This season has been absolutely wild. From a pandemic, injustices, natural disaster, as well as the personal struggles we all face can be taxing on our mental health. It can be easy in the midst of our struggles to feel alone. There was a very distinct feeling of isolation a few months back, and even still limited interaction causes some fear. One of the hardest battles, is dealing with mental health alone. I’ve written in the past about my own struggle with anxiety, and the worst part was feeling alone. You can know that others struggle, yet at the same time, feel like no one can possibly understand your pain. What I found was, that I needed to be vulnerable with others, and the truth I found, was that I am fully known and loved.
With our theme of b-movies during this spooky season, today we look at “The Thing from Another World,” a movie about an alien that is discovered in the arctic, and just so happens to have the ability to look like the others in the group. What happens is a great visual of the feeling of isolation. No one has any trust, they’re completely cut off from any help, and they fear for their lives. I think this is similar to the way we are attacked by Satan in our lives. We struggle and feel like no one can understand or help us in what we may be facing. It’s in this moment that we can really suffer in this loneliness, but, the thing is, Jesus sees you.
In the midst of your struggle and when you feel alone, Jesus sees you because you are fully known and loved by him.
I was reading through the book of John for one of my classes, and I was struck by a moment during Jesus’ ministry. The story is found in chapter five, and it takes place by the Pool of Bethesda. The pool had a superstition around it (fitting for our Halloween season), the belief was that if you were in the water, at a certain time an angel would stir the water and heal any physical ailment. The scene takes place where Jesus is walking by the area, and sees a paralyzed man.
He is not only paralyzed, but he has been sitting near the pool, for thirty-eight years with no one to help him into the water.
Thirty-eight years of being completely alone.
Without hope and feeling worthless.
In a crowd of people, Jesus saw the person that no one else saw, and looked after the overlooked.
Jesus heals this man, a man who I’m sure at some point gave up all hope. In my life, there have been moments where I felt overlooked, that I wasn’t worthy of attention. There are still moments where my anxiety creeps in and causes me to feel panicked or that I’ll never amount to anything. In these moments I need to remember two things. These are two things I believe are true for anyone who feels alone.
I am fully known and loved by God.
I have people in my life that fully know and love me.
It’s important to understand the second aspect in particular. I am a strong advocate for mental health and believe getting help is important. Therapy is a good thing, finding a small group is important, and choosing to share your story with others is needed in the battle over your mind. When you choose to remind yourself that God made you with a purpose and that you are not alone, you can step into who you are truly meant to be.
We all face struggles and it can be easy to worry about who to trust. Maybe it feels like you’re just trying to survive as an enemy creep around. Many times, we can feel like that manat the edge of the water, struggling to be seen and just wanting to be made new. In these moments of isolation and fear, we can start losing hope, but we have to remind ourselves that Jesus sees us. He says that we are fully known and loved by him, and there are people in your life who are put there for a reason. Don’t let fear tell you that you aren’t good enough or that no one understands you, realize that you are fully known and fully loved by a great creator. Jesus looks at a crowd of people, and knows exactly who you are and that he loves you.
You are never alone.
When I write on topics like anxiety and depression, I know how dark life can seem. I know that you feel alone and hurt, but there is hope. There is always someone there for you and I never want you to feel like you have no other option. If you are feeling suicidal thoughts, I want you to call this number 1-800-273-TALK
I also recommend reaching out and finding a counselor or therapist. It is not shameful, and the church needs to do a better job about promoting going to talk things out with a counselor.
You can also find more resources here for help at: idontmind.com/findhelp
About the Author: Joshua Thomas is a writer by day and superhero by night. When he’s not writing and crimefighting, you can find him reading a good book, sipping warm tea, taking pictures, or dreaming. The young writer doesn’t fully know what he’s doing, but is enjoying the journey of it all. You can follow his hipster photos and Jack Kerouac musings on Instagram @joshua_thomas__