if you’ve been following me on twitter for awhile or have read previous blog posts, it’s no surprise that mental illness has been something I’ve severely struggled with since I was a pre-teen. it’s something I’ve never been ashamed to be vocal about because it’s a real thing & causes real hurt. so, here are 5 specific key thoughts I have about christians with mental illnesses:
1. mental illnesses are false prophets.
this is what the LORD Almighty says: “do not listen to what the prophets are prophesying to you; they fill you with false hopes. they speak visions from their own minds, not from the mouth of the LORD. // jeremiah 23:16
anything or anyone who tells you anything but the truth of God are liars, including mental illnesses.
2. you are not any less of a Christian because you suffer from a mental illness.
for the past couple weeks, I’ve sought God’s voice on a specific situation I’m in & heard Him say no each time I asked. but… me, being weak in this area, chose not to listen (wow, me being imperfect, what a surprise !!! not. y’all, please don’t ever think I’m even close.)
last night, God got my attention & I suffered from the first panic attack I’ve had for as long as I can remember. friends, His no always provides a better yes. He knows better. don’t make my mistake & humble yourself before He has no choice but to humble you.
God brings us in & out of seasons. He will do whatever it takes to get your attention. God never plants rotten seeds in your life; but by His fingerprint alone, they will flourish into something magnificent.
3. God sees you.
this one is so evident & so simple, yet so frequently forgotten. you guys, it is not in God’s character to be anything but pleased with us. no shame. no disappointment. no shaking His head. this is how precious or King is, friends; when He sees our sorrow, He keeps track. He doesn’t push them to the side & say “eh, they’ll figure this one out” but welcomes us Home with arms open wide.
“You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.” // Psalm 56:8
God genuinely wants to take care of our hurts rather than us trying to figure them out on our own. all we have to do is sit at the feet of Jesus & soak in His goodness. how easy!!!
4. be open.
personally, I’ve never struggled with this one because i’m the most open person I know, but I have struggled with the responses I get. I’ve heard anything from absolutely no response to “no, you don’t have depression.” it’s tough, guys. although you may not get the response you hoped for, God will reward you for reaching out. people care. people want to pray for you. people want to help you. never forget this.
5. celebrate God.
Job was a man in the Bible whom the enemy stole everything from. his seven sons and three daughters, his 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 oxen & 500 donkeys were all wiped away. after hearing of what satan had done… get this, friends. Job still didn’t lose trust in God or curse Him. he fell on the ground & worshipped. after seeing this, satan attacked his physical body. he still chose to trust in the Lord’s good plan. after seeing that Job celebrated Him in the midst of the trials, God blessed him double. whoa. don’t forget to be in constant celebration of our Savior, my friends. He is worthy to be celebrated with every breath in our lungs.
see my post, Modern Day Job.
don’t put limits on a limitless God. He can heal your mental illness. but, even if He doesn’t… guess what!!! that’s not up to us. it’s up to a God who has everything in control & in the palm of His hands. He’s still good & will still use you if you are open & willing. learn what it means to trust in Him even when things don’t go your way.
the last key thought has been the most important one in my life lately that I’ve been practicing efficiently in my prayer life:
5. stop praying for God to give you strength when He already has the moment His only son was nailed to the cross.
rather than “God, give me strength.” make your prayer “God, help me walk in the strength You have already given me.”
rather than “God, heal me.” make your prayer “God, help me walk in the healing I know you have in store for me.”
you guys. it’s already been done. the war is over. rather than being weary, celebrate your victory that comes from a victorious King!!! Jesus never falls off His throne. what makes you think He’d let you fall from the right hand of His Father?
it’s okay to not be okay, but it’s not okay to not stay okay.
don’t be ashamed because you’re a Christian with a mental illness. give it to God & let go. He will use your pain for your own self betterment & the furtherance of His Kingdom.
“come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. for My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” // Matthew 11:28-30