Always the Fight Ministries: Displaying compassion for those fighting mental illness, addiction, or abuse. (c)2019 Nancy Virden
Always the Fight Ministry’s focus is on the hope we can experience in our toughest challenges. I try to inform and encourage by sharing facts, data, and coping strategies that work for me. There is nothing so important as sharing with you the amazing power of God to fight our battles for us. His love heals emotional wounds, restores minds, and redeems pasts.
I am brimming with gratitude for the joy with which God filled me in August 2017 and which has lasted through the following fights: chronic and debilitating anemia; loss of a sense of direction; unemployment and spiritual ill-health in the family; my husband’s remarriage; cancer; shingles; freelance stresses; personal hurt and humiliation; deep debt; an adult child moving far; financial challenges; ministry failures; bed bugs (yuck!); and a year-long battle with anxiety.
Through it all, joy has not faded. I have known peace for the first time in my life and it also does not go away. If peace and anxiety seem contradictory, they were not in this case. The joy of the Lord has been my strength and even with anxiety, I have known he has everything under control.
Anxiety was painful. It woke and went to sleep with me. My body hurt. I ended up in the Emergency room with it twice because it shares symptoms with anemia. God fought this battle for me in that as soon as I would sit down and read the Word of God, the Bible, anxiety would lift.
Anemia created a new normal. Generally, I had to choose two outside activities per week to accomplish. I could go to the grocery store or to church; meet with friends or see the doctor. Daily choices included cooking meals or getting dressed or sweeping the floor. There was little energy for more. How I know my heavenly Father fought this one is that whenever I absolutely had to have energy, it was there.
A diagnosis of cancer and six other difficulties happened suddenly within one month. God knew ahead of time what was coming and faithfully gave me one dose of strength at a time.
The greatest challenge was the loss of direction. Ministry failures led to self-doubt and questions about purpose. I will say more about God’s answer to this in part 3 of It’s God’s Fight.
What brought on joy?
In August of 2017, the battle with anemia was already in full swing. I was in a wheelchair. Looking for an accessible place of worship, I entered a church where opportunities to return to teaching exist. Inviting neighbors to a weekly Bible study in my home remains one of my greatest sources of joy. At that time, I also finally cut communication with a source of abuse and control, lifting a decades-long burden.
These are circumstances that play significant roles in my peace. However, joy is not dependent on flexible events. Finally embracing the truth that God can and does love me endlessly is the root of it all.
Today’s Helpful Word
Hebrews 12:1b-3 NIV
“… let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
*** COMMENTS ALWAYS WELCOME
NOTE: I am not a doctor or mental health professional, and speak only from personal experiences and observations. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.
If you are 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. or go to your nearest emergency room. (for international emergency numbers, go here ). Hope and help are yours!