II Corinthians 10:5 tells us, “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every though to the obedience of Christ;”
Our minds will get us into a lot of trouble if we let it get out of control at any time in our life, but especially during the difficult times. Talking to the Lord is a given. Make sure that your communication lines are open with Him. You will also need to find an earthly person that you can talk to. Do not find a conspiracy theorist, an antagonist, or a pessimist. Find someone spiritual. If your pastor is too busy for constant conversation, and some are, then ask him if he could recommend someone. You need a confidant that will listen, give good counsel, and not let you wallow in your misery. It needs to be someone who will help you think straight, and if you are not, will verbally be able to “smack” you to the point of getting your mind right. You need to find someone who is willing to tell you that you are wrong in your thought process, but also that you are right when you are.
You need an encourager. By the way, encouragement does not always come in the form of a pat on the back, a kind word, a hug, or talking kindly. Sometimes encouraging is tough talking, a kick in the pants, “wake up and smell the coffee” type conversation.
You need a listener who will help you not hinder you.
God has blessed me with many such people. I will not name them, but I can describe them. I have a friend who will call me every day and say, “where is your mind at today?” We will start talking for a few minutes and they will say, “Ok, I think you are doing ok. Love ya, bye!”
I have another friend who will text me and say something like, “I am here if you need to talk. Stay in the fight! There are more that are for you than against you friend!” I have one who never contacts me unless I contact them. And when I contact them they will do a detailed evaluation of my psyche and you know what, they are pretty much always right! Then there is my Pastor. Oh, my how God has blessed me with an incredible pastor.
My Pastor has made it a point to be my entire families Pastor. He and his wife have counseled my whole family. Oh, they have not been our therapists, but they have made themselves available as we have needed. He has looked me in the eyes as he kindly told me that I was a “nutcase.” You must have someone spiritual that you can talk too. Let your Pastor pastor you.
Suicide is not an option! Through my years of ministry there have been those who have come to my office, or sat across the table and made the foolish statement, “maybe it would just be easier for everyone if I just was not here.” That is FOOLISH thinking and talking. That type thinking give evidence to the fact that you are not walking with God through Bible reading and prayer.
No situation is ever so tough that you need to become selfish and take your life. That is a coward’s way out, and it is not fair to all those that are left behind.
If you are a counselor and you are counseling someone going through a life-altering situation and it boarders on disastrous in proportion you may need to ask, “Are you thinking about hurting yourself?” Do not avoid that question for fear that you may need to report them for to someone else for further evaluation. Suicide is often thought about by those who feel that there is no way out! At least ask the question.
I have seen that most people who ever commit suicide never talked about it first. Yet, through hind-sight, there were tell-tale signs that were missed. If you are helping someone through a crisis do not be naïve, but also do not see what is not there. This is why it is imperative that you walk with God. You never know who will come to you for help!
As you go through heartache, do not make your woes part of every conversation.
Your friends and family will want to know how you are doing, they may ask about details, and they may want to verbally express that they are on your side and against those who have hurt you. Do not rally people to your cause. You should not have a cause outside of the cause of Christ. Do not make every gathering about you. When you do talk with people make sure that you speak to those who are not always running their mouths. Be Christlike!
REMEMBER that your problems are always worse at the midnight hour. By that I literally mean, when the sun goes down, everyone around you is asleep, and the moon is shining outside your window. The midnight hour is when you will feel the most vulnerable, the loneliest, the greatest despair, and there is not hope for the future. The initial impact of your world turning upside down will be dismal and make you feel that it is all over. Those days will be long, lonely, and dreary. However, you will eventually fall into a new routine and find yourself busy, and moving again. Then comes the lull of the evening and that will quickly turn into night. You will find yourself staring at the ceiling, your mind will start to think crazy thoughts of doom and gloom, you will cry early into the morning, and as everyone awakes rested and ready for the day; you will rise from a sleepless night and do everything you can to drag yourself through another day.
Let me help you. THIS IS NORMAL!!
You will need to try and take some power naps during the day. It is ok to rest on a break, just remember to get back up and go to work. It is not wrong to come home from work and sit on the couch and nap. Hopefully you have an understanding family, and they will be understanding if you are communicating with them (especially your mate). Your greatest rest in the initial stages of chaotic change will be amidst the hustle and bustle of your family. That alone is very calming. Just the sounds of people around is calming and you will be able to sleep.
You know there is a problem if you never want to get out of bed, you always want to be alone, and you never talk about anything with anyone. You are entering depression and depression is real, but depression does not need to take root! GET OUT OF BED, GET WITH YOUR FAMILY, and STAY BUSY! Now, I am not a doctor, but I can tell you from personal experience that I did not need medication, psychiatry, nor did I need any legalized smoking substance to help me make it through hard times or get me out of any depression.
Drugs can make depression worse, and cause you to form a false dependency on an unnatural substance.
The sun will come up each day and you will need to fight on. You then need to decide to fight on again, and again, and again. Eventually you will have created a new habit of fighting on and that will become a natural behavior.
If you were to look at Exodus 12:37; 17; Numbers 9:17,18,20,21,22, and 23; 11:35; 20:22; 21:4,11,22; Deuteronomy 10:7; and even Joshua 9:17 we would find “and the people journeyed…”. How did they make it from Egypt to the Promised Land? They kept going. Each day they woke up, packed up, loaded up, and started falling the pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night. There were definitely days when they did not want to do all of those thigs, but they did. Yes, I know that the generation that left Egypt was not the generation that entered into the Promised Land, but the truth still remains because even their children had to wake up, pack up, load up, and follow. So, friend, if you are reading this blog and you are struggling just wake up every morning, shower, get dressed, get busy, and follow after the Lord; know this – You will make it because God is faithful and never fails!
Happily married to Sarah G, the father of three incredible children.