Category Archives: Mental Health

How To Grow and Heal From Sufferring

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When we have negative experiences, they are opportunities to grow and heal, if we will allow ourselves to step back and find new perspective. Personally, my mental illness and accompanying difficult experiences have really helped me grow – but it was choice. Was I going to accept where I’m at and learn from it? Or would I let myself get bitter and shut down? I had (and still do have) moments where I’m all in to grow from the pain of it all, and other days where I’d rather do nothing but hide and escape from my problems. I’ve learned to let myself have both days, while slowly moving toward growing and learning instead of avoiding and hiding.

Walking through my own mental illness has made me strong in the midst of chaotic and painful emotions. Also, my struggles have given me compassion for people who go through similar difficult things. I have learned the art of being aware of my emotions, paying attention to what they might be telling me, and responding appropriately. This awareness has allowed me to notice the individuals who hurt the most, sit with them in their pain, and encourage them that, they too, will grow from their pain. We can allow mental illness (or other struggles) to define us in a negative, victimizing way (like “I will always be this way” or “nothing will ever change”), or we can allow it to grow us and change us to become stronger, more compassionate people.

I also have found my faith in Jesus through my battle with mental illness. So, in reality, mental illness is a gift that has kept giving – giving me opportunities to wrestle with God and my beliefs, to find answers (or to accept I won’t have answers!), to feel deeply, and to accept myself more fully. I have discovered my gifts and who I am – my struggles do not define me as weak, but they have allowed me to find God and my purpose in the midst of it. I would not be the kind, caring, compassionate person I am without all that I have gone through.

I share these beautiful things, but they have come from the depths of my pain, anger, shame, disillusionment, severe instability, and fears. They have come from the breaking of me – of life falling to pieces and God and I somehow slowly putting those pieces back together. I have found meaning and purpose through my breakdowns, which has created a deep well of hope and wisdom that I pray shines to others.

Mental illness has been a shaping factor in my life that has brought chaos, disaster, and healing. This cycle of pain and healing will, in some ways, always continue on this side of heaven. Jesus promises us both hope and pain on Earth. We must carry our crosses, learning to fellowship with Him in the power of His resurrection AND in His suffering (Philippians 3:10).

He cares. He understands. He’s been there. Let your pain move in you in a way that heals you instead of holds you back. Take courage that this struggle you are going through is not wasted.

You Are on Your Own Journey

You are on your own journey.

God sees you as worthy.

You are on your own journey.

You don’t have to be in a hurry.

You are on your own journey.

There’s no need to worry.

God has set your path out.

So you can rest and shout.

You are on your own journey.

It is worth the learning.

Open your eyes.

And take your time.

See the jewels and gems

In the learning,

Rather than comparing to what others are doing

Focus on who you are

And where He is taking you.

And watch the fruit of life grow in abundance

And your heart will come alive as you take your own journey.

You are on your own journey.

Lean Into Your Fears

What would happen if you leaned into your fear instead of cringing back into it your fear? Fear tells us to run away and avoid, yet God calls us many times in the Bible to not be afraid.

Instead of running from our fears, we are called to face our fears, lean into them, and overcome them. We may feel fear, but we press through that to be able to do what we need to do. As Joyce Meyer says often: “Do it afraid!”

While leaning into your fear feels counter intuitive to your emotions, it’s a great way to overcome those emotions. It’s also a huge way to learn to depend on the Lord. You’re saying, “God I’m really afraid right now to take this step, but I know You are calling me to do that. So, I am trusting You to help me through this.”

Personally, God has been calling me to lean into my fears right now – fear of man, fear of the future, and fear of failure. He has called me to step out in certain areas such as relationships and ministry opportunities. I could just decide to stay home and be paralyzed by my fear, or I can take a step in the direction of that which is uncomfortable. Taking that step is hard, but as you choose to move forward in the face of your fear instead of backwards, spiritual ground is taken back from the Enemy. You will have breakthrough and freedom. It is SO worth it to fight through your human resistance and face your fear.

Recently, the Lord showed me a picture of me on a water ride – it was a scary, but I felt God inviting me to embrace the adventure of that ride and HAVE FUN! I believe God is always inviting us to embrace and enjoy our journey with Him, in spite of our fears and reservations.

So what fear is eating at you right now? Is it confronting a boss or someone you love? Is it stepping into a new job or role? Is it letting go of something you have your fingers grasped to so tightly to that you’re afraid to let go of it?

In John 16:22, Jesus says “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” So, don’t run away from your troubles and fears, for He is with you in them, willing to comfort you and bring you to the other side.

Father God, thank You for your deep love for me. Please help me when I feel afraid to come to You and to press through to walk into the new opportunities You have for me. When it feels uncomfortable, help me to remember that You will strengthen me to do what I am afraid of. In Jesus name. Amen. 

Copyright 2018 Marie Lorah

Bring Your Pain Into His Presence

Pain sometimes feels like a scary monster waiting to devour me. I often run from my pain, when in actuality, if I just started to tell God about my pain, relief would come.

