Mental Illness & Jesus

Photo by Rosie Kerr on Unsplash

There’s Always Hope

I haven’t blogged for months until the other day. I really needed a break from everything, though I continued to write. I had this book going that I wanted to finish because it was so hard for me to work on. It’s done now, but it took a toll on me. It was extremely emotional to get through. I’ll explain later.

You see, in addition to physical ailments that I cope with on a daily basis, I suffer from mental illness too.

Physically, I was diagnosed with CRPS, EDS-3, POTS, PNES, and now Fibromyalgia, Type 2 Diabetes, Stage 2 Kidney disease, a fatty liver and obesity. Yep, four rare diseases and a newer plethora of accruing illnesses. Let’s just take one, CRPS, Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, it’s scientifically more painful than childbirth only it’s 24/7/365. That alone is tough to deal with and attempting to cope for over 20 years with the chronic pain and loss of mobility has taken a further toll on my mental state.

Now, with the added weight, diabetes and renal issues I am at a loss in many ways. I hit a physical rock bottom a few weeks ago and have further changed my diet and am exercising every day. It’s a great start but it’s hard.

Mentally, I was diagnosed with DID which is rare, Major Depression, Bi-Polar II, PTSD, Compulsive Disorder and a couple of others I can’t remember at the moment. Let’s take the one I’ve dealt with most throughout my life, DID, Dissociative Identity Disorder, it used to be called Multiple Personality Disorder until the 90s. It has cost me relationships and has ingrained in me a knowledge that I’m not like other people—not acceptable, worthy or loveable.

And with all of this I wouldn’t change a thing. Why? Because of the relationship I now have with God, Jesus and Holy Spirit.

Don’t Pity Me, Love Me Instead

I just want to be honest. I want to share this with you because I’m hoping it may help someone. I’m hoping that someone can relate and maybe feel better about their own life. Because there’s nothing impossible with God. If I can overcome, survive and thrive again in so many ways, so can others.

I struggle daily and in doing so have basked in God’s sufficient grace. My life looks messy in so many ways, but I am so much stronger for it. I’ve had ample opportunity to mature through these trials and tribulations. I have come so far from my sexually abusive childhood, and I’m proud of all the work I’ve done to get here. Is life perfect now? No, but it’s pretty great.

The Most Difficult Book

The book I just published is called, 21 Pieces: Finding Wholeness in Spiritual Truth. 21 Pieces is a novel based on my DID story. It’s full of examples from my life that were difficult to experience. I decided to write the story as fiction because it’s hard for me to remember all the details of my life, let alone be able to write them as pure non-fiction.

21 Pieces is a salvation story, it’s a redemption story, and it shows sides of DID that others may find unbelievable. Hey, even physicians find DID hard to believe even though it’s defined in the America Psychiatric Association’s DSM-V manual.

It was hard to write and then rewrite and edit part of my DID story. It was an emotional rollercoaster ride for months. Once finished, I crashed mentally and emotionally. I got extremely depressed and low enough to cut, which I hadn’t done in a long time. I’m not suicidal anymore thanks to God. So, it wasn’t about that, it was about externalizing the internal pain I was feeling. And it scared the crap out of me. The knife was sharper than I thought, and the cut was long and deep. I will now carry that scar as a reminder of that low in my life.

I’m Not the Only One

Others have suffered more than I have or ever will. We all have our own versions of testing that the enemy of God will toss our way in life. If anything, I’m a living testament to the fulfillment of God’s goodness and promises. I trust Him now more than ever to take care of my needs and finish the work he started in me. He is faithful and will not let me down. If He can do this for me, He can do it for you.

Seriously, I’m not looking for your pity. I’m writing this to offer hope. I have felt like I’m hiding the truth. I want to be transparent and authentic with you. So, here we are. I’m not sure where this will go. I don’t know how it will be received. Selfishly, I feel better for getting this off my chest.

I pray that if you are struggling physically, spiritually, mentally or emotionally in any way that you know God is for you. I pray He lift you up today, gives you answers to challenges, and shows His deep love for you. I pray that you know you are not alone in your suffering. And I pray that joy and peace overtake you. Be blessed in the way you go.

With deep affection,

Faith Takes Trust

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

Doubt and unbelief blocks our faith and trust. Peter was walking on water until he took his eyes off Jesus. Matthew 14:31, TPT reads, “Jesus immediately stretched out his hand and lifted him up and said, ‘What little faith you have! Why would you let doubt win?’” Listen to that… doubt can come against us and win. Doubt can be a demonic force, even a demon, that fights against our beliefs. Cast it out, send it to Jesus to deal with and invite Holy Spirit in. Demons block us. Remember from Scripture that Satan wants to kill, slaughter, and destroy us, and we can’t let him (John 10:10, TPT). We must seek healing and freedom throughout our walk of salvation.

With faith often the question becomes: Do we have to have faith, or more faith, to be healed or set free? The answer is no, we don’t. There are examples in Scripture of people being healed by the faith of others, or by Jesus just doing it Himself.

It’s worth the study to look at Scriptures about trust and faith.

There are several places in Scripture when Jesus talks about “unbelieving” hearts, people, nations and the world. Many times, He is speaking to His disciples when He says it. In other words, some of God’s own people don’t believe what the Bible actually says. This is a problem that can’t be ignored. Christians must learn and follow the truth.

This Post is an excerpt from my current Book, Hardwired to Trust: Connecting to God, Ourselves & Others

Jesus Loves Me Podcast: Majesty

Episode 8

Sharon and Jana talk about God’s majesty all around us. It’s infused in our daily lives and is to be reverenced with awe and wonder. His majesty comes in His glory, but do we respect it and honor Him for it? And is majesty accessible to everyone?

So Far Away

Photo by Finding Dan | Dan Grinwis on Unsplash

Where are My People?

God has been putting this song in my head for over a week now. He does that. He speaks to us in many ways and He has wanted me to talk about the distance between Himself and His people.

Here is the first verse:

So far away

By Carole King, 1971

So far away

Doesn’t anybody stay in one place anymore?

It would be so fine to see your face at my door

It doesn’t help to know you’re just time away

Long ago I reached for you and there you stood

Holding you again could only do me good

Oh how I wish I could but you’re so far away

(Data from: LyricFind)

I AM the Door

In John 10:9, New King James Version Jesus says, “I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.”

God is crying out for His people to come to Him in intimacy and relationship. Jesus said He is the door and He wants us to knock so the door will be opened, and we’ll receive what we ask for and more. This song is a reminder that He’s waiting for us to knock and that we need to come closer to Him in every way.

Ask, and the gift is yours. Seek, and you’ll discover. Knock, and the door will be opened for you. For every persistent one will get what he asks for. Every persistent seeker will discover what he longs for. And everyone who knocks persistently will one day find an open door.

Matthew 7:7–8, The Passion Translation

I feel the need to plead with you to call out to the Lord for your needs and wants. The Lord is our Protector and Provider. He is our Defense and our Shield.

This may be hard to hear: The problem is that we don’t believe it. We don’t believe that He will be there for us. We don’t trust Him. We stand back waiting for Him to act when we must take the first step. We are His children and we must grow up. We must be willing to make decisions in our lives that may be difficult. And we must carry the responsibility of the results. Accountable of course to God for the outcome. This matures us and brings us closer to Him. We are going to make mistakes and it’s okay.  Children make mistakes all the time and we forgive them. How much more will Father God forgive us?

So, I encourage you to take the risk. Be courageous and trust God. Lean into Him and He’ll come the rest of the way. He loves you more than you can imagine. Stand at the Door and knock.

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