Mental health

What does mental health mean to you? Where do you fit in the scales?
According to mental health.gov mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well being. It affects how we think, feel and act. It also helps how we determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices.

Webmd states that millions of Americans live with various types of mental illness and mental health problems. Such as social anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, drug addiction, and personality disorders.

Signs to watch for:

  • Eating or sleeping too much or too little
  • Pulling away from people or activities.
  • Low Energy.
  • Numb-nothing matters.
  • Feeling helpless.
  • Smoking, drinking or using drugs more than usual.
  • Confused, forgetful on edge.
  • Angry, yelling or fighting with family and friends.
  • Mood swings that cause problems in relationships.
  • Thinking of harming yourself.
  • Inability to do daily tasks.

Nami.org statistics are 1 in 5 experience mental illness. 1 in 25 experience a serious mental illness that interferes with major life activities. 2.6% have bi-polar. 6.9 have a major depressive episode in a year. 18.1% have PTSD, OCD or phobia. 20.2 million experienced a substance use disorder. 50.5% 10.2 million had a co-occurring mental illness.

How do we change?

We must get rid of the Stigma the bad stigma prevents people from talking because they are afraid of how to talk about and deal with it. The Columbia suicide severity rating scale has come up with 6 questions to help get people talking to help. We need to allow religion back into our lives.

Problems with the system. Most insurances will not cover mental health check-ups and treatment. If they do it is only a small percentage of what is needed. Many people with mental health issues avoid adding another bill and even the companies that offer a sliding scale it is still a bill to be added on top of a struggling budget in families. Most people do not want to surrender to God. It is a scary idea to let go of your life to a supreme being and put your trust in someone else if you already have trust issues from your past.

My Proposal for change — make mental health check-ups mandatory like a physical on insurance companies. Think of how many could improve their quality of life with even just one visit a year equipping them with tools and ideas. How many school shootings, waffle house shootings, crime in general, as well as suicide rates, would go down if we get people help sooner rather than later. Also, find a church that fits your beliefs and check if they have a community group or small group of others with a mental illness to get plugged into. Grow and encourage each other the way God intended. We are all part of a family; we just need to find our spot. Many will argue that we cannot afford to add that feature. But think of the costs of one shooting. Costs to repair the building, the people, the personnel required overall would save this money. According to nami.org, serious mental health illness costs $193.2 billion in lost earnings per year due to mental illness! Start helping people by taking that lost revenue and use for the good of others. Considering 1 in 5 people have a mental illness, most churches have more than 5 people so I would assume there are others out there that you can connect with and understand what you are feeling. We were never meant to carry the burdens of life without God by our side to help us. He is waiting to help us and to be our Father to heal our brokenness.

Let us ban together and start to change statistics. I have known 4 people who have taken their lives. It is not the coward’s way out as some would say, but a way to make the voices stop and the mental pain to end. Many feel like the world would be a better place without them. How do I know this? Because I battle this daily- I keep pressing on because God kept me from going through with it. Now my focus is to raise awareness and to Glorify Him. Because without him my kids would not have their mom and my husband of fewer than 2 years would be raising our fur babies alone. So, I fight to make sure to help to try to make a way that no child will be
without their parent or spouse without the other. I fight to help others learn there is a God who loves them more than they can realize.

I pray that you will help and end the stigma and be the person God created you to be to help save a life.

Jesus loves me

So often we will take a simple song for granted, Jesus loves me this I know for the Bible tells me so. We teach this to our kids but as an adult how often do we forget the basic meaning of this song? We look to others as a source of love, we look to things or even get to thinking that we are not worthy of anyone loving us. Yet, this simple song tells us differently. We hear of a love that can never be duplicated, even as a parent we love our kids but at times we do not always do the right thing. We make mistakes and yet, God still is there through it all. Our heavenly Father made a way for all of us to be redeemed. In our earthly life, we will encounter trials and tribulations.

People will let us down, parents will disappoint us, kids will be defiant, and we will run away from God and compare him to an earthly dad. This is so not the case. Our earthly fathers will sometimes show us everything that God is not. We learn that as we grow older though that our dads tried. Many did not have a great example themselves; they went through a rough life and have no idea how to be a parent. They did not know what to do so many would just be absent dads. Our Heavenly Father is anything but absent. If you ask him in, he will guide you and help you through the trials of life.

