According to the CDC (Centers for Disease) website, “mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make healthy choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood (cdc.gov).”
There are so many things that we go through in life that shape and mold us into the people we become. Some things give us positive reinforcement like beginning a new career or welcoming a new child into the world. Other things, such as trauma, can affect us negatively, like abuse or watching a loved one pass on.
It’s important for us to know who we are and who God is for us. Taking our own lives into our own hands can lead to disaster. Putting your life into the hands of the One who created you can lead to life and life everlasting. Will it be easy? No. Jesus reminds us in John 15:18 NKJV, “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you.” I want to encourage you, be strong, be courageous, don’t give up! If God hasn’t given up on you, which He hasn’t, then you shouldn’t give up on yourself either!
A quote I read from Peter Scazzero’s book, Emotionally Healthy Spirituality says, “As Parker Palmer said, “Self-care is never a selfish act—it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer others. Anytime we can listen to true self and give it the care it requires, we do it not only for ourselves but for the many others whose lives we touch.”
In 1 Samuel 16:7 NKJV it says, “…For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” God knows the condition of our hearts. He even knows the number of hairs on our head (Matthew 10:29-31). I believe this validates self-care by bringing us to a place before the Lord and seeking help with our emotional, mental (psychological), and social health.
When we are hurting, when we are fearful, when we aren’t sure what to do, we can always go to the One who promises to never leave us or forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:8). He has established us as His sons and daughters, his royal/chosen people, His beloved.
Chosen/wanted: 1 Peter 2:9 NKJV, “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.
His sons and daughters: Romans 8:15-16 NKJV, For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God…”
Loved: Jeremiah 31:3 NKJV, “The LORD, has appeared of old to me saying, “Yes I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.”
I want to assure us that God has great plans for us! This includes emotional, psychological, and social health! Lazarus was in the tomb four days before Jesus came. Yes, Lazarus literally died. When we surrender our old lives and give our hearts to Jesus we die to self and are spiritually reborn. 2 Corinthians 5:17 NKJV says, “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” So what old things need put to death? Depression, anxiety, hopelessness, feeling unwanted/unloved, no sense of purpose, feelings of wanting to die, feeling alone and having no one…these are all lies from the enemy seeking to devour who he can (1 Peter 5:8).
Jesus reminds us in John 11:25-26 NKJV, “…I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” My brothers and sisters, just as Jesus called Lazarus out from the grave, He also calls us out from the grave! Do you believe this? “Jesus said to her, “Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God (John 11:40 NKJV)?”
© 2022 Leslie Wittenmyer—All rights reserved