Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Finding meaning in loving others and helping them

Dear Friends,

Thanks for stopping by. Trust you have had a good weekend.

I am late this week to post my Mission4Monday but here I am anyway :-)

I am thankful to God for giving me strength to walk with Him and serve Him.

Having bipolar disorder (manic-depressive illness) means I am more prone to mood-swings than the average person. I am still learning to recognize early symptoms and how to manage my condition better so that I can be more functional.

But whenever symptoms or suspected symptoms surfaced, there can still be fears and discouragement. I have been feeling very very tired the last few days. I tried to rest but I also couldn't help doing certain things. Especially when it comes to serving God and His people :-)

But I know that I must really learn to slow down and pace myself more moderately. I know from painful experiences that if I do not pace myself carefully, I may over-strain and burn-out, and then clinical depression will follow. A burn-out servant is of little use!

I am thankful to God for encouraging me through His Words as I seek Him during devotion every morning and evening. I also pray and talked to our Lord throughout the day. Thank God that He is with us always!

I am thankful to God for enabling my friend, Marja Bergen, to write her experiences and God's goodness to her in her book "A Firm Place to Stand".

I found the following excerpts very encouraging and trust she will not mind me sharing these portions with you.

It is encouraging to remember that each new day brings an opportunity to pick ourselves up, by the grace of God and move ahead. Nothing that has happened yesterday is so bad that we can't leave it behind and press on in our journey.

I am thankful to God that I can continue to serve Him through this blog as I journal God's goodness and mercies to me daily in managing bipolar disorder and the other challenges in my life.

The knowledge that God loves us and is working all things for His glory and our good, brings great comfort to me personally and gives me courage to face each day no matter how good or how bad it may be. Learning to love others like the way God loves me brings me greatest satisfaction and enable me to find meaning in life, just like the way Marja did. May you too find great joy and satisfaction in God as you seek to do His will and rest in His faithfulness, love and mercies.


Excerpts taken from Marja Bergen's "A Firm Place To Stand":
"Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.Philippians 3:13-14

Each new day brings an opportunity to pick myself up and move ahead. It's a fresh start, a clean slate. The past is history.

Nothing that happened yesterday is so bad I can't leave it behind and, at least for today, look to what is ahead. I don't want to look way out into the distant future. The next few hours are all that matter now. What will I do today? How will I live today?... This is the day the Lord has made....

As I go about my daily activities, I thought endlessly about what was important in life and how I would like to use my time. I decided to give instead of take; I wanted to make instead of use. I reached the conclusion that I wanted the world to be a better place after I died because I had been there...

Once I had found God and my spiritual journey had begun, my outlook in life quickly changed. My new discovery of how God loved me and had a purpose for my life gave me a great joy. It filled me up.

I learned from my Bible readings how God wanted me to love others as He loved me. This was my desire. I wanted to give to others what God has given to me. I felt called to follow Jesus' model.

During my morning prayers, I asked God to fill me with his love and help me share it with others.

Jesus said, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive' (Acts 20:35). This was true for me. Giving of myself was healing, and I became happier. Eventually, God's love led me to a life I could never have imagined possible in my early years as a Christian. Jesus gave me opportunities to serve that, at one time, would have been far beyond me.

And, I made another discovery: heirlooms made of cloth and yarn do not compare to caring for those around us. I didn't have to do anything grand. I didn't have to be famous or make a lot of money. Keeping Christ's love in my heart as I spent time with others and worked for their welfare was enough.

I learned to understand that whatever I do for others, I do for God. And when I give to others, I'm no longer in the victim's role.

I found meaning in having compassion and helping others. I often look back at what Jesus said in Matthew 11:28-30: 'Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.' I have found the rest Jesus spoke of, and today I carry the burden of Jesus of supporting and encouraging others. This has given my life deep meaning.

I walk with God and let God lead. The unfolding adventure is a beautiful thing, one long mystery tour. I don't know where God will take me next, but I don't need to be afraid. 'For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.' Jeremiah 29:11. My life is in God's hands."


For more Mission 4 Monday posts, visit Peggy.

Thanks again for stopping by and your encouragements. May God grant you a very blessed week!

Take care.

