Compassionate Love Blog: Displaying compassion for those who fight mental illness, addiction, and abuse (c)2018 Nancy Virden, Always the Fight Ministries
After searching the store for turkey roast, my son, who was with me, finally found one. Yesterday, I threw it, various vegetables, and some cream of chicken into my crock pot. Almost everything but the soup was frozen.
On the low setting, I allowed it all to cook for 10 hours. This is a no-brainer. Dozens of times I have cooked frozen ingredients on low for long periods, both in the crock pot and in the oven. It always works, and everything is tender.
No one in 37 years of home cooking has become sick on my food. (That is not to say my boys did not hate spinach when they were little!) However, after chilling the turkey stew in the refrigerator for 2 hours, I ate a bowlful and was sorry very quickly.
I have no idea what, if anything, I did wrong. Possibly the ingredients were already bad, and in their frozen state I could not tell. This one thing I do know – it was delicious and deadly. (I am ok, by the way.)
Pacifiers are delicious
This stew is not the only time something enticing has been deadly. Spiritually speaking, temptations of any kind can have the back kick of a mule. In our humanness, we feel needs and wants. From a distance the solutions we choose appear delightful.
For example, some of us live with a giant hole in our psyche left there by neglect, abandonment, rejection, abuse, or any type of lack of nurture. That is hard, and learning to deal with it can lead to many tempting forms of relief.
You know what they are – substances, food, sex, workaholism, co-dependencies … the list is endless. Chosen pacifiers that we come to believe we must have to survive, unfortunately are many times delicious, and emotionally, spiritually, and even physically deadly.
Letting go of the temporary for the permanent
I am not going to sidestep what is of the essence with this issue. We are, I am, trying to lean on toppling fences. Because we see them and understand their potential, we assume they can hold us up. Then comes the day that they do not.
This week, I had to let one such pacifier go. It was interfering with my ability (oh let’s be honest – my willingness) to trust Jesus in all situations. This dependency has served as a false god, idol worship if you will. It seemed easier and more substantial to run to it than to lean on the solid fence of God’s unchanging good (holy, love) nature.
I feel freer, less burdened.
The good question to ask is, what have any of us gained by returning to those wobbly fences? The answer is pain, exhaustion, confusion, sorrow, and threats of death because fake gods, or temporary pacifiers, will let us down. Still, like a yo-yo I kept spinning back to this specific “solution” as if the result would be different after a while. Insane.
It makes much more sense to rely on God’s unfailing love, and the eternal salvation offered through faith in Jesus. This week, my emotions, mentality, and even physicality are taking on the challenge of letting go. It is rough, but I am full of praise for the loving arms of Jesus who has never let me fall without lifting me in his compassionate love and meeting every need.
Today’s Helpful Word
Jeremiah 4 :1,2
“… says the Lord, if you wanted to return to me, you could. You could throw away your detestable idols and stray away no more. Then when you swear by my name, saying, ‘As surely as the Lord lives,’ you could do so with truth, justice, and righteousness. Then you would be a blessing …”
***** COMMENTS ALWAYS WELCOME
NOTE: I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences with and observations of mental and behavioral health challenges. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.
If you are struggling emotionally today or feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, in the U.S. call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or for a list of international suicide hotlines, go here.
If you are suicidal with a plan, immediately call 911 in the U.S. (for international emergency numbers, go here ), or go to your nearest emergency room. Do not be alone. Hope and help are yours.
*pics by ALEXBRUDA of rgbstock.com