We need to get back to the basics and just give in to the love that Christ has for us. He came down from heaven to be born in a very simple manner in order to pay the ultimate price to save us all. As we enter the Christmas season let us not forget that the basis of this season is LOVE. It is not the wrappings or gifts or anything of that sort. It is the ultimate gift of love for all of us in order to make a way for us to enter into heaven. So, sing that song but think of the deep meaning behind it.

Jesus loves you no matter what you have done, no matter how far you have strayed, no matter how worthless you feel; Jesus loves you. He loves you in the darkness and in the light. He loves you and your flaws; he loves you and your sins; he loves you and despite all that we have done- HE LOVES YOU! Take his love and let it help you heal from all the things in the past that try to bring you down. Know that no matter what you think, there is one that loves you and is always there for you.

Gallery

Help my unbelief

So many times, I will be speaking to someone and realize that I need to be listening to myself.
Thoughts will enter my head that really should not be there. Have you ever thought these?

  1. Why are you leading a class over women’s issues and depression when you still suffer yourself?
  2. Why would life start to look up for you? Nothing has ever gone the way you wanted it to.
  3. Why would anyone want to be your friend or love you? You cannot remember to text or to call or check up on others.
  4. You are so unworthy of anything and always mess everything up.
  5. While trying to make others happy you are losing yourself. Is it worth it?
  6. Life is just a roller coaster might as well buckle in, but then again why bother; you know how it will all end with you messing it all up.
  7. Your kids do not want you around when you do not give in to them so what is the point of trying.
  8. You cannot change anyone so why bother planting that seed.

So, to help myself and maybe you also let us start to break these down:

  1. No, I am not qualified in any means of the word; but I am willing, and I feel like that is where I am being called to serve. In helping others maybe that will give me the encouragement in order to go on. Lord Help me in my unbelief of how far you will go.
  2. When we give our lives over to God there is a transformation that begins to happen. We were living as a caterpillar and now we are being cocooned in order to become that butterfly. We are not leaning on our own understanding but instead trusting that God will supply all our needs according to his richest in Glory.
  3. God loves us, John 3:16- If we remember the love of God, others will see that love and want to draw close to the flame just like a moth. They will get to know you and understand that we are human. 

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

John 3:16 NKJV

  1. Yes, we are all unworthy of God’s blessings. A very dear friend says many times, “the only thing we are worthy of is Hell”. There is never anything we can do to make us worthy. But Jesus is worthy, and he thought enough of us to come and die for us. Do not be anxious about anything but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Philippians 4:6- When we get down on ourselves it helps to look to the word in order to understand. We may not be messing anything up depending on the outlook or speculation of the person doing it. As long as we are planting that seed to build a legacy and doing God’s will then it’s not messing up. 

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;

Philippians 4:6 NKJV

  1. Romans 15:1, Isaiah 1:16- We should help others, but we do need to take care of ourselves also. 

We who are strong must be considerate of those who are sensitive about things like this. We must not just please ourselves.

Romans 15:1 NLT

Wash yourselves and be clean! Get your sins out of my sight. Give up your evil ways.

Isaiah 1:16 NLT

  1. Yes, life is a roller coaster full of thrills and valleys- several spots hit home. Psalm 142:3- Isaiah 40:5- We must keep going in those valleys for those are our times of testing. Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil. Keep saying that through your storms and we will all weather this roller coaster together. 

When my spirit grows faint within me, it is you who watch over my way. In the path where I walk     people have hidden a snare for me.

Psalm 142:3 NIV

The glory of the Lord shall be revealed,
And all flesh shall see it together;
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.

Isaiah 40:5 NKJV

  1. Today’s society is so different from when I was a kid. Though I tried to raise mine with everything I never had; it did not work either. I was not forceful into bringing them up in church and so now I must live with the fact that I am thought of when they want something. I have been an enabler for my entire life and starting to work through Boundaries to help heal myself. They will come around someday; just continue to pray. 
  2. Keep planting seeds. The harvest will come; whether in our lifetime or theirs somehow someway they will remember those words or actions that you did in order to help them grow. Even with faith, the size of a mustard see we can move mountains, but first, we must have our foundation built upon the Rock. Remember Matthew 13:20 The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. This doesn’t always happen, it may take you sowing the seed, someone else to water the seed, another to prune it – but eventually, that legacy will grow and the word of God will produce a beautiful plant. 

