For as long as I can remember, I have had BIG emotions. If I am excited about something, my whole face lights up. I talk faster and louder, and my gestures become more animated. I want everyone to join me in my enthusiasm! If I am upset, I sometimes have to work hard to contain the emotions. I have always interpreted life through robust feelings.
Mental and behavioral health issues were not on my radar until I had a personal experience that greatly impacted my life. Through some traumatizing circumstances which included a brief period of hospitalization, I was given a medical diagnosis of bipolar disorder. This was a scary time in my life! I did not know what my “new normal” was going to look like. I held tightly to God’s sovereignty and His Word. I found encouragement through the Psalms, such as Psalm 34:4, which says, “I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.” While I still have this diagnosis today, it does not define who I am! Thankfully, medicine has helped tremendously with regulating my symptoms. God’s Word declares that we are made in His image and with a purpose (Psalm 139:14). As the author of life, God created emotions. I truly believe that He wired me in such a way that I feel emotions deeply.
We have the opportunity to respond with the joy of the Lord to the circumstances of life. However, this does not mean that emotional and mental struggles will not exist. While we certainly need to have faith in the Lord, mental and behavioral diagnoses are realities in this broken world. Maybe you are dealing with challenging emotions such as depression, anxiety, or low self-esteem. Maybe you have lost interest in activities you once loved. Whatever emotions you may experience in life, I want to encourage you to “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7).
I also want to tell you that if you have emotional struggles or a mental / behavioral health diagnosis, you are not alone. I want you to know that you have a friend and advocate in me. Please know that I would consider it an honor to be part of your support system. I would love the opportunity to share more with anyone who desires to know about the hope and victory I have found in Christ!
By His Grace,