God is good. God is good in that He allows for all things to work together for my good and for the good of those who serve Him.
~”And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”~Romans 8:28, NIV~
A couple of months ago, I wrote a blog post of which I explained how I was put in a hospital twice. I was dealing with things that God allowed for me to go through in order to test my character, my faithfulness to Him and others around me, and my trust in God in dire circumstances. Now, I have become a stronger person because of these dire circumstances that the Lord allowed me to go through months ago.
I have explained on social media that I am diagnosed with bipolar disorder. I was hospitalized (once in November 2020 and another time in March 2021) in circumstances related to my bipolar disorder. I was even dealing with thoughts of suicide, which was not like me at the time that I was going through these emotional ups and downs. I even thought that God and others around me did not care about me nor did they love me. These were ALL LIES from the enemy that he was using to test my relationship and faithfulness to God.
I remember calling two good friends that I knew from my church as I was going through the time of being hospitalized. They provided me with encouragement, love, and support in order for me to see two things: that I am loved and that I am enough.
For me, to remember that I am loved and that I am enough in spite of the lies that I was thinking at the time was the encouragement and uplifting messages that I needed to hear in spite of the thoughts of suicide and ungrounded actions in my emotions that I was contemplating and learning how to deal with at the time. God is good!
I remember shortly after I was hospitalized in March 2021 that a friend from church taught me two spiritual disciplines that have empowered me to cope effectively with the depressive episodes of my bipolar disorder: they include to pray for at least one hour or more per day with a scented candle lit up, or to journal my thoughts, pray, and light up a scented candle. The purpose of the scented candle is to bring peace of God to my emotions and to still my heart and my mind in the right place so that my thinking is rational as I pray and so that the depressive episodes of my bipolar disorder are not as severe. I thank God for using this friend to teach me these spiritual disciplines because they have helped me tremendously in my prayer life and in my walk with God.
One spiritual discipline that I taught myself is to go on nature walks, either in parks or in my neighborhood. Nature walks have helped me to enjoy God more, seek and His presence as I walk with Him, and enjoy the beauty and creation of nature that the Lord created with His hands. Nature walking has also helped me to cope with the depressive episode and automatic thoughts that I think in spite of my bipolar disorder because it has helped to keep my mind focused on Heavenly things and not focus on the pain that comes from my bipolar disorder.
~”Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” ~Philippians 4:8-9, NIV~
All of these things that I have been through have taught me to be strong and to be still and know that God is my peace in the midst of my bipolar disorder and the depressive episodes and automatic thoughts that surround it. I am thankful for my church family and for the good that He has used my church family to teach me how to be more rooted and grounded in my faith as I seek more of the Lord and remain faithful to Him in spite of the struggles that I face (which are daily) in spite of my bipolar disorder. God is good! God is good! Amen.