Posts Tagged: healing

Jesus Steers Hope Towards The Mentally Ill

And always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones. When he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and worshiped Him. And cried with a loud voice, and said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the most high God? I adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not.

Mark 5:5-7, KJV

Turning My Page

Hopeless is a word I hear a lot as I walk through my daily encounters with people. “It’s a hopeless situation.” “Don’t lose hope.” “Don’t get your hopes up.”

Many of us have or are currently feeling hopeless about our, circumstances, loss, desires for a better life, families, and, friends. Like me you may have exhausted all medical avenues without finding relief.

My oldest son is dead. My middle son deals with many of the same painful symptoms his brother wrestled with, and my daughter and husband are constantly battling a known genetic disease. I don’t sleep. I have days in exhaustion, I am tempted to give in to hopelessness. Yet I read in scripture and acknowledge:

When all seems lost Jesus changes everything.

In Mark 5, this poor demon-possessed man in the passage is tortured and hopeless! Maybe his family tried the medical route, maybe they asked the priests to heal him. We know for sure that he was chained repeatedly but broken the chains every time. If you and I saw him today on the street, more than likely, we would give a wide berth and we certainly wouldn’t take a shortcut through the cemetery. He might be medicated and institutionalized.

Jesus drew close enough to the tortured man for the demons to recognize that he was “Jesus, Son of the Most High.” The idea of getting so close to demonic forces that they call me by name is frightening.

Just ask the men who tried, without having a personal relationship with Jesus, to cast out a demon. “And the evil spirit answered and said Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye?” ( Acts 19:15, KJV). And then the demon proceeded to strip the men naked and beat them.

The more I know Jesus, the more I understand that he has given me his authority, but I honestly, don’t know how to use it yet. It certainly takes being led by the Holy Spirit. Speaking boldly most assuredly takes humility (knowing by whose authority we speak), obedience and discipline. The demons knew that Jesus had the power to destroy them.

Had those who loved the demon-possessed man struggled with wanting to give up? Most definitely. But God, had already planned to cross the grave to rescue this man through his son Jesus Christ. Rather than steering the boat away from the place of the dead and this man among the tombs, Jesus steered the boat towards him.

God steers his people towards the fight, not away from those in need.

I once lay in a hospital ICU with my wrists bound to the bed so that I didn’t hurt myself, but in the year to follow, God steered Christians my way. He showed me scripture that squarely placed my hope in him alone plus nothing. These men and women opened my eyes to his unconditional love, to his redemption, to the promises in scripture, and to the fact that I could live an abundant life praising him. I am unbound because God steered the boat of his love towards the graves, not away from them.

My current circumstances do not have the final word on my life or my family’s lives. Instead, I wait. I  cling to hope in Jesus. Heal us? With man this is impossible but nothing can stop God from healing our infirmities. Not even 2,000 demons.

 

Turning Your Page

When our enemy Satan and his minions see a Christian coming their way, do they tremble in fear? They should if we take the authority passed down to us through Jesus.

Miracles still happen today because the gospel of hope has never been thwarted from reaching its goal.

Christians must wake up every day and see that the world needs hope and that God has given us the authority to offer the truth of the gospel. God provides hope for deliverance, hope out of depression, hope for our marriages, and life to the fullest measure. Jesus came that we can have life and have it abundantly. Like the demoniac, there are so many left to wander life tortured and miserable.  Let’s offer the reason for our hope boldly!

Lord, I fear man, and as long as I speak by their authority rather than yours, any effort I make to offer hope will fall flat. Oh, Father, I praise you alone for saving me and ask that you strengthen me to proclaim freedom for the captive and release for the prisoner. Amen

Testimony Tuesday: Favoring Our Wounds is Getting in the Way of Healing

2 Samuel 19: 4 The king covered his face and cried out with a loud voice, “O my son Absalom, O Absalom, my son, my son!”

Are you favoring your wounds?

