I’m saved, sanctified, filled with the Holy Ghost, fire baptized – blah, blah, blah. LOL! Yes, I did just end that with blah, blah, blah. It’s because I honestly have seen this phrase used more as a mask to hide spiritual identity crisis. Just because I’m a Christian doesn’t mean I have to ignore my body and mental health. God IS AN AWESOME GOD! Anyone that knows me knows I give God glory and praise; not ashamed to praise Him where ever I go. However, I also have learned as I’m maturing in this spiritual formation journey that there are some layers that I need help with. To overcome issues that were known and unknown. That’s when I made the decision to get a licensed mental health counselor.
When I started seminary in 2017, during the initial courses, there was book about living a kingdom life. Within that book, it didn’t sugar anything about this life on earth. IT’S HARD! We encounter so much on this side and to believe that we must endure all this alone is not true. Even now, I get emotional thinking about all those who do have to endure hardships and obstacles alone. Not by choice but still they are alone for a specific season. As a vessel for God, it’s not easy. One of the things I found so profound was that the author strongly recommended to seek counseling when necessary. This was a well-established pastor! Someone who counseled others but even he said there’s a need for a professional counselor when necessary.
I decided to start counseling about mid-year of 2018. Why? Honestly, to ensure I don’t go crazy. No offense to those who have gone crazy and had a major mental meltdown. But it finally took one occasion to say I needed help. And it was a Sunday morning! Yep, right in the women’s bathroom at church! I had a meltdown. Not a major one but I had a meltdown. Only a few people know but when I drove to church, I tried so hard that day to get it together. Ya’ll know, ladies! The cute dress, the nice heels, hair exactly right, the fake smile – by the time I left my house, parked my car on the street next to the church, and walked into that bathroom, I WAS DONE! And the whole time I’m driving to church, I felt myself getting overwhelmed, but I couldn’t control it. Every emotion overtook me, and I just busted out in tears in my mother-in-law arms (who just so happen to be right at the bathroom sink when I walked in). I finally got it together after she prayed for me and another woman of God helped me. But I knew then, I had to decide.
Few people know I see a therapist. My husband knows. My best friend knows. A few others. Now, it’s not because I’m ashamed! First off, my therapist is a Christian therapist. And by the time I started seeing her, God had started speaking to my heart about all that I need to do. But God still said, See the therapist because she’ll help keep me accountable. And she’s done just that!
I’m a Godly wife. I’m a Christian author. I’ve accepted my calling as an evangelist. I’m doing better at seeking guidance and support from my pastor, husband, and close friends. Then I also have a therapist! I’m determined to help others transform their lives with God. But I must strive to maintain a healthy balance in order to be the most effective. I want the power of the anointing to flow freely in what I do for ministry and not just a bottle full of emotions that tickles ears. Just like I want yokes destroyed in my life, I want yokes destroyed in EVERYONE’S life! I challenge all Christians to ensure they have a dedicated support group to help them mentally, physically, and spiritually! Do NOT think it’s a sign of weakness or doubt in God’s ability. God works through His chosen for a reason!
Love all of you! God bless!
Stress in ministry is real! This includes mental health issues. I want to hear from my fellow Christian brothers and sisters! How are you ensuring you maintain good mental health so you can stay effective in the Kingdom of God? Comment below! :-)
We all are busy. As a Christian, I know I struggle to figure out how to apply and exercise my spiritual disciplines throughout the day. I’m not perfect by no means! I have thoughts and actions I need to get victory over. I can always improve in some area of my life. Recently I discovered something that I am trying to apply to my daily life. For some Christians, they may already know this. I, however, did not and I’ve been a Christian for over 20 years now. This habit or spiritual discipline is meditating on God’s word.
I’ve been doing OK with this, but I certainly can improve. Like everyone else, I’m busy thinking of everything else and to try and think about God and the Bible is hard. I’ve tried to ‘manually’ write into my daily To Do list – that didn’t work. I’ve tried devotionals but once those 3, 5, 7, or 30 days was over, I didn’t start another one. As I was reading some materials for one of my seminary classes, Deut. 6:7 came into discussion. This verse was supporting the importance of studying and teaching the Bible. This verse also describes the times when you can continue to think, or meditate, on God’s word. There were four different moments mentioned within this verse. They are (1) when sitting, (2) when walking, (3) when laying down, and (4) when rising. When I thought about these, the obvious Psalm 1:2 verse came to mind for the laying down and rising. To meditate day and night. However, it never occurred to me to consider when I’m sitting and walking which can be moments of waiting or literally walking.
