Thrilled to step in here to say that Linda’s story and blog has been picked up and shared by a local New York newspaper. Such a great article to help spread the word about what determination and belief in God can do to transform a life. ~Jennifer Deschanel
Recently I’ve felt the need to slow down and reset. It’s been insanely busy and a very emotional few weeks. My husband has been working crazy long hours since he’ been working three jobs, a dear family friend passed away way too soon, and one of my best friends has a spouse who ended up in the hospital on Easter Sunday from complications from alcoholism. I feel that everyone close to me is just so exhausted, including me! Exhausted mentally and physically by this fallen world…
Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place,15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. ~Ephesians 6:14-18
I hardly ever see Ryan these days because he’s always working, and God bless him, when he’s home he tries his hardest to be a part of the family. I end up telling him it’s ok to be tired and to go to bed. He’s very happy to do so. At the moment, I’ve been having seizure auras. I may be coming down with something.
I feel the need to sit at the feet of Jesus and take a deep breath. It’s been a long rough year already.
I’m so looking forward to a visit from Jennifer Deschanel next week. We plan to build a fire pit in my backyard and put in some plantings. I think that’s just what the doctor ordered. It’s so easy to get caught up in this world. I indeed felt every thing around me was swallowing me up until my Pastor’s wife called me a DORK during the last women’s group. Yes… I’m a dork a daughter of a righteous king.
In the women’s group we are doing a book study on Girls With Swords by Lisa Bevere. I’ll probably do a full review of the book when I’ve read the entire thing. It’s a wonderful book for women of faith. I highly suggest you check it out. It’s available on amazon.
Anyway back to me being a dork…
It’s so easy to lose sight of who we are and where we came from. I think it is vital in keeping one’s mental and physical well-being in balance to never forget this fact. In Girls With Swords the author says we’re transients, passing through this earth with our roots in heaven. She says we should “choose to live as a stranger in this land. ” Lisa Bevere goes on to say this means you should live with the understanding that “we are just passing through this world.” Our life comes from the Lord, and therefore we are rooted in Him.
Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God~ Colossians 3:2-3
Don’t let your roots grow deep in this world, but don’t let life get so overwhelming that we forget to check in with Jesus. Recall what matters to us. Laugh when called a dork; remember those parted with smiles and laughter knowing we will see them again; pray for the ones who need strength, and look forward to times with those closest to us. If we don’t wear ‘s God armor Satan will attack us by striking at our hopes, our passions, our energy and want to be quiet and calm. We will forget what matters and worse, forget to care for ourselves. When times are rough and emotions rougher, that’s when we need to just sit a Jesus’ feet and be still. From there we can reset our minds and bodies and be able to live out His purpose for us in life, without life…. getting in the way.
We should look to the Lord and give out into the world what we receive from Him.
That question, posed to me by Linda as I sipped my coffee is how my morning began. After 28 years of friendship, questions like that coming out of Linda are as natural as asking me to pass the creamer. It’s a timely question though. Facing our Holy Week we’ve seen children gassed in Syria, bombs set off in two churches in Egypt, the loss of a young man by his own hand and, yesterday, Linda witnessed just how indifferent people can be.
While driving home she came across an elderly woman lying in the middle of the road. Linda and another motorist got out of their cars to assist. Apparently the woman had tripped while crossing the street and couldn’t get up. Linda and the other motorist remained on site with the woman until help came, knowing this dangerous stretch of road and seeing how visibly shaken she was. Their cars were blocking the road however, and, as they returned briefly to their vehicles to move them to safety (mind you there is a woman very obviously LYING in the MIDDLE of the road here) another motorist arrives on scene and, indifferent to the person lying on the pavement, starts yelling at Linda and the other gentleman to get the hell out of his way…. he had a job to get to.
What the hell was he going to do? Drive AROUND the human being LYING in the middle of the STREET? Good Samaritan he was not but then again, we don’t know his situation and are not his judge. Was he about to lose his job and he was frightened of what would happen to his family? Was he a doctor on call? Was he a jerk missing out on his AM coffee fix? We don’t know and shouldn’t assume but, no matter what…. how can priorities, his and ours, get so screwed?
