This weekend has been challenging in the best possible way. On Saturday a good friend and i helped lead worship at a community event, and though it was stressful, the Lord was really with us in that time of trial. And on sunday, i ended up going to 3 church services in the space of a few hours. While this may not seem challenging on its own, i was leading worship and doing the prayers of intercession in one of these services, and doing the talk for one of the latter ones. In doing these things which i love to be a part of and am proud to be able to do with the love of God in my heart, it has got me looking back over the past year, not just in where i am with my faith, but where i am with my mental health, and what better time than in this week of mental health awareness to push into this issue.
The Lord really has been good to me over the past year. Not to say it’s been perfect, but what apart from the Lord himself is? But looking back on the last year, i really don’t recognize myself anymore. But this isn’t a bad thing in the slightest honestly.
See, the biggest hindrance of my struggle with depression wasn’t the physical pain i inflicted upon myself, not to say it was right to do those things to myself, however the point still stands, because those wounds have healed. No, the most damage that this illness has done to is to my mind. Because these wounds are still yet to heal, let alone scar. I ran my self so far into the ground that any positive feelings or thoughts that i may have about myself were buried so deep that you’d be forgiven for thinking they were never there.
I still struggle with the idea that maybe i’m not the worst person. That maybe i am capable of doing some things right. This is a slow process, but i know that God is working in this part of my life. If you told me last year that i’d be a part of half the things that i am now, i would have called you a liar. No doubt followed by some remark of “i can’t do that, there’s no way that someone like me would be used by God in that way!” “i’m useless, what makes you think i can do that?” and so on. So the fact i’m able to look in the mirror and know fully that i’m loved by the living God and that he does have a plan for my life is a miracle in its self!
My mindset used to be, “why go outside? What’s the point? No one really want’s you around anyway” and for so long i believed that. I convinced myself that my friends kept me around because they felt sorry for me, rather that because they actually liked me. I was convinced for so long that God had left me, that for some reason i was the one that was excluded from his grace. That for some reason i was the one that Jesus wouldn’t want to save. This wasn’t because i was told this by anyone, nor was it even implied by anyone else in my life. It was simply because i always saw myself as the one sinner the savior wouldn’t meet. I was the one that slipped through the cracks of the Lord’s house of love in my own mind.
I don’t share this as an attempt to garner sympathy or pity, but as an encouragement to you dear reader. That the God of love, the one that gave his son so that we might be in relationship with him once again, will use anyone and everyone for his will. No matter how broken, no matter how lonely, no matter how weak. Because that’s who he is. He is the God of unchanging love and wondrous grace. He can take a man, that was so broken that he wouldn’t leave his house, that left his church because he convinced himself that he had let everyone down by losing his job, and lift him so much higher than he thought possible. God will use anyone and everyone that is willing to follow him. All you have to do is be willing to step out!
Not only does the savior meet the sinner, but he dies and rises again so that sinner may have redemption in him and his blood. We are all saved when we accept the son as our lord and savior, when we pick up our crosses and follow Jesus. He didn’t die for some of us, he died for all that are willing to follow him, that we may have the chance to meet the Lord most high.
I want to thank my friends and family that have stood by me this last year, because i know that i wouldn’t be half the man i am now if it wasn’t for their constant love and support, God has blessed me in many ways, but i know that this is the one that changed my life. And in this week of mental health awareness, please, please, please, if you’re struggling with any of the numerous mental illnesses out there, do not be ashamed to come forward with your struggle, this is the time to face that challenge with integrity and courage, because that’s what it takes to admit you’re struggling, it is not weakness to admit when times are hard, as we are people who are formed in the fires of life. And sometimes we must burn before we blaze!
If you feel called to share any of your stories of faith, challenges with anything in your life, or simply have something you’d like prayer for, please let me know in the comments, or contact me on any of our social media accounts (you’ll find our facebook group Here and my personal twitter Here ) i’d love to hear from you, and if you’re interested in seeing what i get up to you can find a link to my instagram Here
The song that inspired me to write this piece is The Dust Of Men – What The Morning Shows but as always
Thank you for reading, and May God Bless you.