Tuesday, 16 September 2014
Today, like many days at the moment, I'm struggling to keep going. I have fatigue problems, mental health problems, physical health problems, and these combined are making life very difficult at the moment. They can leave me feeling weak and exhausted and useless, with my BPD taking low mood to a whole new level. Moving around is hard today, my whole body seems to hurt and taking in nutrition is hard (the only times im ever thankful for ensure drinks!!), I've already been to two appointments totalling 3 hours, plus over an hour travel, and picked up my tablets, and getting home felt like moving like a snail, every step took so much effort. Now I have a few hours rest, before Ignite, my churches year 7 club which I help at. Before you say I'm crazy, I'm not, all will become clear.
While I was sat on the bus home I kept thinking to myself that whenI get home I must find the verse that says about God being strong in our weakness. So that is what I did when I got home, and here it is:
But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. - 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
God says to us, his grace is enough, his power and his ability and his strength are made perfect in our weakness. I don't know what your initial reaction to that is, but if I'm honest my thoughts yelled 'WELL IT DOESNT FEEL VERY PERFECT GOD!!!!!' But that isnt what God is saying will happen, he doesnt say that when we are weak he will make all the things making us weak go away. He will triumph over them, he will be the glue needed to fix them and to make them worship and honour him. Sometimes this takes time or is different to how we want it to be. I don't know about you, or whether your poorly or not, but I WANT TO BE WELL NOW PLEASE GOD! Keeping going with the slow recovery I'm expiencing is hard. But that doesn't mean I cannot worship God, it doesnt mean I cannot share his love and what he has done, in fact according to this it tells the perfect story of God's strength, and there are smaller stories within the big story of our lives which isnt complete yet.
As for boasting in our weakness, I think this means we are to be honest about where our strength to do what we do really comes from, especially when we are weaker. I don't think this means we should take up a mentality that says 'my experience was worse than yours so I am better than you', which may sound odd or silly, but it can and does happen. Its more about boasting about God, and how he turned our weakness into something magnificent, or how he is, if he hasnt finished yet thats OK, I'm still poorly, I don't know how long I will be poorly for, but I do know God is going to use this for positive.
Quite often when I've read this passage, I have read just verse 9 (finishing before 'For the sake of christ...). I don't know why, but that has been the case. Verse 10 is where the real challenge comes for me. Just to remind you, verse 10 is 'For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.' It is very very difficult to be content with being weak, especially with being unwell. Often we like to think we can do it all ourselves, and we can't, this passage makes that clear. I'm trying to learn to be content with what I have, and to trust God, and to want him more than I want to be well, which is a very challenging battle, because being ill, as many of you may know, is very difficult and painful and frustrating, and many other words too!
I am learning to listen to God and to trust him. The reason I can keep going today is because I have listened and he has given me tools and a way to be able to do what he has asked me to, he has taken my weakness, my exhaustion, my illness; and he has made a way through it, one step at a time, and he will provide all I need if I listen and do what he asks.
What are your weaknesses, and are you trying to be your perfection or are you letting God be? Can you learn to be content with your weakness? (if you have mastered either of these please get in touch, id love to learn how you did it!)
Wednesday, 10 September 2014
So its national suicide prevention day. Roughly every 40 seconds someone dies from a suicide, and its thought that for every suicide there are 20 more people attempting suicide. This is something very close to my heart, I have been suicidal, I have made attempts, and I have recently lost a couple of people I care about to suicide. If your struggling right now, you don't have to read on, it might not help.
There are different kinds of suicide and suicidal behaviours. Ones that are officially called suicide are planned and thought through and a note tends to be left, in these cases they consider it clear that the person intended to end their life and it wasn't an impulsive decision. Then their is accidental death and death by misadventure, which is where someone has intended to seriously injure themselves and has died as a result. In these cases it is believed the person didn't think through their actions and they were impulsive in nature. People who die or attempt either are in extreme mental distress and hurting very badly, and there are some things that do and do not help.
Studies have shown that connectedness makes a massive difference to those who are suicidal, and can prevent suicide. We need to try our hardest to connect to those around us, to let them know they aren't alone, to let them know its OK to talk, that its OK to not be OK. Personally, I believe in a God who will never leave us and is always there for us, a God we can always be connected to, and therefore we are never alone and loves you and wants you alive. Being with someone when they are feeling suicidal may be difficult but it could save their life.
Judgemental comments do not help, even when they are given with the best intentions. Comments such as 'what do you have to be sad about?' Or 'people have it worse off' or 'you wouldn't really do it' do not help, in fact I believe they make it worse. Instead try telling them you care about them, you love them, your here to listen to them.
God has saved my life many many times, and his goodness and saving grace and love is my testimony of the past year. If your feeling low or suicidal he will be there with you, he won't leave you and he will love you no matter what, even when humans fail to know what to do, God knows and he will say what you need to hear if you listen.
If your suicidal please speak out, please go to your doctor and share with your friends and/or family and get some help, your important and no one else can play your part. If you know someone who is struggling, reach out to them, be there for them, listen to them.
You can also always call samaritans, on 08457 90 90 90, or call 111, or 999 in an emergency, or go to A&E