This is part 2 of a series intended to focus on what has worked for us as we learn to walk the path laid out for us. For us, what has given us the strength to grow is a program called Celebrate Recovery. We hope that, if you haven’t already established a support system for yourself, you will give Celebrate Recovery some consideration. Although this site is dedicated to mental well-being, Celebrate Recovery is a program for anyone with hurts, habits, and hang-ups. This includes substance abuse, struggles with faith, and even temporary issues that require a healthy support system. This series has a goal: to create awareness and raise money for further training for us as Celebrate Recovery leaders and mental health champions. This August, we have an opportunity to attend a training summit in California to further our ability to walk with others on this faith-based healing journey. If you feel called to donate, there is a link at the bottom of this page to do so. Thank you for reading and being a part of our journey. Now, let’s walk together toward healing…
I have embraced being spiritually poor. It seems quite obvious that I am not God, but I still fight to hang on to the notion that I know what is best for me better than my creator. Like when it comes to my adoration of food, or driving too fast, or having too much to drink, or stopping myself when I have done enough verbal damage to make anyone cry, or choosing the easy solution for my problems instead of the road of hard work and giving up what is causing me harm. Think of that thing that you keep doing but ultimately brings no relief of problematic symptoms. An obvious picture would be substance use. That is so easy to pinpoint what the problem is: everyone knows that hiding behind an addiction is the wrong thing right? What if I replace substance abuse with self-harm? What if I told you that most people who self-harm see that as the only way to release pain, or even feel something…anything. Still easy? What if the example was Netflix, food, or gaming? I dare say it’s either getting fuzzier or hitting a little too close to home. What if the example is resonating – a core element of depression, or catastrophising about the future – common in anxiety? Not so clear any more is it?
The thing is, there are so many subtleties in the behaviours we use to “deal with” or cover up parts of us that bring shame or discomfort. Like the toddler that has a stuffy or blankie to carry around, we look for things that bring comfort. Except now that we are out in the world and subject to everything life throws at us, comforts can come to do more damage than good. Yet we continue to hold on to solutions that have never brought true healing. Sometimes I wonder if our entire concept of healing has become damaged in the process of our own comforting. When I am in the throes of depression, I lash out; willfully attempting to bring everyone down to my level of pain. In the moment, I think it brings comfort. Truth is, there has never been any comfort felt.
So what is comfort? Are we perhaps equating these mistakenly comforting behaviours with happiness? In Matthew 5, Jesus gives us a list of things that will bring happiness, and not one of those is a self-soothing action.
Happy are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. ~Matthew 5:4 TEV
Honestly, when thinking about depression, this made no sense to me. Isn’t depression already a consistent state of mourning/regret/sadness/insert description here? So I went to other versions of The Bible to see if I could make sense. The Message says “You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you.” Maybe I need to release my old habits and expose pain that I have been attempting to hide. It’s starting to make more sense now…
The Amplified Bible says “Blessed [forgiven, refreshed by God’s grace] are those who mourn [over their sins and repent]. for they will be comforted [when the burden of sin is lifted]. Blessed is being refreshed – something we hope to attain from old habits that never bring comfort. Sin is what we are doing to bring harm to ourselves. This does not mean that depression is a sin, this means that what I am doing to avoid it/cover it up is bringing me pain. By giving up (mourning) my old, ineffective methods of comfort, God will provide the blessing of the healing I so badly desire. He won’t betray me by pointing out the easy solution, He will make me whole by lifting me up and providing for me every step of the way.
For Information on the Summit we are hoping to attend, click here.
For donations: we wish to avoid charges incurred by crowdfunding sites and provide tax receipts for donations that qualify, so we have two options.
You do the work: follow the link to the King’s Church ‘give’ page. Follow the prompts to complete your donation – be sure to select KINGS CHURCH VALLEY when asked. Once completed, send a brief email to firstname.lastname@example.org outlining that your donation is for the Celebrate Recovery Summit.
We do the work: contact us with your mailing address through our facebook page. We will send you instructions for an etransfer and do the tax receipt legwork for you.