If I allowed circumstances to dictate my mental state, I would probably require hospitalization. In a matter of a few months, I have felt pain and fear, anger and sadness. I have been lost in what if’s and what next. I search for the best possible answer with no answer ever found. My mind is tired from the whirlwind, my heart is heavy, but my will, now that is something unbreakable. For this, I am grateful.
The longer stress is all around me, the more often I question how people do life without any faith in a God who relieves that stress. Where do people turn when the only way ahead has immense roadblocks? When the obvious Goliath seems to be winning, where do individuals find their David? I had to keep my focus clear, especially through the haze of life I was facing. The longer and thicker the cloud around me became, the harder I would squint my eyes in hopes to keep seeing the road ahead.
Invincible will never describe me. I am not super human, or super strong, or super anything. I am Lisa- humble, quiet, reserved, and meek. This world can be intimidating and scary even. Filled with fierce determination and absolute faith, this world remains small in the presence of my God.
People with mental health challenges often feel hopeless and undesirable to humanity. The stigma that we fight to change is the reality we fight in our mind. We can be our own worst enemy. For fear of what others see, we live in limited capacity and plunge ourselves into hidden society. We often desire to live on the margins in hopes of hiding the reality of who we are.
I have nothing to hide.
This is who I am. I see myself as strong when weak. Not because of a single thing I do, but because of Jesus who lives in me. I look in the mirror and see a restored broken, beautiful face. The image you glance is nothing. It is a superficial, edited version of the amazing creation God perfected beneath the surface. He takes the broken, the hurting, the undone, and creates a beauty unfounded anywhere else in the world. I am unique and lovable in every way. I am desirable by a God who knows me so intimately that there is nothing hidden.
To live in this confidence, by His unmatched grace and mercy, is freedom. We have a choice to make in our mental health- to live in a prison where Satan wants to hold us, or to live free. Not every day is easy, but every day is worth the fight. Not every minute is happy, but every minute is livable. Who are we to close the shutters, lock the windows, and bolt the doors from the inside? To keep ourselves confined to our inner world is selfish- to our own being. It is a battle I have fought over the last six months. If I could keep my thoughts, my emotions, feelings, and entire life locked up in this 5’5” frame, I would be better off. After months of prison bars I erected myself, I admit how wrong I was.
People have strayed away from owning their shortcomings, and one of mine is losing myself to circumstance. I choose to own that. Drowning in the chaos of others, unintentionally, I have spiraled through my own created disaster. I have this strong desire to help, and fix and raise them up, but eventually we go down together. Plunged into an emotional pond of distress, I find myself looking for the life raft I thought I was trying to be. None of this is my job, my purpose, or God’s plan. There is no help when we are drowning together, there is no relief, and there is no freedom. The result of this disastrous effort is an overwhelming sense of failure. That failure leads to the previously mentioned internal prison.
It is with a deep breath and sincere love for myself that I choose to let go. I grant myself permission to remember who I am. No doubt, no second guessing, and no half-truths. There are many advantages to being the daughter of the King, and one of them is a miraculous sense of self and supremacy. Not supremacy to humans, but supremacy over the world. When I say this is not my home, and I am only passing through, I say that with confidence. Possibly even a smirk. I am here for a very short time; God has big plans for my set amount of days. Satan wants nothing more than to reroute my journey and hold me back. It is my choice and my personal intention never to allow anything to stand in the way of what God has planned for my life. It is my intention to live as the free soul He intends for me to be.
It is your choice, too. Mental health challenges do not have to win, by faith and through Jesus Christ, you have all you need to take this battle and crush it.