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Back in therapy #Depression #Anxiety #PTSD #psychologist #Relationships #Faith #Christianity #MentalHealth

After a long period of denial I am now seeing a psychologist. The warning signs were quite evident for awhile but like a lot of men I ignored them hoping they would eventually go away, but they only got worse.

I have been quite short tempered whilst driving and isolating myself from people as much as possible.

There might be some people who are shocked that a Christian would need psychological therapy. And many think that surely a Pastor would be ok without it?

He truth is my faith is often strong but I am as human and vulnerable as anyone else. I regularly see my podiatrist and cardiologist for routine treatment. Seeing a professional for my mental health is no different.

I honestly thought I had processed the events of the last 4 years ago but clearly I haven’t. For those who don’t know 4 years ago I was charged by police with assaulting someone in the early 80’s. Just before we were due in court the police withdrew the charge after we could prove conclusive that I was overseas and interstate the whole year of the alleged crime. We were also able to prove a litany of lies from the accuser and they were eventually investigated with the view of laying perjury charges for their false accusations.

Then a misdiagnosis after open heart surgery saw me 12 hours away from losing a leg and 24 hours away from death. My Wife was with me when she heard the words “code blue”. She hasn’t been able to go inside a hospital since then, it’s too triggering for her.

The therapist I am seeing is very well qualified and I am quietly confident this will be a huge step forward.

Should there be shame or embarrassment in seeking help for your mental health? Never!!!

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An Inspiring Quote #Faith #christiansonthemighty #MentalHealth

This quote inside my Bible has kept me faithful because I’m reminded of how much Jesus loves us all.

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A Note On Self-Worth #Faith

One soul is worth more than all the world. For one soul Jesus would have passed through the agony of Calvary that that one might be saved in his kingdom. 'Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows. ' ”

This quote was written by Ellen G. White and it’s a quote I’ve gone back to time and time again. I’ve gone back to it because I am reminded of my own self-worth to Christ (that He loved me enough to die for me) and because of this one fact I am to love my body and soul and care for them. Not for myself only, but to glorify the Lamb of God whom has taken the sins of the world.

I admit that I have suffered from low self-worth and low self-respect. This brought me to the downward spiral of 19 years of eating disorders, along with 10 years of drunkenness. These though were not as painful as the abusive/self-deprecating dialogue that I had with myself.
I was raised a Christian all my life, however the enemy had convinced me that to my Saviour I was unlovable, unwanted and the most hurtful of all unsavable. I believed this and even though I hoped that Christ loved me, I didn’t in my heart believe it. Until I opened a book by Martin Luther and it was the Commentary of Romans. This inspired me to read Romans (which lead me to other books in the Bible.) This lead me to Christ’s love, His forgiveness and His acceptance of me.
To cleave to the belief that Christ accepts you I have found is the hardest thing to consistently maintain. It is a constant struggle. A forever fight with the Enemy that Christ, The Most High God, the God of Israel accepts/forgives and loves you.

After being baptised I found this struggle to become even more severe. The false message that I’ve not been forgiven, that my sin was too great for God to forgive kept creeping into my mind. Night and day the delusion that I had violated God’s Law unknowingly or that I had not been pardoned from my past transgressions tormented me, and I must admit even now I still struggle with this feeling. Because of this I have fallen down the path of feeling worthless. Even to the point where the Enemy tempted me to leave Christ altogether.
I knew (and believed) by this time though that I was not to fall into the trap to destruction, and I cried out to the Lord saying; “I am not willing to leave you to serve the world…I want to stay and You said in 1 Corinthians 10:13 “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”
I cannot endure this please provide a way of escape and it ceased.

This encouraged me in the fact that God is for me.
“If God is for us, who can be against us?” Romans 8:31

The answer is nothing…not on this earth here nor in the depths of hell. Nothing can tear you away from Christ except you tear yourself away from Him, but He is worthy of fighting for…as He found you worthy to die for. (”For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.“Romans‬ ‭5‬:‭6‬)

If He loved you enough to sacrifice Himself for you…how much more should we have self-worth because He has done this selfless thing for us? How much more should we find ourselves worthy enough to care for, by no longer disrespecting ourselves by abusing our bodies and minds with body destroying habits and self-defeating words etc…even more so how much more fervently are we to respect and treat others with kindness, mercy and compassion. Our Heavenly Father has treated us in this way…are we not to also do likewise? He died for us all and we have all fallen short the glory of God. Who is better than the other that they may disrespect others with vulgar words, and shatter their self-respect impacting also that persons self-worth that could last a lifetime for them.
Words are more hurtful and the damage more lasting than society lets on. Be gentle in words both with others and with yourself. By this we may maintain our own self-worth and the self-worth of others.

