In case you missed Part I or II of this series, there are direct links attached to the photos below – feel free to revisit them before continuing on.
To think about one’s emotional health I found myself thinking of people I believe are healthy and have it all together, some of which, I find myself saying “In spite of “x”, they are doing so good.” And then I think of myself.
Rewind to 1994 through 2004, the months and first decade following Heidi’s kidnapping. Most people thought I had it together yet once I walked behind the security of my own home…the broken, depressed, and miserable woman I was reared its ugly head and attitude.
Side note: How come we share our worst and ugliest moments with the people we love the most? It makes no sense, maybe it’s because we know they love us regardless and won’t leave us because they remember who we were before and/or can see the direction we are heading. Just a thought.
Now don’t get me wrong, not every waking minute was spend crying my eyes out. There are happy memories during these times too yet the dark times outweigh them all. The greatest joy and blessing God has given me happened during my darkest years. This joy is one of the reasons I started to laugh and see the good in the world again. This blessing brought smiles, hope, and something so powerfully positive to our family.
God replaced our loss with new life, the birth of my daughter. She was the first piece of true happiness I felt in years. Mags was evidence of God’s love for me and our family. I still remember the smile on my parents’ faces when they saw and held her – no masks that day, only joy and hope for a future and a new beginning.
Why do I share this with you? Simple, I want you to think of the people in your circle of life. Is there a family or person in particular you find yourself thinking of because they’ve experienced such great hardship, loss, or tragedy? Do you ask yourself, “How do they do it? They look so happy.” I want to challenge you – are they happy or are they joyful? There is a different. This is where our emotional health comes into play.
I was happy throughout the darkest years of my life yet there was no joy until my pregnancy with our daughter. I was happy for my friends’ accomplishments, bonds with their siblings, and their friendships but behind the smile was envy for the milestones Heidi wouldn’t reach, the sister days we were missing, and the forever friendship of my sister into my adult years Heidi’s kidnappers took from me.
I laughed and made light of most things in life but went home to have childish temper tantrums that would put a two year old to shame because of the inner turmoil.
My emotional health was way out of whack even though to my coworkers, community, and even most of friends…I appeared okay.
An unhealthy person wears a crown of darkness and despair. Their crown might have broken stems and missing jewels. It may have scratches and dings from being beaten and abused. Dirt might smother its ability to reflect light. Sadly, it might even be so hurt, abused, neglected, and grief-stricken that no one even noticed it fell off the shelf and is lying on
the floor in the back of the closet.
Thankfully, the light within the gems and jewels is still there. The dirt can be washed away. The dings and bruises will heal. The grief can be replaced with love. The anger and resentment smothered by forgiveness, one only found through a relationship with Jesus. God sent His Only Son to earth as a babe knowing He would allow Him to die a death on the cross for our sins.
Why did God let this happen? Why did Jesus let this happen? Simple – God loves us so much that He overcame the world as a testimony to you and me.
Regardless of life’s challenges, there is hope. I encourage you to get healthy. As you develop your spiritual and physical health, trusting God…a super strong faith and emotional health is sure to follow. Not only does God wipe away every tear, He sent Jesus to restore your crown.