Compassionate Love: Displaying Compassion for Those Who Struggle with Mental Illness (c)2019 Nancy Virden, Always The Fight Ministries
I’m binge-watching ER when I have time. (Is it technically a binge if you have to schedule it in? Whatever.) The emergency room drama originally aired for 15 seasons. Characters came, left, and returned. Plots twisted amid sirens, explosions, and the occasional surprise birthday party that never seemed to surprise anyone.
The episode I last finished featured Alan Alda, playing a frustrated doctor who had recently received an Alzheimer’s diagnosis. He had to stop treating patients and begin teaching instead. His portrayal has me thinking about the seasons of our lives, and not in a melancholy way.
Seasons of life are helpful guides for deciding where to draw boundaries.
For example, my current life season is busy. Leisure time has to be penciled in because my physical health demands it. Imagine that a recently married young adult with a baby on the way, is beginning a new career. Do you think this is the time for him to take on leading a scout troop?
Below is a list of many life seasons we may pass through. Obligations, free time, and energy vary as the years pass.
⇒ Youth Young adult Middle age Mature
⇒ School New career Career prime Career change Retirement Unemployed
⇒ Single Newly married Married, no children Married with children Single again
⇒ Exploring volunteerism Regular volunteer work Irregular volunteer work Change of volunteer focus No volunteer work
⇒ Physically Healthy Emotionally stable Mentally healthy Physical and/or mental health challenges Burned-out Disabled
⇒ Financially dependent Financially free Limited income Poverty
⇒ You have adult children You have grandchildren Other family living with you Care-taking or other exceptional family demands
What seasons are you in today? How can recognizing this help you make wise decisions with your time and money?
No one can do it all at every stage of life; Even in a TV show, the more selfless ER characters have to carefully select their priorities in order to be effective and make a powerful difference.
Today’s Helpful Word
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
***** 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.
It is 3am here in Western Australia and I felt exhausted and too anxious to sleep…. Then I found your post.
Thank you. For reminding me this moment is a phase. We are a family with young kids and one income and it has been very hard lately. I’m tired.
But you’ve reminded me this is just an exhausting moment in our lives and in time it will change.
Thank you for giving me the reassurance I needed in this moment to rest and trust Him.
Thank you for letting me know this post was helpful. I’ve been in your season. It has passed, and I never regret having been there for my little boys. God bless.
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