Fast Wednesdays: Week of December 9, 2015 – Mental Health Discussion (Resend)

Greetings Beloved!

Hope everyone is blessed because we are even when we cannot see it … especially me!

I did not hear from anyone on this topic I am about to plunge into but my prayer is that this topic helps someone to just feel like going on…times are hard these days, with many competing issues overwhelming us, it seems we don’t get through one challenge before several more are knocking on our door (LOUD) … welcome to 2015!

As we are in the season of celebrating our religious heritages and traditions, by the way Happy Hanukkah to some of you, last week I shared a statistic that 1 out of 5 Americans have some form of mental illness.
I actually believe the number could be higher, especially on days when we as a nation witness these incredible acts of terror such as recently in Paris and now San Bernardino, CA, last week … personally, as for me, I am left speechless, limp, feeling helpless for the victims and their families and just amazed as to how long will these go on and are they a part of the new “low” normal? I have been feeling this way since Columbine and especially during 9/11/01 as I lived in the NY area and witnessed first hand lots of calamity and experienced feelings of  despair.

I know … I am blessed, I have not expressed anything like people who are clinically depressed and more but I do want anyone who needs to know, I am here, as well as others who support you “unconditionally.” Many things I don’t understand and I don’t try to, they are beyond my comprehension, I am not GOD, however, our first commandment is to LOVE ONE ANOTHER and that’s what I want to bring to the table. God’s love, how it reaches to the valleys, mountains, our very souls and makes it possible to try to wake up each day and “walk our walk.”
In the meantime, here’s some more “factual” information on this subject:

Mental Health Conditions:

A mental illness is a condition that impacts a person’s thinking, feeling or mood and may affect his or her ability to relate to others and function on a daily basis. Each person will have different experiences, even people with the same diagnosis.

Recovery, including meaningful roles in social life, school and work, is possible, especially when you start treatment early and play a strong role in your own recovery process.

A mental health condition isn’t the result of one event. Research suggests multiple, interlinking causes. Genetics, environment and lifestyle combine to influence whether someone develops a mental health condition. A stressful job or home life makes some people more susceptible, as do traumatic life events like being the victim of a crime. Biochemical processes and circuits as well as basic brain structure may play a role too.

Recovery and Wellness

1 in 5 adults experiences a mental health condition every year. 1 in 20 lives with a serious mental illness such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. In addition to the person directly experiencing by a mental illness, family, friends and communities are also affected.

50% of mental health conditions begin by age 14 and 75% of mental health conditions develop by age 24. The normal personality and behavior changes of adolescence may mimic or mask symptoms of a mental health condition. Early engagement and support are crucial to improving outcomes and increasing the promise of recovery.

– See more at: https://www.nami.org/Learn-More/Mental-Health-Conditions#sthash.d8xCxQ6s.dpuf

I was just reading a book “Nice Girls Don’t Change the World” by Lynne Hybels. She’s the wife of the pastor of Willow Creek Community Church, one of the large churches in our nation. I was thinking about the determination she must have had to push through her issues and deliver her message to us particularly in her role as a pastor’s wife (GOD BLESS ALL THE PASTORS WIVES, starting with my #IncredibleDiane Baschieri). Lynne states “I hope you realize how much your family, your friends, your church, your community, and this world needs you. Don’t allow who you truly are to be lost, buried, or devalued … what is most truly YOU matters.” (I call this take off the MASK and love yourself).

On the flaps of the book, the summary is given and it is my desire to share with you: Nice girls are taught early that serving God means earning God’s love and sacrificing oneself to meet the needs of others. Unfortunately, after living a life she thought was what God demanded, her husband wanted, her kids needed, and her church expected, Lynne Hybels felt utterly lost — both to herself and to God.

In this wise and tender book, Hybels tells of her struggle to stop living someone else’s life and to reclaim the unique gifts, strengths, and passions God gave her. And, she reveals how turning away from her false view of God as a harsh and demanding taskmaster enabled her to rest at last in God’s sustaining love. As she explains, its never too late to discover that who you really are is exactly what delights God and what the WORLD needs! AMEN.

I am not saying this woman had major mental health issues but what I am stating is she shared herself with us so that we too could be free of anything holding us back from experiencing JOY!

At the end of the book, Lynne, tells us to become “dangerous women” — women who show up with everything she is and joins the battle against whatever opposes the redeeming work of God in our lives and in our world…a dangerous woman delves deeply into the truth of who she is, grounds herself daily in the healing and empowering love of God, and radically engages with the needs of the world…find inspiration from dangerous women along the way, from college students, empty nesters, young moms, grandmothers, cross lines of age, race and culture, women mentoring one another and sharpening skills, women volunteering time, raising money, thinking creatively, taking risks, reinventing lives, following God-given dreams.

Dangerous women. World changing women. May we be dangerous women.

May we be women who acknowledge our power to change, and grow, and be radically alive for God.
May we be healers of wounds and righters of wrongs.
May we weep with those who weep and speak for those who cannot speak for themselves.
May we cherish children, embrace the elderly and empower the poor.
May we pray deeply and teach wisely.
May we be strong and gentle leaders.
May we sing songs of joy and talk down fear.
May we never hesitate to let passion push us, conviction compel us, and righteous anger energize us.
May we strike fear into all that is unjust and evil in the world.
May we dismantle abusive systems and silences lies with truth.
May we shine like stars in a darkened generation.
May we overflow with goodness in the name of God and by the power of Jesus. And, in that name, and by that power, may we change the world.

SCRIPTURE:

Joshua 1:9 ESV – Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Philippians 4:19 ESV – And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

Matthew 25:39-40 ESV – And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’

Psalm 118:17 ESV – I shall not die, but I shall live, and recount the deeds of the Lord.

2 Corinthians 4:16 ESV – So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.

Luke 11:24 ESV – ‘When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, and finding none it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’

Psalm 46:10 ESV- “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”

PRAYER:
Dear God, please make us dangerous women (and girls, boys and men)…AMEN!

Love, Joy and Peace, 
Debra J. Ellis

Reminder AND/OR for those of you just joining us: The purpose of Fast Wednesdays is to draw near to God on this specific day of the week fasting and praying in whatever manner the Holy Spirit is leading you as sisters (and some brothers) in Christ…some have fasted from social media, coffee, or observed a traditional fast with no eating from sunrise to sunset with only liquids for the day, no deserts, etc. I know many of us, for various reasons, participate every week but in different manners. This has still been beneficial and the blog continues to grow!

The key ingredient is that we are doing this together as sisters, of all ages, in the Lord, both chronologically and spiritually in accordance to: A God-Filled Life Titus 2:3-5 “Guide older women into lives of reverence so they end up as neither gossips nor drunks, but models of goodness. By looking at them, the younger women will know how to love their husbands and children, be virtuous and pure, keep a good house, be good wives. We don’t want anyone looking down on God’s Message because of their behavior.”  Note: Please share Fast Wednesdays with your friends and/or send me names to add to the distribution list. For now, I will post in three places: email (djf52055@gmail.com), Facebook (Debra Fuller Ellis) and blog in Word Press: https://fastwednesdays.wordpress.com/

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