But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy;

Matthew 13:20 NKJV

Hopefully, this will help you go on today and motivate you to continue to do what God is calling you to do in your life. Remember day by day we will all make it along the path of life together. 


If you are willing and obedient,
You shall eat the good of the land;
But if you refuse and rebel,
You shall be devoured by the sword”;
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.

Isaiah 1:19-20 NKJV

I would rather be willing and obedient than be devoured by a sword so here I am, use me Lord for your Glory. All the Glory and Honor to him – Blessings to you and your family as we all continue down this path together. I pray that we all find strength in each other and encourage and inspire one another to keep on doing the right thing. 

philosophical

This was my philosophy final that I submitted but felt that it had some good points so I am sharing. 

“Everyone’s worldview is a bit different from that of everyone else; moreover, worldviews can change subtly and unconsciously over the years.” (Sire, 2015) Each person has their own thoughts on what is true or false, right or wrong or their way of thinking. Everyone’s view of life can be traced back to how they are raised, tragedies that they endure, the life that they live and the belief system that in place of their life. Each part of a person’s life will categorize how they believe, what they believe and why they believe the way that they do. “We can divide the kinds of evidence at our disposal into three categories: fact (or empirical evidence); reason (or logical thinking); and experience (or human nature and the experience of life)”.(Wade, ND)
It can also be said that a “Worldview is a set of presuppositions (assumptions which may be true, partially true or entirely false) which we hold (consciously or subconsciously, consistently or inconsistently) about the basic makeup of our world”. (Sire, 2015) We are all taught to believe a certain way growing up, then as we experience life it teaches us different patterns and beliefs that we learn for ourselves. Sometimes good and sometimes bad but overall, these are what make us into the person that we are.
I try to believe that everyone has a good side that they need to rely on and let rule rather than give in to the dark side. Yet, as a victim of many dark side incidents, I still want to give everyone more chances than they deserve because I know what it is like to be looked down on and made to feel unworthy. I just feel that I’m not worthy in so many situations so how could I judge them and I will try to extend Grace to everyone. I believe that situations will carve a person’s life even from childhood through adulthood whether they want to admit it or not. When different situations arise, they may react differently based upon the past or how they were taught to think. I know I react differently to some than others will. I shake and curl into a ball at loud noises of yelling or cussing. This is traced back to my childhood and first marriage since after yelling and loud cussing it’s usually when the violence and abuse would happen. Others will either take it in stride and not let it impact them on the mental level or they will let it dwell in their minds and affect their overall way of thinking. This is a result of how mental illness can take effect on the brain and cause it to react differently. I have become very passionate about mental illness and the ill effects that it can have on a person’s thinking if they aren’t anchored correctly.
Mental Illness is becoming a topic that is needed to be discussed more. As the world has more incidents of evil coming into play it is becoming more evident that we all need to learn to talk to each other and end the stigma that having a mental illness is a disease that can be caught. You rarely will hear of anyone wanting to talk about their mental health yet so often we hear of physical health. While that is very important our mental health can also affect our physical health also. “Within each group, just world beliefs for self were significantly higher than just world beliefs for others, both among people with mental illness and among members of the public” (Rusch, 2010). This shows based upon a study done that people with mental illness think worse of themselves that others do, and I believe that part of this is because they feel like they can’t talk to anyone about things that have shaped them into the person that they have become. Suicide rates are escalating and there are now suicide hotlines and crisis centers for those that are having mental issues to that point.
I believe that we need to take time to encourage others and instead of judging them for their circumstances find out what is behind that circumstance. So often we will make rash decisions based upon the outside and the unfriendly voice that has come out that we fail to think, “what are they going through on the inside?” With each trial in the past few months, I try to think “what is God trying to teach me with this incident?” Mental Illness is a very large part of my brain and going through therapy and taking classes on Cognitive Behavior Therapy to unravel why I think the way I do is uncovering a lot of situations that I have tried to say I’ve gotten over but in reality I haven’t healed from those hurts before more were piled on top of it. I believe that everyone should have to see a therapist at least once a year to help with making sure those that really need help are helped and kept off the streets to prevent mass incidents that would hurt everyone. This could help eliminate the stigma of mental illness in the media with everyone needing to see someone it would become acceptable to talk about issues and get to the root of all of the issues, We all need Jesus!
“According to pollster George Barna, fewer than 10% of adults who identify themselves as born-again Christians hold to a biblical worldview”. (Phillips, 2008) For me personally, I believe in the truth of Jesus Christ and he is the risen savior. I believe that God created heaven and earth and everything in it (Genesis 1). I believe the Bible is real and that it is our guidebook for life including different circumstances that we can relate to and compare our situation to. We need to take more time to study it and apply it to our lives and I feel once we do that God will bless us for those efforts to worship him and spread his word. We should take the word seriously and when in doubt look to it for the answers that we are searching for.