Related Posts:

About depression, bipolar disorder (manic-depressive illness) and mental illness or mood disorders:
1. About bipolar disorder (manic-depressive illness)
2. Myths and Facts on Mental Illness
3. Treatment of bipolar disorder
4. Various pamphlets and articles on bipolar disorder for sufferer and carer
5. Recovery steps for depression and bipolar disorder or manic-depressive illness

For friends and carers:
1. Helping someone with mood disorder
2. Family and Friends' Guide to Recovery from Depression and Bipolar Disorder
3. How Carers and Friends can help

Other recent related posts:

1. Trust during rough times
2. Finding meaning in a life with bipolar disorder
3. Mental illness (depression, bipolar disorder, etc) is an illness like any other
4. Video on "Depression - A Stubborn Darkness"

9 comments:

Joyfulsister said...

Hi Nancie,
I just wanted to drop by and see how you are doing and give you a (((Hugz)), With my current Chronic illness I have been feeling very tired as well. So I know I also need to slow down and take it easy. I know the Lord is faithful but he also gives us wisdom too. I pray for us all although we may going through different health issues, we can be such an encouragement to one another as sistahs through prayers and just uplifting each other's spirits. Take care and rest okay.

Luv ya Lorie

Peggy said...

Blessings Nancie...First off, I want you to know that you do not need to leave a comment as you usually do nor reply to any email or ecard...I do that just to let you know that you are in my thoughts & prayers. However, if you didn't say "HI" I would not have known that you posted and I'm so glad you were able to join Mission4Monday. Thanks so much!

Secondly, you are using much wisdom but need to continue to take it easy. I can tell you chose this excerpt also to speak to our spirits on REST! I am so glad you are finding strength. That you find
meaning in the love of others & helping them. Please slow down & do not rush back and take on too much.

Your heart is so beautiful. But this was the most wise statement you made: A burn-out servant is of little use! AMEN!

Your devotion to Our Lord is precious & foremost. You have filled your days with Him! He is there with you! I'm glad He can lift your burdens and your spirit.
I'm so glad you trust in Him. I'm thankful you can use the blog to journal but that doesn't mean putting yourself at risk by visiting. It's wonderful but not necessary...until you find you are well & strong enough. I love you & I know you are able in Christ but His ability requires balance.Hugs

JesusRulzMe said...

Hello sweet sister Nancie,

I continue to keep you in my prayers! Thank you so much for your encouragement and prayers during my time of rest!

You are a dear and sweet sister in Christ and I am so grateful to visit with you and witness your beautiful worship of our Savior. Truly, our bodies are weak, but our spirits that have been made one with Christ, are surely willing!

With great love,
Sunny

jill said...

Nancie,

Know that I am praying for you and want to send many hugs and love your way!

You are never in this alone and it is so freeing to share the truth - because as it sets you free it is doing the same for others!

God is sooooo good all of the time!

Lots of love,
Jill

denise said...

Bless you for always inspiring me, love you my friend.

Peggy said...

Blessings Nancie...I didn't do a Thankful Thursday~ Iris has the 5 senses!!!

So instead I came to tell you

I'M THANKFUL FOR YOU!

I'M THANKFUL the LORD BROUGHT YOU INTO HIS REST!

I'M THANKFUL FOR YOUR BIG HEART!!!

I'M THANKFUL THAT JESUS LOVES YOU & CARES FOR YOU! Lay it down & trust!

I'M THANKFUL YOU LISTEN & OBEY & REST & KNOW YOUR LIMIT & HAVE A PACE~BUT WISDOM TO SLOW DOWN!

I'M THANKFUL FOR ALL THE ARTICLES & INFO YOU HAVE!

I'M THANKFUL THAT YOU INSPIRE ME
& YOUR CREATIVE PHOTOGRAPHY & BUSINESS WILL PROSPER & BLESS AS YOU CONTINUE TO HELP & BLESS OTHERS

Serendipity said...

Hi Nancie! Sure have missed coming here! Hope you are doing well. Thank you for this post. It helps me too at this time when I'm bone weary. Hugs to you. God bless.

JesusRulzMe said...

Hello precious sister,

It's me again! :-) I have a bloggy award I'd liek to pass along to you! Please stop by my blog and pick it up!

How are you?

Blessings to you sweet sister,
Sunny

michelle said...

Bipolar is not always easy to live with. Just got to do our best day by day. Love and huggles!