Thought For The Week 21 October 2018
What, exactly, is a normal family?
I think, sometimes, we assume that a normal family is one where everyone has “got it together”, where no-one struggles to cope, and everyone is happy and healthy. That would be lovely, but I suspect that it would not be normal by any stretch of the imagination.
The truth is, my family, like your family, is made up of beautiful, flawed, broken and lovely human beings. None of us is perfect, and all of us struggle at times with our mental wellbeing, just like all of us struggle at times with our physical wellbeing.
We have just observed mental health awareness week, and spring seems to be a time when many of our concerns and worries can bubble to the surface. What can we do when we, or someone we love, is struggling with their state of mind?
First, we can listen. The worst thing in the world when you are not feeling your best, is to have the feeling that no-one cares. The first and best thing we can do is listen and let our loved ones know that they are truly loved.
Second, we can talk. With family, with friends, and with counsellors and carers who are trained to help us in our times of need. We need never be alone.
Third we can pray. Scripture promises that God is with us always. God is our comforter, and our healer. Philippians 4:6-7 says “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Prayer is not an alternative to taking good care of our mental health. When we are struggling, we need our relationships with others more than ever, and through prayer we keep our most important relationship strong, and in our weakness, we find God’s strength.
If you need someone to talk to, or to pray with, please do not hesitate to contact Brent or myself. Whatever your circumstances this Spring, be kind to yourself, be kind to one another, and I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. (Ephesians 3:16-17)