Fool Proof Ways to Conquer your Emotions

If you read this blog, you likely suffer from feeling no emotion at all or being overly-emotional. I’m lucky enough to say, I’ve been in both pairs of shoes! (That was a sarcasm joke. We like those here.) Considering my experiences, I wanted to write a brief guide to teach those of you who have a hard time feeling anything to feel. For those of you who are always in your feelings, I want to establish some ground-rules for when to feel.

**This disclaimer appears a lot on this blog, so I apologize if you’re a regular visitor but I have to point out that I am not at all, nor will I ever probably be an expert, doctor, psychologist, psychiatrist, or anybody remotely important enough to diagnose anyone ever.**

Now here’s my un-expert opinion on how to flip-out and when to do so.

For the Emotionless:

You never feel like there’s a right time to cry. You’ve probably had someone make fun of you for being emotional at some point in your young life, or you honestly just can’t get the energy to form a deep-felt emotion. I need you to stop being afraid that someone is going to see you broken. God is going to take your brokenness and turn it into something good (Jeremiah 31:13) He will only allow the right people to see you broken for His glory.  Here are your practices for establishing healthy emotional boundaries when you feel numb:

  1. Go where you can be alone at least once a week. Make it a habit. You don’t need to cry every time, you just need to be where you can process your thoughts. I know that your thoughts as someone who has a mental illness can be scary, but we’re moving past fear today sister, or at least just this one. If your thoughts truly scare you that much, please seek professional help.
  2. After you’ve done this a couple times, and you hopefully move past being scared of your own thoughts, start to do a study on healthy emotions. I’m not even asking that it be biblical this time, just look for a good book about healthy emotions or a blog post, or even talk to a friend about what they do when they’re _______ (ex. Sad, angry, lonely, etc.) Whatever you’re struggling with research it. Figure out what is healthy if no one has told you before. I’m sure there’s some good TedTalks on this too!
  3. Recognize that even Jesus wept. (John 11:35). It is not a sin to cry, or to feel. It’s what you do with your feelings that causes you to sin.
  4. Join a support group or find accountability. SOOOOO lame sounding, I know girl. I don’t mean you necessarily have to go to one of those rooms with other people and sound out your thoughts about your week. There’s a lot of great tools online now for support and recovery. I have heard nothing but good things about a church program called Celebrate Recovery. If you’re not brave enough for that yet, simply ask a close friend to hold you accountable for your emotions. This could mean what you want it to mean, but I like the idea of having someone ask you weekly about how you’ve been feeling, and what you’ve been holding in for too long. Counseling is also a great place for these kinds of talks and self-examinations.
  5. Finally, take your mask off. All of the steps above have been leading you to this one. You can’t hide from God. He knows how you feel. Your close friends should know how you feel. There is no reason to feel ashamed for having a bad day because most likely, life threw you something that day that made you feel emotional. Having a bad day is a good sign for you! You’re overcoming your fear of feeling. Keep learning, talking, and sharing.

For the Overly-emotional:

Whenever something bad happens in the world, in your family, or at work you feel the sudden urge to react, whether that be with tears or with words. You let your emotions guide your decisions and forget to do a rational check-up on yourself beforehand. I recognize that God has given us each different personalities, and having an emotional character trait that makes it easier for you to cry compared to others is not wrong. Not handling yourself with self-control is (Proverbs 16:32).

Here are the steps you can take to begin to form a behavioral and emotional pattern of self-control:

  1. When you feel strongly about something take just 5 minutes to analyze the what, when, how, why, and where questions about your situation. Use your lifelines: phone a friend, rant, do what you need to do before you do something stupid, like pull a Before He Cheats by Carrie Underwood on your ex’s car.
  2. Set aside time in your day, when you’re alone, to process your feelings about the situation that’s triggered you. Don’t react to something in public. You could be setting yourself up for something embarrassing, dangerous, or just silly. If you need to yell, scream, or cry and feel like you just can’t hold it in go to your car. That’s my favorite place. If you think you can wait, do so.
  3. For the love, don’t post about it on social media. If you and your boyfriend had a fight, the world does not need to know how upset you are, how mean he is, or that you cried about it for 3 hours. If anything, just turn of your phone and unplug for the next hour or so to meditate on your emotions and pray.
  4. Realize that some things take time. Learn patience. The issue that has you so riled up is probably not going to resolve itself in one day. Sleep on it, but don’t go to bed angry, because that is a sin. (Ephesians 4:26)
  5. Develop a plan for resolution. I like to think about the serenity prayer here. What can you control, and what do you have to leave up to God? I find that most of the time, we can’t control much, so it’s up to us to let things go. I think you’ll find that most often, that is your plan for resolution. (Proverbs 19:21)


“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:  a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;  a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.” Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

The Truth about Bitterness

I want to start off this post with a prayer over your heart. I’m about to share with you something that may be silently and subconsciously affecting your life in a way you wouldn’t have seen before today.

Father God, I pray over the woman reading this post. I pray that you would open her heart to hear what I’m about to say. I pray that the Your Holy Spirit would work in her in a way that only You can. Amen.

I don’t know about you, but I recently recognized how bitter of a person I am. Bitterness is holding a grudge, resentment, anger and disappointment, or as Webster’s defines it, “a lack of sweetness.” Bitterness and pettiness go hand-in-hand most of the time. One leads to the other. I’m also beginning to realize that pettiness is a behavior that’s glorified in American culture right now. When a guy breaks up with you, the first thing you want to do is call your best friend and be “petty” and post things on social media that are not-so-subtly about him. You know what I’m talking about. Maybe you’re out of college and you still think about those middle school bullies sometimes, or the girl you hated in high school, or fill in your blank here. You get satisfaction from posting and reposting things that remind you of these painful times in your life, but for what purpose? Why do you feel the need to jab at the girl who has forgotten about what happened in high school? Why do you get pleasure from publicly proclaiming that your ex is a terrible person?

Pause for a second.

It hurts me and convicts my heart to ask myself these questions as I write them. Are you not an imperfect person? Am I not an imperfect person? Why are we casting stones at the woman caught in adultery when we, ourselves are adulterers? (See John 8) What is our mission here on earth as Christians? And what the heck does this have to do with mental health? I’m glad you asked, keep reading.

God does not allow us to stay tied to habits or people that prevent us from making Him our number one priority.

“Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.” – John 15:2

Have you ever asked God for a sign? I know, I do it too, it’s embarrassing to admit! Sometimes, God gives us signs, yet we ignore them. We sit here, imperfectly human, and totally lost, like a sheep walking away from its shepherd and wait for a sign when we’re already being shown one. Look! You have consistent and daily panic attacks. You can’t get out of bed. You have suicidal thoughts. Here’s your sign!! What is going on? Have you ever thought that the bitterness you’re harboring in your heart is training your mind to think negatively day after day? Ever thought that your petty behavior is rooting you in something other than God?

I want to say somethings once-and-for-all:

  1. Your purpose here on Earth as a Christian is not going to include bitterness.
  • Ephesians 4:31: “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.”
  1. Your petty behavior will only cost your mind more trouble.
  • Proverbs 4:23-26: “Be careful what you think, because your thoughts run your life. Don’t use your mouth to tell lies; don’t ever say things that are not true. Keep your eyes focused on what is right, and look straight ahead to what is good. Be careful what you do, and always do what is right.”
  1. You need to resolve your bitterness with yourself, with others, and with God in order to have complete and total peace.
  • Mark 11:25: “But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too.[f]

These are your warning signs and your action plan. Here’s the bad news: forgiveness is hard. It doesn’t always happen in one day. It is a daily act of repentance and acceptance that God can handle. (Matt. 12:21-22) Here’s the good news: God knows your heart, mind, and soul. (Jeremiah 17:10) He’s already forgiven you. (2 Corinthians 5:19) We’re imperfect, and He knows that. He just asks that your heart be on Him.

Go get your peace, sister.



The Secret to Surviving Life with Mental Illness


If you ever went to youth group, summer camp, or a small Christian school, or even just grew up in the church, boundaries are something you are all too familiar with. What I didn’t realize outside of my own previous knowledge was that boundaries apply to more than just dating.

If you suffer from any form of mental illness, you most likely have triggers. I’m not a psychiatrist, psychologist, or anybody certified to diagnose you, but you’re anxious and depressed due to something that has happened, is happening, or (just for my anxiety girls), something that will happen in the future. What would happen if we told our triggers to go sit in timeout for a minute because we needed to set some boundaries? Glad you ask. Keep reading.

I’ve had anxiety for a long time; since I was a little girl. It has taken me years to figure out what makes me anxious. The best part about it is I discover new triggers for my anxiety as soon as I think I’ve figured myself out.  If you’re new to the whole mental health thing, let me explain a trigger to you.

Triggers are things that spark panic attacks, states of depression, manic thoughts, or any scary thing someone with a mental disorder experiences in a day. People with social anxiety are typically triggered by social events like parties. This means they are most likely to have a panic attack when they are at a party.

Once you know your triggers; and they WILL change throughout your life, you can set your boundaries.

Let’s make this even more complicated: there are healthy boundaries and unhealthy boundaries, just like you were taught in youth group. Sex outside of marriage is an unhealthy boundary. You have that one memorized, I’m sure. Let’s do the same thing for **insert your mental illness here.** The easiest way I can explain this is by giving you, the public, worldwide web the boundaries I currently set for myself.

  1. I don’t really have social anxiety, but I have GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder). I am not a fan of large crowds, though. But LISTEN UP: my boundary is not to avoid large crowds all together. That is an unhealthy boundary. My boundary is to carry something with me that makes me feel safe IN large crowds. I have a couple irrational fears about large crowds so I always carry my pepper spray, my emergency panic attack medication, and a couple of tums. I know what you’re thinking. Those are all so different and so random, but I’ll explain them. I have the irrational fear of being raped, so I carry pepper spray. It makes me feel safer. I also know I’m more susceptible to panic in large crowds, so if I do have a panic attack, I have a medication just in case. I also get really bad stomach aches when I’m anxious, and ever since I developed anxiety at age 10ish, taking a Tum has seemed to help (probably a Placebo effect, but it works for me). I know myself, and large crowds (the trigger) now has a boundary around it.
  2. I also struggle with depression. Depression is always hard for me to talk about in a relatable sense because for me, it comes and goes with seasons of life, and people experience it at so many different levels. The things that trigger my depression are laziness, loneliness, and boredom. Those triggers have also changed over the years. I know for a fact that if I come home from work and immediately get in my bed as the first thing I do, I will most likely not get anything done for the rest of the night. I also know that while I’m introverted, not spending enough time with girlfriends will eventually get me down. We were created for fellowship and accountability. You need girlfriends no matter how introverted you are. Finally, I know I will be depressed if I think I’m bored. Now, there is always something to do in my life at the moment, but these days, boredom looks like scrolling through social media on my phone; do that too long and of course, depression will kick in eventually. In summary, my boundaries are 1) don’t get into bed first thing after work, 2) schedule time with friends, & 3) get off of the phone.

I hope this makes sense sisters. You don’t have to keep living in fear or sadness. You were not meant to live your life cooped up forever or crippled by the great big world out there. Also make sure one of your boundaries is consulting Jesus daily in your life, especially when your anxious or depressed.

So here’s the Action Plan:

  1. Determine your triggers. Write them down. Make a chart. See which ones relate to each other.
  2. Come up with a boundary for each trigger, knowing yourself and what makes you feel comfortable, safe, and happy.
  3. If you’re still confused about what triggers your mental issues, see a counselor. Schedule an appointment right now. They’re way better at digging through your brain than I am!
  4. Pray that God would transform your mind so that you can live happier, healthier and fearless.



Warning: This Could Change the Way You Think

Recently I’ve been examining the things that boggle me down throughout my day in an effort to eliminate some of the anxiety that attacks me at unpredictable times. You’ll never guess what I discovered. See, most of our anxiety stems from our thoughts. I know you’ve heard this before: “Change your thoughts, change your life.” Trust me, I hate hearing this phrase as much as you just hated to read it, so let’s change it to “Change your thoughts, get rid of your anxiety.”

I want to start by saying, sweet sister, if you’re not willing to change your thoughts and train your brain, you are not willing to get rid of your anxiety, or depression, or any other mental illness you may have. If you’re content with being discontent for the rest of your life, I’m not going to stop you, but you may not find this post very helpful for you; however; if you’re ready to go on a journey to reduce, lessen, and maybe even heal your brain, and even your heart, keep on reading!

If you’re still here, thank you for taking this HUGE step in your life and I’m proud of you for getting past that cheesy phrase of advice in the first paragraph. Now let’s deal with this. Your first step to changing your thoughts is consciously tracking what you’re thinking about. It’s hard to put into words, but think about what you’re thinking about the most. Maybe you’re not happy with your weight and you think about dieting, exercising, or the Victoria’s Secret model you read about on Facebook last night. Maybe your boyfriend sent you the “we need to talk” text this morning. Maybe you’ve been downright consumed with overwhelming amounts of schoolwork and all you can think about is fall break. I don’t know what you wake up and think about all day, but my thoughts range from the food I want to eat that day to “I can’t believe I just said that,” and “If I could only figure out how to be more productive after I get off of work.” From the things I think about, you may be able to tell I put a lot of pressure on myself to be perfect. Take a moment and try to write down or simply just think of a couple things you catch yourself thinking throughout the day and analyze what behavior may be causing some of your anxiety.

That was a tough-y, I know. Thinking about thoughts is a concept that takes a lot of critical thinking. (Yes, I did that on purpose, and yes, please quote me on that one. It took a lot of creative power.) If you had a lot of trouble going through your thought processes, try analyzing yourself per your behavior first instead. When you think about it, your thoughts are reflected in your behavior. For example, if you’re trying a new diet, it’s probably because you think you’re unhealthy. If you’re consistently trying to please everyone, you may think you’re not lovable. If you’re spending all of your time on Facebook, you may not even want to think. I hope you get the drift.

The end goal is ultimately to know what you’re thinking so that you can learn to stop thinking in the pattern that you’re used to now. This takes daily, consistent, prayerful effort. You didn’t learn to think the way you’re currently thinking in one day either. It happened out of habit. The same is going to have to happen to reverse the thought processes you have now. When you begin to piece together your thoughts and why they’re ruining your life, I hope and pray you develop the will to end the pattern. I don’t know the science behind it, but the best way I know how to explain it is that thoughts happen naturally, quickly, subconsciously, and in an endless reoccurring cycle. It may not seem like one thought could be the root of your anxiety attacks in the middle of the day, or at night when you’re trying to sleep, but it can be. Our thoughts can boggle us down, make us tired, worried, overwhelmed, frustrated, and irritable; but here’s the good news. Our thoughts can also make us happy, excited, hopeful, energized, and relaxed. If you’re wondering which thoughts can change your life for the better here they are:

  1. Whatever is true
  2. Whatever is honorable
  3. Whatever is just
  4. Whatever is pure
  5. Whatever is lovely
  6. Whatever is commendable
  7. Whatever is excellent
  8. Whatever is worthy of praise

If you think about anything that meets the requirements set before you above (basically anything that inspires the worship of God and service to others) you are promised the peace of God. (Philippians 4:8-9).

Changing the way you think is not supposed to be easy. The devil is constantly looking to invade your thoughts.

“Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8)

Peter writes this verse right after he tells the church to cast their anxieties on God. I hope you let that sink in. Your thoughts and your anxiety go hand-in-hand, and until you are willing to go through the blood, sweat, and tears of changing them, you will be attacked from all sides.

Action Plan:

  1. Grab a commentary (they’re online and in the back of your Bible), and write out some verses about the attributes of good thoughts listed above.
  2. If you had a really hard time analyzing your thought patterns earlier, spend a week praying solely that God would reveal the heart behind your thoughts to you. It won’t be pretty, but it’ll be worth it.


“Search me, O God , and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!”

Psalm 139:23-14

Heartbreak Hacks

I don’t know who or what has broken your heart that made you click on this post, but whatever your season in life is currently; it’s just a season. At the time of this post it is Fall; and to me, this season represents change. Maybe you just got bad news from a doctor. Maybe your boyfriend or husband left you. Maybe you have a child who won’t stop acting out. Whatever your season, even in the cold, despairing winter, these heartbreak hacks are meant to make this season feel a little more tolerable. Grab a cup of pumpkin spice anything, and let’s get started.

Keep a journal. I know it’s hard, especially when you struggle with depression to find the motivation to even write things down. If you don’t have a journal yet, invest in one you love to look at to motivate you. Customize one on Etsy if you really want to invest in yourself and make it feel important so you’ll do it. Also, relinquish the pressure to feel as though you need to do this daily or even weekly. You don’t have to do this every night. I find myself doing it only on the nights where I feel the most confused or grieved in life. Also give up the fancy stuff. Be original. Draw your thoughts, write a song, a poem, or start a book. No one besides you is going to see it. Do something, even if it’s one sentence. Most of my journals are letters, for example.

Instead of going straight to your depressing playlist, listen to some great soul-searching worship. My current favorites are Peace Be Still – The Belonging Co., To Be Honest – Highpoint Worship, & The Anchor – Life Church Music.  I’m curious about your favorites too! Leave them in the comments. This is my favorite option when I know I feel myself getting angry at God. Songs like the ones I listed give me hope and restore my faith in God and His promises. They make for great on-the-way-to-work jams too!

Color. If you need something to pass your time and keep you busy while you’re listening to your new music, grab a coloring book. If you don’t have one there are free coloring pages online you can print out! I’ve read stuff about coloring relieving stress. I’m gonna assume it’s true since it works for me. Forgive my ignorance on this one.

Take a break from social media. I deleted Facebook off of my phone for about 2 weeks after my last serious breakup. I didn’t quit cold turkey, but deleting the social media apps trained me to be intentional about actually getting out my computer and going on social media, which for me, meant spending less time actually scrolling mindlessly through my timeline and more time processing my emotions.

Dedicate yourself to learning something new, or take on a hobby. I played piano for 8 years and guitar for 2 throughout my elementary to high school education years. I hadn’t pulled out my guitar at all in college, but after my breakup decided to re-teach myself the basic chords and play some easy Taylor Swift. I honestly don’t know the science to why taking on a hobby that you enjoy works for the heartbreak woes, but it does, so try it.

Take a nap. Don’t think that taking a nap means that you’re sinking into depression. Most of the time heartbreak can result in a lack of sleep because your brain won’t stop processing. Catch up on your rest. You need it.

Make breakfast for dinner. I just thought of this suggestion today while talking to one of my sweet friends enduring the same thing you are. My comfort food at nighttime is breakfast. If you don’t like breakfast, insert your favorite comfort food here. Ben & Jerry’s is a given.

Read through some Psalms. Psalms is one of my favorite books for depression and anxiety. David is literally journaling how He feels to God. Highlight your favorite verses and write them down in your journal.

If you’re someone who struggles with anxiety and depression worsening in different seasons of life, you may need to evaluate your situation medically. I have had to go on and off meds for different reasons, but don’t feel ashamed to start them again if it helps you get back on your feet. If you want honesty, I would not be motivated to write for this blog without a little help from my Lexapro. Your work life, school life, and relationships are important. Medication is an investment in yourself, in my opinion. Others will disagree with me, but as I’ve seen it in my life, there is no shame in it if you need it to function. God doesn’t want you walking around this earth miserable either. Your purpose is to shine a light that is so bright others will see Him in you.

Ask for Help. Sometimes I feel like when I ask for prayers after a breakup, it’s pathetic. Someone’s life situation always seems worse than yours and all you have is this pathetic breakup you can’t get over. It’s not pathetic. Your emotions are not pathetic. Your life situation is not pathetic. Ask for prayer. When a group of believers comes together to pray, you best believe there is power in His name. On the topic of prayer, I just launched my Facebook page for this blog.  (Just search GADGirls in the search bar). There’s a “Send Message” button on the page. If you need prayer over your broken heart, or need healing in a relationship, send a message, and I’ll pray for you.

Gather some girlfriends and go out on the town! Once you’ve cried for a while, I have this feeling you’ll want to do something other than mope around, which as I’ve clearly stated is not wrong or pathetic. This can be as small as coffee, or as large as salsa dancing. Do what you gotta do girl, and send me an invite.

I hope these suggestions help you process what you’re going through right now, and please don’t hesitate to ask me for help. I want to help you by praying for you, getting to know you, and shining Jesus’ light on you. Feel better!


“The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.”

Psalm 34:18

** This post is dedicated to my best friend. May God bring comfort to you now and always**


The GADGirls Self-Care Guide for Anxiety

This guide provides you with 31 days (a month) of tasks to do that should help you through your walk with anxiety. Print it out and post it on your wall, then share it with your friends! Let me know when you’ve completed it by sharing, commenting, and following, and I’ll send you a gift ❤

  1. Declutter your social media friends and followers. Anyone who bothers you, promotes negativity, or you just don’t feel like you need to see on a daily basis goes.
  2. Try something new; a new recipe, a new routine, a new workout, or new ringtone. Try it.
  3. Make a to-do list and aim to cross off the 3 most important things a day from here on out.
  4. Give up Social Media for 12 hours, 24 hours, 48 hours, or a week. Whatever would be the most challenging for you.
  5. Find a Psalm that speaks to you, write it on an index card and paste in on a mirror that you use every day.
  6. Drink one more glass of water than you usually do today.
  7. Pick up your Bible before your phone. If you’ve already failed, download the Bible app and start a plan centered on anxiety.
  8. Do squats while brushing your teeth tonight.
  9. Clean your car, your room, or something else that you’ve been putting off cleaning.
  10. Write down a list of people you need to forgive.
  11. Call a friend to tell them how your week has been going. Ask them about theirs too and how you can pray for them!
  12. Pay for someone’s drink in line today.
  13. Spend an hour learning something new today. (Podcasts, YouTube, an Online Course)
  14. Write down 5 things you’re grateful for. Do this from this day all the way to day 31.
  15. Buy a candle, a bouquet of flowers, or something that smells good for your workspace, or your bedroom. If you already have something, smell it, light it, plug it in.
  16. Make a playlist and fill it with songs that will calm you down in the midst of an anxiety attack.
  17. Save 10% more of your paycheck this month. Start an emergency fund if you don’t already have one.
  18. Write down 5 things you love to do. Add them to your own self-care guide for next month, or interchange them for things you didn’t like on this list.
  19. Luxury Shower Night: These are the showers where I wash/condition my hair, maybe do a hair mask instead of condition, shave, use a sugar scrub, AND body wash. I then do a facemask and moisturize my body. If that seems like a lot, just take a bath, but use a bath bomb at least.
  20. There’s tons of free pintables online if you don’t have a book!
  21. Play with your pet for 30 minutes. If you don’t have a pet, go down to a PetSmart and pet the cats in there! Or any animal shelter close to you will have dogs too!
  22. Journal your thoughts, fears, and convictions that you’ve realized over the past 22 days.
  23. Pray for an extra 30 minutes tonight. Seems like a long time, so if you start to struggle, put on some worship music and pray the lyrics!
  24. Go for a walk around the block or around the mall.
  25. Ask a friend to lunch/coffee. The worst thing that could happen is they say no.
  26. Take a step down with your caffeine dose today. Drink something with less caffeine or take a caffeine break. Caffeine is an advocate for panic throughout the day.
  27. Put your loose change in a jar, and while you’re at it, clean out your purse!
  28. Do your devotion this morning, no excuses. Be late to work.
  29. Resolve to be really honest with God today about how you’re feeling. He can handle it.
  30. Clean out your phone contacts.
  31. Cut out unnecessary spending and resolve to budget tighter next month! Pay off your debt first.

