“And He will be called wonderful counsellor, mighty God, everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” ( Isaiah 9:6)
Some mornings I wake up and know that the day would be better if I could only just stay lying there, wrapped up safely where no one can see me. If only I could just close my eyes again and be in a better place. Yet life commitments force me to be awake, up and out, to face the world, even though there isn’t an ounce of a smile inside. On those days, each minute is a constant struggle.
Some days I just can’t shake it, no matter what I try.
As a Christian, you hope that the power of prayer will be enough to change your mind-set and create some joy in your heart. When that doesn’t seem to have made a difference, turning to the Bible for inspiration is often the next step. But it often just becomes a collection of words that you can’t relate too.
Mental health challenges everyone, whether it’s a bad day that leaves you feeling frustrated and fatigued, or complete depression, where even waking up feels like too much effort.
A few months ago, I was made homeless. I was mainly sleeping at work, and life was a mess. I reached some extremely low points during this time. Sometimes, receiving a simple text message made every ounce of difference to my day. Receiving a text made me feel visible.
I’ve never thanked two friends in particular for sending me text messages, but they reached out to me on an almost-daily basis, just saying “hi” and inviting me to activities. Because of them, I never felt completely invisible. I didn’t feel I was struggling through life alone. I knew that I was surrounded by people who cared. It sounds so simple, but that’s because it is! Text! It’s a simple action with a giant impact.
Talking about how you feel and what you’re going through is often greeted in a few different ways: some people will try and give you solutions rather than listening to what you’re actually saying. This is something I didn’t understand, until I just wanted someone to listen myself. A solution isn’t always the answer, just having a safe place to talk and a pair of ears to listen can make all the difference.
I’ve noticed that when a person is actively listening to you, their demeanour actually changes; they are absorbing what you’re saying. It goes beyond merely hearing the words that are being transmitted from your voice. I’m blessed to have friends who are truly able to listen.
Everyone goes through dark days, but it’s how we see through these moments that make us stronger.
I heard a pastor recently sharing this analogy: a day filled with negativity is like wearing mud-coloured glasses; everything is dark and gloomy. To attempt to see through the mud and wash away the gloomy representations of life, you have to try to wash the mud away. God is our counsellor. Wash the glasses in prayer, Scripture, positive thoughts and acts of kindness. When we can see the world in a clearer way, I know from personal experience that life will follow.