2018: A Year of Challenges

With only 12 days left in 2018, I am starting to look at how this year has gone, and all I can say is it was a rough year. A year of challenges, a year of ups and down (literal ups and downs mentally), and a year of growing closer to God, and making a plan for my future while leaving it up to God. This year, I had many trials mentally that tried to push me away from God. Satan prowled like a lion going at me from all sides. However, he was not successful in bring me down. Changing jobs four times in the span of 4 months, and dealing with a mental illness diagnosis that I did not expect. 2018 is a year that I will forever remember as it was also the year I was challenged spiritually though my illnesses. 

Dealing with teaching, bipolar disorder, and staying faithful to God was a challenge this year. A challenge that I believe I have conquered in 2018. Teaching has not been easy on me and my mental health, but I know that with God I can do all things. Jesus Christ gives me strength, even when I do not believe in myself.  This year started well. I had a good job, great coworkers, with an amazing spiritual family, and everything was well with my physical family. Things started to go down in March when the week before spring break I had a mental breakdown, and almost put myself in a mental health hospital. While that did not happen, I could see that if I had not gone to the psychiatrist that week, it would have been horrible. God protected me through my rough times. I was supposed to go on a trip, and I cancelled it, I quit my job randomly because I could no longer handle it, and changed jobs way too many time in the span of 4 months. However, God was with me, and he gave me the blessing of going to Los Angeles for a global leadership conference with my church. That was the pivotal point in my year. 

I learned a lot about myself during that conference. I could even say my life changed there. I have had that feeling once before, and that was when I got baptized 2 years earlier. I realized that I was getting farther away from God, and not clenching onto him instead. But glory to God, I repented and decided to move forward. I got another job as a teacher (where I currently work), and stepped up as a leader in the kingdom (my church). As we reach the last few days of the year, I can tell the difference in my life. And while I have had a few slip ups the past month in my journey with a mental disorder, I have decided to not let it control my life, but me control my mental disorder. 

I give glory to God everyday for the opportunity he gives me to be part of his kingdom. There is nothing like knowing the word of God, and see God work in your life. I pray for all of us to have an amazing end of 2018, and a fabulous and encouraging 2019. To God be all the Glory!


The InBetween Times: Dealing with Bipolar Disorder

Struggling with bipolar disorder, anxiety and depression all together at the same time is not cute. And dealing with obesity at the same time even worst. Things have not been easy for me. Its a constant pressure in your life that does not seem to go away. Its pressure from your peers, your family, your friends, yourself. Living with these is horrible and not a pretty sight. I have struggled with self-image problems since I was a little girl, and have gone to all kinds of doctors to see if they could help me lose weight or help me with my anxieties. This year I got diagnosed with depression and bipolar disorder. I have more than 2 manic episodes a year along with an ongoing bout of depression that makes me want to stay home all day, quit my perfectly fine job, and stop eating or in some cases eating everything I see. Being in a life of inbetweens is not pretty and I wont sugar coat it. It is ugly, your mind becomes a Black hole that keeps us sucking everything good out of your life. I like to call that black hole, Satan.

Because it is Satan that makes your life a living hell. Satan wants to take everything from you and he uses those of a weak mind to perpetuate himself in the world. However, that is when God comes into the plan. God looks out for us at any occasion. God can make things happen or let them happen for reasons that are not up to us to know, but for our father in heaven to decide. Me having bipolar disorder, depression, and extreme anxiety will make me stronger. I will not allow for these things to control my life. Only God has control over my life. I will continue to work hard to control my disorders, and I will continue to go to God to stop the black hole that is Satan. My main black hole is my obesity.

Dealing with obesity has been a struggle of mine since I was a young girl. Always the chubbiest, always the nerdy big girl that wanted to belong. While I carry my weight extremely well, being obese is not something I want. I wish I could be in a healthy weight where no one would ask me what diet I was on, or when I was going to the gym or why I was eating the ice cream bar. Being told you are fat in the middle of the street in London while walking from a Bible discussion is not pretty. Living in a world were if you are not thin you are wrong, its a nightmare. However,  I know I have to lose weight, I know that being healthy is more than just being thin. I have tried it all. I have dieted, I have gone to nutritionist, I have looked into surgery, I have gone to the gym, I was in dance, I have done it all! And nothing. That really does not help your depression and anxiety. You start wondering what is wrong with you, why you cannot change. However, I know this is a challenge I must conquer. This is the thorn in my flesh just as Paul had one during the first century. 

Living a life of In-between times is not something that anyone wants to live through. That is why it is important to walk in the light, because otherwise Satan and his crazy, manipulative, dark black vortex will come to you like a tornado, coming out of nowhere to take you out. God is good. God is life. God is everything we need and everything that we have. Walk in the light and allow God to guide you in moments like those in the In-between,