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When You've Reached Your Limit

I was listening to the radio station KLOVE today as I was driving and heard a Christian singer talk about a time in his life when he was de...

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Week of February 27-March 3: Truth Tuesday-Let Your Light Be Seen

"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven." (Matthew 5:14-16 NIV)

Do you think your light is any less bright because you suffer with mental illness as a believer? You have an inheritance waiting for you just like every believer in Christ. Therefore, your light on the hill will be bright and shine for unbelievers if you let it. Don't ever think you are a second class believer because of your suffering with depression or mental illness. God doesn't see you that way. And you are never less than. So put your light out there to those who need to see it and be drawn to our Savior, Lord Jesus. God bless!


Monday, February 27, 2017

Week of February 27-March 3: New Morning Monday-A Living Hope

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade--kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God's power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith--of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire--may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls." (1 Peter 1:3-9 NIV)

Friday, February 24, 2017

Week of February 20-24: Forward Friday-Our Vision

"We live by faith, not by sight." (2 Corinthians 5:7)

Faith is believing in what is not seen and is essential in our belief in God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. We walk that journey everyday as we walk by faith. If we keep our eyes on Jesus then we are not paying so much attention to the seemingly calamities that are falling on our right and our left in our life. We are not giving them our energy by focusing on them, but giving our vision and our hope back to Jesus. Are you walking today with your eyes on Jesus? I know that when I do I am not as easily distracted by things that usually distract me. I walk more in peace; not anxiousness, not worry. And then it seems a little more easier to place those burdens in Jesus's hands when I can't handle them. It takes the load off and frees me up to walk in joy and peace.

Are you having a difficult time seeing with clear vision? Is there too much in the way to see the path God has placed you on? It's time to ask God to clear the path for you, to replant your focus, your attention so you can walk freely on your journey without distraction--so you can enjoy that joy and peace.



Thursday, February 23, 2017

Week of February 20-24: Throwback Thursday-God's Refuge


I have not been a Christian most of my life--only about half--or it will be half by the end of this year :-). When I met the Lord, I had just come out of a sinful relationship and was devastated. It was 1992 when I found a church with my mother and sister. My mother had gotten saved in May of that year. I saw changes in my mother and sister that I wanted for myself. That was in November of 1992. I knew the basic story of the gospel of Jesus. My grandfather had been a pastor and I know my grandparents prayed for my sister and I. So, in January of 1993, I gave my heart to the Lord. I was 25 years old.

Many times, I would wind up in the church bathroom in tears in the beginning of my journey still trying to get over the relationship I had come out of--hoping the guy I broke up with would become a Christian so we could get married. Thank you Jesus that never happened (and was wrong thinking anyway). But while I was in such turmoil, I came across my first set of scriptures that became my favorite when I was scared, felt uncertain, needed God's love closer to my heart. It is still one of my favorites:

Psalm 91

"He who dwells in the 
shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of
the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord,
'He is my refuge and 
my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.'

Surely, he will save you
from the fowler's snare
and from the deadly
pestilence.
He will cover you with his
feathers,
and under his wings you 
will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be
your shield and
rampart.
You will not fear the terror
of night,
nor the arrow that flies by
day,
nor the pestilence that 
stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that
destroys at midday.
A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.
You will only observe with
your eyes
and see the punishment of
the wicked.

If you make the Most High
your dwelling--
even the Lord, who is my 
refuge--
then no harm will befall
you,
no disaster will come near
your tent.
For he will command his
angels concerning you
to guard you in all your
ways;
they will lift you up in their
hands,
so that you will not strike
your foot against a
stone.
You will tread upon the lion
and the cobra;
you will trample the great
lion and the serpent.

'Because he loves me,'
says the Lord, 'I will
rescue him;
I will protect him, for he
acknowledges my name.
He will call upon me, and I
will answer him;
I will be with him in
trouble,
I will deliver him and
honor him.
With long life will I satisfy
him
and show my my
salvation.'"


Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Week of February 20-24: Warrior Wednesday-1 Cor 10:3-5

"For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." (1 Corinthians 10:3-5)

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Week of February 20-24: Truth Tuesday-Grace

"But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions--it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God--not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." (Ephesians 2:4-10)

Suggested reading: My family and I participate in a Monday night community group and are currently going through a book that I have really been enjoying about truth and grace. It is called, The Grace and Truth Paradox: Responding with Christlike Balance by Randy Alcorn. It is a meaty book where the author gives examples from his life throughout as he discusses truth and grace. It will really make you think which is the kind of Bible study material/book I like.



Monday, February 20, 2017

Week of February 20-24: New Morning Monday-Restoration

"This is what the Lord says:
'In the time of my favor I will answer you, and in the day of salvation I will help you; I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people, to restore the land and to reassign its desolate inheritances, to say to the captives, 'Come out,' and to those in darkness, 'Be free!'

