The first header for More Than Coping. Donated by good friends Buster and Dusty.
Back in the day before there was a “From The Ashes” blog I was allowed to write a few articles for the “Phoenix Preacher.” I continued doing those articles each month for “From The Ashes.” I’d title them “More Than Coping” followed by the topic I desired to share.
The total number of these articles was less than ten and I looked forward to writing them. Things were changing a lot for me personally in the blogging world as I seemed to be more at home at “From The Ashes” and spent most of my blogging time there, while still participating a bit at “Phoenix Preacher.”
It is difficult for me to contribute to more than a few blogs and I’m usually apt to stay with one main place and then drop by others. These days the main place is here, although I’ll always consider “Phoenix Preacher” as much more than a blog as it was a place God used profoundly in my life.
I recall how other folks were spinning off and creating their own blogs and the idea hit me to try the same thing. With some not so gentle coaxing from Michael Newnham I went about putting this blog together. The man even threatened me with advertising my blog even if I wasn’t ready!
As I am not computer savvy, putting this place together was more than a simple project. Each thing I learned was a major event. It wasn’t long before I learned how to post a video! When I did open Michael made sure folks knew and I had a ton of visitors drop by.
While over at “Phoenix Preacher” there were times when we would have discussions about depression and what folks were experiencing or had experienced. Out of those discussions a poster who goes by Lutheran introduced me to NAMI and that opened a ton of posting possibilities for me. I contacted them and was given permission to reproduce any of their articles as long as I mentioned where the article came from.
NAMI then led me to many other resources with a bit of exploration on my part. Some appear as resource links to your right.
Being as I am a lay person God brought two people along who are experts in the field and they agreed to help me out as they were able. That was Maryellen Stipe and Larry Taylor. They were a Godsend to me. God then allowed me to meet Shannon Woodward and she also contributed to the blog. That reminds me I need to touch base with her as we haven’t communicated for a while.
I went about gathering links for various organizations who are experts in various areas of mental health. I have also gathered some video that folks can watch at any time on a few mental health topics. Each of those videos are excellent.
I have also compiled lists of churches and counseling services that are available for folks to take advantage of. I contacted each church to see if they would allow me to link to them. By saying yes, each of these churches are saying to anyone who visits that you are welcome. You will not be told your illness is a sin issue or a character flaw. They will support you as much as is realistic, depending on your circumstances. If you live near any of these churches I encourage you to visit. They are safe places.
The counseling list I have provided isn’t huge but they may be an answer to prayer for you. Only by visiting or speaking to each reference will you know if they are a match for you. Maybe the churches that are listed will be able to help you through whatever counseling might be available. Not everyone needs a professional. Some times we just need to feel safe as we share our pain with another person who really cares. God works in many ways.
There are a ton of links to browse through. There is one that will even help you find a counselor in your area. A woman shared how that is where she found her present counselor. That was awesome to hear. There is a page up top that lays out some guidelines in finding a Biblical counselor that is helpful.
I have made mistakes along the way. One of them was watching the numbers. There’s a goody that allows me to see the number of visitors that drop by each day. I found myself following that a little too closely. I guess it’s like a Pastor’s conference when you are asked “how many are you running?” That has to do with how many attend your church.
I also became too concerned about how many were actually posting here. There were days and will be in the future where nobody leaves a post. I had a lot of trouble dealing with that as I suspect my pride was taking a hit. Actually, it was taking a hit.
I’m getting to the place now where I am content to provide information and encouragement any way I can think of. As long as folks are reading I have to trust God to do the real work. I’d be lying if I said I’ve come to a point of being totally content. I’ll come closer to that place as I learn to realize that success is a word I need not be concerned about. The more that word is in my vocabulary it shows how little I am trusting God and how much my pride is still alive and well.
As I operate the blog by myself I need to be able to take ownership of it. That doesn’t mean not trusting God. It does mean this blog is a reflection of me and my values for better or worse. I have to set down the rules and enforce them. I decide what comments should be deleted and I decide what borderline stuff I allow to appear on the blog. More than anything, I desire this to be a safe place to visit, without the arguing that can take place elsewhere.
I hope to be able to list many more churches this coming year. I would like to see a bunch of Lutheran and Presbyterian listed as well as others. I will always love listing Calvary Chapel’s as that is my spiritual heritage.
I have a huge desire to be able to share testimonials here. I think it’s great to read of a person’s journey as God brought them through a mental illness or to read about what He has done in a life that is still on the journey to wellness. The reality is some of us may very well live with our illness the rest of our lives. There is great power in hearing from people in this category as they share how God has sustained them. Maybe you’re still struggling big time. I’d love to post your story so others might be able to pray for you and encourage you. All of our stories are very real and God loves all of those who have trusted in His name with the same love.
If you ever have a suggestion or maybe would like to share your story you are always free to contact me. If you are a Pastor or professional who ministers to the mentally ill I would love to hear from you if you’d be open to being a referral for this blog. You can reach me at email@example.com
When I figure it out I will post my contact information where it will always be available.
2009 is upon us. I pray that each of us would grow closer to God, whatever our circumstances. He is for us. He will not leave or forsake us. He loves us where we are at. He loves us so much He sent Jesus.
When I shared the vision for this blog with John Schaffer he designed the banner and chose the Scripture to go with it. I would like to close with that verse of Scripture. God bless you! Allan
Isaiah 40:31 But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.