The Facts of Life

An Internet List

  • At least two people in this world love you so much they would die for you.

  • At least fifteen people in this world love you in some way.

  • The only reason anyone would ever hate you is because they want to be just like you.

  • A smile from you can bring happiness to anyone, even if they don’t like you.

  • Every night, SOMEONE thinks about you before they go to sleep.

  • You mean the world to someone.

  • If not for you, someone may not be living.

  • You are special and unique.

  • There is someone that you don’t even know exists, who loves you.

  • When you make the biggest mistake ever, something good comes from it.

  • When you think you have no chance of getting what you want, you probably won’t get it, but if you believe in yourself, probably, sooner or later, you will get it.

  • Always remember the compliments you received. Forget about the rude remarks.

  • Always tell someone how you feel about them; you will feel much better when they know.

  • If you have a great friend, take the time to let them know that they are great.

  • You’re intensely loved by God. He is now your father forever and ever.

 (from a list I found on the internet)

Depression Hurts, [Photo]

They won’t.

Your friends “fingers” might be appreciated, but they can’t lift the darkness. They may want to help you, but they are limited in what they can do. Overcoming depression has to start from the inside, and the Holy Spirit will lead you through this.  The darkness doesn’t always lift, but the Lord’s presence soothes and comforts.

8

“For the enemy has pursued my soul;
    he has crushed my life to the ground;
    he has made me sit in darkness like those long dead.”

Psalm 143:3, ESV

“Rejoice not over me, O my enemy;
    when I fall, I shall rise;
    when I sit in darkness,
    the Lord will be a light to me.”

Micah 7:8, ESV

*

ybic, Bryan

t

Nothing New Under the Sun

sun1This post is one that I posted at my own blog over three years ago, but watching Pr. Lowe share his story so honestly here reminded me of it, and so I decided to share it. I know his story is one that has blessed others; I know because I am one of those people who have been blessed by his honesty and faith.

What’s your story? I know you have one; we all do. But a more important question is: Have you shared your story with anyone? So often we don’t. Even when someone asks, “How are you?” or “What’s going on with you?”, we answer with platitudes like, “I’m fine” or “Not much.” We do this even when it is not true, even when we are not fine or a multitude of stressful situations are plaguing us.

A Facebook friend posted as her status one day that everyone lies, and the biggest lie we tell is “I’m fine.” But why do we do that? Why don’t we share our story with others? I believe there are two reasons, both rooted in fear to some extent.

First, we think our story is ordinary. We are afraid that others will be bored by what we have to say about what’s going on in our lives. Sometimes this might be true, sometimes the person we are speaking with won’t really care enough to truly listen or will be bored. Dwight Yoakam sings a song called “Sorry You Asked” that exemplifies this concern:

You’ll be sorry you asked
me the reason
That she’s not here with
me tonight
And I know you were
probably just acting polite
But you’ll be sorry you
ever asked why

We think people are just acting polite when they ask how we are, and don’t really want to know the truth. But often that is not the case, at least not if you are hanging out with people who care about you.

Second, we think we are the only ones going through whatever difficulty we are experiencing. We are afraid that others will look down on us for the situation we are in or the trial we are experiencing. We are afraid they will think we are weird or worse. But seldom are we the only ones who have experienced the trial we are currently experiencing or have gone through in the past. “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.” Ecclesiastes 1:9.

The truth is our shared stories are what bring us together in community. I believe God allows us to experience trials that He knows we can handle so that we can then be an encouragement to others in a similar situation. If you have had a miscarriage, chances are at least one of the other women in your circle of friends has had one, too, and could use some support and encouragement. If you have suffered from depression and recovered, odds are you will encounter someone else who is struggling with this problem who could benefit from your understanding. If you have lost a loved one, I would venture that many of the people you know have lost someone, too, and could find hope in the fact that you have survived this ordeal. (As a side note, all three of these circumstances are part of my story.)

I could go on and on with examples, but the specific examples are not the point. It is the fact that we are all the same in so many ways. We are not alone and need not feel alone. In Ecclesiastes 4:9-12, Solomon wrote:

9 Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their work:

10 If one falls down,
his friend can help him up.
But pity the man who falls
and has no one to help him up!

11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone?

