May is Mental Health Month. This is something near and dear to my heart, both as I have suffered from anxiety and depression, as well as countless people in my life that have dealt with similar mental health struggles. It’s important to shine a light on mental health, because for far too long people have been scared to open up and get the help that they need. I think as Christ followers, we need to realize that often mental health is tied into spiritual health. I’m not saying that if you struggle with mental health issues that your spiritual walk with Christ is lacking, I would be foolish to insinuate that. For the most part though, I do believe that mental health can be used against us as we try to grow closer in our walks with Christ. We often feel the most pressure and mental attack when we are on the path God has set out for us. As we walk in the giftedness that God has equipped us with and fight towards reaching the world, that same mad titan that we talked about last week (check it out here), begins to switch up his tactic. If he can’t bring us down by a storm, he’ll try his best with a whisper. “You’re not good enough.” “That test defines who you are.” “What they say about you is true.” The father of lies (John 8:44), these thoughts, they can so easily take root and begin to choke out all life, but they have no power over our great God. These thoughts that are whispered in our minds can disrupt our progress, and the truth is, we need to realize that it’s not about us.
This past week I had an incredibly difficult day. Mentally and spiritually I was pushed to my limit. I was faced with a situation in my work where there was seemingly no way out, I was going to have to make a call, pick up the pieces that were out of my control, and it was taxing on me. I felt powerless, alone, left for dead. The whispers came. I started directing what was out of control as a part of my character, that the issue was rooted by me. I was so focused on me and what I had to do, how people may act towards me both at work and the people serving. I was caught up, then God spoke. It hit me, it’s not about me, my spirit was hurting over the situation but at the same time He was speaking the truth about it to me. I was distracted, and instead of fighting the true fight to find a solution, I was caught up in my head. You see how much of a trap it was? I was listening to the whispers, the lies, and lost sight of the truth. It happens fast, but there’s an endgame we need to remember, it’s not about me, it’s about my savior.
It’s about perspective.
Last week I referenced the classic Infinity Gauntlet comic, in that same comic we have our big bad. It’s so obvious how bad he is, but he isn’t alone. There’s another Marvel villain named, Mephisto. Picture a devil Halloween costume and he is the master of manipulating the heroes, totally not good. It’s a good personification of the whispers, this devil looking fellow up to no good manipulating us to make us lose sight of the vision. Your life is full of purpose, you were designed to be exactly who you are for a reason. You were made to bring light to a dark world, and our enemy will try everything to take that away from you. In the moments when we hear the whispers, when we start to give up hope, when it feels like there is no way out of this; we have to shift our perspective. The whispers cause us to live in defeat, but we have a God that defeated death, claiming, “It is finished,” in John 19:30. We must shift our perspective in the midst of our inward struggle and hold on to the truth that in Christ, nothing can stop us. No mountain can stand in your way when our savior declares the mountains to bow.
Don’t lose sight of your team.
You need people. You need a community of people that you trust that can support and ground you when your mind is being attacked. You have people that care about you, whether you feel alone or not, you have people in your corner. In my hard day, I had people in my life help me regain my focus on what matters the most. The reason behind why I do what I do, helping me look outside of my head and get back in the fight. Our enemy would love for us to be all on our own, but when you have a team on your side, the enemy shakes in his boots. You see, we may survive a battle, but with a team we can end the war. The best part of it is, the one in control has already achieved the victory, we can’t lose when we keep our minds focused. Every hero needs a team, you have great power, but you need someone to cover your blind spots. We are better together, so don’t lose sight of your team.
I know mental health is a hard battle to face and I believe that’s due to the spiritual aspect of it. We need to be on guard, especially as we begin moving towards our calling. It’s not easy, I struggle daily, but we can’t lose hope. We need to cling to the one who defeated death, who made a way for us to enter into a relationship with him. So even on the tough days, in the midst of the anxiety attacks, in the midst of your self-doubt and loathing; never lose hope. Place your faith in trust in the savior that loves you so much he died and rose again, so that you could live in freedom and relationship with him. It’s not an overnight victory, it will take time, which is why it is vital that we redirect our perspective and not lose sight of our team fighting alongside of us. God loves you and made you with a purpose, you are not what the whispers may tell you, you are a child of God. It’s not about you, it’s about our great God.
You are an heir to the kingdom, so live in victory.