UN/Broken - Day 5

Myth #5 - Mental Health Care is for crisis  times only

For roughly 6-8 months of my own diagnosis, I  could only think about surviving the next hour ahead of me. It was all I could do to get through a day, and it was exhausting. But after time and  with a lot of hard work with all my care professionals, I realized that my anxiety no longer controlled every moment of every day. I  started to find a healthier rhythm to life, and for the first time in a VERY long time, I began to  feel like myself again.
My response to feeling “normal” again, whatever  that means, was to stop working so hard at feeling “normal.” That means I stopped doing  all the things that helped me to get to a better place, all so I could go back to living the way I  was before my mental health crisis.
Within weeks, my mental health was worse than  before, all because I had stopped doing the things that were helping me heal.
Though I didn’t have to start from scratch, it felt  that way. I had to start taking my medication
again, connect again with my doctor, get back  into my counselor. Through this time, I came across another one of Paul’s passages that  changed how I prayed.

In 2 Corinthians, Paul writes about his famous thorn in the flesh. Scholars have argued for hundreds of years whether this was a physical  pain, a metaphorical pain, a spiritual attack, and so on. But whatever the thorn was, Paul didn’t  like it, didn’t want it, and begged God to take it away from him. In his words…
“Three different times, I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time, he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and  troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:8-10  NLT
Paul begged God to remove his thorn, and  when that didn’t happen, when Paul accepted  it, he began to live differently.

What came out of that time was a new way to pray. Instead of begging God to remove my  anxiety and being continually disappointed  when that didn’t happen, I began asking God to  help me live with my anxiety in a way that  brings Him glory. An incredible peace came
over me when I accepted my “thorn”. I knew it would be a journey, one God would be with me  on, and that my anxiety would be a constant  reminder that I needed God, that He was with  me, and that in my weakness, his power is  made…perfect.

Good mental health care is always needed, not  just when the floor drops from under you. And  when you find methods that help, stick with  them so that you can lean on God and grow  towards healing. Then, never forget where the  source of your strength comes from. Accept the  call of Jesus in Matthew when he says, “Come to  me, all you who are weary and carry heavy  burdens, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11: 28,  NLT)
  1. Do you have a thorn in your life right now? If so, what and how often are you reminded of it?
  2. What are some ways that you take care of  your mental health? 
  3. Is there some activity that you could do  today (or soon) that you feel you need and  that could greatly benefit your mental  health (vacation, massage, exercise, etc.)?

By Pastor Paddy McCoy

Thank You for Supporting the Ministry of Crosswalk

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