May is mental health awareness month, something that I have a passion and desire to help people understand that it’s okay to not be okay. Emotions are a great thing, but if we’re not careful, we can just start living out of those emotions. Doing that, can cause us to live like we’re on a roller coaster, high highs and low lows. What’s difficult about these moments is that we can begin to forget who we are, who we have been created to be. If everything is tied to how we feel, we will become trapped in a cycle of doubt and lack purpose in our lives. I know that in my own life, feeling unworthy or that I am never enough can cause we to doubt the calling that I know God has placed on my life. It’s difficult in these moments to get outside of my head and really understand what is true about me.
The truth is, I have been fearfully and wonderfully made, just like you.
All too often we forget just how special and unique we are. Some people might not believe that everyone is special, but the truth is that God has designed each of us, and no one is alike. We have been created with purpose, intentionally, in order to impact the lives around us. I think it’s important to remind ourselves about what scripture says about us, especially when it comes to mental health, because if we allow our emotions to tell us who we are, we will fall into a place we may never get out of.
Psalm 139:13-14 says, “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.”
There are days where I just feel off. I’m not able to focus, I think about scenarios that have happened in the past, and I have little motivation. It feels like I am not good enough. In these moments, I need to remind myself of who created me. The God who made everything, also designed me, gave me passions and gifts that are unique to me, and that drives me to live purposefully. The feelings are still there, but I am shifting my focus towards my creator and rooting myself in his constant as opposed to my inconsistent emotions.
It’s a lot easier said than done, but there is hope.
It takes commitment to stay rooted in the source that brings life.
I was listening to a message by Pastor Tadd Grandstaff at Hope Church, and he made a comment about grape vines, that it takes around three years for the roots to be able to produce the fruit. Choosing to root yourself in Christ will take time, but the end result is something beautiful. You may have to remind yourself daily that you have been fearfully and wonderfully made by God, and each day it is important to root yourself in that truth.
Commitment each day to choose to not let those thoughts or emotions effect the way you view yourself is a tool on this journey.
I say tool, because sometimes our mental health needs more attention.
Seeking real help is not a sign of weakness in your identity or faith journey.
I am not a doctor or have a background on the medical side of mental health advocacy, what I do know, is that there are fantastic resources available that can help bring healing and growth. One thing that is not healthy, is just by simply saying that just a little bit of prayer can fix things, yes prayer has the power to move mountains, but God has also given people with immense training and a passion to help us walk through these mental health seasons. Therapy and counseling are incredibly powerful tools and there are doctors who want to help your brain function the way God designed it.
I have seen people grow and heal by getting the right help they need. I have also seen the dangers of letting these mental health struggles control the thoughts of people close to me.
Being rooted in Christ and seeking real help are both vital to our journey and living into who God has fearfully and wonderfully created us to be.
I take this seriously, because I have lost people close to me due to mental health and battles with addiction. I have followed the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) for a long time now and think their strategy on getting help so that one can live feeling supported is a great mission.
I was reading that passage in Psalms and reminded of the weight behind what that means. We were created with purpose, made in the womb, God knowing the passions and desires he would give us. All of the talent and gifting you have, was placed in you before you even knew it. The God who created the universe and everything in it, made you. He calls you worthy, that you are enough, that you are so worth loving He would send His own son to die for you. He cares about you.
That is the truth of what scripture says about you. Don’t let any thought or anyone say something that goes against what scripture says about you. You are worthy of love and there is a seat at the table waiting for you.
Stay rooted in the source of life and find real help that will let you live into the person that God fearfully and wonderfully made you to be.
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__