In this modern day, most people are clinging to technology as they wait. They are looking at their laptops, tablets, and/or cell phones. Now, a few of us may be looking at some scriptures or reading a devotional book. However, many will be busy with other things. This can also include those who walks for exercise purposes. You may listen to music or a book while walking. Again, it could be something spiritual. But for many it is not. The one thing I’m learning about meditation on God’s word is it does not have to be long and drawn out. For example, if your walk is 20 minutes and you really like Psalms 23, then meditate on that. As familiar as that scripture is, you may discover an important message within that scripture for a situation you are facing. The same is with waiting. Maybe you’re sitting in the airport and you have a 45-minute wait. Consider a verse or two from Philippians 4 about what to think on or 1 Corinthians 13 about what love is. When meditating, it does not have to be this elaborate moment in time. In fact, it is better to take those briefer moments to build up to a time when you can devote yourself to solitude for a longer duration of meditation.
I’ve been praying for God to help me more mindful of these moments. As with any positive transformations, it takes time and a willingness to do better. Personally, I desire to meditate more on God’s word because my mind gets overwhelmed with other things that may not always be positive. With God, I can always ensure either a positive word or a word that will convict me to make a positive change. I’m fine with either because my overall goal is spiritual transformation for me and for those who connects with me.
I want to hear from you! When do you find the best times to meditate on God's word? Or how do you plan to do better? I've actually started incorporate real moments at work; 10 -15 minute to close my eyes or listen to some worship music that uses actual scripture so I can recite it and meditate on it. Comment below! :-)
I finished reading ‘Why Jesus? Rediscovering His Truth in an Age of Mass Marketed Spirituality’ a little over a month ago. I wasn’t sure what to expect. I discovered this book when I first started Masters in Divinity (MDiv) classes with Regent University. I love this university, by the way! This book turned out to be a great addition to the ‘spiritual tillage tools’ that I have gathered for this journey as a seminary student.
In my opinion, the author (Ravi Zacharias) does an incredible job illustrating how marketed spirituality has blinded so many people from the Christian truth of Jesus Christ. He does mention some note-worthy celebrities who has helped to make the idea of spirituality seem like it’s the true, authentic form of living. However, I agree with how the author illustrates these mass marketing strategies aren’t leading to the path of authentic truth in Jesus Christ.
I understand the struggle of living in a world that is full of evil, chaos, and uncertainty. To not have a sense of control over your life is scary. However, formulating a falsehood of individually that isolates people doesn’t make the fear and evil go away. We are all create in God’s image (Gen. 1:27) and to separate self from God is impossible. Having a personal relationship with God is necessary to find truth for life. Life on earth was never meant to be full of peace and tranquility. That’s not what God promises. Often people try to find peace, wholeness, and fulfillment by rejecting God because it’s too much evil happening in the world. As though to say if there was a God, why is so much chaos happening in the world. But God cannot be viewed as an imaginary superhero who protects and rescues the world. There is a reality to life that is not pleasant but there’s no reason to blame God for this reality. Due to the ‘mass marketing spirituality’, we are lead into an imaginary world that doesn’t exist. It doesn’t provide real peace or fulfillment. Only a relationship, while recognizing reality, with God through Jesus Christ can provide real peace and fulfillment.
God is in control and He knows all that is happening. He also desires for us to live life to the best of our abilities. The Bible is meant to be our guide and it helps us to recognize how to deal with the reality of living in this world. This book is a great reminder of so many powerful, spiritual principles for living life and having a real relationship with God. I love how he discusses childlike surrender and the first evangelist being the Samaritan woman. He uses the story of the woman with the Alabaster box to discuss the “Alabaster Touch” where she knew she needed forgiveness and the price of forgiveness.
