Writer by day, transcriber by night, Renee is a boy mom, PPD survivor, recovering fear-a-holic, and former educator. She lives on Christ and caffeine as she attempts to finally transcend mediocrity and live the life Jesus died for her to have. When not tied to her desktop and swimming in coffee, the native Floridian can be found wherever the water is salty, spending time with her son and husband of 15 years.
She’s a contributor to Disney's Babble, The Huffington Post, and The Washington Post. You can learn more about Renee’s journey and her passion for helping women find their worth in the Word, not the world, at The Stay@Home Scribe.
YOUR STORY. HIS GLORY.
The walk with God is truly a journey. It’s a daily fleshing out of what He’s put within us. It is a lifelong transformation.
When we start our transformation, I believe He begins to expect more from us. His boldness and courage within us births a new willingness to step outside of our comfort zone and help others. Sometimes this means sharing a story we’d rather not—maybe something painful and that may even bring judgment.
Sometimes He asks that we blaze trails for others as a testament to His faithfulness and power.
That’s where I’m coming from today, friend.
THERE’S SOMETHING HE’S PUT ON MY HEART TO SHARE WITH YOU, AND I DON’T WANT TO, FRANKLY.
I’m trusting in Him that what I share today will comfort a soul, change a heart, release bondage, heal a broken spirit, tear down walls, build up courage, and give hope.
The enemy has put it in my head that if you read this that you’ll think less of me. Maybe you’ll think of me as lacking faith in Him, the same faith in Him that I write about. The deceiver has been telling me that no one cares about my struggle and that maybe God hasn’t truly delivered me from my illness—so don’t bother sharing.
But he’s really good at putting thoughts in my head that cause me confusion and cause me to doubt what God would have me do. He’s won so many times before.
But. Not. Today.
Today, I’m gonna black both of your eyes, old Smutty Face.
Today, no matter how fearful I am and how much the enemy wants me to continue on in silence so that I don’t proclaim God’s goodness and my faith in The Lord, I’ll not be quieted.
Today, the enemy will not keep me from sharing a bit of my story and giving Him all the glory.
Someone needs to know that I struggle too.
Many days, my feelings dictate to me the words I’ll say, the places I’ll go, the sentences I’ll write, the love I’ll share, the prayers I’ll pray, and the songs I’ll sing—and if I’ll even go outside of the house.
There are days when I have to dig deep, pray hard, and cry some too.
As much as I know that I’m not to live by my feelings of fear and depression and anxiety and worry…some days are not easy.
But, they are possible to endure with Christ.
The truth is, I’ve struggled with mental illness my whole life to one degree or another. It stemmed, I believe, from birth and was compounded by traumatic life events and the strong presence of mental illness on both sides of my family.
A DECADE AGO, MY LIFE SHATTERED…
My lifelong illness joined forces with postpartum depression, resulting in an all-consuming abyss from which I barely escaped.
Sometimes He chooses to perform a miracle and deliver us immediately from our bondage and illness.
Sometimes the storm we’re in could be over in days or weeks.
Sometimes He keeps us in the storm for much longer, so that we can learn to trust Him more and build our relationship with Him.
It’s human nature to want everything fast and with the least amount of effort, to get our miracle healing overnight.
If only He worked on our time schedule. But then he’d not be God, would he?
For His plans are so much higher, His thought so far above ours.
Waiting out the storm is no easy task, especially when it’s a storm that is in the mind.
God has put it on my heart for someone today (and I’m trusting that “someone” is reading these words) to know that seeking help for your anxiety and depression doesn’t mean you lack faith in God. It doesn’t mean you don’t trust Him enough.
Personally, I believe we have to work in accordance with God. We must be active participants with Him in our healing of mental illness. For me, that participation was in the form of constant prayer and trusting in God. But it also meant being broken to the point that I had no choice but to seek help in the form of counseling and medication.
I’m thankful that He hand-selected precious people to place on my path–to come alongside me, to walk with me.
Let’s seek His wisdom, and allow Him to not only comfort us but guide us. That guidance is wisdom for what part we need to play in our healing for those times that we’re not miraculously healed or delivered.
So, let’s partner with Him.
And sometimes that partnering means getting some professional help and even prescription medicine.And I don’t believe that makes anyone any less of a Christian! It just means we’re human.
I truly believe that God strategically places people in our pathway to help in our healing. He allows others to minister to us and to partner with us and God. He can still get His glory, and you can still get your healing. And it doesn’t mean you don’t have enough faith.
Some of us won’t have an immediate deliverance from this hold the enemy has on us. For those of us whose healing from mental illness hasn’t come quickly, He is with us and is yearning to reveal himself to us on a much deeper level. To do that often means a longer period of suffering.
BUT THANK GOD YOU DON’T HAVE TO GO THROUGH THE SUFFERING ALONE! HE IS WITH US.
For those who are still experiencing the war within your mind and heart against mental illness, partner with God and allow Him to walk with you. Trust Him to guide you, and ask Him to strategically place people in your path who can help you.
Read His word. Trust His promises. Sing His praises. Pray for His will to be done.
He is a God of restoration and healing.
I’m trusting God that my obedience to step out of my comfort zone has given someone else courage to not only continue trusting in Him, praying, and studying His word but to also seek wisdom to make the right choices in the storm. For He has given us a spirit of power, love, and sound judgment. (2 Tim 1:7)
I pray that you’ll reach out to someone and tell your story as inspiration to those suffering from mental illness (or any trial or storm). Step out in faith and leave your fear behind. Blaze the trail, walk with them, and He will bless and use YOU to help others.
Getting professional help doesn’t equate to being less of a Christian, and it doesn’t mean you’re placing your faith in men—it means you’re partnering with God in your healing and using that wisdom and guidance that The Holy Spirit has birthed within you to make good, healthy decisions.
By sharing our brokenness, we strengthen our relationships with others and with our Father. Is there someone you can grasp hands with and come alongside to help them on their journey?
If you’ve struggled, consider sharing your story to help others. If you know someone who is struggling with mental illness, reach out to them today and partner with them and God in their healing.