They will feed beside the roads and find pasture on every barren hill. They will neither hunger nor thirst, nor will the desert heat or the sun beat upon them. He who has compassion on them will guide them and lead them beside springs of water. I will turn all my mountains into roads, and my highways will be raised up. See, they will come from afar-- some from the north, some from the west, some from the region of Aswan.'

Shout for joy, O heavens; rejoice, O earth; burst into song, O mountains! For the Lord comforts his people and will have compassion on his afflicted ones."

(Isaiah 49:8-13, NIV)

Saturday, February 18, 2017

When Your Church Doesn't Support Mental Health Issues

This is a touchy subject, I know. But I believe in getting to the heart of the matter sometimes where there can be true healing and understanding when it comes to mental health issues. And I mean true healing and understanding on both sides--the mental health sufferer and the church side.

There are still a lot of people who do not understand mental health issues or how to address them from a church standpoint. Mental health is not the only issue that doesn't get addressed from the church. But in order to reach hurting people of all kinds, it needs to be included--those people need to be included and feel included in the church. They are viable members of the body, such as an arm or a leg or a foot than anyone else. They make up the body of Christ just as other believers. But those with mental illness are likely keeping a secret that very few, if anyone know about other than their family. Why? Fear. Fear of being revealed, rejected, alienated, judged, treated differently, feared.



"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." (John 13:34-35)

"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." (John 10:10)

Jesus said that those who believe in him should have life and have it to the full. Does that include everyone? Yes. Those who suffer should have a life in Him to the fullest here on Earth with everyone else too, right? They will be in heaven with us too. Why should anyone be separated or herded out? The church ministers to our souls, hearts and minds. There are people hurting in a different way that need the same kind of support; not separation. Isolation is hurtful. Do you as a believer just look at the person with mental illness thinking you're going to see them freak out? Have you tried talking to them? Including them in a conversation or talking just one-on-one? Called them to see how they are doing? How their week is going? Keeping up with them as you would your other friends from church? Have you encouraged them to join a Bible study? Asked them to lunch? Told them you hope to see them at the next church potluck? Keep them in your prayers? Asked them to attend the next women's or men's group meeting or fund-raising event?

If you are in church leadership of any kind--all the way up to being a pastor and you don't know HOW to reach those with depression and other mental issues then ask a Christian counselor or Christian psychiatrist who has experience in it and supports those with it. If you go looking for someone to tell you that the medicine people with depression/bi-polar, etc. take doesn't work and is just a band-aid and all in their head, you'll find it. But you will also be putting blinders on your face to the true pain that is in the congregation. Does one really want to ignore that part of the flock? When we don't know what to do, we should go to prayer. But God will never tell a believer to not include those in pain in living life to their full.




What if you know your pastor adamantly does not support people with mental issues who need to take medication in their recovery and/or on-going maintenance treatment? I cannot make any decision for you in a situation like that. It should come from God through prayer. You need to be somewhere where you can be you and feel supported, accepted and appreciated. If anyone makes a decision to leave a church body based on the lack of acceptance of those with depression and other mental health issues after thoughtful time and prayer and perhaps wise Christian counseling from friends---please consider (with prayer) in telling your current pastor in private why you are leaving--saying it in love. If you feel you cannot say it in love then I would not say anything. The reason why I say this is that most of the time when people leave a church, the pastor does not know why. They just leave and he has no clue as to why they left. But if you can tell your pastor, in love, why then it might open a door in his heart, or some understanding into the life of someone they didn't understand.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Week of February 13-17: Forward Friday: What's Your Purpose?

What's your purpose? God's purpose for your life? Has He revealed it to you? Don't feel left out if you don't know. But to seek His purpose for your life is a worthy cause indeed. We all want to know where we fit in this big world and what our part is that we're meant to play in God's plans. I believe He reveals this to everyone in His perfect timing. And it's hard to be patient for something like that, especially when you feel in limbo.

I was searching for that too. I was going one way that I really didn't feel was anything that was part of God's plan but more of my plans. My family had moved to another town not far from where we live now. We had connected with a church and my daughter and I were attending the women's weekly Bible study meetings. They started a study with a book called, My Beautiful Purpose by Susie Larson. It was a 6 week study and had CD's with each week's study. I experienced something in that study I had never experienced before. Every time we watched those CD's my eyes were glued to the screen. I couldn't look away, I would tear up which is not like me. I was deeply affected by this woman and the words she was speaking. I couldn't understand what was going on. But somehow with her conveying her trials and tribulations from her own life--I started to understand where I was supposed to fit in with God's plan for me. It was a huge revelation to me. That was a year ago.



