Mental Health is rarely discussed within the church. Our fear of being judged when we admit to "something being wrong" keeps women and girls isolated, allowing the enemy to bore, even deeper, the thoughts of worthlessness and despair.
At our Women's Winter Gathering 2016, we had a friend and licensed social worker, Laura Inglis, speak to us about mental health and the importance of "Flourishing" in this area of our lives. If you would like to hear Laura's message you may click on this link - https://vimeo.com/160138865
Today, we would like to post Laura's response to one of the questions we received during her panel discussion.
Question: I realized, just recently, that I am in a depression, as it raised its ugly head. I have been believing the ugly lies that Satan’s been barking in my ears for months now instead of listening to God’s truth. Believing the lies that I’m not worthy I’m ugly and unloved. Why is it so easy to believe those lies then to believe what God sees in me?
Laura's Response: I am so sorry you’re experiencing depression. One of the symptoms of clinical depression is feelings of worthlessness or inappropriate guilt. I strongly encourage you to seek help with a counselor to talk about these feelings before they escalate into something more difficult to work through. Well done in recognizing the source of the negative self-talk as being lies from the enemy. The evil one comes to steal, kill, and destroy. This applies to our relationships, our joy, and our feelings of self-worth. The reasons we believe those lies are due to many experiences in our lives. In our society, we much too frequently provide more negative and critical words than positive to one another, which are often easier to own. This is due to many reasons that you and a therapist can discuss as you travel this journey towards healing. You deserve the help. Honest. You are worth it.
Pastor Mary's Response: In addition, to what Laura has said, I would reinforce, based on my years of ministering to women, you are not alone. When we are wounded, the enemy sweeps in and speaks a lie to us. From this point on, his tactic is to reinforce the lie, and before we know it, we are living life based on the lie spoken to us through this deep wound. The lie(s) must be identified, the wound(s) must be healed, and truth must replace the lie(s). Through the Holy Spirit, community with other women, and counseling, freedom is found and we begin to "flourish" in the area of our mental health. I speak these things based on the freedom I have experienced in this very area of my own mental health, as well as the countless women who have walked this road before me, alongside of me, and will come after me.
Next Steps: Get connected with a group of women who will hear your story and support you as you seek to flourish in the area of mental health. Here's a link: https://cccsumner.ccbchurch.com/form_response.php?id=371 Find a counselor who can help walk with you through the healing process. We recommend either of these two women: Laura Inglis @ www.serenityhope.com or Danielle Christensen at Greater Story Counseling, firstname.lastname@example.org - 253-841-3297