How do we stay emotionally healthy and strong? Praying and singing might lift our spirits, but the Lord needs us to be proactive and make the changes that need to happen.
After some time of struggling to cope emotionally and physically—and eventually ending up with shingles and extremely poor health—I placed this matter before the Lord. Here’s what He commanded me to do:
1. Delegate. I was working myself to death and doingeverything only halfway. I realized that if Satan cannot make me bad, he will be sure to make me busy! At least 30 percent of my time I was doing things that could have been delegated to others (even to my children!). I had to learn that I am not empowering people when I do everything for them—I am impoverishing them, and that made me a poor leader and even a poor mother.
2. Let go of the past. Past mistakes. Past failures. Past anger.Past resentment. Past fears. I had to ask forgiveness, give forgiveness, and accept forgiveness. I also had to learn that this is an ongoing process!
3. Make time for health. I made the mistake of thinkingthat health comes from food. But health also comes from exercise, fresh air, joy-filled times with friends and family, and 30 minutes of solitude every day.
4. Affirm faith. Unfortunately, many people have lost thetrue meaning of being a Christian and being a Seventh-day Adventist. God reminded me that the Seventh-day Adventist Church is not a health organization. It is not a welfare organization. The Adventist Church is a Bible-believing, evangelism-driven denomination. And I am sorry to say that only after I was reminded of this fact was my faith in the church affirmed. Then I was once again proud to be part of it! I now make time every day to seek Jesus as the center of every one of our fundamental beliefs. I lost Christ while I was working for Him in the church due to a misguided understanding of our true calling.
5. Make a schedule. God reminded me that He is a God of order, and He expects us to have that same order in our lives. Today I live according to a proper schedule. I schedule time to spend with God, to exercise, to be alone, to be with friends, and to perform the carefully and prayerfully chosen duties I am willing and able to do at church. Yes, spending time with God is in my daily planner. And when we are together, I ask Him to show me if there is any forgiveness I need to give, receive, and accept. I even ask Him daily to renew my passion for His work.
What makes this process successful? I keep to my schedule religiously! I do not let people tell me that they are incapable of performing their own duties and convince me that I am apparently the only person who can help. I will assist them and help them through the process, but they will sort out their own messes and live out their own visions.
When I schedule proper time for my children, my husband, my home, myself, and God, I suddenly have more than enough time. And believe it or not, I have a full-time job and study part-time as well. No burnout. No emotional meltdowns. No debilitating fatigue at the end of a week.
But I had to become organized and be strict about it. That was a command of God to this emotionally drained and physically sick woman. I listened, and it worked. And I cannot thank Him enough