Is the way I feel right now
Can’t catch my breath
But I have to somehow
My heart is racing
Can’t slow the beat
My face is flushed
From so much heat
My head is throbbing
From all of the thoughts
That can’t be resolved
Though answers are sought

I’m terrifed. . .


I must surrender
All of the unknowns
He has our situation
Completely under control
All our waiting and hoping
Is not lost on God
The prayers and petitions
Have been received with a nod
Whatever the outcome
The Lord knows what’s best
And in the waiting
We have His peace and His rest

I wrote this today after finally receiving a callback from the nurse at our fertility office. I had an ultrasound and bloodwork done this morning, and was waiting with bated breath to find out the results. Before I received the call, we didn’t know if we would even be able to continue with the IVF process.

Thankfully, there is still hope…but there are so many unknowns. My body is not responding to the medicines I’m taking like they had planned. So we’re taking one day at a time, and waiting on God to see what happens. ❤

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Thankful Thursday – God Carries Our Burdens

I’ve been overwhelmed recently.

Overwhelmed by questions that I don’t have answers to and decisions that we need to make as a family. The future seems so unclear and confusing. We ask God for wisdom, but sometimes no direction is forthcoming. And it all gets wrapped up in a big bundle that I feel on my back, weighing me down.

But God doesn’t want that burden on my back. He wants to take it for me.

Matthew 11:28-30 reads, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

I’ve mentioned these verses before in my writing. It’s a promise that is special to me – however, I don’t often do my part by giving my burdens to the Lord and letting Him carry them for me. I can be a control freak, and letting go of those burdens means letting go of control. But I’m learning that we’re not meant to have that control.

It’s just too much! It’s too much. God never intended for us to be weighed down by burdens to the point of anxiety and even negative physical symptoms. He wants us to take His yoke upon us and let Him do all of the hard work – the lifting, the carrying, the controlling. He promises to gently come alongside us and take the weight, and to teach us the way to go. He will give us rest for our souls.

So today I’m grateful for a God who carries our burdens. And I pray that I will continually surrender the weight of my worries to Him, trusting that He’ll take care of me and our family and our future.

He is good, and He deserves my (and our) heartfelt praise. ❤

Photo by Ryan Jacobson on Unsplash

What I’ve Learned (So Far) About Mental Illness

Struggling with mental health issues has been almost a lifelong journey for me. Anxiety, OCD (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder), and depression developed in my early teen years and have shape-shifted in my life for the past two decades.

But dealing with mental illness doesn’t mean that you can’t fight it and determine how to thrive. It doesn’t mean that you can’t learn and grow. It doesn’t mean that you can’t overcome.

To that end, I’d like to share a few things that I’ve learned during my mental health journey that will hopefully help others who are fighting a similar battle.

  • Mental illness is real. Others may say that there is no such thing as mental illness, or that you’re making things up. They may say that you’re going through a phase, or that you need to slap yourself out of the funk you’re in. As a Christian, I’ve even been told that my mental illness could be the result of a demon living inside of me. This made me feel horrible and like it was my own fault. But I’ve come to believe that mental illness is real – and thankfully, it can be treated.
  • Seeking help is a good thing. If you’re struggling with anxiety or depression or something similar and it has become overwhelming, PLEASE get help. You can start by talking to someone you trust: someone you care about and someone who cares about you. If that doesn’t help, you might want to seek professional help. It can be difficult to find a good doctor that you can afford, but don’t give up. Keep trying until you get the help you need. If you are in a crisis or are having suicidal thoughts, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 24 hours a day at 1-800-273-8255. It’s free and confidential, and someone will be able to talk with you.
  • Mental illness can morph. As I mentioned earlier, my anxiety, depression, and OCD have changed over the years. I’ve found that at any given time, one of the three is foremost in my struggle. For example, my OCD plagued me for a long time, but as I worked to overcome it and finally found some relief, my depression came to the forefront. This is probably different for different people. I guess I just want to emphasize that mental illness can change over time. It is a complicated beast and it demands a multi-faceted plan of attack.
  • It’s okay to not feel okay. Being honest about how you’re feeling is a big step. I used to be so worried about what other people would think that I held my thoughts and emotions inside. But it’s okay to feel how you’re feeling. And it’s important to find ways to share what you’re experiencing – ways that you find comfortable. You can talk to a trusted friend, write a poem, draw, journal, or any other activity that will help you release some stress. As you share, there’s also the possibility that you can help others who are in a similar situation.
  • Practice self-care. When you’re struggling with mental illness, it’s easy to forget to take care of yourself. You lack energy and motivation, and it may even feel selfish to tend to your own needs. But it’s not selfish to practice self-care. Be gentle with yourself. Give yourself some grace. And take the time to care for your physical needs, such as getting a good night’s sleep, eating healthy meals, exercising, and spending time outdoors in the sun. As I’ve struggled with mental illness, I’ve come to see learning to practice self-care can be a process. It probably won’t happen overnight. But you can take one day at a time, and celebrate each baby step that you take forward. This will encourage you to keep going!
  • Rely on God. For me, one of the main reasons I’ve been able to make it this far is because of my relationship with God. He’s there when you have no one else to talk to. He understand what you’re going through. He promises to give strength and help when you ask Him. He will never let you down. Draw close to God through His Word, prayer, and relationships with others who love the Lord, too. You’ll find that your burdens start feeling a little lighter, and that you begin to have hope. This will give you the strength to keep going – and to not give up.

I hope that these points have been helpful for you. This is obviously not an exhaustive list – it’s merely a list of a few things I’ve learned during my struggle with mental illness. If you have any other ideas that you would like to add, please feel free to leave them in the comments below! And as always, thank you for reading. ❤