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

1 Peter 2:9 NIV

I’m not advised to go around and acting like we are better than anyone else because we are all sinners who fail daily, God loves us all and wants us to know him in a relationship that we build with him.
I believe that children should be cherished, but not enabled. I enabled my kids because I wanted them to have everything that I never had and not have to do the chores as I did. Now as adults they are ill-prepared for life and are having a hard time away from me since they left when I started to learn to quit enabling. I have learned the hard way

Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.

Proverbs 13:24 NIV

We do need more discipline and not abuse, there is a difference in my mind. The views of this generation haven’t been very biblical and that’s our fault as parents.
I want to help others overcome obstacles and bring Glory to God in all our times of trouble; he alone can soothe our souls it’s not the drugs or alcohol or approval of everyone else – only him. He should be the rock that we build our foundation on so that when the storms come, we are on that firm foundation and not washed away as if we are on sand. I believe in the Golden Rule- Treat others as we want to be treated and

Love each other as I have loved you.

John 15:12

I strive to live that way every day; helping people and loving them no matter how they act.
Overall, I believe in Jesus and the fact that he was born, lived, died and rose again all in order to grant a way to heaven for me. I believe in the Bible and that it is God’s word and instructions to us. I believe that we should live life in order to serve him and bring Glory to his name. Our purpose and mission in life should be to bring as many with us through the heavenly gates as we possibly can; and while we are here encouraging one another on this roller coaster of life. We have all lived through different tragedies and aspects of life and should lean upon each other to learn and get to the end. We will all run the same race but how we get to the finish line is very different. “God has great plans for you” Jeremiah 29:11 has become one of my favorites, he’s not done with me yet but I’m better than I used to be and want to reach out and help others get to the point that I am.
How do I implement these beliefs into my daily life is a daily struggle. I have mastered the art of being nice to people even when they don’t deserve it but am still working on boundaries in order to keep myself in check. I need to work on getting into the Word more and applying the lessons to life. I need to take a moment every day and break up the Bible into pieces and work to strengthen my relationship with God. I continue to pursue my beliefs and learn from those lessons that I have been through by starting to tell my story and help give other people hope that they can overcome and get through it also. I read a lot in order to learn more about how to deal with life and to overcome obstacles that come my way. This class has helped also with explaining unbelief to myself and how to understand more of why others may believe the way they do.
In conclusion, my beliefs are based upon the relationship with Jesus and that we all need him in order to survive. I strive daily to be a better person to glorify his name and to lead more to the kingdom of Heaven so that we can all be together forever.

Press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3:14, NIV

That is my goal in life; keep pressing towards the mark for Jesus.

References

Rüsch, N., Todd, A. R., Bodenhausen, G. V., & Corrigan, P. W. (2010). Do people with mental illness deserve what they get? Links between meritocratic worldviews and implicit versus explicit stigma. European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience, 260(8), 617–625. doi: 10.1007/s00406-010-0111-4
Phillips, W. G., Brown, W. E., & Stonestreet, J. (2008). Making sense of your world: a biblical world view. Salem, WI: Sheffield Pub. Co.
Sire, J. W. (2015). Naming the Elephant. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press.
Wade, R. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.leaderu.com/orgs/probe/docs/apologet.html

Peace

I had a choice tonight; spend time with my husband whom I have barely seen or go to my support group. I chose to go to my support group and was well rewarded. The topic tonight was peace. I took notes and am adding to them also. If you need help always reach out to someone you trust. How many of us long for peace in our lives? But, where can we go to find it? In today’s society, there are so many options out there; we could pop some pills, smoke some stuff, drink a little drink and peace will come to us for a moment. But what if we could find a way to make peace a way of life?

To start off happiness is a choice that we must make. A daily choice to not let the dark clouds come in because those dark clouds of anxiety can quickly lead down the path of depression. Once depression has put you in a pit, there is a lot of climbing to get back out of that pit. With depression, it can be summed up as anger turned inward onto yourself.

