2016. Whew. In many ways, I want to say, GOOD RIDDANCE! But there's another side of me that is very thankful for all the lessons learned. This has been a very full and enlightening year, to say the least. Compiling this list of the most popular posts of 2016 was so much fun. I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed writing them.
The phrase “Mental Health” does not appear in the Bible. Yet to ignore our mental health would be a huge mistake in our development as a person. Enjoy this guest post by regular contributor, Sean Swaby!
As a first-timer on the psych ward, it appeared we were focusing on basic things like eating right, getting plenty of rest and talking with a professional. In retrospect, I see that we were working on a much deeper level. We were engaging with a community of people with similar struggles and similar goals, setting boundaries and learning about self-compassion.
I used to live in an I-have-it-together illusion. But waking up in ICU after a failed suicide attempt left me with no choice but to admit that I suffer from mental illness, specifically depression and anxiety. These days, I am grateful for my mental illness, personal growth, and improvement in my family since I faced my illness. It has allowed me to become more open and honest about who I am.
I don’t like being a Christian today. Actually, I should say, I don’t like most Christians today. Wait. What I really mean is, I don’t want to fight with Christians anymore.
For the longest time, I wrestled with whether I should support the gay community in the same way that I struggled with whether late-term abortion should be legal or capital punishment should be banned. Now I wonder, what was I thinking? How on earth did I justify lumping love and death into the same categories?
Conventional wisdom isn't always all that wise.
For decades, I lived out the expectations of performance-based Christianity. I have lived through the lies we tell non-believers. We say, “Come just as you are,” but the implied rest of that sentence is, “ …and you have about two weeks to get your act together before we’ll expect to know how much you’ll be tithing and what ministry you’ll serve.”
I’ve been surrounded by Christian music all my life. I grew up in Amy Grant’s paved paradise, and felt the sting of the rose Michael W. Smith sang about, as it was trampled on the ground. As a church kid, the greatest thing ever was the release of the WOW CD’s during my middle school years. Can I get an amen?
I’ve been reading the Gospels the past two weeks. I haven’t read straight through in quite a while. And this time, I studied closely, every single thing Jesus said about homosexuality.
During the past nine years, we’ve done a lot of living. We’ve learned some beautiful and some painful lessons. We’ve each spent a week on a psych ward. We’ve had two babies. We’ve led two youth groups. We’ve nearly divorced at least once. And we have only just begun to learn what truly matters in life.
One thing is for sure, there are several things no one tells you before you walk down that aisle.