Tag Archives: hurricane

“My house,” she said. “It’s all I got.”

Compassionate Love Blog: Displaying compassion for those who fight mental illness, addiction, and abuse  (c)2018  Nancy Virden, Always the Fight Ministries

pXewBwOA woman who stayed with her home during one of the devastating wildfires in California, surprised her friends and neighbors by her survival. When asked why she stayed behind instead of evacuating, she replied, “My house. It’s all I got.”

Occasionally, any of us may feel as if what we value is slipping away. Efforts to prevent loss demand our attention. In a similar way, when we suffer a severe episode of any  mental health challenge such as major depression, anxiety, or panic attacks, among others, we may fall in to a place of desperation.

Rationally,  it doesn’t make sense to give up one’s life for a house.  Still, the woman who risked her life is not alone. A year ago, during a massive hurricane, one interviewed citizen was choosing to stay behind to take care of someone else’s possessions! The end of that story is unknown. 

I do not think either of these people were calm and collected. Not knowing them, it seems they did what anyone would do who valued something or someone above themselves. Whether desperation lasts one minute or months, temporarily it is difficult to make well-reasoned choices based on what is true. Instead, our minds tell us our perceptions of danger, loss, or hopelessness are the sum of reality.

In those moments, what we value most will rise to the surface. For me, major depression  (later) exposed the fact that I treasured the evasive love of my husband more than life itself. This had to change, and it was hard work. Transferring my hope to a permanent foundation has changed everything in my life. 

God used several tools to open my heart to his unfailing love. Some of it was therapy, and a renewing of my thought processes. Some of it was scripture (I view the Holy Bible as his unerring Word to us). Some of it was prayer. The end result is a whole person, a woman who values and relies on his love. 

I no longer need a person or material possessions to define my worth. Having never been in a natural disaster, I believe now it would be a no-brainer to leave everything behind. Reality is, God loves me. He sent his Son Jesus to die and resurrect so I could be with him forever. My hope lies there – in the unchanging, unending love of God the Father.

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Today’s Helpful Word

Matthew 6:19-21  

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.  But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

***** COMMENTS ALWAYS WELCOME

NOTE:  I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences with and observations of mental and behavioral health challenges.  In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.

If you are struggling emotionally today or feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, in the U.S. call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or for a list of international suicide hotlines, go here.

If you are suicidal with a plan, immediately call 911 in the U.S.  (for international emergency numbers, go here ), or go to your nearest emergency room. Do not be alone. Hope and help are yours.

 

*house fire pic by XYMONAU ; streams of light by MICROMOTH: both  on rgbstock.com

 

When It Seems the World Might End: Not Your Typical Blog

Compassionate Love: Displaying compassion for those who struggle with mental illness   (c) 2017 Nancy Virden, Always The Fight Ministries

Greetings Friend,

This blog is usually a faith-based mental health and recovery one. Posts are most often about abuse, mental illness, hope, and how to be supportive. Today I am veering away from the usual, because there is so much uncertainty in the world.

Fact is, life is full of struggles. Focusing on all the not-so-great and could-happens is unnerving at best. Fear and anxiety threaten to undo the most stalwart of hearts. The Bible is where God’s promises are in writing.  Despite hurricanes, rumors of war, wildfires, and political upheavals, we want peace, joy, and hope. God offers them.  

There are myriads of false teachers, misquoting and adding to what God said. So why not go to the source and get it right? “For the word of the Lord holds true, and we can trust everything he does.” (Psalm 33:4) 

God’s promises often come with conditions

Psalm 91 (NLT)

Promise: REST in the shadow of the Almighty.

Condition: Those who live in the shelter of the Most High (Jesus is the shelter).

This I declare about the LordHe alone is my refuge, my place of safety;  he is my God, and I trust him… Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night, nor the arrow that flies in the day.
Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness, nor the disaster that strikes at midday…”

Psalm 32 (NLT)

Promise: JOY, FORGIVENESS, FREEDOM FROM GUILT

Condition: Those wholive in complete honesty. Those who confess sin and pray, those who obey God.