Yet, the Lord longs to be gracious to you; therefore, he will rise up to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him.

Isaiah 30:18 NIV

If we choose to succumb to those dark clouds, we are giving in to the enemy who comes to “steal, to kill and to destroy” (John 10:10). The enemy is a master of putting those thoughts in our head that will drag us back down to the pit because when we stay in that pit, he is victorious. We must make that choice to overcome and to let God’s light shine through those dark clouds. No, it is not easy and takes a lot of practice. We must learn to see the glass as half full rather than half empty. How in the world can we start to do that? That sounds like a rather tall order that just is overwhelming. You are right. But, the Prince of Peace, Immanuel, our Savior is waiting to help you through and to bring peace into your life. We are not meant to live life with our heads in the sand or in a storm. We are made to be VICTORIOUS! Few steps that I’ve learned, and we discussed tonight were:

Step one is to choose God and to surrender to his will. This may mean giving up our own will and to submit to his.

For none of us lives for ourselves alone, and none of us dies for ourselves alone. If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living.

Romans 14:7-9 NIV

We have to accept the fact that Christ died for our sins and we are no longer chained to that former life. We are no longer slaves to sin but a child of the most High.

We need to see that he has given us a way to come to the Father and to submit ourselves at his feet in order to gain eternal life. God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are there to help us along our journey. We are to call upon the Holy Spirit to help us not be afraid. It is written 365 times in the Bible to Fear Not, now if that is not a reminder for our daily lives, I am not sure what is. What we think and speak are of what is in our hearts. So, if you want good to come out, you have to put good in! When that negative thought starts knocking at the door, just say “Not Today Satan”. We have the choice to overcome those thoughts.

Step two is to identify all areas in our lives that we are not fully submitting to God. There might be that one thing that we value above him. Ask him to remove it. When I started my journey, I asked God to start pointing those things out and help me to remove them and to move past them. My two sons no longer live with me because I was putting them on pedestals above God and my husband. This was not their rightful place. (of course, there are other reasons also but that’s a different post) We have to want to fully submit all areas of our life to God and he will BLESS you more than you can even dream of. If we keep our foot in the world,

Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.

Romans 8:8

Are our prayers full of faith? Do we truly believe that God can take that faith of a mustard seed and move those mountains out of our way? Philippians 4:6-7 tells us to not be anxious about anything but talk to God about it. Let him know what you are dealing with and he will send his Holy Spirit to give you peace.

Step three is to develop a Godward mindset. We need to focus on God. Is what we are doing bringing glory to his name and spreading his good news to all. We must refocus our attention and change our viewpoint, not on the negative but to the positive! Remember the glass is half full not half empty. Start to take this mindset on everyday struggles and then move up to harder topics in your life.

Step four is to develop a dependence on the Holy Spirit. We need that desire to welcome him into our lives every day. Do we ask him to come and help us daily or sometimes think we got this? We need to ask for peace from the Holy Spirit, ask and believe that you have peace in your heart. Have him lead you to where you need to go in order to obtain that peace. God is love; he bleeds love his entire essence is love. So, with a God like that do you think he wants his children living in a storm? As a parent, I always wanted to shelter my kids from the storms of life, yet I have come to realize you have to let them go through it in order to learn how to deal with the storms. If we are always sheltered and do not learn how to deal with life, we will not understand that life can move us off our foundation if we are not planted on the Rock. How do we learn this but to go through some storms and see that we aren’t as strong as we thought we were?

Lastly but not least, PRAISE GOD in the middle of the storm. We could be going through the worst storm of our lives but if we persevere and praise God that we are going to get through it then guess what: we will with a sense of peace in our heart that surpasses all understanding. There is a reason for every storm that comes our way. Always persevere and have HOPE for a better day. It may be storming now but Joy comes in the morning. Every day is a new day to bask in our heavenly Fathers presence and love. He wants nothing but to bless His people, we just have to be open to receive that blessing.

A very dear friend of mine keeps saying, “We don’t deserve anything but Hell”, but guess what Christ made a bridge for us to get to heaven. We will all have a different journey through life and many different perspectives from the trials and storms we have been through. We need to encourage one another and to help along the path of life. If you need some encouragement reach out to someone. If you are scared, I’m always here just email me at butterflyhopekp@aol.com and we can agree together in prayer. Just as the Bible says where two or three are gathered in my name there I will be also. Let me help you and then you can pay it forward to help grow the kingdom of our Glorious King!

