Tag Archives: war

Anxiety Rises With World News

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

Natural disasters have a way of raising anxiety levels.  There is good reason for that because we want safety and normalcy, and we mourn when people are hurt.  Hurricanes, earthquakes, and wildfires are unpredictable too. Generally, we do not enjoy  uncertainty when so much is at stake.

A son inherits a business

Many years ago, a dad died. Suddenly, his young son had to take over the family business and responsibilities. He was feeling scared and inadequate, so he said to God, “I can’t do it without you.”

He was successful for ten years before a powerful and influential enemy tried to take over the business and steal everything the son owned. Again the young man said, “God, I can’t do this without you,” and the severe opposition soon ceased.

For twenty years, everything continued well.  A second conniving competitor emerged, attempting to force a merger between his and the son’s businesses. Commerce and security were threatened.

This time the son panicked and turned to a third competitor for help. “I can’t do this without you.,” he said.  By partnering with a less threatening enemy, he gave up his freedom.  Their scheme worked, only now he was bound to someone who wanted to fight him for everything.

A wise man of God came to him and said, “You did it now! You lost your chance to be clear of this kind of trouble. From now on you will struggle to keep everything you have!”

Frustrated, the son used his influence to cause the wise man of God to lose his job. His attitude soured under pressure from the combative business arrangement.  He became mean and merciless toward people who depended on him.

Eventually, a potentially fatal disease scared him. He said to his doctors, “I can’t do this without you!” Soon after, he died.

Who was this man?

This man’s name was Asa. Ruling ancient Judah was the family business.  Asa and his dad were royals, serving as kings. The last six of forty-one years in charge of the nation were nothing but conflict.

Competitors and enemies were other kings trying to conquer his land and people. When Asa humbly remembered that he was but a human, and trusted in God’s power, Judah flourished.  Both he and his people paid a great price for his proud self-reliance.

Anxiety is normal in the face of recent disasters and rumors of war.  It is impossible to control external events or other people.  Choosing to depend on the Highest Power takes a load off our backs and minds.

I know the future is uncertain and feel anxiety rising. How much anxiety interferes with my functioning and peace is determined each day I choose to confess as Asa once did, “God, I can’t do this without you.”

And mean it.

Today’s Helpful Word

Ephesians 3 (NCV)

With God’s power working in us, God can do much, much more than anything we can ask or imagine. To him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus for all time, forever and ever. Amen.

*********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.

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.

Is Laughter the Best Medicine for America’s National Mood Disorder? Part 1

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

War and rumors of war.  This is a heavy news day for America, and tensions are high.  Even if conversations are not concentrated on the Eastern and Middle Eastern dramas,  we feel the apprehension.

Jimmy Kimmel spoke about the day his newborn faced open-heart surgery. Jimmy’s cousins brought laughter to the moment, however this did not lessen the new dad’s and mom’s  concerns for their son.  

Laughter as  effective therapy

Most of us can experience apprehension and function at the same time. For some, a little tension can set off disabling anxiety, depression, or other mental illness episodes.  Stress is a huge factor in unstable mental health. 

That is probably why laughter is a great coping mechanism. Everyone knows it is possible to cry through laughter and smile through tears.  Levity does not fix anything other than our ability to move along. That is what counts, is it not? 

In the arena of mental health care and advocacy, the aim is to help persons advance from dysfunction to function to satisfaction. Laughter’s role is significant.

It was interesting to watch as suicidal and severely depressed persons like myself  found reasons to laugh together in an intensive therapy support group in 2011. Personally, an instant change in mood was not forthcoming (overcoming a mental health crisis does not work that way!).  However, we each experienced proof of that joy is possible. Laughter, if accepted as such, is a catalyst for hope.

America’s hope

America is not in a great mood today. Many are angry, bitter, vile, and hateful. This comes from both conservatives and liberals if we will be completely honest and admit it. Comic relief from people like Jimmy Kimmel is a break from fake and bad news.  It is not a cure for anxiety, depression, or despair.  

Our best laughter comes from a sense of security and freedom from fear knowing absolutely nothing can destroy us. 

My hope is not in America’s President or any world leader. It is not in Republicans or Democrats, conservative or liberal ideology, or in any governing body whatsoever. 

My hope is in the One who never changes, whose love is passionate for His daughter, and whose plans stand firm forever. The Lord “watches over those who fear (revere and live in awe of) him,  those who rely (place all their hope) on his unfailing love.”  The best read perhaps for America’s national anxiety is Psalm 33.

