It Makes Me Wanna Holla

Today is World Mental Health Day and I have to admit recently my mental health has withstood some strong winds, torrential rain and blistering attacks.

I recently read an interesting article entitled “Election Year Stress Disorder” and recognized that I was fighting some of the same symptoms mentioned in that article.

When I considered the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, extremely divisive political rhetoric based in lies, wildfires in the west, hurricanes in the southeast, churches split along political lines, racial unrest, schools struggling with virtual learning, justice involved individuals unable to receive visits or participate in life skills/faith based programs, increased alcohol and drug use, an uptick in opioid drug overdoses, increased murder rates, the threats of extremist militia groups intent on civil warfare, I developed a borderline stress disorder.

Sometimes it made me want to “holla and throw up both my hands” - Marvin Gaye “Inner City Blues” (1971).

I say borderline because God didn’t allow it to take root in my heart. Hallelujah! Some symptoms I noticed starting to bloom in myself were.

1.) Increased anger.

2.) Listlessness.

3.) Elevated blood pressure.

4.) Obsession with the news.

5.) Disdain for family and friends with different political views.

6.) Forgetfulness of important matters (calling, purpose, destiny).

7.) Argumentative without provocation.

8.) Isolation.

Maybe you can identify with me. If so please take the time to read this. I’ve learned that whenever God allows me to experience struggles and trials it is for the purpose of helping someone else. So my takeaways from this struggle are:

1.) Never forget that God is in control. He isn’t sitting in heaven twiddling His thumbs perplexed. He isn’t caught off guard by what’s happening.

(Romans 8:28)

“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them”.

2.) The warfare is spiritual and we use spiritual weapons to fight it. As the saying goes, “You don’t take a knife to a gunfight”. The spirit of division is wreaking havoc on this earth empowered by satan. We rebuke it by invoking the blood of Jesus against it and arming ourselves daily with our spiritual warfare, especially the helmet of salvation.

(Ephesians 6:12)

“For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places”.

3.) Promote peace and unity in the Body of Christ. That was Jesus’ prayer and the will of God. The Church is God’s salt, light and witness to a confused and suffering world.

(John 17:20-21)

“I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me.

4.) Set boundaries for yourself. Walk away from arguments and at the same time promote courageous, honest dialogue. Jesus taught his disciples to “shake the dust off their feet”. Some people love and thrive off of contention and division. Run from them with a “see you wouldn’t want to be you” spirit 😀.

(Matthew 10:14)