Sink or Swim: Christ’s Promised Presence

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Check out my post over on Morning by MorningHere is an excerpt:

“Although Jesus is more than just a lifeguard, what if it feels like he isn’t coming? Maybe like me, you have been in, or are currently in a season, where it feels like he has forgotten you. Maybe it seems that he is off rescuing others or napping on the beach. You’re floundering in the ocean of trials and suffering, and you don’t see him coming. Will Jesus come into the scary diagnosis, failing marriage, difficult parenting season, grievous offense of another? Has he forgotten us?”

Read the rest here.

 

My Year Part 1

“Do you think you have ADD?”

The feeling of relief that washed over me was palpable. A living thing. “You think that, too?”

Eric nodded. “I’ve thought so for a while now.”

We were sitting in Chuy’s on a date night, and as soon as he said the words, I felt a release of emotions. Relief. Affirmation. Dread. For years I had wondered and kept silent, fearful that I was imagining it all. Afraid of the ramifications of a diagnosis, and all the stuff that comes with it. Mostly, afraid it was somehow my fault. That I should try harder. Do better. Force myself to pay attention. Not be so anxious all the time.

This opened up a floodgate, and I opened up about my anxiety, as well. We decided I should pursue a clinical approach along with the counseling approach I had been taking. Counseling had been incredibly helpful, for sure. But if the issue was in my brain wiring, it would take more than just wishing it away.

Why was I so hesitant, you would probably ask. Anyone who has what would be termed “mental health issues” would laugh. The stigma follows you, but not only that, your own fears and stigmas do as well. We are our worst critics.

I’ve already addressed here about finding freedom in the midst of mental illness. It doesn’t define me, or you, if you have similar struggles. But how do we wrestle with the fact that there is an element of who we are that could be rejected by our society? A society that tells us we need to keep ourselves bottled up, and only show what it deems beautiful? Being real and genuine requires opening up parts of ourselves that others might despise. That is the fear that haunts most of us who have diagnosable mental problems.

So when my husband asked me that question, a Pandora’s box exploded open. And we both walked through it together. He wasn’t going to reject me, or despise me, for something that was a part of me that couldn’t be medicated away. And as I took baby steps to talking about it, seeking help, and embracing how I was made, that Pandora’s box became insignificant. Not in the way most people would think: it was still a big learning curve. It’s still a struggle to talk about. But to the people who matter most to me, they love me not just in spite of my ADD and anxiety, but because of it. And THAT is what makes the difference.

If you, too, struggle with mental health problems, let me beg you to surround yourself with people who will embrace you. Get medical and counseling help. Find a community, church, or organization that will walk through it with you. There is freedom to be who you were made to be.

 

Finding Freedom In Mental Illness

“Something is wrong with me” is a phrase I’ve often repeated for the past ten years. At first, I chalked it up to not trusting God enough. The other day, my Timehop app showed a quote from eight years ago that I had posted on Facebook. It read, “I’m anxious, and I just need to trust the Lord more.” I laughed out loud, shaking my head. The statement isn’t false, of course. It’s just incredibly demeaning, and indicative of the common response we often hear from others, and ourselves, when faced with something like…”

Finish reading at the original post here.

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Pillar By the Night

Frozen is this heart of stone, plastered to the sphere

Where is my solitude?  Where is my fear?

Fortune’s telling seems afar, nigh for truth and light

Contraband to silence, taken in the night

Chains that bind by depth and blood, fixed to ships at sea

Floating in the ceaseless pain, soul’s first noiseless plea

Fortress floats towards land’s swift shore, buttressed in the flight

Cloud by the light of day, pillar by the night

Glinting eyes of silent shouts demand my acquiescence

What is the safest way to claim my soft defiance?

You don’t hold my freedom song, wrought in tears and toil

Standard flies in rippling wind, planted in the soil

Cast aside your ardent lies, they have no hold on me

Burn your demanding subterfuge and persistent trickery

Fling my prose into the wind, leap for battles won

Shadows lay to wasteland’s floor, step into the sun

fire by nightExodus 13:21, “And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead them along the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light.”