Whether sunshine or rain, many of us struggle with varying degrees of physical and/or emotional chronic pain every moment of our existence.
Laughter comes easy one moment, but then before we know it, we find ourselves pasting on that “I’m fine” smile, in an attempt to diminish our agony and not worry others.
Sure, some days are darker than others, and while we’re certain we’ll just wither and die, still, the sun manages to rise on the morrow.
There was a time I had no doubt I’d be swallowed up by my “issues,” but the Lord has been good to me.
Smiles and laughter flow easier these days.
I’ll tell you my secret: I actively SEEK the light. Whether that “light” be God Himself or my family’s laughter. Additionally, I meditate, not only on the Lord specifically, but on good things. I know it sounds “new-agey” to some, but it’s actually refreshing.
On my lunch break at work, I close my door, turn my light off, turn my fan on high—even in the winter—and cover up with a blanket, put my beloved neon orange stocking cap over my head, pull it down over my eyes, lean back in my office chair, prop my feet up and play music from my “uplifting songs” folder.
Yeah, I must look a sight when others pop into my office and drop something off. But no matter.
This takes me out of the world, and into a place where I can rest and concentrate solely on how beautiful life is, and how amazing God continues to be.
The more I meditate on Christ, the more Bible verses I read, the more I concentrate on good things instead of bad, the more I force myself to get out and spend time with others when all I really wanna do is hide under the covers, and the more I hang out with those who make me feel good about myself and love me exactly as I am, the more LIGHT invades my spirit.
Little by little, through hard work and relaxation, I’m watching the darkness creep back to the shadows from whence it came.
Yeah, it takes sweat and sacrifice to overcome your adversaries, even as a Christian.
I suggest you get a pen and paper and list your enemies. Ok, I’m old school, so you may want to get your smart phone and type them. Mine are depression, chronic pain, introversion (the act of being an introvert) and low self-esteem.
You have to be proactive about your mental health, so I made a list of things which help to combat my enemies: getting outside more, walks in the country, going to the movies with my family, hanging out with my kids and grandkids as much as possible, trying to laugh and smile more, filling my spirit with uplifting entertainment (that one’s a toughie for me, as I’m naturally drawn to the darker side of life), going on more dates with my wife and being more faithful in church.
That’s my list. Go make your own.
Be aggressive about tackling your issues, and then confront them head-on, my friend.
In the verse below, God was speaking directly to Moses about his mortal enemies, but it can also apply to our emotional enemies.
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. (Deuteronomy 31:6)”