God’s promises help me respond to apprehension like a woman described in Proverbs 31. “She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.” While anxiety and depression often knock on my door, it is hope that brings me laughter, and the other way around.  

Today’s Helpful Word

Proverbs 17:22  

“A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength.”

 

**********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.

*fear pic from Kozzi.com, woman smiling by COLONIERA on rgbstock.com

 

Peace, Be Still

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

nbvwcha

It was combat. Young, hardened faces tensed with the desperation of wavering hope.

Soldiers strapped to their guns, pinned down in the safest place and surrounded by mines, had been holding their precarious position for five months. Over one hundred of their teammates, comrades, and friends had been carried off and buried. There was no time for grief. No room for sentiment. 

Who would be next, no one knew.

From the outside, it appeared that order and discipline in the form of rank and file remained intact. A lieutenant was in charge now, having assumed the role after the captain and commander were killed. 

However, tempers flared. Brave chatter had morphed into a single thought.

HOLD.

Hold out, hang in there, stay the course, keep yourself together, don’t think too much, don’t lose focus, push away the emotions, calm your nerves… hold. Above all, remember those who die are heroes. Your sacrifice is secondary to the mission.

HOLD!

The above scene is merely make-believe, based on a fictional television portrayal of war.* In reality, soldiers face menacing scenarios. Soldiers who stood their ground in actual wars, survivors of others’ sacrifices, the wounded, and otherwise affected men and women veterans – these are worthy and in need of our support and gratitude.

They are not the only ones with difficult memories.

Beside them stand victims of abuse and torture in the human trafficking world,  witnesses to domestic violence or other crimes,  and people who survive mass shootings. Even these are but a small sample of the total number of people traumatized by literal and figurative foxholes. 

Well after one has healed physically, unresolved trauma may pin down the mind. Relief is incomplete. Symptoms of PTSD or other anxiety disorders are part of an ongoing struggle.  In the middle of run-away anxiety, often there remains a single thought.

HOLD. 

For years  my battles against unwanted thoughts were daily lost.  Learning some therapeutic strategies helped immensely. Still it seemed this was to be my forever normal –  make a choice, grow anxious, take time to recover, repeat. 

The break in that cycle came when I discovered more release and calm turning to the Lord Jesus than in any strategy I’ve tried.  It is not an insta-cure. However, he grants me rest from hanging on for dear life. 

While learning to heal from trauma, his words are rich with calm. “Peace, be still.” Years of practice have taught me to trust him.  Knowing he will never leave or forsake me,  I can release my hold, and just be held.

Today’s Helpful Word

Mark 4:39

And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!”  And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.

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COMMENTS ARE ALWAYS WELCOME (see tab below)

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.

1st picture from rgbstock.com

*Deep Space Nine, one of the Star Trek television series 

Then There is This Peace-of-Mind: A Response to Recent Violence

Compassionate Love Blog: Displaying compassion for those who struggle with mental illness   (c)2016  Nancy Virden, Always the Fight Ministry

Helping hands

It seems in the chaos of recent days, people are growing more fearful, focusing on a negative “what if?” What if situations do not change? What if violence escalates? What if it touches me or my family?  On this Sunday, as many of us return home from worship, I invite you to ask with me, what if we consider God in all of this?

The following is from Always the Fight 2nd ed. (c)2015. 

“It has taken a long time to begin to see suffering as a blessing. The same Master Designer created both night and day. God, who saw every detail of our unformed bodies before we were born, who knew every one of our minutes before one of them occurred, is not surprised by our pain. He is not taken aback, has everything under control, and loves us still.

You see, the struggle is the plan.

It is in the not-seeing, the not-understanding that we reach out in the dark. Shuffling our feet across unknown terrain, arms outstretched and hearts beating fast, it is in pitch-blackness we search for wisdom, and grow.

Faith is not sight. Quite the opposite. It is the evidence of what is unseen. Pain often draws all of our attention, narrowing our vision to a few moments in time. That is why our faith will not thrive if limited to what we can understand. A more magnificent purpose is at play. Gold can only be made pure through fire, and if our faith is to be refined as gold, it must be tried and tested. Saint Paul even speaks of considering it a joy whenever we face troubles!

Major depression has been humbling. I am broken, but for a purpose. God has chosen to allow me to fall into the pit for the opportunity of teaching me how to climb out of it.”

Father God, In Your mercy, may our cities and nations ascend from this fear and pain with humility, willingness to lean on You, and wisdom. Amen.

********

COMMENTS ARE ALWAYS WELCOME (see tab below)

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.

  • picture from Kozzi.com