By Nancy Virden (c)2022
I remember as a youngster hiking with my dad through the wooded hills of our local park. The trail was not an even one and at times seemed treacherous. The fight to keep climbing, grabbing saplings for support, and overcoming the fear of slipping as dirt and rocks rolled out from under my shoes, came with a reward. It strengthened me. Calling out for dad’s help sometimes meant a hand reached down to pull me up, and sometimes his response was an encouraging word. Not once did he let me fall; not once did I fail to reach the top of the hill. The fight we are in daily for emotional and mental survival is much like those hikes.
More than once I have heard people say, “The world is crazy right now.” If “crazy” implies confusing, scary, depressing, anxiety-ridden, upside-down, and getting worse, then yes, the world is crazy right now. We all know the latest news reports. While news reporting has almost always been slanted to the negative, it seems our media outlets are in a race to write the most agonizing and deplorable headlines. If we allow these brief summaries to guide our point of view, we will begin to feel hopeless.
We must press on toward something, and refuse to insist that what happens today or yesterday designs tomorrow. Yes, our walk is challenging; life is full of struggles to varying degrees. Our footing may seem uncertain and our balance off-kilter, yet our fight comes with rewards.
Sometimes we need to call out for a little help (or a lot of help). Maybe we reach a point where we know our next step utterly depends on someone hearing our cry and offering encouragement and a hand. I have found measurable assistance from several sources.
Let me point out first that as a disciple of Jesus Christ my primary relationship is with Him. His Word, (the Holy Bible) fills me with joy and peace. No, not everything is going to feel okay in this life, but He walks with me, grabbing my spiritual hand, and making all the difference. Eventually, whether today or 40 years from now, I will reach the top, my fight will be over, and the eternal reward will begin.
God, the perfect heavenly Father, has sent me therapists, psychiatrists, pastors, family, and good friends who stepped up at various points and lifted me with words and practical help. Often, I point others to professional care and to the “God of all comfort.”
Give yourself and perhaps others the gift of mental health this Christmas. Perhaps begin with this prayer:
God, Your Word says you gave us everything we need for life and I’m turning to You. I need Your wisdom and help. I repent of my sins and trust in Jesus to restore my relationship with You. Please teach me what that means and help me to grow in this faith. Lead me to the kind of professionals or other people who you know will guide me toward mental health. Let Your Holy Spirit be a Counselor as I read the Holy Bible. I want to be victorious and reach the goals You have set out for me and to be with You forever in heaven. Amen.
Today’s Helpful Word
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 esv
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
If you are feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, in the U.S. call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988, 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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