I do not like change one bit. I will probably say that I like change but that’s me just trying to convince myself I like change. The reality being change sucks. I think it’s a mental thing, I get used to things, I create expectations of life that can be met, I like schedules, I like knowing things. But with change you don’t get that. Change isn’t consistent, change you don’t know what to expect, it’s scary, it’s not something that can always fit nicely into a little box and slide gracefully into a preexisting timeline of life. It’s messy. It’s demanding of flexibility.
But do you know who can handle the things that make me completely bonkers? God. God is all over everything even when I’m scrambling to handle the most mundane change, God is already there. He is already in the mess. He is my rock. He is my refuge among the crazy. I just need to lean on Him, let Him be my strength, let Him take over. Because if I ignore God when I’m in the eye of the hurricane of change, I will completely implode and lose focus on what actually matters.
And what actually matters is loving others like Christ loves me no matter the circumstance and no matter my schedule.
He does not ask for perfections, He asks for my surrender.
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.
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.
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
When my worry is great within me, Your comfort brings joy to my soul.
Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. I do not give peace to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.
2 Timothy 1:7
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.
1 Peter 5:7
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
I’m so guilty of living a life that I’ve judged others for living. Living a life filled with sin and moments of straying from my walk with God. Yesterday I was called out on my judgement of what others wear, while not necessarily following the modesty guidelines I’ve set for myself. It’s hot so I’m wearing less clothing and not really caring if I’m showing too much skin because I justify what I’m wearing with the unbearable weather. While at the same time judging a fellow Christian for wearing something similar to what I’m wearing.
It isn’t right. I’m judging. I’m living a life that could be a stumbling block to someone else. I am not living in a way that honors the Lord or represents my ministry well. I’m being a major hypocrite by living with so many double standards.
So I’m grateful for being called out on my hypocrisy. And I’m grateful for this morning’s sermon talking about living a life that not filled with judgement but filled with the love and principles of Christ. Being a Christian without being nasty and judgemental, not being a Pharisee.
Let’s continue this journey together by holding each other accountable using the love of Christ.
Most days I ask myself where is God in all of this?
Well I just haven’t been looking very hard for Him because He is everywhere. He is in every single detail. He works through my boyfriend. He works through my pastor. He calls to me on the days where I’m unable to crawl off the couch and He comforts me. He is always there. Always.
I don’t know what I would do without my support system.
My very small close knit to me circle of people is astronomically important to me. They get it. They deal with their own mental chaos as well and they don’t drop me when I accidentally go four months living as a shut in because I can’t find the strength to leave the house let alone answer my phone.
But, while I’m drowning they’re praying. They’re making sure I’m alive. They’re waiting. And when I resurface from survival mode they’re there. No questions asked.
And I don’t know what I would do without them. I hope I am able to love them and support them as much as they do for me.
When you are going through the highs and lows of life and of mental illness there is nothing more important than your relationship with the Lord and your support system of people who love you and the Lord. That combination is my rock.
My support system reminds me to go to God, they challenge me to read my Bible and take a shower and get out of the house. They encourage me to call my doctor and actually be honest with him about how I’m doing.
Sticking to my treatment plan has been so incredibly difficult. But each time I fall off the horse they are there to help me get back up.
I can’t do this alone. Mental health is not something you go through alone. You go through it with your doctor, support system, and God.
One moment I’m fine. I’m happy. I’m going through my day like a normal functioning adult. I’m taking my meds, and not the emergency ones, just the maintenance ones. I can go to social functions with little difficulty.
….and the next I feel like I’m drowning, suffocating, being attacked from all sides, yet so completely alone.
I feel defeated. Ready to give up. Sobbing in a crumpled mess, unable to get up off the couch because I’m devastated and exhausted.
I just don’t know why. I feel like a failure. A burden. A screw up. I can’t do anything right. I’m not supposed to be happy.
Everything inside of me dies.
I fall asleep from the exhaustion of the fight in my own head and the next question is will I wake up completely fine? Or will the feelings of mental devastation roll over to the next day?
This battle within me is a never ending tidal wave going back and forth. Back and forth.
People say I’m just not relying on God. My doctor says I need to up my medication. I tell myself to just give in to the hurt. Give in to the mental battle and give up.
I can’t give up though. Because right now I’m in the middle of a good moment. I want to keep fighting to live a life dedicated to serving the Lord and loving those around me.
So I refuse to let myself give up even when everything inside of me is sick of fighting.
I pray the turmoil inside of me subside even the tiniest bit so I can see the light. I pray I can see God’s hand when I’m on the floor and can’t breathe. I pray I continue to fight. Continue to encourage others to fight. And continue to seek the Lord. He isn’t done with me yet.
My good mental health days usually start out beautifully. Imagine I’m knitting a gorgeous blanket, I’m getting so far and accomplishing so much and it’s just going so smoothly. And then a hiccup happens. A bump in the road. Something happens that severely upsets my good mental health day. I begin to unravel. That blanket I’ve been knitting all day quickly goes from a perfectly knitted project to a pile of destroyed yarn on the floor. With me collapsed on top of it in a heap of depressed sobbing. I can’t function.
I don’t know why I do this. My psych has explained it so many times to me, and we work on finding meds that help with my reactions and my ability to handle situations, handle messing up, handle being yelled at, but sometimes, almost all the time, my beautiful mental health day goes from a stunning blanket to a heap of yarn that can’t be salvaged.
I didn’t used to be this way. I used to be able to be a boss over every situation that came my way. I would see a potential problem and jump at the opportunity to fix it but now I crumple and it kills me. This isn’t who I am. I am not someone who breaks apart at the slightest inconvenience. I am not someone who can’t handle a plate overflowing with things that need to be done.
The girl I see in the mirror the past few years? I don’t recognize her at all. She isn’t me.