Therefore, let all the godly pray to you while there is still time, that they may not drown in the floodwaters of judgment…  Many sorrows come to the wicked,  but unfailing love surrounds those who trust the Lord

So rejoice in the Lord and be glad, all you who obey him!  Shout for joy, all you whose hearts are pure!”

Psalm 33  (NLT)

Promise: WATCHED OVER BY GOD, HOPE

Condition: Those who fear him and rely on his unfailing love

“The best-equipped army cannot save a king, nor is great strength enough to save a warrior. Don’t count on your warhorse to give you victory— for all its strength, it cannot save you.  But the Lord watches over those who fear him, those who rely on his unfailing love…

We put our hope in the LordHe is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice,  for we trust in his holy name. Let your unfailing love surround us, Lordfor our hope is in you alone.”

2 Peter 3  (NIV)

Promise: NEW HEAVEN AND EARTH AFTER THIS ONE IS DESTROYED; WORLD FILLED WITH GOD’S GOODNESS

Condition:  Those who believe on Jesus and are on guard, not carried away by lies and meaningless musings of people who reject God

On that day, he will set the heavens on fire, and the elements will melt away in the flames.  But we are looking forward to the new heavens and new earth he has promised, a world filled with God’s righteousness… 

And remember, our Lord’s patience gives people time to be saved. This is what our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you with the wisdom God gave him—  speaking of these things in all of his letters. Some of his comments are hard to understand, and those who are ignorant and unstable have twisted his letters to mean something quite different, just as they do with other parts of Scripture. And this will result in their destruction.”

Why this post

Some might say writing a post like this is bad for business. I know it will not make me popular.  Nonetheless,  “success” is not my priority, and popularity, while nice, is often based on telling people what they want to hear. What matters most is that readers know their eternal options.

I’ve said many times in different ways that Jesus promised we will have trouble. Followers of Jesus are not alone. He said, “I am with you always, even to the end of the world.”*

 

*******COMMENTS ARE ALWAYS WELCOME.

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

New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.®Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Hurricane Arthur, Sinkholes, Shootings, and Control

Compassionate Love: Displaying compassion for those who struggle with mental illness  (c)2014 Nancy Virden

100_1102Most of us have probably had that moment when suddenly our surroundings shift and we no longer have a sense of safety or control over what happens next. I’ve seen videos of people pulling tablecloths out from under place servings and food without losing or misplacing any items. If only that could be our result when life is in upheaval!

Hurricanes by any name are scary. Sinkholes can be more frightening due to lack of warning. Random shootings? We scramble to find a reason, a “key” so we can foresee who, when, where these things will happen.  Measurable and understood problems can be managed.

I’ve balked at the idea that I have no say over circumstances. “Life happens” is an uneasy concept. If you had asked me before three years ago if I believed I needed to be in charge, I would have said no. Then I would have worried about everything while continuing to deny the fear even to myself.

Denial is a strong reason some of us do not see how very powerless we actually are. Attempting suicide in January 2011 was a wake-up call in numerous ways. However, it was but a slight push in the direction of admitting I am powerless and that my life had become unmanageable. 

Saint Paul admitted he was powerless, something I am learning to do. His willpower and self-control were not enough. Neither was his strength of character. He simply could not manage his life through faith and good intentions alone.

Paul recognized God as the one with power. He turned his desire for control over to Christ. His decisions, reactions, feelings, and thoughts  began to transform. This is happening for me as well. The more I can accept my powerlessness, the better. This is not helpless victimization. I do have a choice, and that is to allow God’s power to be the solution or to keep on truckin’ the way I always have.

Surrender to God through Jesus Christ became Paul’s message to the world and his daily practice. He gave up, and his life began.

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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 can be yours.