For more information regarding Anchored HOPE please contact us.

preparing for new normal…

A while back I wrote about “returning to normal”. If you haven’t read it, I pray you’ll take a quick minute and read it as the prayer still remains from me and it will help you understand where the following is coming from now…

In keeping with that same prayer through all that we have participated in thus far this year, I believe Andy Stanley has said it best in this latest from him. I pray you will give it a listen and prayerfully consider these questions he gives each of us in an effort to make the most out of this time period we are all in!

Preparing For The New Normal by Andy Stanley

What have I been doing that almost led to my undoing?

financially, relationally, personally

COVID-19 will only serve as a “wake-up” call to you, if you wake up!

Rushing back to normal will only allow what’s bad to get worse!

All of this pain with no gain, would certainly be a shame.

How can I be better for it?

What will help me remember?

Your Move with Andy Stanley | Digital Spotlight | Preparing for the New Normal

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want this time to have been for naught. I want to have learned something through these months of uncertainty. I want to embrace the transformation I have been desperately seeking all my life.

What about you? Regardless of which side of the “faith aisle” you find yourself, you surely have to have gained some insight from the past few months – of yourself, of your life, of your destiny.

We have talked several times at Anchored HOPE group regarding the importance of remembering. God repeatedly told people in the Bible to remember and to use an item of some kind as a tool to remember specific things, events accordingly.

When all the nation had finished passing over the Jordan, the Lord said to Joshua, “Take twelve men from the people, from each tribe a man, and command them, saying, ‘Take twelve stones from here out of the midst of the Jordan, from the very place where the priests’ feet stood firmly, and bring them over with you and lay them down in the place where you lodge tonight.'”

And Joshua said to them, “Pass on before the ark of the Lord your God into the midst of the Jordan, and take up each of you a stone upon his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the people of Israel, that this may be a sign among you. When your children ask in time to come, ‘What do these stones mean to you?’ then you shall tell them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. When it passed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. So these stones shall be to the people of Israel a memorial forever.’

And he said to the people of Israel, “When your children ask their fathers in time to come, ‘What do these stones mean?’ then you shall let your children know, ‘Israel passed over this Jordan on dry ground.’ For the Lord your God dried up the waters of the Jordan for you until you passed over, as the Lord your God did to the Red Sea, which He dried up for us until we passed over, so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the Lord is mighty, that you may fear the Lord your God forever.”

Joshua 4:1-3, 5-7, 21-24 NLT

The problem with things in our lives is that we tend to go through them, whether we want to or not, and then we may or may not learn from them…and even more importantly we may or may not share it with others so they too can learn.

It would be an utter waste to have gone through all that time in the hospital in 2001-2002, the hell I put my family through, and not tell a soul how God used it for good! I know what helps me remember — this group God called me to faithfully lead in spite of my struggle with depression and anxiety!

I can’t wait to hear what helps you remember COVID-19. You may not be able to see it just yet, but I promise, you will some day. And I pray you continue to tell your children, and they tell their children, and so on and so on, til Jesus returns that glorious day!

For more information regarding Anchored HOPE please contact us.

remain…

WARNING: this post may be a trigger for some.

Please read only if prepared and with caution.

I always try to be as transparent as possible with you all. Any of you that know me closely know that this has been a difficult year in so many spiritual ways (totally nothing to do with a pandemic the world is experiencing might I add). The spiritual warfare is real and so is the transformation…though it does come with suffering. God has reminded me time and time again of THAT word He gave me for 2020…

R E M A I N.

We will suffer when we are being transformed, when we stand with Jesus, and yet we have no inkling of what real suffering even looks like– yet.
Our suffering fails in comparison to those around the world that risk their very life and life of loved ones just to worship Him, just to have His Word! So I do not ever want to compare my suffering to theirs.
But there is coming a time friend when we will experience great suffering for our love and devotion to Him. And THIS is what He is preparing us for!
So in an effort to keep that transparency with you in my struggle of being transformed, in the very breaking of my heart and soul for my loved ones that still do not choose to live for Him as if they truly LOVED HIM…here goes!

Yesterday was a very dark day for me. It seems when physical pain and our own sinfulness, coupled with loved ones living life as they always have, ends up leaving a gap in my mind for satan to waltz right on in.  I can spiral without even knowing I have begun the spiral, in literally no time at all.
The thoughts the enemy put in my mind were more vivid than I believe they ever have been…so real that God knew I needed more help, and help He sent at precisely the time satan was having me mentally blowing my brains out. (I told you it was vivid.) I was so blinded that I could only think of the ones that would be left behind.

