Gray Areas

There have often been times in my life when I’ve struggled with “gray areas” – areas in which there is some form of confusion, debate, or uncertainty. One of those areas has been with mental illness.

I grew up learning the Christian faith. I went to a Christian grade school, a Christian high school, and a Christian college. I went to church almost every week. And when I was quite young I trusted Jesus to be my Savior from sin. Little did I know how much I would need Him as the years went by.

I’d always been an anxious person, but in my teens it got out of control. Not only was I extremely anxious, I was obsessing about minuscule things. I also struggled with low energy and motivation, and I was often down about the instability of key relationships in my life. Finally, I was diagnosed with anxiety, OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder), and depression.

But that was only the beginning of a long journey. It was difficult for me to understand how God would allow this into my life. Didn’t He love me? And if I were trusting in Him, shouldn’t I be able to overcome these difficulties? Being very familiar with Biblical teachings, I knew that I wasn’t supposed to be anxious. And I wasn’t supposed to be downcast. So what was wrong with me?!

I still don’t have all of the answers. I just know that God, in His wisdom, allowed these difficulties into my life. He’s helping me every day to rely on Him for strength and grace to trust Him and to focus on the blessings that He gives me. It’s definitely a process…baby steps! And while I may not have all of the answers for this gray area, I do know that my God is bigger than it and that He will enable me to obey Him moment by moment.

Have you ever struggled with this gray area? Or is there another gray area that you would like to share? Please feel free to leave a comment! ❤

When Things Come Unravelled

What causes me to unravel?

That’s a great question! And a question that I have never really asked myself before. So now is as good a time as ever! 🙂 Here are some things that induce a melt-down…or a mini-meltdown.

  1. Situations where I’m among a large crowd of people (okay, so even a semi-large crowd is difficult for me). This causes me a lot of anxiety.
  2. When I’ve lost something and have looked everywhere I can think of for it, but still can’t find it.
  3. Incorrect grammar. Okay, so maybe it doesn’t cause me to unravel, as I know I use incorrect grammar myself sometimes. But it bugs me. 😉
  4. Not getting enough sleep. It’s so hard to face the day when you tossed and turned the night before.
  5. Not “matching.” If I’m wearing black pants, I need to wear black shoes and carry a black purse to match.
  6. Something not being finished. Whether it be a thought, a blog post I’m writing, a conversation, a task I was working on…it bothers me to not have things completed.
  7. Hot and humid weather. Ugh! I’m a mild weather kind of girl – I like the Spring and the Fall. But when it’s hot and muggy and sweat is rolling down my back? Yeah, I’m done.
  8. When someone I love is hurting. This is a big one. I can’t stand it when a family member or friend is experiencing a really difficult time. Especially when I can’t do much to help!
  9. Decisions. Big or small, I struggle with them all.
  10. When I do something that I shouldn’t have done…like sleep all morning. I tend to beat myself up and it spirals downward.

So those are some of the things that cause me to unravel. What causes YOU to unravel? And what (or who) helps to bring you back to sanity?

I’m grateful for a God and for family and friends who point me back in the right direction. ❤

When You Feel Like an Outsider

Have you ever felt like an outlier (outsider)? Like someone who is just different from everyone else, who is far away and separated from other  “normal” people?

I feel that way sometimes. When I have weird thoughts in my head…when I have emotions that don’t make sense (or no emotions at all when I should have them)…and when I just can’t seem to say the *right* thing in conversations – for these reasons, and others, I sometimes feel like I am an outlier.

But AM I an outlier? I have to believe that I am not. I know that I have many people who love me and accept me just the way that I am…and for this I am grateful.

So then WHY do I feel this way at times?

I think it has to do with the conversations that I have with myself in my mind. For example, I tell myself that I am not important because no one “liked” what I posted on social media. I tell myself that a certain person is mad at me, because I interpret (wrongly) what they are saying to me or how they are treating me. Or I tell myself that I am strange and will never fit in, because I compare the way I look, talk, and act to others around me.

I know that these are not good thought patterns. I don’t need to worry about what other people think of me. I don’t need to over-analyze their words and actions. And I don’t need to compare myself with others.

How do I know this? The Bible says in Philippians 4:8 (the VOICE) –

Finally, brothers and sisters, fill your minds with beauty and truth. Meditate on whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is good, whatever is virtuous and praiseworthy.

The thoughts that I previously mentioned certainly do not fit the criteria in this passage (beautiful, true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, good, virtuous, and praiseworthy)!

So I ask for prayer…that I will fill my mind with beauty and truth, so that I don’t continue to feel like an outlier. And if you struggle with this as well, please leave me a comment so I can pray for you, also! ❤

I created this post based today’s Daily Prompt from WordPress: Outlier.

Photo Credit: Agnieszka P