Yes I know that this is a mental health blog and not specifically a Christian blog. But it is, at the end of the day, a blog through which I do share about mental health in general and more specifically about my personal mental health and since I am a Christian for me to ignore my Christianity and how it affects my mental health (and vice versa) would be impossible for me.
And the truth is that I had an excellent day yesterday 🙂
I managed to get back to Church – always such a blessing – and it is at times like these, when I haven’t been able to attend church for a week or two, that I really do realize just how much attending church means to me.
There is just something special, something beyond the physical, something so spiritual that happens to me when I walk into a church and immediately my spirit leaps at the praise and worships that is going on around me.
To stand in free abandonment and simply let go and let God is just something that I can never tire of and without which I would be so very incomplete. The truth I that I am at “home” when at church and I know and recognize this and it is such a blessing to be able to have a place where – even with my poor mental health – I can feel such peace and such acceptance and such love.
Immediately after church there is the usual gathering for tea, coffee, biscuits (or cookies as some would know them) and plenty of chat, and again this blesses me so very much. In truth I am -despite appearances to the contrary – a very private person and one who is very comfortable with solitude. But even so there is a special quality about joining with others and simply sharing; time, experiences, concerns, prayer needs, hopes and above all else love.
After church we went back to Leigh and Idele’s place (Leigh and Idele are a couple who, along with their children, also attend the church) for a time of convivial fellowship and that sharing continued. I so recognize the blessings of all this and yes I recognize how much these blessings permeate their way through into my mental health also.
But I am also very mindful of those for whom getting to church, meeting up with other believers, is not possible either because their mental health make that so very difficult or because other people’s reactions to their mental health have been so harmful, unhealthy or unhelpful.
Mental health should never, in my opinion, be a reason to exclude someone from God’s family OR to make someone feel excluded from God’s family and I am truly saddened when I hear that this is the case.
I am so very thankful that I have found a church where I am accepted and loved and where my mental health is no seen as a reason not to love but more a reason to find different ways of seeing and loving. My fervent prayer will not only be that others who experience poor emotional, physical or mental health will also find this but that those who have already been so incredibly hurt will find new church families where Christ’s love is present.
Today I feel much better! Mentally, emotionally, and spiritually I feel so much more aware, so much more healthier. Physically I know that being out so long yesterday took a bit of a toll on me but it was so worth it.