Weeds in My Garden

    Monday, May 20, 2024

    Our church recently had a 12-week sermon series on mental health called “Weeds in My Garden.” The premise of the title comes from a powerful song called “Honest.” Here’s the YouTube link for you to listen.

    We tend to give others roses instead of letting them see the weeds in our garden. We tell others we’re “fine” when we are really overloaded, overworked, and overwhelmed. I love that our church embraced mental health through this series and even have supported me as a Christian Mental Health Coach for individuals in our church and community.

    What about you and your mental health? How do you care for yourself so that you can care for your husband and children in healthy ways? What kind of example are you setting for your children? Most importantly – know that NONE of us are the Proverbs 31 Woman. She doesn’t exist! This passage is a summation of what a virtuous wife would look like, not one who existed. So, give yourself some grace!

    Here are a few things I learned from the Weeds in My Garden series.

    1. You are wholly accepted, loved, and known by God. He knows your heart, your shortcomings, and your potential. God is not surprised by your struggles or sin. God alone has the power to restore what is broken and seemingly ruined. John 3:16 and John 10:10 support His love and life for you!
    2. Satan is a liar. Satan wants you to believe your life is meaningless and worthless, so what’s the point? Satan lies about the consequences of our behavior.  Satan lies about the nature of who we are. The enemy of your soul wants to steal, kill, and destroy you. God creates a culture of light and truth. God tells you the true reality of your behavior. God created your life to have meaning and purpose and, as the Creator, He’s the one to guide you!
    3. Worry and anxiety are tools that Satan uses to distract and discourage us. This doesn’t mean worry and anxiety aren’t going to happen, but our reaction to it can either lead us to Jesus or to sinful ways of coping. There is nothing wrong with getting help from a counselor, doctor, or trusted friend. Other practical ideas for dealing with worry and anxiety are utilizing a gratitude journal or inviting a friend for coffee or lunch or a zoom call. Anxiety and worry can cause us to forget who we are in Christ. Jesus wants us to remember we are His; we are redeemed!  Here’s a link to watch the Compass and Light video on RightNow Media on Anxiety. As you do, listen for the role that truth and community play in being healthy mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
    4. Stress and burnout signs are disengagement, isolation, blunted emotions, helplessness and hopelessness, loss of motivation, detachment and depression, emotional damage, life doesn’t feel worth living. The story of Elijah in 1 Kings 19:5-9 shows us how easy we can go from conquering false gods to fear and feelings of failure. The first thing God did was take care of Elijah’s physical needs. How are you doing physically? Are you eating right? Are you getting enough sleep? What proactive things do you need to improve on in these areas? Do you think this is important to God? We can’t let the urgent overpower the important things in our lives. Our physical well-being is important to God, so it is up to us to prioritize our self-care knowing we can’t pour from an empty cup!
    5. Depression – Psalm 42 is a perfect example from King David about depression. Why do you suppose God inspired these writings? Because HE knew we would be downcast. It is important to ask ourselves, “Why are you downcast, O my soul?” and seek the answers. Sometimes genetics can make us more vulnerable to depressed moods, suffering the loss of a loved one, or sometimes health issues. Get a check-up. Look into resources available for grief, such as, griefshare.org. There is value in asking yourself why, and then consider where is the Lord in your response? Take some time to consider this and see how King David found the answers. You can also be encouraged and strengthened by Ephesians 6:10-18 and the full armor of God.

    These are some useful tips to help you improve your mental health. Remember, you are not alone, and God doesn’t expect you to “tough it out alone.” Don’t underestimate the power of community. Care for Pastors is here for you, as well as The Confidante on Facebook. We love you and want to encourage you along the way.

    Help us continue providing resources of care for pastors and their families.

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