Posted in Seeing God in the Struggle

Seeing God in the Struggle: He is there

A story from Kathy Brown:

My brother Rees Harris II was born in December of 1982. He was soon diagnosed with Werdnig-Hoffman Syndrome, the infantile form of spinal muscular atrophy. It was very rare. Only a handful of kids were diagnosed with it. The nerves don’t send impulses to the muscles so they don’t work. He could not move. He had a tracheostomy tube and a ventilator to breathe for him. He had a feeding tube so he’d get nutrition. He had around the clock nurses to care for him because his condition required suctioning of his trach & use of an ambu bag while not attached to the breathing machine. He passed away exactly 22 1/2 years after his birth, outliving his life expectancy by 22 years. He also outlived several of his doctors and our mom.
So where was God in this struggle?
Rees had a smile that kept you from seeing his problems. God was there.
Rees had a fabulous mind trapped in a terrible body. God was there as he not only went to school, but excelled and was inducted into The National Honor Society.
To have Rees live 22 years longer than expected was truly of God. He was sent home to die on July 1, 1983. Our parents were told early on to just let him go, to enjoy their three healthy children and live their lives.
They did not.
God was in their decision to keep him alive.
God was there when they didn’t sleep, worried his condition would kill him sooner or later.
God was there when our Mom died unexpectedly and we had to carry on without her.
God was there when Rees finally could not fight anymore, when it was his time to go to heaven and join our mom and Jesus.
As Rees was dying, my husband joined two of his nurses and me around his hospital bed. We prayed him up to heaven and Ken remarked, “Can you imagine your mom’s face when Rees WALKS to her in heaven?”
How could we be sad? God won! Rees won! Every day was a miracle from God and we got well over 8000 of those days.
God was always there and He is always there. He’s there in our struggles and our celebrations. Thank you God for always being there.

Kathy Brown

Posted in Mental Health Awareness

The Difference Between Being Anxious And Actually Having Anxiety

What a great read. Totally not degrading on either side. Great information.

Discovering Your Happiness

The Difference Between Being Anxious And Actually Having Anxiety

Hello loves, ❤

FACT #1: Everyone will experience anxiety from time to time.

FACT #2: Anxiety is a completely normal reaction to stress – most of the time.

Let’s define “most of the time.” It motivates us to study for tests or finish our assignments. It can warn us against walking down a creepy alley at night and is the key to a fight-or-flight response in a dangerous situation.

Having a little bit of anxiety once in a while isn’t just normal, it’s healthy. It allows us to make good decisions and get things done.

Anxiety becomes a problem, however, when it doesn’t just affect you occasionally. When it begins to consume your thoughts on the daily, that’s when it becomes something more serious.

If it starts to affect your work, personal life, or health, then you might have a real, diagnosable anxiety disorder. Many people flippantly throw out phrases…

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Posted in Mental Health Awareness

Mental Health Awareness

To help raise some mental health awareness, I created a survey to see what others thought about anxiety and being a Christian with anxiety. This post is the results of said survey with results from 44 participants.

Do you know someone who suffers from anxiety?

42 people answered that they knew someone with anxiety, which is 95.5% of the participants. This is actually pretty surprising since only 18% of the population is affected my anxiety (ADAA). However, this just goes to show why it is so important that people know about anxiety because even if they don’t have anxiety themselves, odds are they know someone who does.

Can you suffer from anxiety as a Christian?

38 of the participants answered yes and 2 answered maybe. Together that was 90.9% of the participants. This actually came as a huge surprise to me since it is typically Christians with anxiety that receive quite the backlash. This backlash is the number one reason Christians with anxiety don’t seek out help (Graber). Please read Graber’s little article on Christians with anxiety if you are still having doubts.

What do you think Anxiety is?

27 of the participants described anxiety as either stress, fear, nervousness, or worry. 7 participants, 16%, mentioned that it was a mental health issue or chemical imbalance in the brain. 4 participants either said they didn’t know or it was a made up disease. The ADAA defines anxiety as the inability to control worry for long periods of time which can lead to panic attacks, and there is a behavioral or functional change because of the inability to control their worry.

What advice would you give to someone with anxiety?

15 of the participants stated to seek professional help whether that be a doctor or a therapist. 9 participants stated to breathe or relax, but I do not recommend this response at all. I enjoyed that after reading those responses one of the participants wrote, “Definitely not to calm down.” Garber suggests to encourage them to get help and support them through the process.

Can you find examples of anxiety in the Bible?

While 86% of the participants believe that one can suffer from anxiety as a Christian, only 84% of the participants are positive that you can find examples in the Bible. Another 4.5% think there are examples in the Old Testament only. If you are looking for examples of anxiety in the Bible, click here.

Does Jesus talk about anxiety?

Here the percentage drops even more. Only 65.9% of the participants believe for sure that Jesus talks about anxiety. 22.7% are unsure if Jesus talks about anxiety or not. The Sermon on the Mount is probably the most common passage of scripture that is a prime example that Jesus talks about anxiety.

What most surprised you about these results? Did any of this resonate with you?

© 2018 Kiersten Smeal