Today I began physical therapy and as the therapist began checking my range of motion she noted that my right leg was very stiff because I was favoring it. I didn’t want to feel the pain in my hip (excruciating), so I had been shying away from triggers. Muscle weakness was setting in, which only makes the problem worse. My muscles must be retrained and the goal is to reduce my pain. Strange, I thought that was my goal in babying it.

What are you avoiding because you have been deeply hurt? You feel the slightest pain reoccurring in your relationships, so you avoid them. You lost the job to a boss you trusted to promote you, but the promoted someone else, so you no longer give work your all. And maybe the deepest wound of all is from God. You trusted him to protect your child and now they are dead . . . So, I insulate myself from the pain and pull my little ones closer to do what God did not do. But, I testify that none of these things work. It is in putting ourselves out there, in doing the work, and stretching sore muscles that we grow stronger. It is likely I am feeling more pain in my hip because I have not pushed my muscles to improve. I am causing myself more pain by practicing avoidance!

King David was a man after God’s own heart, but he made some hugely poor choices with his children. David lost so much in his relationship with his children because of sinful choices. There’s and his. But when his son Absalom begged to see his father in an effort to reconcile, David refused to even see him.  Thus, Absalom turned on David and ultimately lost his life. And now, David mourns. He didn’t avoid the pain, he made it worse!

Joab warns David that he will lose his kingdom if he does not make his broken relationships right with his supporters. He can keep mourning Absalom, or the king can restore and be restored to his kingdom. Sigh, this is such a difficult lesson for any of us. It is much easier to keep spiraling downward, but Jesus came that we may have life to the fullest. Take a look at all the men and women he helped to change course. Peter, Matthew, Zacchaeus, the woman at the well, the outcasts of society, his own family, and the thief on the cross. This means at any point we can turn, stop mourning past sin, past loss, and past hurts and gain the glorious future God has for us.

I need to let go of operating in this life with a “perfect” body, and allow God to teach me to nurture care for and heal the one I have. I have spent forty years abusing my body. I can’t undo that. God is faithful in my weakness and he has promised healing.

What do you need to let go of today?

Bathe in my Love

My child.

Shake depression’s dust from

your travel beaten soul and bathe in

my pure love. Let me pour my healing fragrance

over your wounds and give you rest.

 

I plucked you from the orphanage

of death and clothed you in the rich threads

of royalty. Everything I have is yours– I withhold

nothing of myself from you.

 

I have worn your dust, and know your

sin beaten sorrow. I lift your downcast face, to see the

crowning glory of my new day

reflected in the creation of you.

I Have Hope

Inspecting the pain blossoming in my soul,  I

Have tenacity that is nonsense in society’s chatter.

After all that I have experienced in my

Very short life, I have developed an

Eternal perspective that refuses to be held down! Jesus,

He was not a victim of sin, so I am not a victim of infliction! Helping others–my balm.

Opening my heart to infinite possibilities keeps me

Pressing through–pain is but a speck on my timeline and I

Expect good things from a God who hears.

Seeing the Bouquets Beyond Dispair

John 10:10 The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.–Jesus

“Sorry, my ADD is kicking in.” I apologized, acknowledging that I was distracted from listening because my attention was focused on the beautiful flower bouquets she had in her office. I was delighted by how well they coordinated with her purple blazer.

She smiled and laughed, “That’s your creativity shining through, certainly not something to apologize for.” My eyes widened, I had never thought of my distraction like that.

“Those flowers were here yesterday and you are the first person to mention noticing them. And probably the only person who will notice them. I hadn’t even noticed that my blazer coordinated with them. I take the expansion of your attention to the room as a sign of healing, not weakness.” She encouraged. “Most people when they first come into my office look down and can’t even look at me. As they begin to heal they begin looking at me and then beyond.”

How depression shrinks our world. Until the only thing that we smell, hear, taste, see, feel, is the sweat of our own fear, hear the loud ramblings of our own thoughts, taste the bitterness of our failures, see that we are alone, and feel disconnected from a huge world of possibilities. If you are in that place, may my testimony encourage you! It is because of one step, and then another, and then another that I came to place that even when my worst nightmare came true I can still declare that life is worth living.

