Posted in anxiety, bible verses, bipolar, bitterness, depression, disability, Faith, fear, fibromyalgia

Lay Your Burdens Down

I’m hurting again. I’m exhausted…again. My body is in so much pain that I just want to give up. But I know I can’t. This is a daily battle. It’s a battle that rages constantly, pulling me down with it sometimes. I don’t always win. Today feels like one of those days.

Fibromyalgia. Why must it exist? Bipolar disorder…why must I suffer? I just want to be normal. What is normal though? Does it even exist?

I am not writing this in order to get you to feel sorry for me. Rather I’m writing to get my thoughts out, to express how I’m feeling. But due to brain fog I can’t find the right words to truly express how I’m feeling. I have to save this as a draft, walk away for a little while, then come back. Most of the time that works but today I’m struggling. My brain just doesn’t want to work today.

As I was writing this, Jamie Kimmett’s song “Burdens” came on. Coincidence? I think not! This is ALL GOD!

I don’t have to fight this battle alone. The Lord is with me. He wants me to lay my burdens down, to give everything to Him!

Do not be afraid of the nations there, for the Lord your God will fight for you.

Deuteronomy 3:22

The Lord hears his people when they call to him for help. He rescues them from all their troubles.

Psalm 34:17

Posted in anxiety, blogging, christianity

A Nobody…

I’m just a nobody trying to tell everybody all about Somebody who saved my soul

Casting Crowns, “Nobody”

I’ve recently come to love this song by Casting Crowns. But as I reflect upon it, I don’t feel like I’m living up to what the lyrics are saying. Am I REALLY trying to tell everybody about Christ? So many times, I focus on ME and not on others. I have plenty of family members who are not saved and desperately need Christ in their lives. Am I living out my faith? Do others see Christ in me?

Or do they see a selfish person, living in and FOR the world?

I think to myself, quite often, that I just don’t measure up. I don’t have what it takes….

How can God use ME? I’m nothing, a nobody. I don’t have the voice. I’m broken.

Now I’m just a beggar in the presence of a King
I wish I could bring so much more
But if it’s true You use broken things
Then here I am Lord, I’m all Yours

Matthew West, “Broken Things”

But it’s right there in Matthew West’s song, “Broken Things.”

God uses the broken people to bring glory to Himself. He uses the nobodies, the seemingly inept people. I know that I feel inept a lot. What can I use, what can I do to bring others to the Lord?

Moses had stage fright
And David brought a rock to a sword fight
You picked twelve outsiders nobody would’ve chosen
And You changed the world
Well, the moral of the story is
Everybody’s got a purpose

Casting Crowns, “Nobody”

I think if I could relate to anyone, it would be Moses. When God showed up in that burning bush, asking him to speak up to Pharaoh to let His people go, Moses freaked out and begged God to send someone else. He didn’t think he had what it took. But in the end, God still ended up using Moses.

I’ve always wondered if this blog is my “voice.” Is this how God is going to use me?

Is this my opportunity to reach out to others to bring them to Christ?

I don’t feel adequate. But neither did Moses.

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

Mental Health and Christianity

Photo by Nathan Cowley on Pexels.com

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 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, 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.

Posted in bible verses, christian living, Faith, fear, peace

Finding Peace In a Troubled World

Image result for john 16 33

Another school shooting took place today in Maryland.

Another bomb went off in Texas today.

What is this world coming to?

I came across a booklet I had received from the Discovery Series about finding peace in a world filled with violence and hardships.

Today, news of events around our ever-shrinking global community bombard us in an unsettling, unceasing drumbeat of violence, danger, hate, and destruction. As the stories multiply, we feel the weight of the fear and desperation.

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

John 14:1 tells us “Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me.”

John 16:33 says “I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world!”

As long as we live in this world we are going to endure hardships. Bad things are going to take place. We live in an evil-filled world.  The Bible tells us this.

So how do we find peace in this hate-filled world?

Jesus gave his disciples a starting point for peace–trust. “He challenged them to allow their confidence in Him to overcome their fear and despair.”

Swimming in their fear, these words were a lifeboat. Words that offered rescue and safety.

His promise of peace is directly linked to our trust in Him and His ability to bring us through.

Jesus will NEVER fail us. We may fail in life but Jesus never will and we can take comfort in that. Anxiety will try to take over our thoughts but Paul tells us Philippians 4:6-7 to “be anxious for nothing but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses ALL understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Prayer allows us to access our greatest resource–the God of the universe–who is more than sufficient for any of the trials we wrestle with.

How can we be so sure of this? How can we be certain that Jesus is the answer?

The Prince of Peace has gone to the cross and defeated the grave to make it so.

In the words of Vivian Kretz’s classic hymn:

Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace
whose mind is stayed on Thee.
When the shadows come and darkness falls,
He giveth inward peace.
O He is the only perfect resting place,
He giveth perfect peace!
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace
whose mind is stayed on Thee.

 

Image result for finding peace