Recently I was once again asked to share a message about mental health, faith, depression and trauma recovery. I’m always honored to be a source of hope and encouragement to others, especially on these subjects because trauma recovery and mental health are so much a part of my story.
As a Behavior Designer, one of the most important tools I’m blessed to share is the truth about the science behind human behavior and the fact that it’s not random or unpredictable, it’s systematic. The gift that comes from learning, understanding, and accepting this creates a feeling of empowerment and self-compassion that can lead you to sound victory in your healing journey.
Now, even though there is a fail-safe, proven system for human behavior, regardless of the objective you most want to achieve, the first step is and always will be, you’ve got to be willing. Mental health, emotional strongholds and trauma recovery are no exception.
I’m a very visual person, so the best way I can think of right now to explain this comes from one of my favorite movies, Final Fantasy – The Spirits Within. In the film, earth has been infested by an alien species that has the ability to devour souls – often leading to sudden death but only if they consume you. If they just touch you, even the slightest touch - then you become infected and will soon after die unless you begin treatment. The lead character Aki has become a warrior for wellness and has devoted her life to finding the cure that will heal what they call ‘The Spirits Within.’
Depression and trauma recovery are very much like what you’ll see in the film. Regardless of what caused the ‘infestation,’ once you’ve been infected with sorrow it can make even the thought of getting out of bed and receiving hope for the new day exhausting. It creates a spirit within that causes you to struggle to find your way through the darkness, but there’s always a way.
In the movie, Aki begins to lose faith and she becomes deeply discouraged, but then her mentor Sid - a Scientist working with her to find the cure, looks her in the eyes after she shares her fears and says confidently, we will do this - with “Faith and hard work!”
And that’s what I pass along to you today.
I promise you, the resources that you need are there. The support you need is there. The tools you need are there. God has designed you in such a way that every tiny choice you make toward wellness will produce a harvest if you have a willing heart and mind , but first you must accept and commit to a healing journey.
And no, what happened to you that caused your sickness of heart and mind was not ok. It was hard and awful and in many cases - it certainly wasn’t fair or deserved. But the reality of your situation right now is that if you are stuck in sorrow and depression, it’s time to commit to take courage, have faith and work hard to find your way back into the light.
Please be compassionate with yourself as you journey along, recovery is often two steps forward and sometimes 3 steps back. Celebrate every tiny step you take forward and share your story with the safe people in your life. Pray for a mentor or guide to help you. Find the right trauma recovery and mental health specialist for your needs and don’t apologize for being human. Sorrow and sadness are right responses to many of the challenges that we face in this fallen world, but you don’t have to stay in the darkness for good. Your situation is not your destiny and God is with you, He is for you and He can do anything but fail.
He’s planted the seed in your heart to be well, He’s given you faith to believe, and He’s with you always. I pray that you will make time to take courage, slow down, armor up, and train hard. Learn your gifts and trust your allies. Love well, and do the work. Because you are beloved.
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Here is the I song shared during my interview on 90.1FM & special thanks to Artum Sapegin for this beautiful image!
Scriptures to consider for mental health and trauma recovery:
Proverbs 12:15 - The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, But a wise person is the one who listens to counsel.
Proverbs 11:14 (ESV) - Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.
Proverbs 1:5 - Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance.
Psalm 103:2-4 - Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy.
John 5:6 - When Jesus saw him lying there and realized that he had spent a long time in this condition, He asked him, “Do you want to get well?”