

Pray for me, if you don’t mind.

Posted in anxiety, Faith, fear, peace, phobias, worry

What’s YOUR Phobia?

**Originally posted in January 2015**

So we all have something we’re afraid of, right? And to that particular person the fear they have can be serious! For instance, some people are afraid of clowns while to others having a fear of clowns is just silly. But to the person with coulrophobia (fear of clowns, I looked it up!) the fear is real!

There are MANY phobias that exist! Here is a List of Phobias that I came across. Crazy right? I had no idea there were that many phobias out there!  And MINE is on the list. It’s a phobia that I’ve had since the 5th grade, possibly even younger than that. What’s it called, you ask?

Emetophobia. Yes, I have a fear of throwing up. I  remember one day when I was a child someone got sick and I went into a full on panic attack.

Now of course, no one LIKES throwing up. But to a person with emetophobia, when we throw up or if we see someone throw up we panic. I mean, PANIC. I know for me, my heart starts racing, my hands start shaking and I just feel out of control. The classic symptoms of an anxiety attack. At least for me, that is.

Over the years, I have gotten better at handling this fear. There was a time when I was a child that you couldn’t even mention the word “throw up”or “puke”, or “vomit” around me. It would throw me into a panic attack. However, as I’ve gotten older I’ve been able to better control it. I do take a medication for anxiety which helps a lot.

People with emetophobia will distance themselves from people who are sick. We will avoid eating certain foods that might make us sick. And a lot of women will avoid getting pregnant because of the fear of morning sickness. I’ve never been pregnant and because of this fear of mine, I don’t plan on becoming pregnant and having kids. Kids get sick. Kids will throw up. It’s inevitable. So I want to avoid it as much as I can.

It’s a very strange fear, I know. Trust me, I know how weird it is. But its something I’ve never been able to shake off. It’s something I’m going to live with for the rest of my life and I just have to make adjustments!

A verse that helps me when I’m having an anxiety attack is found in Philippians 4:6-7

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.

Anyways, just thought I’d share this. Emetophobia is real, y’all. I sure wish it didn’t exist though!

Do you have any phobias?

Posted in anxiety, bipolar, depression, fear, mental disorders, phobias

The Panic Attack that Started My Downward Spiral

My mental health problems began when I was a teenager. One night I suffered a major panic attack that scared the mess out of me and my mom. I honestly thought I was going to die.

I was trying to fall asleep when all of a sudden, out of nowhere, this overwhelming sense of terror just enveloped me. My heart was racing way too fast as if I had just finished running a marathon. My hands began to seize up into fists that I couldn’t pry open.

What was going on? Was I dying? I was scared to death and didn’t know why. Why was this happening to me?

I remember my mom telling me that when she placed her hand over my heart to see how fast my heart was racing it felt like “a herd of horses galloping.” She tried to pry open my fists but to no avail.

She took me to the doctor where he diagnosed it as a severe anxiety attack and prescribed me an anti-anxiety medication. This particular medication, however, INCREASED my panic attacks. I was having them multiple times a day! So I was placed on another medicine which seemed to help.

After suffering from these panic attacks, I fell into a deep depression. I couldn’t understand why I was suffering from these attacks. I was in my senior year of high school.  This was supposed to be the greatest year of my high school career. I was on the verge of becoming an adult!

But no, I enjoyed none of that. Instead, I lost so much weight that my sister and my mom were convinced I had an eating disorder but I didn’t. I just stopped eating because I just wasn’t hungry.  My jeans sagged on me, I retreated to my room most days and kept to myself. I hated life at this point.

And the only thing I can say is that the panic attack is what started my downward spiral. And it gets worse….much worse…..but that’s a story for another day.