You gotta want it bad
Not happy with your physical health?
Ummm. Yea, that's me. Can you relate?
Often in the car, I'm tuned into Moody Radio and I thoroughly enjoy the variety of programming and conversations that come on. Today, I heard a topic on loneliness and one of the callers spoke about his personal experience of feeling alone and his attempts to reach out with a church. The author of the featured resource mentioned finding a safe space to talk and that might be a Christian counselor. I also am a fan of seeking a safe space to process and especially appreciate the Christian counseling option. But, that also sparks my desire to write this little blog.
DON'T GIVE UP!
Getting help requires a lot of effort. I think the author speaking mentioned it takes about 8 to 10 years for a person to seek help for mental heath and to compare that with something physical like cancer. Yikes! That is way too long to suffer and go on without a proper care plan. We really need to get rid of the stigma of mental health.
If you are reading this and don't like the idea of a "Christian" counselor, that is fine, I get it. But the point is that there is NO SHAME in getting an unbiased outside perspective. One thing I have learned over seeing a few counselors over the years (not all Christian) is that I want it to be a place where I don't just vent, but create a plan. Like a regular doctor visit, it is helpful to leave with a plan. What can you do between visits to help you know you are moving forward?
Admitting we need help is a big step. Take a moment and acknowledge that. Be proud of yourself. But don't stop yet. Take another step the next day. One day at a time, move towards a healthier version of yourself.
If you are reading this and you know someone struggling - give them some credit for seeking help. Don't try to fix them. Support them. The author said it well and I don't even know if I could paraphrase. He suggested that you tell them that you see them. That you see that they are struggling and that you are there. Of course, don't say it if you don't mean it. But if you are able and willing, be genuine, and acknowledge that you see them. I don't think anyone likes it when someone tries to fix us but we do usually want to be heard.
The other encouragement is that if you are already seeking help, I promise, especially if you are a believer, you will face opposition. You have to fight for it. You have to want it bad. Since the pandemic, getting into a counselor and staying in the schedule requires a serious effort on my part. I have days where I am more frustrated by the effort involved but it also tells me that there are a lot of us out there trying and I can have compassion.
I listened to the emotion in the callers voice today and I could relate. There are times when I feel like we can do better to support each other. I also am very aware that I am not God and I cannot see the big picture. Why does healing come for some faster than others and its the same treatment? Why does God allow some of us to feel so rejected, even in the church? Why can't we be better?
We all need Jesus. It probably was not a coincidence that a brief segment on hypocrisy came on after the one on loneliness. I'll just sit over here and work on my log and let you deal with your speck.
I sign up for stuff at church. I push and I get weary as I start to strive. I am seeking. Sometimes I feel like these efforts are a failure and I get a bad attitude. I'm getting faster at regrouping and then I keep going. And then weeks or months later, I see God clear as day working in my life in that same place. Its not an overnight shift, its tension over time that builds the muscle (got that from an old workout that motivated me).
We don't get help without getting help. And we gotta want it. We can't give up. If you have a bad day whether it be with working out, eating better, skipping church, skipping Bible study, not getting enough sleep, complaining, whatever it is, just start over. Start over the next hour or the next day. Don't give up. Don't quit on yourself. God sure didn't. He is waiting for you. He is there but he won't push. He can help you heal. But its a journey and so far mine is seeming like its going to take my whole lifetime.
Father, thank you for the way you encouraged my soul tonight. I love how you show up in ways that I don't expect. Its usually so simple yet so profound to me because you care about the little things. You care about my day to day life. Thank you for revealing your love for me over the years and especially with the help of my first Christian counselor. Lord, I lift up anyone reading this that might be struggling and need to seek some help. Give them courage and assurance that there is no shame in getting help. Help someone in their life to see them and acknowledge them in a positive and productive way. Help us to be patient in affliction and joyful in hope and faithful in prayer. I know you are listening. I pray this in Jesus saving name, amen.