12 Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

So go ahead, just like the character in Dwight’s song, share your story. Tell your friends how you really are, the genuine struggles you are facing, and the frustrations you are dealing with. Who knows, you just might help them feel less afraid and alone about their own trials, or you might encounter someone who is willing to share with you their story of hope and healing that you desperately need to hear.

aasignLinda

88

Coffee, With a Shot of Truth

by Julie Anne Fidler, BB Weekly Contributor

I am sitting across from one of my best friends in a trendy little café, sipping coffee as we always do. We have been good friends for years; we can tell each other things. We can screw up and make amends. We know each other’s heart. We both love Jesus and came back to our faith after an extended period of wandering away. She is single and wants to be married. I am married and want to have children. There is a lot we can relate to, except for one issue.

My friend is depressed. I have never known her not to be. I’ve never known her to be suicidal, but she suffers from mild depression most of the time. It permeates her life and while she doesn’t see it as a nagging issue, I do. We have never had a conversation in which she does not bring it up. To her credit, she handles it well. In fact, I’d say she handles it better than I do a lot of the time. She is a social bug who constantly thrusts herself into activities, whereas I am more of an isolationist when I’m depressed.

No, the issue is not how she handles her depression. The issue is that she does not want to acknowledge her depression is an illness. She is stuck in the place I was in for so long – believing that if she could be a better person spiritually, she would not be depressed at all.  We’ve had “the talk” many times. I’ve told her about my own trials and tribulations and I’ve gone so far as to look up and explain the brain chemistry behind depression. She always insists she can handle it on her own.

It’s a free country and we can’t force anyone to take medication if they don’t want to. I would even go so far as to say that while I think my friend is suffering needlessly, the fact that she is able to “maintain” and lead a productive life shows that medication might not be a dire necessity. I’m hoping that one day she realizes that 25 mgs of something won’t make her any less of a person or any less of a Christian. But it’s not my place to force that pill down her throat.

When does mental illness go from being a nuisance to a life-snatcher?
Throughout my life, I have had my share of strongholds and I would even venture to call some of them addictions. At one point I realized that whenever I was depressed, stressed, or angry I would automatically reach for the wine bottle. 2 Peter 2:19 says, “…people are slaves to whatever has mastered them.” That single verse influenced me to change my behavior, and I believe it can be applied to mental illness, as well.

Jesus Christ came to free us of our sins, but also to free us from all the things this world uses to hold us back and keep us down.  That is the beauty of Christ – we don’t have to wait until eternity to reap the benefits of being Christians. Jesus came to give us life and life more abundantly. That abundant life is, however, a choice.

There are different severities of mental illness. Not everyone needs the same thing. I need insulin for my diabetes, but my husband doesn’t take anything at all. Some choose not to seek help for their problem and that is their prerogative, but when does it cross over into foolishness? When someone asks me how I knew it was time to get help and seek a mental health diagnosis, I tell them I knew it was time when my problems ruled my universe and I lost just about everything and everyone I had. I had become a slave to bipolar disorder, and it had mastered me.

I used to believe that mental illness was in no way a spiritual issue, but I’ve come to realize that it is very much a spiritual issue. God never promised that life would be easy for believers. Come to think of it, the Bible tells us the exact opposite.  But if you examine the Word of God, you will see that the Holy Spirit gives us gifts and abilities that enable to us to have inexplicable joy in the midst of painful circumstances. Are you facing your circumstances with a sense of hopelessness and despair? That’s not from the Lord.

Does your entire life feel hopeless? Do you despair when you should be having joy?  Take a look at 2 Peter 2:19.

“They promise them freedom, but they themselves are not free. They are slaves of things that will be destroyed. For people are slaves of anything that controls them.”

Are you a slave to hopelessness and despair?  Then maybe it’s time to reexamine your views on seeking help.

 *** 

 
Julie Anne Fidler is a contributing writer for Brokenbelievers.com.  She comes with a humble and understanding heart for those with a mental illness.  Her writing gift is valued greatly.  Look for her post weekly, on this blog.
She keeps a personal ministry blog at mymentalhealthday.blogspot.com.  Read more there.
%d bloggers like this: