Gary and I attended an event in Omaha on Thursday about Mental Health and the Church. It was put on by Fresh Hope (we facilitate a small group in Allison). It was a good day of hearing talks from Amy Simpson, Joe Padilla, and Pastor Brad Hoefs.
I enjoyed the day so much, but I was surprised to find myself getting kind of emotional toward the end of the event. Tears filled my eyes and I had to brush them away. I tried to figure out what was going on that was making me cry, but I was kind of stumped.
I think it had to do with medicine at first. I started wondering if I should try going off my medicine (even though Fresh Hope strongly advocates for working with your doctors and staying on the medicines they prescribe), and then that kind of turned into negative feelings about the future.
How silly to sit in the middle of an event focused on hope for those with a mental health challenge and start to lose that same hope.
|The Bible mentions hope over 120 times - that's a lot of hope!|
Finally, my thoughts started to come back around when I heard Pastor Brad say something like this: "Focus on what you're moving toward, not what you're moving away from."
As you know, I love that word "focus." I realized what was going wrong in my thinking. I was focusing on the depression, the uncertainties of my mental health, the challenges of each day and what could go wrong.
Instead, I had to get my focus back where it belonged. I had to think about moving toward hope and a thriving life because Christ lives in me.
|We're more likely to hit the target if we're actually looking toward it instead of behind us.|
Maybe you're dealing with similar challenges as you read this. Can I urge you to focus on what you're moving toward instead of what you're moving away from?
Focus on little acts of kindness you can show toward your spouse that will bring you closer instead of focusing on how he (or she) has offended you or your own mistakes in communicating and relating.
Focus on small changes that will move you closer to a healthier, slimmer body instead of focusing on your tendency to overeat or what you look like in the mirror.
Focus on how much God loves you instead of focusing on how many times you've failed Him. (Another great quote from Thursday's event: "You're safe and you're enough.")
Focus on what you're moving toward instead of what you're moving away from. As for me, I'm going to keep moving toward hope.
"...one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal...." (Philippians 3:13-14 NIV)
Are you focused too much on what you're moving away from? How can focusing on God help you to move steadily ahead toward your goal?