About Me

Sunday, March 8, 2020

WHEN CHURCH HURTS-MENTAL ILLNESS AND THE BELIEVER

"Christians should NEVER be depressed." a friend said to me.
"Yes, we have the mind of Christ." I foolishly agreed.
Then mental illness hit close to home.
I became depressed. Nothing helped. Prayer, confession, praise, not even memorizing the Word of God lifted the cloud completely. 
I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, which affects serotonin levels in the brain. Serotonin can affect mood and social behavior, appetite, and digestion, sleep, memory and function.
My mind of Christ was clouded and confused.
I was prescribed a serotonin reuptake inhibitor and feel much better.
If I don't take care of myself, Depression takes over.
I'm in the Word daily, sing praise songs, pray to my Abba continually, and I eat healthier foods. This keeps me focused and joyful.
I know many believers who have fibromyalgia or another illness that affects their mood and mind.

Last week, I drove a dear friend to the hospital; she had suicidal thoughts and was very depressed. She was told her Depakote or Valproic Acid levels were severely low.

Her medications were adjusted and now she feels fine.
She loves Jesus with all her heart.  She fights her bipolar illness with prayer, meditation, and memorizing the Word. 

Two churches shunned her because they found out about her diagnosis. She left the churches heartbroken, feeling ashamed.

I have seen this dear friend lead others to Christ, sacrifice her last meal for someone, and drive miles out of the way to give rides to those without cars. She is a powerful prayer warrior and miracles happen around her.
Mental illness seems to be a taboo subject in many churches. click to tweet 
If a person walks in with cancer, diabetes, or any other illness or disease, no one questions. 
Mental illness seems to throw some believers into a tailspin.
They don't know how to react. I did not understand it until it affected my life.
The Bible is not silent about mental illness.
David, a man after God's own heart, was depressed.
Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me?  Psalm 43:5 NIV
The psalmist wrote in the psalms of Asaph
My body and mind may waste away,
    but God remains the foundation of my life
 and my inheritance forever. Psalm 73:26 GW


Any illness is caused by the fall, including mental illness. A disease does not just attack the body and leave the brain alone- it attacks everything.

"When Adam and Eve exercised their free will and chose to sin against God, the world was affected forever.
I no longer believe the lie that Christians are immune to mental illness.
I know God can instantly heal if it is His will. He may also choose to wait until we get to Heaven.
Meanwhile, I pray that I will be loving and kind to those who suffer in silence.
May I be a testimony of God's power and grace as I cling to His Word & prayer.

Do you know someone who suffers from a mental illness?

What do you think about mental illness and the believer?
Join the conversation.


Monday, February 3, 2020

WHO'S IN THE PEW NEXT TO YOU?

"I didn't know she was part of our congregation." My husband said as we left the church.
Hotdogs were fitting for our Fellowship Lunch as Wilma Briggs, All-American Girl Professional League baseball player, shared her story.
My son was riveted as Willie unfolded her history. Her dad taught her to bat and field better than the boys. When she wasn't stealing bases, she was milking cows.

We passed pictures and memorabilia around as she gave details about the movie, A League of Their Own, directed by Penny Marshall.
"I'm in the scene when the credits roll," Wilma said.
Impressive. A movie star and Professional Baseball player. I thought to myself.
Wilma picked up the antique bat. "I led the league in home runs in 1953,"
So why hadn't I heard her story in the past?
You can find her short television interview here.
I gave Wilma a hug and thanked her for sharing her remarkable story.
Am I so caught up in my life that I am oblivious to my brothers and sisters in my church?

I do know a few fascinating people in my church, even if they didn't play Professional Baseball.
Jill came here from the Philippines a few years ago. She
speaks perfect English now and has learned to navigate the highways and byways of Rhode Island. She is a remarkable wife and mom.  She makes her curtains, and I look forward to her cooking at potluck dinners. She spearheaded a book collection drive to send books back to her homeland.  I learned that people in the Philippines put up Christmas decorations in September. 
We have a security guard who works for the Patriots at Gillette Stadium. He stands shoulder to shoulder with professional ballplayers and famous singers. 
My congregation has many business owners and a doctor for the State of Rhode Island. I wondered why this doctor would get up in the middle of service. He has the final say for hospitals to administer certain life-saving shots. Now that's important.

Each person is fascinating. I want to make it a point to spend time with my brothers and sisters here on earth, after allwe will spend eternity in Heaven with each other.
What fascinating people sit in the pew next to you?
Join the conversation.