Romans 12, Verse 2 - Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
Psalm 46, Verse 10 - Be still and know that I am God.
Excerpt from "Mere Christianity" by C.S. Lewis, Chapter 4 - I would much rather say that every time you make a choice you are turning the central part of you, the part of you that chooses, into something a little different from what it was before. And taking your life as a whole, with all your innumerable choices, all your life long you are slowly turning this central thing either into a heavenly creature or into a hellish creature: either into a creature that is in harmony with God, and with other creatures, and with itself, or else into one that is in a state of war and hatred to God, and with its fellow creatures, and with itself. To be the one kind of creature is heaven: that is, it is joy and peace and knowledge and power. To be the other means madness, horror, idiocy, rage, impotence, and eternal loneliness. Each of us at each moment is progressing to the one state or the other.
Excerpt from "The Soul of the World" by Roger Scruton, Chapter 3 - Brain-imaging techniques have been used to cast doubt on the reality of human freedom, to revise the description of reason and its place in human nature, and to question the validity of the old distinction of kind, which separated person from animal, and the free agent from the conditioned organism. And the more we learn about the brain and its functions, the more do people wonder whether our old ways of managing our lives and resolving our conflicts - the ways of moral judgment, legal process, and the imparting of virtue - are the best ways, and whether there might be more direct forms of intervention that would take us more speedily, more reliably, and maybe more kindly to the right result.
Quote by G.K Chesterton - The Snail does the Holy Will of God slowly.
"Prayer of a Contented Boy" by E.W. - St. Paul said, "I have learned in whatsoever state I am to be contented therewith." I think I've found the way, O Lord, Always contented to be; To like and to see Your will, O Lord, In whatever happens to me.
"Renegades" song by X Ambassadors - A video about those that over-cometh.
Renegade Commitment #10 from the 11 Commitments of Modern Day Renegade by Michelle Murphy - You're not the only one of us who has somehow survived the emotion of extreme undeserved torment. March on with a badge of honor. You will heal. You must. Carry on. For even torment leads to wonder, and wonder to information that heals.
A Wondering Heart - Finding the 1 Percent, Poem by Michelle Murphy
How great Thou art isn't always impulsively rolling
Off my Tongue.
I say, every torment leads to wonder, and wonder
To information that heals. [Renegade Commitment #10]
And so I am a Wondering Heart.
I do not wander, but have a path set before me,
At times that causes delay or may at times reject
All that might be pure, as I instead lay in the
Grease pit & wallow in the mud.
What is the purpose of a challenging path? - maybe
A path crawling with the wormwoods that will One day
Eat away at those who have Forsaken all righteousness,
And harmed another as a way of life.
My path is set by God, but littered with trials set forth by
Evil spirits and evil doers.
What heart do I have left at this point?
Hardly one to cry out to God in pain; hardly one that is all
But paralyzed - not feeling a thing except some anxiety that
Another wormwood will cross my Path - one that is eager for
Me (me - a Godly person) to have the everlasting torment
In Their place.
What is there to be passionate about when all has been lost?
After being fed to the wolves - their tummies full.
I am but a Wondering Heart these days.
Information that heals - it may be what is left that
Can appeal to my once brighter-side - no less than
A hug or a smile or a remark by someone else on a
The healing information is that I can weed out 99% of the
Info and only cling to what really may be true for someone
Like me - someone made in some image - a mistake - an experiment?
A dangerous dagger I carry around though.
A dagger meant to throw heaps of coal on an enemy only God
Life ain't beautiful. There is cruelty in nature - such as we are
A part of nature - co-creators of a living Hell. For my eyes
Have uniquely been opened outside of a reality
Bubble of which I was born into, along with everyone I know.
But I do carry a dagger - a dagger combined with a Wondering
Heart meant to throw heaps of coal on an enemy only
I now await the 1 percent, so I can share it with my
Comrades - Here and Now, Seen and Unseen, stretched
Thin in the Cosmos. Cheers to them!
