She walked into my office in a long, flowing skirt. She always had loved long, flowing skirts. But she blamed them and herself for both of her rapes. “Maybe if I hadn’t worn a skirt,” she thought.
And she hated herself.
The man read from his journal. Almost 20 pages detailing every abuse he had ever experienced. His anger had turned from others onto himself. He thought of himself as nothing. Worthless.
And he hated himself.
I could write pages and pages of stories just like these. People I have known and sat with for hours, listening to their pain. Some call it low self-esteem, some prefer other words.
The semantics of self-hatred doesn’t really matter.
In the end, it comes down to a pain that seems impossible to bear and even more impossible to be rid of.
Living in this broken world breaks us. Continue reading “Becoming the You God Sees: Guest Post by Kristen Kansiewicz”
If you were to open my mothers Bible the first thing you would notice would be the handwritten verses and quotes that helped her mental health.
Dig a little further and you would come across underlined verses, cut out sections from the church newsletter and notes from sermons. I’ve just realised I do much the same in writing this blog.
Mum had her favourite verses that kept her secure in God.
I recently asked the Turning the Page facebook group what their favorite verses were for their mental health.
14 Verses to help your Mental Health
Continue reading “14 Proven Bible Verses to Help Your Mental Health”
It was election day here in New Zealand last Saturday and as I stood in line to cast my vote I started a conversation with an elderly English gentleman.
He had come to New Zealand in 1968 on a world trip.
Running out of money, he decided to stay.
‘Well, why wouldn’t you?’ he commented.
We both discussed how wonderful it was to come out on Election day and express our democratic right. It was part of being a citizen and a member of the community.
To know that your opinion mattered just as much as the next person.
Democracy – love it. Continue reading “Have You Voted For You Yet?”
When I was on a 6-hour road trip back to university I picked up a hitchhiker.
It was cold and wintery as I turned a corner on the Desert road and I saw a young man with his thumb stuck out. Thin, short hair and poorly clothed for the winter, I felt concern for him.
I pulled my little Mini over and offered him a ride.
I asked where he was going off we went. He didn’t say much but eventually, we arrived at my student flat.
After dinner, I then offered him a bed for the night which was gratefully received. In the morning he was off and I let him have my jersey.
I thought nothing of it, then things started to fall into place, Continue reading “The Day I Picked Up An Escaped Convict That Helped me Find my True Self”
The shame of an attempt at suicide can cling onto you like the odour of some dirty old socks.
You would do anything to get rid of that stench. Is that a good description of shame? That feeling of embarrassment at what you have done. You want to hide, run, cover it up, but it’s still there. Those smelly old socks still stink.
Recently I was asked a question by one of the readers of Turning the Page about how to help someone who had recently attempted suicide. In the midst of their crisis, they had posted their intentions out on Social Media. Now they had a deep sense of shame and embarrassment. They feared that people would treat them differently.
So how would you help someone like this? Continue reading “18 Insights to Heal the Shame of an Attempted Suicide”
When God has left the building, turning up the volume won’t help.
At the school where I grow vegetables, it can be very noisy. I have a group of children that love to help and to get my attention they will often speak louder, and wave hands like windmills. It can all be a bit overwhelming.
The other day the noise was particularly loud. I happened to look to my left and here was this young boy quietly getting on and picking up some old leaves that we had discarded. Quietly without anyone noticing he did the work.
We think that if we do more we will get more. If we turn up the volume, literally and figuratively, of the worship God’s ears will be pleased. Continue reading “When God has left the building, turning up the volume won’t help: Toxic Faith pt. 5”
Life has a tragic way of repeating itself. It seems at times that we just go round an endless loop of repeating the same mistakes over and over again. Then someone says ‘forget what lies behind’.
One of my favourite classic movies is Groundhog day with a very young Bill Murray.
Weatherman Phil Connors is sent to cover the first day of spring in a small town called Punxsutawney. At night he goes to bed and then wakes to the alarm going off at 6 am.
It’s not 6 am the next day, but weirdly 6 am of the same day. He gets the opportunity to live the same day over and over and over again until he gets it right. Continue reading “To Heal You Just Need to ‘Forget What Lies Behind’: Toxic Faith pt. 4”
It’s always dangerous when we subconsciously create a ‘saviour’ out of a sinner. If you stand too close to the pedestal, of a venerated statue, you’ll get damaged by the cracks.
I always cringed when someone would call me ‘Pastor Barry’. If possible I would always ask them to never do this again. I would say ‘My name is Barry, and part of who I am, is I am a pastor’.
I don’t want to be considered as more special, pastoral or have a certain status than anyone else. We are all priests. Sure I may specific gifts and training that helped me to pastor, but in the end, Christ won’t welcome ‘Pastor Barry’ home, instead, it will simply be ‘Welcome Barry, good and faithful servant’.
I also know that this small step of veneration is a little step towards a slippery slope of them making me into a sub-conscious ‘saviour’. It can also fuel pride in myself, and who needs that.
We see it politics, sports, entertainment, business and the church. The extolling of someone to the heights of a type of worship.
It’s kind of like a teenage crush.
Continue reading “The Danger of Turning a Sinner into a ‘Saviour’: Toxic Faith Pt. 3”
We are all like druggies, wanting that quick fix to kill the pain.
Be it a drug, some porn, a sale, a comfort food, an altar call, a dose of the ghost (Holy Spirit), or a faith formula to get what we want. Anything, just anything to avoid going deep, facing our sinfulness, repenting and making the change.
Maybe they had seen too many telly Evangelists. They told me they had been to multiple healing services and now they had come to me and wanted me to ‘pray the demons out of them’. When I said that I would like to know more about them, they stormed out of the room and asked the passing caretaker to pray for them. He looked kind of shocked and puzzled. Continue reading “Just waiting for an ‘Anointing’ to wash my problems away: Toxic Faith pt 2”
What if this is not the worst-case scenario? What if it is the best-case scenario? How
would your view of your current circumstances change?
What if every person you encounter is simply doing the best they can with what they
have? What if every person who misunderstands you and causes you hurt or
frustration is trying as hard as they possibly can to do their best to understand you
and meet what you need of them?
We tend to view the world through a filter colored by our emotions, judgments and
experiences – we’re self-centered that way. Continue reading “What if we are doing the best that we can – Tash McGill”