Friday, February 25, 2011

Have ever thought,"God get with my program?"

God does not promise His people that they will be free from sickness, problems, poverty and more. People who buy into the health, wealth and prosperity gospel tend to believe that God will deliver everyone from all kinds of problems if only they have enough faith in Him. There are examples throughout Scripture and in church history of people who have had sickness and weakness of mind. One example is that of John the Baptist(Matthew 11:1-6). The fiery preacher, who in his near past had great multitudes hanging on his every word, now lay imprisoned in a dark dungeon with its stale air and rodents. Why was this mighty and prophetic voice silenced? It was because he had preached the judgment of God to Herod and his wife Herodias. Why did he do so? It was because of their incestuous and adulterous relationship. John was in a dark dungeon; he no doubt longed for the fellowship of his disciples and even of Christ. Instead, because of his identification with our Lord Jesus he was participating in His sufferings. John had not seen many of Christ’s greatest miracles. However, he had clearly testified that Jesus was the Son of God (John1:24).

Now he was haunted with doubts about whether or not Jesus of Nazareth was the Messiah. That is why Matthew records for us how John sent his messengers to ask Jesus about His claims to be Messiah. They said to Him, "Are You the Expected One, or shall we look for someone else"(John 11:3 NASB)? Jesus answered John’s disciples, "Go and report to John what you hear and see: the blind received sight and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them, and blessed is he who does not take offense at Me" (Matthew 11:4-6 NASB). The same John who had said, “Behold the Lamb of God which takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29 NASB) was now disappointed, lonely and out of the loop. He would die alone by the sword of the executioner (Mathew 14:8 NASB). But Heaven gave him a glad welcome.
Bloem, Robyn and Steve CAMI Leader Guide,support group for Christians with mental illness, (copy right 2010) self published.

Monday, February 14, 2011

A young man's letter to his parents about his depression

Dear Dad and Mom,

I decided to write you a letter to you know what is going on with me. For lack of a better term, I suppose it could be called an “emotional audit.” It is very difficult for me to express how I am feeling because everything I say sounds very cliche and melodramatic. At the risk of being melodramatic, however, I will describe exactly what has been going on with me in the hopes that something I say will trigger something within your brain to figure out the best course of action to take to help me.

I have felt very forlorn for a long time. Ever since I can remember I have had a sort of heaviness that has permeated my consciousness. The only way I discovered this was through conversations with numerous individuals who talked about themselves in such a way that I found very odd.

First, many friends have discussed an innate fear of death that I seem to lack. I do not find death glorious or romantic, but rather a well-needed and well-deserved rest from the suffering of this present world. To say that my quest for happiness (or wellness maybe) and my zeal for life is a battle is vastly understating the truth. Every day for at least the past 4 months (and on and off for many years), I have rolled out of bed and willed myself and prayed myself through the motions. I have always believed in Darwin’s model of only the strong surviving, which is surprising considering he had panic disorder (actually maybe he thought that because he survived panic attacks, he could conqueror anything.

Getting back on topic, death has always seemed so far away out of my grasp. Many times I have almost attempted to put myself into its way to be consumed by it, but I was never fortunate enough to die a martyr’s death. To me, being a martyr is not one who dies for what he believes in, but rather someone who continues to live despite life’s grisly grip on them. I feel as if I need a vacation from myself, much like a nap, but not. If it were possible to die for six months and then return, I believe I would like that very much.

The biggest obstacle I have found in my twenty-two years is the fact I have to be alone with my thoughts. Maybe I don’t want a vacation from life, but most certainly from the horrid thoughts that plague me so many times. If I stay busy enough, I can push the thoughts out of my head, and feebly attempt to ignore the sensation of gripping pain. I am afraid of virtually no one. The only thing I fear is alone time with me. Thinking has become such a painful process that I many times almost have a panic attack just thinking about when I will be alone next to face the truth-every day drags on and the only thought I have is that of my family and my Lord. I could not disgrace either of them with suicide, but OH how I long to be rid of this horrible “thing” that is weighing down on me.

 I feel relief primarily in two different ways. One way is when I am doing vigorous exercise (not right away, but after maybe 25 minutes of pushing hard). Another way is when I either intake a significant amount of caffeine or alcohol. Caffeine eventually makes me crash and I am more depressed after, and alcohol does the same, and also is a sin to consume to intoxication. I have not drunk recently, but it is always a temptation because it seems to help for a while. However, the next day I would not just have a “hangover,” but rather an intense, sharp pang of guilt coupled with an overwhelming sadness that could bring me to tears, or even worse-no tears.

I really think that crying would be quite a catharsis for me, but ever since I have been on Paxil;
I have not been able to cry (I have no idea if that’s connected to anything, but it is something I have indeed noticed).

I am not trying to be morbid or bring down your new years, but I figured I would at least mention some of these things to you. I really would like to have ECT if it were possible, but I understand that that is probably not an option for many reasons. Please pray for me so I can stay strong through this, and MOST of ALL, please do not treat me any different than you have. You have both been fine, but I do not need someone asking me every 3 minutes if I am depressed. The answer will unequivocally be YES.

Thank s for reading this, I appreciate it

Love you both, and talk to you soon.

If  you would like to take a look at one of our most exciting editions please go to the link below.  This Biblical-based support group material includes a Leader’s Guide and Student Guide/workbook. These guides will help create cohesion and mutual support among those who are born again and affected by these horrible diseases of body, mind and mood.  depression, bipolar, panic and obsessive compulsive disorders are some of the most painful of all disorders in this cursed world.  Many mentally ill Christians have experienced what we call “shaming” from their own brothers and sisters in Christ causing further and unnecessary suffering. The church of Jesus Christ not only misunderstands the mentally ill, she also provides no ministry for them. Steve Bloem, Co Founder of Heartfelt Counseling Ministries

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Spiritual Depression

Copyright 2011--Steve Bloem

Spiritual Depression -
One of the major causes of spiritual depression is that believers began to look at their own personal sins and feel that God the Judge and Lawgiver is condemning them... Satan presents our Heavenly Father as always angry with us, always disapproving. Christ is seen as a Judge more than a husband... The Holy Spirit is presented by Satan as a nag, ever haunting you about former sins but never giving relief. The answer is to focus on Christ and His redeeming love and not to look at ourselves. The Father is well pleased with us because we are in His Beloved Son.

Ephesians 1:5-8 (NKJV) having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He has made us accepted in the Beloved. 7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace 8 which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence,

You should no longer look on yourself as a law breaker but as one who has been adopted as a son through the work of Christ. The Holy Spirit does not play hide and seek with your sins. He will show you them if you ask Him. Confessing and forsaking sin is part of walking in the Light and having fellowship with God (c.f I John 1:5-9)

The terrors of the law and God
With me can have nothing to do
My Savior's obedience and blood
Hide all my transgressions from view.
Augustus Montague TopladyT (1740-1778), Christian Minister, Poet and Hymn writer.