Displaying compassion for those fighting mental illness, addiction, and abuse
Forged in Affliction: Understanding Love
by Nancy Virden (c)2020
Humans have physical and mental differences that will strongly affect our emotions.
I survived major depression as a strong believer. My thinking was twisted- not my faith. Jesus was with me and eventually, as my mind calmed down, he was able to reinstate me to full mental health (even better than before).My mind’s calming involved medications and talk therapy. It included separating from abuse and lies. Biblical strategies for daily coping and maintaining mental health were either offered by therapists or other clients in support groups or privately inspired by the Holy Spirit. Anything that did not align with God’s Word, I dismissed.
I could decide what to dismiss because I know the Bible fairly well. I am not a sporadic reader nor do I rely on the preacher on Sundays to feed me spiritual food. In no way is that my statement of holier-than-thou, self-righteousness, or knowing-it all. Growth is simply part of having a sincere and disciplined relationship with Jesus.
With that said, I recommend talk therapy, especially for those stubborn issues that will not go away with a simple prayer. Some messages are poured into us as children and God’s plan to extract them can involve a long relearning experience.
My mother taught me where to find the answers. Without her, I would not know the Lord. However, she did not teach me how to handle emotions nor correct false beliefs about the world, relationships, myself, or God’s love.
Those false core beliefs I swallowed at very young ages due to sins of the household and sins against me, ruled future life-changing decisions that went very wrong. Without resentment, let me say that the church did not address emotions or possible danger zones in the mind of a troubled child. Talk about God’s love meant very much, but was filtered through those built-in beliefs.
When I surrendered to Jesus, my ideas of obedience to God were to please a heavenly Father who could never be pleased. For fourty-four years I thought God’s love was pity. The words beloved and daughter held very different connotations than for most other believers.
In biblical studies over the years, I came to understand a merciful and tender Father God and a kind, gentle Savior. One of the many blessings He gives to me still is the conviction of sin (wrongdoing). Without the self-awareness he offers, how could I grow? Sometimes he delivers me from tough trials immediately, and sometimes he walks me through a slow process. He is, however, always faithful to use whatever tactics will reach my heart to teach, forgive, and draw me closer and closer to him.
Talk therapy worked to expose me to the possibility that I could be loved. Trained professionals knew how to reach me with effective questions. God’s unending love became real once that filter was gone.
God’s love is true and obviously a theological concept. Receiving His love in an uncomplicated way is for many of us forged in affliction.
Today’s Helpful Word
But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit,keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.
Always the Fight Ministries (ATFM) has been displaying compassion for those fighting mental illness, addiction, or abuse since 2012. Nancy is the founder and voice of ATFM and openly shares her emotional resurrection from despair.
*** COMMENTS ALWAYS WELCOME
NOTE: I am not a doctor or a 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. In the EU call 112. (For other international emergency numbers, go here ). Hope and help are yours!
*Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright (c) 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.., Carlo Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved