By Sharon Campbell Rayment – Special to the Sydenham Current
I recently read this astute saying on a pillow, “Mirror Mirror on the Wall, I am my Mother After All!”
This weekend is Mother’s Day, and I can’t deny the truthfulness in this saying.
I see myself in the mirror and it reflects back to me, her red hair (I inherited her fiery temper with this as well), (a few, well, more than I want), and her smile.
I hear myself repeating to my children what she shared with me.
Insights and wisdom with a dash of humour.
I also experience the anxiety and depression she found so difficult to overcome as well.
This week has been Mental Health Awareness week, and I give thanks that as a society we are acknowledging that for some, it’s not easy to make it through every day due to debilitating anxiety and the angst of depression.
No one asks for this.
And it’s not just “all in my head”.
Nor can I just “pull up my bootstraps”, or “snap out of it.”
Depression has biological origins and researchers believe it is also hereditary.
My Dr. used to tell me that like a diabetic needed insulin, I needed to boost my neurotransmitters due to a deficit in serotonin.
This deficit can result in changes in appetite, sleep, memory, emotional regulation, persistent feelings of sadness, lack of interest, fearfulness, hopelessness, agitation, and even thoughts of self-harm.
One way to confront your fears is to read or recite Bible verses about fear that will not only make you feel less alone, but also fill you with strength to conquer your worries.
It has been said that there are 365 Bible verses about fear and worry.
Now I haven’t counted them, but I have found numerous pieces of scripture that uplift and encourage you to lean on God whenever you feel overwhelmed with emotion or fear.
As Paul tells us in Philippians 4:8, read, think on, and speak of, that which is good, loving, hopeful, and induces peace and inner harmony.
As Proverbs 4:23 states, “Be careful what you think, because your thoughts run your life.”
Further wisdom shared in Proverbs, “Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.” (Proverbs 12:25)
Isaiah tells us, “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)
God is an anchor in the storm. He will calm the storms in your mind, enliven your heart and uplift your soul.
Though my mother passed away twenty-eight years ago, I know that we will meet again, for “in my father’s home there are many dwelling places.
If this were not so, Jesus tells us, would I go to prepare a place for you.
And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” (adapted from John 14:2)
Jesus shares with us this assurance and peace, peace that surpasses all understanding.
May this bring you peace, love, and hope for 2 Timothy 1:7 tells us, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power, and love, and a sound mind.” (NKJV)
Though the scriptures are helpful in shifting your mind, I encourage you if you are feeling despair, hopelessness, sadness, or any of the symptoms mentioned above to reach out.
Reach out to me, to your Dr., friends, to family, or to anyone you feel you can talk to.
If it is severe or life threatening, please reach out to 911 or to Chatham Kent Mental Health Association 519-351 9145.
Please just reach out.
My prayer my friends is that you know inner peace, peace that surpasses all understanding.
And know that you are not alone.
God is near, as near as your breath. Be grounded, uplifted, and hopeful in this assurance.
Until next time my friends may you know God’s loving presence, may Jesus walk beside you, and may the Spirit of love, hope, joy, and peace surround you.