It was my routine that I had built up over the years that got me through the dark morning. Do you have a routine?
Ever had one of those mornings where you just don’t want to face the day. You’re sort of glued to the bed. It’s a safe, warm and secure place, and you just want to go back to sleep if possible because well it’s better than listening to the depressing or anxious thoughts trawling through your mind. The black dog of depression is cuddled up beside you and you don’t want to face the day. It’s a routine that can so easily become a rut. Continue reading
There is a time for everything, including rescuing, but let’s focus on the rebuilding through empowerment.
It was one of those lightbulb moments for me.
I had just discovered something new that threw some new light on an old struggle.
Ever had one of those?
What I learned is that Jesus did for us what we cannot do for ourselves and that Jesus does not do for us what we can and should do for ourselves.
I outline these and 8 other principles of how Jesus demonstrates empowerment in my eBook So you want to help.
The first two principles. Continue reading
Compassion moved my gut, then my heart, and then I received a notification from my mind.
Not every story creates gut moving compassion.
But as I listened it wrenched open my heart, soul and stomach till I was totally gutted and laid bare by what had happened to my friend. Being vulnerable to others can do this in you.
They open a door to what is really going on in their soul. They feel safe enough to share and then they vomit out tightly held stories of pain.
Compassion, the suffering together with someone, asks you to get in the ditch with the struggle. Messy as it is.
There is always that moment of decision. Will I listen deeply and groan, or be antiseptically clean and Teflon it away. Continue reading
You need a ‘but’ to enter your narrative of ‘and’s’.
The large leather strap slammed down on my primary school desk and made my 7-year-old body freeze with terror.
Mrs G was the one teacher every child in Wellsford Primary School did not want to have. I had been quietly writing some sentences out when the tyrant crept up behind me, strap in hand. She looked over my work and asked me ‘What’s the margin doing there?’ to which I innocently replied ‘It’s always been there’.
That strap came down so hard on my little desk that I think the whole class shook. I wasn’t being smart or cheeky, I was being honest.
I wonder now if that was my first experience of being shamed. Continue reading
The change was barely noticeable unless you knew them well enough to know that this was significant. It was a small change in their behaviour, a problem that had plagued them for most of their life, but now it was gone.
They wanted a miracle, like the over night delivery of a new brain, but this was actually kind of better. Small yes, significant YES.
It was always sad for me when people would come to me and project their anger on to me about God not healing them in miraculous fashion of their addiction, personality disorder, anxiety, depression etc.. Continue reading
I didn’t realise life would be such a fight.
I thought life was meant to be like a gentle stroll along a flower strewn pathway, chatting with best friends. Well that’s what I was designed for wasn’t I?
In reality though I am in a fight, and you are too.
We are unfinished creatures– longing, reaching, stretching towards fulfillment. We express these desires for completion in prayer. Eugene Peterson
When I started this journey of inching my way through the book of Nehemiah I believed that I would find some great nuggets of truth to help rebuild myself, and others. Those ‘5 simple tips to a better life’ that would sell like cold lemonade on blistering hot day.
Haven’t found them and I don’t believe I will. Continue reading
One of the most wonderful things you will ever witness is when someone does the hard work of change.
It maybe the challenge of overcoming the grip of an addiction. It might be the rebuilding of a life after a serious traumatic experience.
I think of those I know who have very serious mental illnesses, yet push on, do the work, and make progress in their lives that is significant for them. Continue reading
It’s OK to be angry, and seriously I think we could get more angry, about a lot of things, and it would actually help.
In fact the Bible tells us to be angry! Continue reading
Even you need to be part of the rebuild.
There are some people who really get me fired up. They are the ones who in essence say ‘I don’t want to get my hands dirty’.
They essentially don’t want to be part of what you are doing.
As a child I was read the story of the Little Red Hen. The story describes this little hen asking all her barnyard friends to help with the various activities of growing a crop of wheat right through to the baking of the bread. Continue reading
The old saying is true. You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink. It’s also true that you can take the water to the horse, put the water in a china cup and sprinkle rose petals over and it still won’t drink.
In my years as a pastor/ chaplain/ mental health worker the ones who made the progress and saw recovery were the ones who did the work. They didn’t sit around smoking all day, regaling the old days. They were the ones who made the effort to change. Continue reading