Excerpt from "Fight Song" by Rachel Platten - Like a small boat on the ocean sending big waves into motion. Like how a single word can make a heart open. I might only have one match, but I can make an explosion. And all those things I didn't say, wrecking balls inside my brain, I will scream them loud tonight. Can you hear my voice? This time this is my fight song, take back my life song, prove I'm alright song. My powers turned on, starting right now I'll be strong, I'll play my fight song. And I don't really care if nobody else believes, 'cause I still got a lot of fight left in me.
I have a psychotic form of bipolar often referred to as schizo-affective disorder. Last year (2016), this otherwise successful woman landed in a mental hospital 4 times. Most of this year (2017) has included depression, and another terrifying six week episode occurred. I understand torment; I also strive towards a healed state everyday. As much as I strive, God has met me there and healed me even more so, bringing my faith along and strengthening me. The healing has not been for the purpose of being in an oblivious type of happy state, but towards a more meaningful goal - one in which I eat with thanks, succeed with joy, and "love others" counting the blessings "loving others" contains. I have lamented on such minute details of life; I never want to forget those details, but focus them in a positive Godly direction. I've already started in that direction.
I have met people who have taken mind-altering drugs and been outside of reality enough to contemplate the bigger picture for a moment. Yet rarely do I meet those that have contemplated altered states enough to really appreciate the shared reality even more - and longterm. But for the bipolar or schizophrenic with psychosis we long to stay in the shared reality at all times, and can often be in poetic rhyme about the dance and song of real life. For to "be still and know that I am God", is something like the process one goes through experiencing life during a depression, mania or psychosis. I've met God in the clouds and in the pit of Hades.
Also not all, but many with mental struggles have learned to rely on God for inner peace and their daily needs - there is something huge about that reliance, and I too have been completely reliant in times of need. There is also a wondrous peace that results from mental struggles, in the sense that you know times without peace - those with mental illness have wallowed in the grease pit, so to speak, and made it through. Thank goodness I am still here. As for my depressing & optimistic poem, "A Wondering Heart - Finding the 1%", I have now (2 episodes later) found the 1% and am in a position to reach out to others and mentor or help.
Asking God for strength during difficult times is essential. God's will for our lives follows. For we want our mind to be renewed in mental struggles, so when we come out the other side we are refreshing to ourselves and others - and renewed to be in harmony with God. Lifelong learning includes learning from experience, not just from the Bible and other books. My experiences with mental health issues are real and lifelong. Being strong during difficult times requires something from Above and I have learned that. I've faced real darkness, often spiritual in nature. The strength I ask from God is necessary to engage in spiritual battle, or to overcome inner turmoil. My choices in dark times have ranged from sinful to pleasing to God, but the spiritual battle has been real. True peace comes from God on a fruitful day, but also also a dark day. My faith has improved as a result of knowing that and through the testing of my faith.
Dear God, When I am not struggling I look back and see my struggles have purpose - purpose in Your almighty plan. I pray for strength when I am in a psychotic state or swept up in depression. I pray for meaning and purpose to continue in my life despite difficulties - this is very important to me. I pray for continued good mental health into the near and long-term future. I ask for forgiveness when I have succumbed to dark forces and sin - I have been tested but I have not always done what is right. Help me to reflect on what Your expectations are and zero in right there - in righteousness. May Your grace shine upon others with mental struggles, as it has me when I have fallen short. May I truly become content in any state of mind - depression or otherwise. I am glad my faith is more mature - fully restored, and my outlook more appreciative as a result of my hardship. You have always been there - many thanks. Thank you for the breeze on a cool fall day and the warm nature of so many people in Our shared reality; life is beautiful. I strive to give back for what has been given to me by You. Your Almighty hand produces so many good works and gives to many! Amen.
Michelle is a woman of depth whose faith has pulled her through some difficult times. She finds beauty and inspiration from life experience and literature, sourced from all ages and walks of life. Michelle seeks to inspire other women in their personal journeys, especially those who struggle. Michelle is also a mental health advocate, writer & engineer. Her other website is www.freemindbooks.com.