Why We Suffer

You fell asleep last night after another long day of getting nothing accomplished. You woke up this morning feeling the same way you did last night; not wanting to get out of bed, much less make an appearance in public. You’re sitting at your desk at work minding your own business when suddenly you feel sick. Your stomach is in knots, you feel as though you might vomit. You’re so sick of feeling this way for no apparent reason. You feel great and happy for about 3 hours, but the next 3 are the most miserable you have felt for that day. Do any of these circumstances apply to your daily life? Where is God in this? Why is He allowing this to happen to you and why won’t he do anything about it?

I was openly telling someone about the panic attacks I have at work the other day, when a coworker said, “man, that really sucks.” It occurred to me in that moment that there are people who do not struggle with mental health at all. I couldn’t believe that the thought shocked me. Unfortunately, not everyone around us is going to understand what goes on in our heads, but fortunately, there are enough people that DO struggle with mental illness to prove that it exists, and that we’re not crazy.

Reason #1 why God has allowed this to happen to you: because it happens to other people too. That seems a little silly at first, I know, and kind of unfair, but let’s look at 2 Corinthians 1:3-7.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort.” (ESV)

In his letter to the Corinthians, Paul is trying to convey that without suffering, we would not be able to experience God’s comfort. Experiencing God’s comfort helps us show others what God has done in our lives so that they too may believe and ultimately have comfort; resting in the promise of eternal life.

If you’re reading this right now and you are in the darkest spot it feels like you’ve ever been stuck in, these words may just rub you the wrong way. You may feel like you haven’t experienced a single ounce of comfort from God or anyone in your life during this time. I was there, unable to get out of bed and eventually life got better, and I must admit I didn’t fully understand how, but If this is the place you’re in today, all you need to do is take a baby step. Write down the word comfort somewhere to remind you that eventually you can allow yourself to feel comfort. Write the entire passage down in a journal. Get out of bed for just 5 minutes to make a cup of coffee or tea and stare out the window. You can do small things. I believe in you.

Reason #2 God is allowing a mental illness in your life could be to fulfill His ultimate plan for your life. This one is hard to accept at first. It may take years to figure this one out, but remember how I was just talking about baby steps? The same process applies here. I never imagined I’d feel called to write, minister, and speak to girls my age about mental health until one day I woke up from a dream where GADGirls was plastered across my mind and I was aware of the lack of recognition of mental health in the Christian community. Your story is unique, and will be different, but until you get your calling, your passion, and your realization, pray for it eagerly. You don’t have to just sit around while you pray either. Learn to be self-aware. What do you really like and what do you hate? Analyze your personality and your gifts. Write your dreams and goals down. If you can’t bring yourself to write things down quite yet, hold onto your promise of comfort. You’ll get there. I strongly recommend the book You’re Already Amazing by Holley Gerth if you need help analyzing yourself (it sounds funny, I know).

Reason #3 God is allowing a mental illness in your life is because, sister, you need a wakeup call. This pill may be a bit hard to swallow. Your mental illness is not a punishment, but it may bring you so low, that you have no choice but to run to your Father. You cannot find comfort anywhere else. Sorry, let me rephrase. You cannot find true comfort anywhere else. There are things that numb the pain, like alcohol, parties, drugs, porn, tobacco, but if you find that any of those things brings you comfort I’m gonna need you to send me some of what you’re doing (IM KIDDING), but seriously young lady, it’s time to walk towards your only true source of hope and healing, and that is God, who is in constant pursuit of your heart, soul, mind, and strength.

So why does God continue to allow the mental illness in your life? Because he loves you. Because he wants you to love others like He loves you. Because He wants you to want Him back. Because in this world there will be suffering and we were never meant to go it alone.