I know we hear the phrase of how salvation, grace, mercy, favor, etc. is free. But after studying these past few months, these aren’t free. There’s a price that was paid and continues to be paid. It may not be monetary or visible forms of payment. But Jesus Christ’s death on the cross is a high cost for all that we have today. And if we live, we still owe God our lives. Being a living sacrifice that is holy and acceptable (Romans 12:1-3). We can’t ‘water down’ the fact that living a Christian life isn’t difficult. We can’t ‘down play’ this journey as though we can just live however and repent later. NO! There’s a daily cost for living for God. Many people believe this type of lifestyle is impossible and comes with unrealistic or unpleasant limitations. And that’s the furthest from the truth. God never said we had to be perfect. If we are ‘living sacrifices’, He knows we aren’t perfect because we still are wrapped in flesh. When we strive to do our very best each day to please Him, then we’re doing our reasonable service. So, the holy and acceptable lifestyle is possible. And for the limitations – when we embrace the truth of Jesus Christ, there are no limits; only freedom. Those that feel limited are still allowing their flesh to control their actions versus allowing the Holy Spirit to help them learn how to control their flesh.
I recommend this book as a great way to help with seasonal tillage for spiritual growth. It helped me to answer that question for myself: Why Jesus? Why Jesus Christ for my life? As a believer, I know I must stand against much opposition when it comes to helping spread the gospel of Jesus Christ. So, I must be able to answer that question without hesitation when someone wants to know why believe in Jesus Christ for a living a life of truth.
I completed the book, “The Kingdom Life: A Practical Theology of Discipleship and Spiritual Formation” a few weeks ago. This book is absolutely a must-have for anyone who is a Christian! I would try to say for those who are pastoring or ministering but nope! LOL! Anyone who is a Christian need to read this book. It will help you with some in-depth ‘spiritual tillage’ for your life.
I honestly don’t know where to begin with this book because it has so much rich information and spiritual insight. It’s a book collaboration of several people who are a part of TACT group (Theological and Cultural Thinkers). The book is divided into two parts: the process elements of spiritual formation and the theological elements of spiritual formation. I think the biggest underlying message I loved about this book is the fact that spiritual formation is a lifelong journey.
I know when I first was introduced to Christianity, I was under the impression that life wouldn’t be so difficult. I knew I would still face obstacles and they could come to test my faith. But I kept thinking that I had to reach this certain spiritual pinnacle and I quickly learned that was not true. True transformation and formation takes a lifetime. I will never reach perfection, but I can reach great levels of maturity. Not to become haughty or prideful but to help continue to enlarge the Kingdom of God the way He intends.
This book checked me when it came to clarify spiritual disciplines. I will admit that because I was lead to believe that I earned ‘brownie points’ when I would pray a certain way, fast, lay prostrate for meditation, etc. No! These, along with plenty more, spiritual disciplines are not earning my way into greater favor with God. They help the continued spiritual formation, so I can mature and align my life with His Will. Just because I follow certain spiritual disciplines doesn’t mean I automatically should receive everything I want. And I think that’s where many people end up getting hurt by God because they though being a ‘good Christian’ will stop the really bad stuff from happening.
I know when we lost Charlotte to stillbirth, I really had to work on trusting God again. Because I just knew because we prayed, fasted, tithe, went to church, prayed for other people, etc. that nothing bad could possibly happen during our pregnancy. However, little did I know, it was really meant to prepare me to overcome that obstacle and be a testimony for others. Spiritual disciplines don’t necessarily change the course of God’s Will, but it can help you get ready to change for His Will. God does answer prayers, but the answers are according to His Will and timing. It’s easy to accept this truth when all is going well and nothing major is plucking her your heart strings. But then when something happens like the unexpected death of a child, you begin to wonder about what God is really trying to prove.
Therefore, spiritual disciplines are important to practice for the sake of growth and maturity not for the sake of looking good or being considered ‘holier’ than the rest. God doesn’t favor one person over another (Romans 2:11) because of someone practicing certain disciplines all the time. Real favor happens when we trust Him! Real breakthrough happens when we love Him and truly forgive others! Real blessings happen when we begin to produce the fruits of the spirit!
I recommend this book because it’s a great book to use for study time; personal or group. It has reflection questions at the end of each chapter, so it allows for engagement and application.
As a Christian wife, author, and evangelist, I want to love and help others to enjoy life! I offer tips, empowerment, and more on my blog! Be sure to follow me on FB & Twitter to stay up-to-date!
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