Now, don't get me wrong, I am NOT saying you should run out and buy Susie's book and she will show you your purpose for your life. For me, she was used by God to help show me my path. I knew that what I had experienced with my depression, being in psychiatric hospitals/wards, etc. was not for nothing after it was over--that part of it at least. My treatment has continued on a maintenance basis all these years. I knew I was meant to use it to help people, but never knew why or how. Plus, I had to work through some fears of my own, such as what people would think of me going public with my own experiences and not caring. I strongly believe God led me to start this blog a year ago to help people. And I knew He had my back. I was so excited to start writing it and still am. I like to write so it fit perfectly in with what I liked to do and what my experiences have been. I had a website for about 5 years during my days of recovery that were still fresh--that was about OCD and depression written to help people. But God changed the focus audience for me to believers in the church who are suffering with depression, but are being overlooked for whatever reason.

Hope has always been the foundation of this blog. And hope is found in Jesus Christ, the author and finisher of our faith. My hope is that this site has helped someone deal with their life of mental health a little more easily, helped a believer understand mental health patients better and clergy to better support them, in the name of Jesus. 

Happy anniversary CCWD!



Thursday, February 16, 2017

Week of February 13-17: Throwback Thursday

No one can take your power, your self worth, your value, unless you give it to them. When we get offended do you ever think WHY you got offended? You might say that so-and-so made me angry with what they said. They didn't make you angry. You made the choice to be angry. Same with our attitudes. We can choose to have a good one or a bad one. Yes, yucky stuff happens during our days at work, home, out shopping, etc. but we still have choices.

If you get angry easily, have you ever gotten to the root of your anger. Really explored it? I think temperaments can be passed on, but others created out of circumstances in living, for example. You can let your past define you or you can move on from that into what God wants for you, for your life. Have you reconciled with your past? Forgiven yourself for past sins as now a believer in Christ?

"You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness." (Ephesians 4:22-24)


Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Week of February 13-17: Warrior Wednesday

A warrior is a soldier, a fighting one engaging in a war of some kind. Do you feel like a warrior fighting in a war? You should. That's how life is like on this side of heaven. And that's how life is in the spiritual realm we can't even see. It can feel like you're in several different wars or battles at once. We can feel like we are fighting the enemy, the devil. He likes to mess things up, doesn't he? Do you feel like you fighting battles at work? Maybe at home. Home should be a place of peace and rest, but I also realize that's not reality for some people, sadly. In some countries, you would be persecuted for being a Christian and your life and family's lives threatened. It's difficult to relate to when you live in the United States like me.




A warrior will fight for what he/she believes is the truth. Ephesians tells us about the armor of God. Metaphorically, we can apply that to our lives. God doesn't want us to give up on walking with Him. He wants us to keep our eyes on the prize. We all go through valleys where we feel distant from God. He has not moved; we do. God will give you the strength to keep up the good fight. No matter what you are battling, all things, not just some, but all things are possible with God.


https://christianscopingwithdepression.blogspot.com

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Week of February 13-17: Truth Tuesday

What is truth? The dictionary defines it as:

the true or actual state of a matter, conformity with fact or reality; verity; a verified or indisputable fact, proposition, principle, or the like; the state of character of being true; actuality or actual existence; an obvious or accepted fact; truism; platitude; honest; integrity (reference: Dictionary.com)

We know the Word of God to be all consuming truth, as believers, as Christians. There are several verses of scripture that talk about truth. Our truth should line up with the Bible's truth. The Word of God does not return null and void--it is active and alive. Therefore, I believe that whenever you read the Bible, its power is there to work inside your heart and mind, to mold us and shape us--to make us more like Jesus. We just have to surrender to it and have a teachable spirit toward God and His Word. It will change your life. It reveals the truth in us--what we used to be and what we are now--changed and transformed.

Whatever struggle or obstacle you are facing in life is never too big for the power of God to reach down and cradle you under His wing. He will NEVER leave you, nor forsake you--EVER.


Monday, February 13, 2017

Week of February 13-17: New Morning Monday

"Find rest, O my soul, in God alone;
my hope comes from him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation;
he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.
My salvation and my honor depend on God;
he is my mighty rock, my refuge.
Trust in him at all times, O people;
pour out your hearts to him,
for God is our refuge."

Psalm 62:5-8

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

New Format For Blog

In my effort to connect with you all more frequently without writing a long blog all the time--I have developed a new format for this blog. You will still get one of those hopefully helpful long blog entries here and there each month, but now you will hear from me daily. Here's the format I will be following so you will know what the changes will be:

Monday-New Morning Mondays-something fresh and encouraging for the week

Tuesday-Truth Tuesdays-a truth from the Bible

Wednesday-Warrior Wednesdays-standing strong in your faith as a believer with depression

Thursday-Throwback Thursdays-something I learned from my past as a Christian with depression

Friday-Forward Fridays-what to focus on for your future as you walk with Christ as a believer with depression

Saturday-left open for the occasional monthly long entry blog

This will start next Monday, February 13, 2017. I appreciate you coming by and taking a look at this blog and my hope is that it has helped someone with depression who is struggling. Now you know someone who is a Christian AND has depression and keeps going with God's help.