May 25th Meditation
If I ascend to heaven, you are there; if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there. - Psalm 139:8
May is Mental Health Awareness month, a time to raise awareness about our mental health and challenge the stigma surrounding mental health issues. The statistics point to an ongoing rise in people dealing with mental health issues, especially through the course of the pandemic, and no one is immune from some form mental health challenge. Not even me.
It was much earlier in my ministry and the church had suffered a series of deaths, some more tragic than others, in a short period of time. As I made my way through each funeral and did my best to minister to each family in their grief, I found myself feeling more and more detached. As days and weeks pressed on, I found it harder and harder to concentrate and was just "mailing it in," at work, at home, everywhere.
Throughout my adult life, my main coping mechanism has been running, and I leaned heavily on that outlet at the time. It was only afterward that I realized I was leaning too heavily on it. I was pushing my body beyond its limits, trying to run further and faster and getting frustrated when all I got was sore and achy.
It was Wendy who finally sat me down and said either I call a counselor, or she would. I was fortunate. It only took a few sessions before I was able to make us of the tools available, both within and without, and I was on the path to recovery.
Anyone who says they knew I was going through something at the time I would say is kidding themselves. Like many people with mental health issues, I hid it well, at least in public. It was only after I quit hiding it from myself that I was able to break free and finally get better.
Life remains filled with good days and bad days, and while I would never want to go through another period like that in my life it is an important part of who I am today. Perhaps I am even a better pastor because of it. Perhaps.
Everyone faces mental health challenges from time to time. We all have our moments where we descend into Sheol. It is a part of life. What does not have to be a part of life is the belief that we descend there alone. Due to the stigma surrounding mental illness, we hide our struggles and try to pull ourselves out of it all on our own.
YOU ARE NOT ALONE. If you or someone you love is struggling with mental health, reach out for help. I am not a counselor, but I will listen and help guide you to the help you need. And resources are available around us. Please check out the links and numbers below.
Remember, you are not alone. And no matter how deep you descend, God is there with you.
24/7 Huron County Crisis Line: 800-826-1306
Crisis Text Line: Text 4HOPE TO 741741
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK
Huron County Mental Health & Addiction Services: www.hcbmhas.org
Worship This Week
Sunday, 10am, in the sanctuary & Facebook Live
If you join us in-person, please wear a mask and follow safe distancing.
If you are not well or have been exposed to someone with the corona virus, please watch from home.
Begins June 6, 9:00am in the Peace Garden
In case of rain worship will be in the sanctuary
Keep In Prayer:
Janet Santana, Rick Graham, Marvin Homan, Sherry Williams, Sherry's friend Cheryl, Mary Wallen, Dee Kuhlman,
Our shut-ins: Kate Shelley, Dot Ann Smith, Nora Smith, Helen Payne, Bernie Reynolds