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And Yet I Hope

And yet I Hope

And yet I hope in Thee!
That Ancient Nazarene…
Whom I did not know nor see that Thou came to die for me. Upon Thy Cross hung all my wrongs, and every sin forgiven. And all my faith is wrapped in Thee, knowing Thou hast risen!
The Eternal Son I did not meet, nor see with my own eyes…but Thy Holy Spirit came to me to gently testify …that all I heard and read of Thee the truth divine and I am Thine, and in faith I may be with Thee,my hope not be in vain…that all that’s promised shall come to pass. Thou is surely mine! To love, to worship and adore, the Lamb of sacrifice.

And yes I hope in Thee when this world is dark. I’m oft times tempted to depart but then I clearly see…this world is temporary. Here, nothing is worth eternity and I pray “help my unbelief, help my doubting, troubled mind…help me to recall Thy sacrifice. Thy blood was shed for me. In faith I claim eternity”
When all is dismal and I can’t find relief…let me hope in Thee! My Yeshua/Salvation…Lord!
Let me hope in You once more…until that time that has no end…into Thy temple I may enter in. #Jesus #Faith

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Elephant in the room #2 - Overcoming #Depression #Anxiety #Relationships #Faith #Christianity #PTSD #MentalHealth

Have you ever been told that battling a mental illness is something that reflects badly on your faith? Have you ever beaten yourself up because you battle mental illnesses when Christians are supposed to be “victorious”?

Let’s address this elephant. Let me say straight up that illness is illness. Whether it’s physical or mental, it’s all the same. We don’t criticise people struggling with hypertension so why should people battling depression etc be criticised?

Shame, condemnation should NEVER be part of Christianity.

If anything I think Christians dealing with mental illness are champions. They are dependent on God and demonstrate that we are as human as others are but we triumph in it until we can triumph over it.

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Joy in unusual places #Depression #Christianity #Faith #Animals #Hope #Anxiety #MentalHealth

Sometimes God seems to bring joy in the most random ways. Recently I was interstate to meet up and encourage a great couple who are ministers in a little country town.

We went walking in the bush and suddenly heard thundering hooves. I looked around and saw a beautiful, big, horse galloping toward us. I reached out my hand and Jasper (I often give that name to animals) gently sniffed it, then came even closer.

He let me stroke his mane, and was so friendly. It seemed that God was encouraging me of His love and kindness. These random moments are super cool.

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#BipolarDisorder You have to have faith.

New bipolar medication has definitely helped my mental focus.
I had a job interview on Monday
I stayed focused and I received and and accepted a job offer.
My self esteem is improving.
I did another hard thing this morning concerning another job offer .
I declined a previous job offer over the phone.
When one door is shut another door is open
You have to have Faith.

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Valleys #Depression #hardtimes #Relationships #FamilyAndFriends #MentalHealth #Faith

Depression can be so sneaky. Sometimes it creeps up unannounced and other times you can feel it closing in like a far off storm that threatens before its presence is confirmed by a deluge of rain that soaks you.

I think this time I have seen it coming. Our foodcare program at church has tripled in size in just 3 months. It’s incredibly gratifying knowing you are putting food on the table for families that otherwise would go hungry. Yet, it is very time intensive.

I really recently I have not been proactive enough in good self care. So, I have started deliberately scheduling time alone as that is what recharges my emotional tank the most.

Valleys are inevitable. I think this current one might take awhile to get through. I don’t want to waste it though. I hope I can learn some valuable things while I traverse it.

I love these lyrics by the musician named Eli.

Lying at the bottom
I can clearly see the top
Pressed against this firm foundation
I count none of this as loss
And as I struggle up this mountain
With every bloody knee
You know I'm often prone to stumble
But it's this rock that catches me

And it's this rock that tells me
That's what valleys are for
It's from here that we measure
Just how far we must go
You don't know how tall you stand
Until you fall

Mountains cast a shadow
At times it's hard to tell
Will the darkness overtake you
Will you succeed or fail
Though I've climbed a hundred mountains
And stood upon their peaks
Well, I still draw my greatest comfort
From the rock that lies beneath

And it's this rock that tells me
That's what valleys are for
It's from here that we measure
Just how far we must go

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