So, where DID we as humans go wrong? The short answer is Genesis 3:6.
When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.~Genesis 3:6
The longer one is more complicated. But here’s is how I replied to Linda. Now, I’m an author whose breakfast was had over a deep question, so pardon the analogy….
People are like fried eggs.
When you look at a fried egg you see the small, yellow yolk within the larger egg white—two circles, basically. That possibly indifferent, rushed man was the large egg white —big, broad reaching, spreading where he wished to go. Living within him, contained, stable, reliable and constant, was the yolk… or God. That man was living his life with God firmly rooted in place and carried within him as a part of who he is… going where he goes.
That’s how a lot of people live.
Then you have people who are the yolk. They are contained and set firmly where they are, while the egg white spreads around them much bigger and farther reaching. Which direction the egg white will spread in, is unknown. They trust that they don’t control the egg white, but know, no matter what, it will encircle the yolk. These people live their lives being carried within God knowing and understanding that they are in God’s care and will be saved by Jesus and that other people…. may not be.
See the difference?
The man made his life bigger and father reaching than God’s will, choosing to live his life with God a small part of his circle. Others choose to know they are a constant and reliable part of God’s love, keeping their personal priorities much smaller than the bigger circle of God’s will. These people would rather live with all their problems, joys, and stresses a small part of their daily life and drop everything to make God’s love and faith a bigger part of the picture.
Linda and I work every day to be egg yolks. To keep our priorities inline with our personal journeys back to Christ. And it’s not easy. Sometimes we get scrambled and it’s a matter of talking things out with another brother or sister in Christ to set our priorities straight again and understand this big, sometimes confusing walk called faith. The yolk of an egg is easily broken causing a mess of stuff to spread all over the place. When our personal priorities spread and grow beyond the reach of God’s will, that’s where sin, temptation and indifference will take over.
So think of that as you dye Easter eggs this week or when you next fry up your breakfast.
This past week my family and I lost a very dear friend to suicide stemming from bi-polar depression.
It’s been incredibly hard to see such a bright light extinguished by mental illness. Chris was only 24, way too soon to die. He was kind and caring, and always had a smile on his face. My daughter says Chris was her ‘crush’. He will be greatly missed.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.~ Matthew 5:4
Every one close to him, even those who lived with him, saw no sign he’d capable of doing such a horrific act as taking his own life. But Chris had demons; demons hiding deep within… and hid well until he was too tired and weak to fight back. That’s how I see it anyway. None of us will ever be the same…
His girlfriend, Jessie, said to me that she never understood why people say suicide is selfish. Now she understands just how selfish it truly is. He left a gaping whole in each and every heart he touched. The heart of his mother, father, his brother… the hearts of all of his friends, especially me and my family, not to mention the hearts of his girlfriend and her family whom he lived with for the past two years.
I keep looking back on the last few weeks trying to see if I can uncover even the smallest cue telling me that something was off with him. My husband, Ryan, has been doing the same. Both of us noticed that Chris was a little down, but nothing that would indicate what would happen. We just thought it was the result of a long winter. After all, he still always had that stupid infectious smile on his face. I’m not even sure even if we did notice something it would have made a bit of a difference. The reason I say this is because he wasn’t on any medication. Chris couldn’t handle the side effects.
This reason has a very familiar ring to it. A close family member stopped taking meds for bipolar because of the very same reason. Although my family member is doing well, there’s always a risk that they won’t be. It’s a day-by-day process.
The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. ~Psalm 34: 18
My advice for people who love others with bipolar, or any other kind of mental illness, is to encourage them to get help. Have them go to a local mental health physician or call the mental health hotline at 1-888-679-1575. If they won’t do that, love them and give them support. Take it day-by-day. Don’t take what they do or say personally, however, UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES SHOULD YOU STAY WITH SOMEONE IF THEY ARE ABUSING OR HARMING YOU IN ANY WAY.