June (II) / July Thought
June/July Thought (Part II)
I’m not sure if you’ve ever been afraid, if you’ve ever been worn down by the events of daily life or an imbalance of chemicals in one’s body. Often after a crisis when people’s adrenalin dissipates depression, anxiety, a blue mood, etc can hit you. Let’s remember that this is sadly true for our young people as well as adults. None of these things are caused by a lack of faith or because you’re not Christian. My first simple comment is: God does not punish us. God loves each one of us. Down the ages of the church men, women and young people have died professing this truth. Saintly people are and always have been on the front line in caring for people hit by disease, famine, natural disaster, etc.
Let me make a second simple comment – Christians, both new Christians and old ones, suffer from mental health problems. In the past I’ve seen this called a lack of faith, and immaturity in faith, even having the wrong Christian tradition!! Let me be clear, this is absolute rubbish! Everyone at some time in their lives has a mental health crisis. If you don’t you are very lucky. Pre Covid this was a serious issue in our rural areas of Derby Diocese. But during and post-Covid mental health issues, faith crisis, and physical, spiritual and mental breakdowns are prevalent. Below I include a list of symptoms and consequences of long-term fear include fatigue, depression, and PTSD (PTSD isn’t simply a soldier’s illness). Shortness of breath, chest pressure or pain, a feeling of overwhelming fear, feeling of going crazy or losing control, feeling you are in grave danger, feeling you might pass out, a surge of doom and gloom, an urgency to escape, dizziness, palpitations, trembling, sweating, panic attacks, turning pale, burning skin, feeling detached from reality, weak in the knees, pulsing in the ear, burning skin, stomach upset, nervous stomach, pins and needles, hot and cold flushes, can’t pray or talk to people, etc, etc, etc…
As a United Benefice, we have always taken this seriously but as we continue to move forward I want us to be aware and be gentle with each other; we never know what’s going on in people’s minds. In June we will look at how we can serve each other and also our local communities. If you have an idea about how we can support both the younger members of our communities and also our adults please let me know. Mental health is serious. It’s affecting our spiritual life and our physical life. Let’s remember some words from the Bible.
1 peter tells us: Casting all your anxieties on him because he cares for you.
John 14 tells us: Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.
If you’re not ok, that’s ok but please talk to someone. May the Holy Spirit help you move from the place of darkness and depression to the place of God’s amazing grace and wonderful love. In our Benefice, we hold you all in our prayer.
With Kind Regards and every prayer.
Rev’d Stephen Monk