It is so very easy to allow problems and conflicts to govern our thinking. We devote so much of our emotional energy to dwelling on the past, things we did wrong and things others did to us to “make us this way.” It’s time to forgive everyone who ever hurt us, mistreated us, betrayed us, or simply ignored us when we were in trouble. Let’s forgive and set ourselves free from that emotional stronghold!
God never intended for our brains and our bodies to respond well to negative thinking and feeling. He designed us physiologically and psychologically to respond to positive thinking. For me, personally, the most positive thinking is this: I can experience peace and joy even when faced with crushing disappointment. I don’t need to rely on pills to feel okay. I used to. At one time I was taking lithium, Xanax, and Wellbutrin, Years later I was taking Prozac and Zyprexa, both of which I intentionally overdosed on hoping to die.
Now when things go badly for me, I recall the advice He gave me in the midst of heartbreak. “Draw near to Me, and I will draw near to you.” Satan is every bit as real as God, but he is not as powerful. The devil works very hard to convince us that he is more powerful than God, and that’s one of the reasons we struggle so with mental illness. Satan’s lies seem more true than the truth! He is the master deceiver; I know because for years he deceived me into thinking that I would never get well and never be able to get along without meds and psychotherapy. Ah, but God…
God is always there, ready and eager to help us do what we need to do to get well. And the first step, I believe, is to surrender to Him our unwillingness to forgive both ourselves and others. Self-pity reigns supreme in the hearts and minds of those who do not know God and don’t think they need Him.
I used to be so consumed with self-pity and unforgiveness that it opened the door to the Bipolar II disorder. God never intended for me to live this way, but I was allowing Satan to convince me that this was all I had to look forward to. I had resigned myself to this dismal existence. While in the psych ward I received a much-needed visit from a dear friend who prayed with me. God honored her prayer, and away went the fear and sense of hopelessness.
There is hope for all of us, and that hope is found only in Christ Jesus. Let’s turn our hearts and minds to the One who gave up His life for us. It was not taken from Him; He laid it down willingly so that we could experience the peace and joy we all so desperately crave.