This is How I Fight My Battles

I’ve had a couple of really tough days. A mix of medication changes, being involved with an intensive outpatient program, and still having to work despite major concentration issues and the weight of all the work from my program have triggered me to have a couple of really difficult days littered with crying fits, hyperventilation, panic, racing thoughts including thoughts of self-harm, yet still my heart beats on.

I’ve learned a few coping mechanisms, and to  my surprise, they’ve helped. I woke up crying this morning. I couldn’t seem to make it stop. So I grabbed my IOP notebook, and found a list of survival exercises. The one that was first was to place your face in icy water or find the equivalent. I took an ice pack and covered my face with it. It at least made me stop crying and literally cooled me down.

Secondly, the exercises suggested raising your heart rate through exercise. So I hopped on the the elliptical for 25 minutes and watched a show.

Thirdly, the exercises suggested eating something if you hadn’t. I had only ingested coffee, so I ate a high protein mini meal.

I then retreated upstairs to find a coping mechanism. I chose distraction. I watched celebrity interviews because they are light and mindless. When I was done, I felt the urge to be productive and started editing photos from a shoot that I’ve needed to complete for a long time.

My husband then came in and shared this song with me. The lyrics “It may look like I’m surrounded, but I’m surrounded by You,” spoke to my soul today, and I hope they also speak to yours.

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VERSE OF THE MONTH: December 2017

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This verse has spoken to me over and over these last few weeks. Sometimes I feel like God isn’t moving in my life the way that I want Him to. However, it’s during these times that He is sustaining me. He does this because that is what I need in my journey toward healing, wholeness, and holiness.

May the God of all peace sustain you in the ways you need Him to this month. Have a happy Christmas, and a wonderful New Year!

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VERSE OF THE MONTH: November 2017

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This month’s verse is: The Lord will fight for you. You need only be still. Exodus 14:14

It takes a great amount of trust to let God fight for you, but He’s willing to so long as well let Him. I love how this verse says to “be still.” We may think that we are helping in the battle, but we may be hindering our own freedom.

My prayer for this month is for God to help me be still in mind, body, and spirit, and to trust that He’s got this. God, I believe. Help my unbelief.

VERSE OF THE MONTH: October 2017

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I chose this verse for a couple of different reasons. One being its popularity. Folks deeply devoted or barely acquainted with Christ can more than likely prattle this off as one of the verses they have memorized. I also wanted to highlight it because there is power in it, and it has brought me much encouragement and strength these last few weeks.

I will not lie, last month was hellacious for me. Finding the right combination of medications for me has proved to be beyond taxing, and I’ve clung tightly to the Word of God during this time. I’ve constantly come back to Philippians 4 as a whole, prayed it – declared it over myself because I have had days where I felt like I couldn’t do anything. I would stand still in my bedroom, large chunks of times would pass. When my husband would come in, I would just weep because I couldn’t get ready for the day. I was consumed by fear and brought low by the unbalanced chemicals in my brain.

Through prayer and a medication change, I’m doing much better. This month has a bright start, but I want to remember that no matter the challenge, Christ will give me strength.

I pray that you will find strength in the challenges that face you this month.

Happy October!

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VERSE OF THE MONTH: AUGUST 2017

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This month’s verse is 1 Corinthians 10:31. I chose this verse because this month I feel like the Lord is calling me to make some lifestyle changes to enhance my journey toward healing. While there are many things that I need to adjust, the one I am starting with is exercise.

I know that exercise can help with depression, and it did to a degree for me in the past when I was an athlete. However, since having my second child, I’ve allowed myself to become physically unfit; and it has taken its toll on my mind, body, and spirit.

Since this is the first change I feel like the Lord is wanting me to address, I have challenged myself to workout for at least 20 minutes every day this month. It’s going to be difficult for me, but it needs to be done. God has given me a healthy body, and I need to tend to and cultivate it so that I can better serve Him.

I hope you have a happy, healthy August!

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VERSE OF THE MONTH: JULY 2017

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Brand new guitar strings fall out of tune more quickly than it takes to get them to play the right notes. At least this is true of the type of strings I prefer to play with. They require quite a bit of stretching and adjusting before they are able to hold their assigned note. However, after they are worked with thoroughly, they can produce the sweetest melodies.

Similar to these guitar strings, we must be pulled on, stretched, tested, and worked on until the tune of our heart is pleasing to the Lord.

My prayer for this month is that the Lord will tune me in a way that Jesus can be seen through me so that whatever good things He has planned for me can come to pass.

Happy July!

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VERSE OF THE MONTH: JUNE 2017

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At the first of every month, I’m going to begin posting a verse of the month. For June, I’ve chosen Isaiah 60:1.

“Arise, shine, for your light has come,
    and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.”

June ushers in the second half of the year. The first half of my year has been shadowed with a dark cloud brought on by  a new mental health diagnosis, and the rocky path that comes with changing medications. I’ve found myself in places that were pitch black with hopelessness and despair.

In the previous chapter, Isaiah 59, there is a thick darkness that is described. Darkness is for slumber, worry, and fear. The light is for awakening, and when it comes upon us, we must respond by rising up.

The illuminating glory that comes from the Lord is what washes over you because He has caused His face to shine upon you for both your redemption and for others to see the salvation He has brought to you.

June is my month for rising up, and I believe it is for many of you as well. When the darkness creeps up on you, remind yourself that “your light has come,” and that light will always overcome the darkness.

Happy June, friends!

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