Let me start by saying this is not a formula nor is it a progression. It is an observation. We are all experiencing this pandemic, but in different ways and at different times. I don’t know that something like this has ever happened in our history. With a global economy and the internet this pandemic is felt from one side of the world to the other.
…Death wrapped its ropes around me; The terrors of the grave overtook me. I saw only trouble and sorrow. Then I called on the name of the Lord. “Please Lord, save me!”How kind the Lord is! How good He is! So merciful, this God of ours! The Lord protects those of childlike faith; I was facing death and He saved me. Let my soul be at rest again, For the Lord has been good to me. He has saved me from death, My eyes from tears, My feet from stumbling……..In my anxiety I cried out to You, These people are all liars! You have freed me from my chains. I will offer you a sacrifice of thanksgiving And call on the name of the Lord.
Psalm 116:3 NLT
Redemption doesn’t always mean healing: A believer’s battle with mental illness.
The couch was ready and waiting for me, but I wasn’t happy about it. As I sat down with my therapist for our first meeting, my mind was flooded of all the other times I’d been in therapy. I knew the drill. I tell the therapists what’s bothering me, they ask me questions, validate me and I schedule a follow-up appointment. Over the past twenty-five years I’ve seen numerous therapists.
It has taken over our world and it has changed everything about it. Things have become much more complicated. I’m sure every generation will say things were simpler when they were children, but I think it’s changed dramatically for our generation. In the 1900’s information doubled every century, after WWII every 25 years, currently every 13 months and one paper by IBM predicts that soon knowledge will double every 12 hours! Insanity. Makes my head spin thinking about it. I’d say things are changing.
As a kid I remember listening to the news every night at 5:00. The national news followed by the local news. We trusted the news, and the news only changed from one day to the next. Now we have a storm of information, that changes by the second, and we no longer trust what we read. The truth has become relative and there’s someone out there that will promote whatever perspective you prescribe to, whether it’s the truth or not. It’s confusing, disconnecting and troubling.
I realized the other day, that my personal feed whether on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook, looked vastly different from the feed for #hopeandlaughter. I realized that after reading the feed for my personal account I was disheartened and without hope, but when I read the feed associated with #hopeandlaughter I was encouraged and uplifted. I got to thinking about what I was putting in my head and the power these words had over me. Somewhere along the way, someone taught us that silly rhyme about “words will never hurt me,” and we all know that words are powerful, and can either be destructive or uplifting. (Proverbs 15:1 “A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare.”) I realized more and more how what I read, effected my mood and how I saw the world. Please don’t misconstrue what I’m saying here, and believe I’m leaning towards an extreme. It’s not my place to tell you what to read, watch or listen to. What I am encouraging you to do is pay attention, be aware of what you are reading, watching and listening to and how it affects your mood. There’s a reason you listen to certain kinds of music when you’re mad or sad or when you need to be motivated to run, work-out or finish that assignment. So while it’s clear when things are helping us, it’s not always clear when things are hurting, harming or bringing us down.
So take time this week to pay attention to what you are listening to, reading, and watching. How it’s effecting your mood? How is effecting how you think, and how you view yourself. I’m not here to tell you what to watch, read or listen to, because everyone is different, but I am here to ask you to be aware. Fill your heart and mind with things that will encourage you. And remember, what works for you, may not work for someone else, so don’t compare notes and don’t ask for others opinions. You do you!
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Romans 12:2 NIV