Pain doesn’t have to be as scary as we make it out to be. I’m in no way discounting the deep pain we go through. I certainly know through experiencing times of deep depression and despair myself. If you are in that place today, I pray God breathes new hope, life, and comfort over you.

Today, I want to bring a fresh perspective to dealing with our pain and the purpose of our pain.

In Laura Story’s book, “When God Doesn’t Fix it” she shares how pain and trials are actually an opportunity – and not a curse. Trials are opportunities for us to turn to God and find God in the midst of it.

I know when I face trials, I have a tendency to shut down, numb out, and distract myself with Facebook, Netflix, or even cleaning my apartment. It feels as if the trial is greater than God. It feels like nothing will change. It feels like God may have left me alone. Thus, it feels safer to run to these other things. And while these things may bring temporarily relief, we know the Lord is our ultimate source of comfort and strength (2 Corinthians 1:3-5).

We must remember our feelings are not facts, but that God’s truth is real. So ask Him to come into your pain. Bring your pain into His presence. Something that helps me is to turn on gentle worship music. I breathe in His love, and I exhale fear. I receive His love in that moment and surrender my pain to Him. It doesn’t mean I still won’t feel pain, but God wants to take off that heavy weight over us. I also write in my journal or go over comforting scriptures. In addition, I must remember to reach out for support and encouragement to others, who can bring God’s comfort and truth into my situation.

I invite you to bring your pain into God’s presence today and find practical ways to surrender it to Him. Trust me, it will bring a load off. And if you feel stuck, reach out to a friend to help recenter you back into Truth. May God bless you today to bring your hurt into His presence that you may find comfort, hope, and peace.

Copyright 2018 Marie Lorah

 

Copyright 2018 Marie Lorah

His Great Compassion in All Things

Imagine someone is completely compassionate with you, no matter your performance, your circumstances, your attitude, anything about you. They never stopped loving you no matter what you did wrong, how little you spoke with them, or how much distance you put between the two of you.

How would you feel?

At ease. Pursued. Loved. Safe. Enough.

I think these are things we all crave in our relationships. The real truth though is that no human being can truly provide these things. But, we have good news. Jesus Christ died to take away the barrier we have with Him and we get to have this unconditional love from Someone – He never stops loving us! Never. Not in a big mistake or a small misstep.

Just recently I felt frustrated with myself by a small misstep I made with the Lord. Honestly, I just felt bad for pulling away from Him in that situation. But then, I realized that shame was holding me away from the Lord, and shame is NOT from God! Shame magnifies our failings; God’s love magnifies His compassion for us.

So, what should we do when we realize we have distanced ourselves from the Lord or fallen into sin? Run back into His arms! Don’t wait! His compassion is great in all things, and He loves to take us back into His loving arms. Feel at ease. Pursued. Loved. Safe. Enough. Rest in the great compassion of our God.

Copyright 2018 Marie Lorah

 

Focusing on His Presence

Sometimes, life is overwhelming, and we need to step back and take stock of all that’s going on in life and reorder our priorities. Recently, I felt the Lord convict me of striving too much in my mental health recovery. I was focusing on fixing myself instead of fixing my eyes on Him and His presence. I need His presence over everything else – any treatment, therapy session, friend, or self-help book. As I’ve started to make this change, I have felt so much more peace, rest, and hope. I have connected with the One who fills me and helps me make sense of everything in life. Never forget where your strength and your source lies – His presence and His Word. It’s in that place you find wisdom and direction for the practicalities of life.

Lord, help me to keep Your presence first and trust in You to take care of me in all areas of my life.

Deep Healing – The Bitter into Sweet

God has really been working on my heart recently about healing – that healing is possible, at the deepest level, and in every way. My earthly mind tells me a different story, but I choose to trust Him and to believe in the possibilities again. One day at a time. Slowing down, trusting in, and leaning into Him. When my heart hurts, feels lonely, and can’t understand what the heck is going on in my life, I will turn to Him and LET HIM in. This is how deep healing happens. And I WANT the deep healing. Yes, it will hurt. But it totally is worth the process and the intimacy that will inevitably grow with my Heavenly Father who will turn the bitter into sweet. So thankful He turns the bitter into sweet!
To the one struggling deeply to get over a hurt or struggling with mental illness, I understand. Healing may not feel possible. Honestly, that is how I feel right now with my mental illness. I have experienced some healing, but I sense God challenging me that He has more healing for me. I don’t know what exactly that will look like, but my heart is open. And, I hope this post may challenge you a bit to open your heart, even if it’s just a tiny bit, to the possibilities of healing. Healing for your heart. Healing for your body. Healing from the pain.
Lord, grant us the ability to lean into You and LET YOU IN in the hardest moments. It’s in that place, we will encounter your sweet, deep, healing love. We want to be about You and Your Kingdom. Bring us healing, for Your will and Your glory. Amen.