BUT GOD had a huge prayer warrior, that obediently listens to Him, send me a sermon from the very same person HE used long ago when I sat in the hospital bed isolated after over a year of suicide attempts.

My friend, ONLY a LOVING GOD, an ALL-KNOWING GOD can do exactly that and at exactly the perfect time!
THAT is the GOD I serve, THAT is the God I love with ALL my heart!

As I say at nearly every group meeting we have had since 2015, I would LOVE to tell you HE has healed me from ALL of this – depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, physical pain, rhumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia (that most people think is all in a person’s head anyway), degenerative disc disease all through my spine, etc. BUT He has not. What HE has chosen to do is to allow me to suffer in similar ways as others do so that I can truly understand, so that I can come alongside you and share His BEYOND AMAZING LOVE for us in that while we were still sinners HE LOVES US!!!

So I say all of THIS to say, it is crucial for us to have God-loving people within our lives at all times. It is crucial we do not leave a gap for satan to be able to walk into our lives. Our mind is one of satan’s most valuable places. Beware of that fact and be alert at all times! You better believe I was studying The Word of God and praying and the gap was still enough that the enemy could do his bidding within my mind.

But THANK GOD HE IS MORE POWERFUL AND ABLE TO DO FAR MORE!!! God has already beaten satan. We need only stand firm. And with the help of GOD Almighty, Jesus, and His Holy Spirit praying on our behalf at all times, as well as strengthening us and sustaining us, we will stand as we remain in HIM.

“Therefore put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm.”

Ephesians 6:13 NLT

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Be Still

The past six weeks have shown me a lot of how I am still a work in progress. We went from approved for a house to have to start over because of issues in my past. I had days of questioning life and everything I had worked for and had many breakdowns in the process. We would have a breakthrough and then a setback usually within a day. There was a 2-week delay on closing and whew issues all the way through. My husband was consistent through it all and said God wants us to have this house, he will make it work. I on the other hand was doubting so much that I had to step back and wonder why am I here? What was my purpose, and did I hear God wrong?

After six weeks of turmoil, I can say I am sitting surrounded by boxes in our home that is closed and ours. I’m ready to get back to work on this blog and launch it even bigger than it was before to show what God has done for us and made me look deep within myself in order to see that I’m still a work in progress as so many of us are. It is so hard not to doubt when things get hard especially when you are one that runs from conflict or puts your head in the sand. This ordeal has made me want to deepen my studies and my time with God and learn to lean on him more than I ever had before but in the heat of the moment, I ran the opposite way.

 When the going got tough I lost it. I literally lost my mind a few times and reverted to my depression as I knew what to expect with that and in some sad ways, it was comforting because it was familiar. How many times will we revert to something that is familiar even though not the right thing to do just because we know what to expect during that time? In the last six weeks, the bible study leader was the one thinking of killing herself because it would be so much easier than dealing with everything going on. In 6 weeks, I thought about it more than I had in a year and that scared me more than all the conflict going on around me.

During it, my husband took the reins, he was the one telling me I needed to pray and spend time with God because without Him we would not have the house. Talk about a shock to me, but a good kind. But during those moments I did not want to hear it, I was running and scared of the changes going on in our lives. I spent less and less time in the word and prayer and felt like I was drowning. After those 6 weeks, thanks to my husband and friends that knew what was going on keeping me in their prayers I am feeling back to a steadier ME!

So, look out world, I am stronger and wiser and looking to spread the word on what God can do even when you try to run away. I have been having a lot of thoughts coming lately and cannot even write them down fast enough in order to remember them for later. But for tonight I will leave you with this verse:

In all this, you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith- of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire- may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.

1 Peter 1:6-7

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HOPE in the midst of depression…

There is HOPE in the midst of pain, in the midst of depression. Psalm 77:1-3 says it so well:

“I cry out to God; yes, I shout.

Oh, that God would listen to me!

When I was in deep trouble, I searched for the Lord. All night long I prayed, with hands lifted toward heaven, but my soul was not comforted.

I think of God, and I moan, overwhelmed with longing for His help.”

