MENTAL ILLNESS, ADDICTION, AND MY CHRISTIAN LIFE

Before I became a Christian at age 22, I had it easy. I had never truly experienced pain and suffering. After a fun and fulfilling childhood and then a parent-funded Bachelor degree, I was ready to embark on the journey called Adult Life.

Life wasn’t perfect, but BOY, had I been sheltered! I just had no way to fathom what the next three decades would bring my way. A life where sadness, neglect, emotional abuse, mental illness, drug addiction and suicide attempts would enter my life’s path. Basically . . .

“Your Worst Life Now” could become my anti-Joel-Osteen bestselling book.

Do I regret anything that has transpired? Do I wish I had taken a different path? Do I raise my fists in anger to God?

No Way!

Dang, I’m GLAD for the emotional muscles that God has built in me. I am thankful for the tribulations . . . really, in all honesty.

It’s not fun to go through difficult times, but it sure is worthwhile. And the reason is because Jesus has been there with me through it all. I had nowhere else to turn, so He literally became my ROCK.

Interviewing for a teaching position at a large homeschool co-op in 2014, I was extremely nervous that I did not possess the desired credentials. But this was a Christian ministry with their head on straight; the first question the panel asked me was, “What does Jesus mean to you?”

Are you serious!?

I immediately started bawling my head off!

Now THAT was a credential I possessed in excess. I began to tell the ladies how Jesus meant EVERYTHING to me; how He had held my hand through many difficult trials, and how I had learned to depend on and rely on Him alone.

Teaching at that co-op for the next five years, was fruitful and successful . . . in a spiritual way. To this day, I still get together with some of my ex-students, high school age, for coffee, chatting and a Bible Study (heavy on the chatting!)

My heart rejoices in the Lord! I am writing this post to testify that He gives us JOY in the midst of pain. It’s a heart-filling, overwhelming sense of peace, safety, security, love and acceptance. NOTHING is better than that.

Yes, my life is still difficult. We had another huge, terrible family emergency just four days ago; an event that could have been devastating . . . but that God had His hand in nonetheless: He works all things together for good.

Christian brother or sister, hang in there! Cry if you need to! Pray and yell and fret all you want to our Father God, He can handle it. Pour out your heart to Him at all times. Cast your cares upon Him.

For He cares for you. ❤️

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Jesus is the Resurrection.

sand dunes during golden hour
Photo by Ralph David on Pexels.com

Jesus said that He wants us to have life, and to have it more abundantly.  He also said, “I am the resurrection and the life.”  And, “I am the way, the truth and the life.”

So, if you want more “life” in your life, then it makes perfect sense to turn to the One who IS life.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. (John 14:6)

Our job as Christians is to trust Him, the life-giver.  And as you trust Him, you will grow in grace and in the knowledge of Jesus Christ.  And that makes for a glorious, abundant life!!!

As you grow to know Him and His love for you, and perhaps more importantly, His acceptance of you, you will begin to understand what Jesus meant when He said:  “I came so that they might have life.”

“In Him was life, and that life was the light of men.” (John 1:4)

There is no real life apart from the Lord.  Everything else is just a false substitute for life.

John 5:26 also talks about this “real life.”

“For just as the Father has life in Himself, even so He gave to the Son also to have life in Himself.”

Life begins by responding to Him in faith, and by believing in what He has already done for you: Jesus Christ died, was buried and then He rose again.  When you believe in the gospel you receive spiritual life.  The life that you receive is Him, His Spirit.

Real life begins there… and it never ends.  Believers have been given an eternal life.  As we walk in the Spirit, we are trusting Him.  We trust Him today, tomorrow and we will trust Him for all of eternity.

Let’s continue trusting Him every day and in every circumstance.

And hey, Happy Easter.