Caring For Our Family's Mental Health
We are living in unprecedented times due to the COVID-19 virus and the havoc it has caused in our own community and around the world. Everyone experiences stress, worry, fear, and sadness throughout life, but these times set the perfect stage for these emotions and related thought patterns to become persistent and nearly destroy one's ability to live life to the full as Jesus described in John 10:10. Paul had learned to boast in his weaknesses stating that because of them, he was able to ascribe greater glory to God (2 Cor. 12:9). For Paul, there was no shame in claiming his weakness, and we should think the same way. Whether our weaknesses are physical, mental, emotional, relational, or spiritual, we are the Matthew Road family and that means we walk this road of life together.
Every Tuesday we will post videos, articles, and podcasts on our Facebook page to encourage the mental health of our Matthew Road family. Below you will see a listing for mental health professionals/centers in our area that are taking new clients via video conferencing. We've also included the archived content including video, podcast, and article links from our Facebook page. *Please note that this is not an exhaustive resource for mental health encouragement and will grow each week as we continue to post to our Facebook page.
Christian Mental Health Professionals/Centers in the Grand Prairie/Arlington Area:
On Anxiety -
We've all experienced anxiety at times, whether it's before a test or job interview, when a car breaks down, or when a loved one is sick. We choose to trust God's sovereignty AND goodness, but what happens when emotions are raging beyond the circumstances and the mind cannot be quieted? It's time to reach out. We pray the Lord uses the Church to be an encouragement to you this week as you lean into the faithfulness and nearness of God. "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble." Psalm 46:1. See the following videos for encouragement regarding anxiety.
On Barriers to Seeking Counseling -
Here we address 10 myths that keep people from asking for help. We pray it grows our empathy for one another, encourages us to reach out to each other with understanding, gentleness, and compassion, and bolsters our courage to seek help from those God has professionally equipped in the Church to help us regain strength and recover joy during this trial and those yet to come.https://www.crosswalk.com/
On Children & Youth -
Psalm 120 is known as the first Psalm of ascent pilgrims would have sung on their journey to encounter God in Jerusalem. Upon first reading, it seems odd. It’s not exactly the same song kids would sing leaving the driveway for Disney World. Instead the author, right out the gate, states, “In my distress I called to the Lord and He answered me.” He goes on to describe all that’s wrong in the world that now causes him to get up and move. Today we are even more keenly aware of all that is wrong in this world. We too have the choice to either sit in it or get up and move toward God. Praise be to God that we don’t have to journey to Jerusalem to find Him! For the believer in Jesus, we can live according to the truth that Paul states in Galatians 2:20. “It is no longer I who live, but Christ in me.” We can live at rest in this flesh by faith and under His kindly rule. Check out the following article and song for more encouragement as we truly recognize this world is all wrong but we live toward God where all is right.
Now He has come to make a way
And God himself has paid the price.
That all who trust in Him today,
Find healing in his sacrifice.
We all have common stressors in our lives and many of us face daily traumatic stressors that are completely out of our control. When pressure builds, we can become like a tea kettle on a stove. Eventually, we either have to release steam or we will explode. When we do explode (we've all done it!), we typically explode on those closest to us. We react to something seemingly small as though it is extremely big and leave a friend, spouse, child, or whoever else was standing there to wear the flames. When the fire dies out, we then find ourselves wearing the ashes of frustration and shame. So what are we to do? If we can't remove the stress in the kettle, can we learn to manage our steam valve a little better?
On Psychological Wellness During Crisis -
On Rest -
Yes, many of us have had extra time the past several weeks, but have we had rest? Real, deep, soul-restoring rest that provides restoration of the mind, emotions, and body? Are we living each day to simply follow Jesus whose burden is light or are we living at the impossibly fast pace of the swipe and the like? Rest is not only imperative for the brain and the body, but it is for the soul as well. We were created for rest with God - to pause our works and let God be God.
John Eldredge on the One Minute Pause https://www.faithgateway.com/get-your-life-back-the-one-m…/…
Living Waters by Keith and Kristyn Getty
On Resilience -
"Resilience isn’t about bouncing back or powering through. It’s not about denying the depth of pain and its ongoing impact. Instead, it’s about learning from and growing through adversity — about reevaluating with each new anguish."
Today’s article talks about resilience – what it is and how to cultivate it within the Christian heart. We encourage you to read, ponder, and share as we all continue to face so many trials personally, as a community, nation, and world. You can also ask yourself, “how can I take what I’ve learned here and adapt it to check on and encourage my kids, teenagers, aging parents, neighbors, etc.?”
Suicide. Another worldwide pandemic we continue to face.
The Covid-19 pandemic & social isolation has increased risk factors for and death by suicide in our own community (as church members who serve in hospitals have confirmed). Death by suicide is more prevalent in certain age ranges; however, it does affect every ethnicity, age, socioeconomic status, and Christians are not immune. You cannot always tell that someone is depressed and having suicidal thoughts or impulses by how they look and act. There are not always warning signs and there is not always a cry for help. Many people suffer in silence and all alone. We can't social distance or wear a mask to help fight this pandemic, but we can do something. We can break the silence and seek help ourselves. We can be present for others. We can listen to our friends and seek out the lonely, depressed, and those who by circumstance are at higher risk of death by suicide. This includes victims of adverse childhood experiences, postpartum moms, teenagers, older men, and those we know are facing mental illness.
Here is an excellent blog post by the ministry group, Cru. We encourage you to take time to read it and the articles recommended within.
To our family members facing depression and the thought that there is no other way out of the despair, please know you are not alone. You have a Savior who loves you and a church who wants to unashamedly walk this road with you. You can always call the PREVENTION LIFELINE* 24/7 at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) to talk to someone and call us too. 972) 641-2717.