Compassionate Love: Displaying compassion for those who struggle with mental illness (c)2014 Nancy Virden
We each have a 2014 story to tell.
Me? My year started with such anxiety I was nearly agoraphobic for a month. If memory serves me right there were three highly reactionary melt-downs with regard to a relationship. I left my church, struggled again with anxiety to the point of near paralysis in a search for work, my marriage ended, a son estranged himself from the family for six months now, the mental and physical health of loved ones has gone downhill, and I just want it all to stop.
That’s a lot of pain for one year. However, there’s always a flip side – the rest of the story, if you will.
My career is taking off -even if not financially yet- with multiple radio spots, speaking engagements, and a new book released this month. There’s been healing in one relationship.
Following a major purge of material goods, my new church family filled my home with furniture, dishes, and the like. God is teaching me to trust for a “ram in the thicket” (see Genesis 22:13) and to creatively use what I have on hand instead of buying more. The result is profound. Everywhere I look in my home, everywhere, there is physical evidence of God’s love for me, proof people care, and that I matter.
A deliberate, daily focus on God is shaking off all that does not produce life in me. Confidence, faith, changes in thinking patterns, and hope are filling once-empty spaces.
That’s a lot of joy for one year.
2015 will have pain in it. I’m expecting joy too. That is a 180 degree turn from how life has seemed in times past. This year, it is my goal to recognize the flip side before I flip out, to surrender my will to the One who has my best interests at heart, and to rest in his peace. God’s love never fails.
NOTE: I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences with and observations of mental illness. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental health care.
If you are struggling emotionally today or feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Hope and help is yours.