May we journey together in looking up and seeing the beauty beyond our nightmares. Talk with me and let me know how you are doing.

Welcome, New Page Turners!

Dear Page Turner,

Today my page has been filled to the brim and running over. I wanted to take a moment to welcome the newcomers, thank you for your comments and support. As this blog grows it is my hope that it becomes a resource, encouragement, and lifeline to those effected by suicide and depression. Which, I am finding, touches just about all of us in some way. You may have a friend, loved one or even a complete stranger that you are concerned for. Don’t hesitate to reach out, be present, or sit with them. Be sure to vote in the poll I have set up. Your answers will help me to form content for new posts, and create resources for you as you engage those around you. Feel free to share it with your readers.

Continue to write your open page turners, I want to read what happens next.

Sincerely,

Karisa

God the Ultimate Health Coach: Prospering in more than the spiritual

Endorphins

” Exercise gives you endorphins–Endorphins make people happy and happy people just don’t shoot their husbands. . .they just don’t.” (Legally Blond)

A friend  gave me a pass for 30 days of jazzercise. I can not emphasize enough, whether walking or exercising in a group setting, moving the body is vital to healing from trauma. This week I was stuck. Stuck in my thinking, stuck in overwhelmed mode, and stuck in my reactions to life.

Taking action on the spiritual level was a first good step, and today as I worked my weary muscles I was happy. It was a good kind of ache at the end of class. The kind that says, “That a girl, keep going!” My goal is to be what John describes in 3rd John 1:2-3. “Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers. 3For I was very glad when brethren came and testified to your truth, that is, how you are walking in truth.” If Christ came that we might have abundant life then that doesn’t just stop at the spiritual realm. Can you imagine in all aspects of your life prospering? Wow!

This isn’t greed. We tend to limit the word prosper to just money or economic success, but Merriam-Webster defines prosper: to become strong and flourishing or to cause to thrive. How many of us settle for the plain of existence we’re on and never realize abundant life? I’ll be transparent with you, there are many areas that don’t feel prosperous in, but I have witnessed people who at one time stood in my shoes and felt the same way. But they began walking in truth and they now thrive in life. To walk in the truth is to believe the gospel and be a living example of God’s love for humanity. As I journey in all areas my faith walk, my prayer is that one day I can cause others to thrive. For now may our endorphins increase as we move towards abundant life.

Turning the Page no Matter What: Forming routine in the midst of crisis

1 John 1:1That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life— 2the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us— 3that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. 4And we are writing these things so that oura joy may be complete. ESV

My children have struggled to head back to school. Two weeks of being out, one of those weeks in a different time zone have wreaked havoc on their routine. They are grumpy, hyper, and testing the limits of bedtime and routine. Yet they need structure and order.

For that matter, so do I. Routine is vital in healing from the trauma of any kind. My son’s suicide has forced me to simplify (my brain simply cannot store any sort of useful information right now), to write notes, to weed my schedule down, and to limit my interactions with people who drain what little energy that I have.

My husband and I went into Christmas with a plan and it was a good one. It aided us in saying no when we needed to, guarding each other’s hearts, and in creating new memories to cherish Jonathan. God blessed and honored our commitment with surprises around every corner, reminding us of his presence with us! Thank you Lord.

The future spread out before me is daunting. I must take each day one at a time, just as Jesus did. Jesus knew he was headed toward the cross and he maintained a routine of prayer, scripture, fellowship, and witnessing. The burden of walking towards the cross was broken down into daily pieces that fit perfectly in God’s plan. The four spokes of the wheel illustration I mentioned in an earlier post, aren’t just nice ideas. They are the daily routine that keep us focused and reliant upon the will of God! As we are strengthened in each, the crosses we bear are not a burden in the light of his love and God’s plan for salvation. Lord, give me enough for today. Amen

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Suicide Hotline

National Suicide Hotline

If you or a loved one are in immediate danger, call the National Suicide Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or go to the website at  SuicidePreventionLifeline.org.