Psalm 77:1-3

The Psalmist continues for several more verses of the despair we know all too well. He knew what it felt like to be in the pit of depression and yet not feel the comfort of the Father.

But – just as he gives weigh to his despair, he recalls all God has done in verses 11 through the rest of the chapter…

“But then I recall all You have done, O Lord; I remember Your wonderful deeds of long ago.

They are constantly in my thoughts. I cannot stop thinking about Your mighty works.”

The Psalmist takes his focus off himself, his problems, his feelings and begins to worship Our Heavenly Father! Our God is ever faithful! Even when we can’t see it, even when we can’t feel it…He is always on the throne and in complete control – even when…!

Satan would LOVE for us to keep our focus on ourselves, our pitiful lives.

DO NOT GIVE SATAN THE CHANCE TO DECEIVE YOU ANY LONGER!

Psalm 86 reminds us to keep calling on God constantly! He knows what our pain feels like. He knows how weary and tired we get. He knows how our troubles and pain can be so great that all we can do is cry out to Him. Even when there is no relief in sight, He wants us to trust Him, acknowledge His greatness and trust Him as we wait for better days ahead. We have the assurance of Him answering our prayers. We need only trust in His will and His perfect timing.

CHOOSE today Whom you will serve! CHOOSE today to remember ALL He has done in and through your life! And commit to telling it to your family, your children, their children!

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Karen’s story

My story is one of trauma on top of trauma then of a redemption and transformation that has been changing my life as a butterfly. I grew up in and out of rough situations with drugs and alcohol at the center of it. Violence was such a normal part of my life that it didn’t seem weird at all. Just seemed to be normal.  It wasn’t till I was a teen that God was fully introduced into my life through my stepmom and dad when I went to live with them. Life changed, but my heart and mind didn’t. Something in me was crying out for love that couldn’t be filled of this earth. I certainly tried though and when it didn’t fulfill me, I would crash into a pit thinking I was worthless and unlovable. I tried to end it all several times and included cutting into the ritual.  Little did I know even then God was trying to get my attention to turn to Him yet I rebelled and searched the earth for something that was going to love me so that I felt whole. Part of my story was a 15-year marriage that sent me fully into the pit. I had rebelled against my parents who told me not to see this man or go with him because he was leading me away from the church. To me that meant it was more exciting and enticing, he was the “bad boy”.  I was like Eve enticed by the forbidden fruit. As it says,

“But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.”

2 Corinthians 11:3

After a time it became evident that he was the wrong choice but then I was too prideful to admit that my parents had been right so I stuck it out thinking he would change. 

“A man of violence entices his neighbor And leads him in a way that is not good.”

Proverbs 16:29

This man was abusive towards his children and I, yet by then I was brainwashed into thinking I couldn’t go out on my own. I had been cut off from my family and friends and felt as if there was nowhere to go. I then plundered into the pit deeper than I had ever been before. I prayed to die daily, prayed for my children to be taken care of by someone better. I felt guilty of all that I had put my kids through and wanted a better life for them. When my ex went to rehab that was the beginning of change, it was my opportunity to file for divorce and realize how deep he had ruined our family financially and mentally. We began the journey of change, yet my mental state continued to decline. With the loss of my grandparents plummeting me into that pit even further I was done. Here I was planning my graduation with my Associates degree, planning a wedding to my new husband, I still couldn’t shake the feeling that I wanted to die. It was after a fight with my fiancé and my son that I reached the point that it was done. I couldn’t take anymore, and everyone was better off without me around. I physically took the knife and tried to cut myself to end it all. The knife wouldn’t cut my skin or puncture my skin at all. I nicked my finger to ensure that it was sharp, and it was, I went to plunge it into my heart and it wouldn’t go. I mean what was wrong with this picture. It was at that point, that God spoke to me. He wasn’t done with my life even though I was.

“For I know the plans I have for you… plans for your welfare, not for disaster, to give you a hope and a future”.

Jeremiah 29:11

That moment I knew it was time to get back into church and rededicate it all to him. So to say that it’s because of him that I’m still here is a dreadful understatement. I’m only alive because God stopped it so to me my life ended and this is where He started. I started looking for support and a group that would understand the mental issues that I had, a friend found Anchored Hope and sent me the information and felt I needed to check them out. Everything I have from this point on was to Glorify him and begin to help others overcome the feelings of hopelessness. He does have plans for all of us, we just need to be still and listen. 

For more information regarding Anchored HOPE please contact us.