By Nancy Virden (c)2021
It feels better to feel better. Obvious, right? It may surprise you to know how common a statement this is in the therapeutic world of behavioral and mental health. That is because darkness can seem like a friend – a place where one can feel oddly comforted by its familiarity. “Feeling better” may seem scary as it is the fearful unknown or is disbelieved, or the journey out of darkness looks impossible. I have felt this way.
Here’s the great news! “God is Light and in Him is no darkness at all.” Of course, that scripture (1 John 1:5) refers to sin, but it also makes the point that feeling better feels better. There are numerous ways to be lost in the dark – believing lies, following false teachers, ignoring the Bible – to name a few. However one feels lost, God is light. I have discovered that in Him is the Way out, the Truth, and Life as it is meant to be lived.
Christians celebrate this light during Advent, the few weeks leading to Christmas Day which is the traditional celebration of Jesus Christ’s earthly birth.
Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love
- Candle 1 is purple, lit during the first week of Advent, and symbolizes hope.
- Candle 2 is purple, lit during the second week of Advent, and symbolizes peace.
- Candle 3 is pink or rose-colored, lit during the third week of Advent, and represents joy.
- Candle 4 is purple, lit during the fourth week of Advent, and represents love.
- Candle 5 is white, lit on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, and represents the advent child, Jesus.
Except for the last candle, secular therapy celebrates the same experiences. Coping strategies, upending false and negative core beliefs (such as I deserve pain), and learning to maintain healthy relationships can lead to felt hope, peace, joy, and love. Yet no matter how we become willing and able to feel better, without Jesus wellness is temporary. He alone, as our eternal Savior, offers the permanence of feeling better.
As a believer in His grace and forgiveness, regardless of the pains, disorders, and challenges of life, I know my hope is not futile. Peace beyond anything I expected, a joy that runs far deeper than a sense of happiness, and the unending unconditional love of God are mine (and can be yours) for eternity.
Today’s Helpful Word
In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God.
He existed in the beginning with God.
God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him.
The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone.
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.
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!
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. NOTE: Nancy is not a doctor or a mental health professional, and speaks only from personal experience and observations. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.
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