Lessons from the Book of Job 

Prince William, Catherin, and Harry founded a mental health charity after figures showed the number of female suicides rose sharply in 2015.

The number of women who killed themselves rose sharply last year as the number of suicides for England and Wales reached a 20-year high. According to figures released from the Ministry of Justice, there were 3,899 rulings of suicide in coroners’ courts in 2015. This was more than for any 12 months since 1995 when the data series began.

While the number of men who killed themselves fell to 2,997, 23 fewer than in 2014, the statistics for women increased by 70 to 902. The fewest suicides were in 2007 when 3,007 such verdicts were recorded, and the number has risen consistently since then.

What is it that causes a person to take their own life? The easy answer is to say its’ mental illness, shrug our shoulders and move on. But who assesses what mental illness is? By what measuring rod does one assess if a person is mentally ill or not?

I have ministered to perfectly healthy people who outwardly seem successful, and happy but have experienced an acute amount of stress that caused them to despair for their very life. However, these people were not mentally ill. 

I really believe that some people will not admit they feel suicidal for fear of being labeled mentally ill. However, wanting to die in the face of acute stress, illness or circumstances is not so unusual. 

For example, in the book of Job, we read how he wanted to die and cursed the day he was born. The Bible did not label Job as mentally ill, but we see a very human reaction through Jobs’ despair when there seems to be no hope. 

Lessons from Job 

Job can be a difficult book to understand, however, it can help us in our everyday life. I am studying Job in my personal daily quiet time and found it a wonderful insight into the human condition. None of us need to feel ashamed by having such thoughts, even if an attempt to die has been made. Like Job, we are human, and we are weak at times and may feel there’s is no way out of our circumstances expect to die. 

That’s why, just like Job, we need to be in a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ gives us hope and strength to live each day. Read John chapter 3 & 1 Corinthians as the whole 13th chapter.  

You have Meaning & Purpose.

We were born for a purpose, and that purpose is to love. To be loved by God and love God back and love other human beings. Each of us is unique and very important and much loved by God. We may want to end our life, but God wants us to live life to the full.

 If you haven’t already, give your life to Christ and wait on Him to fill you with His Holy Spirit, and you will have the passion to live out God’s purpose for your life. You will find true meaning and happiness and courage to face the most difficult of circumstances. 

Every day you will be living in God’s strength and not your own. 

Also, if you know someone who is struggling with life, pass this article to them, and pray for them. Be light in someone’s darkness today.

The real problem arises when we don’t know what to do with our troubles. We wonder how on earth do we get through this! And how do we survive this phase of mourning and not allow it to immobilize us in some way? How can we make sense of what is happening?

 This is where the 23rd Psalm helps us. As you read on, I pray that the Holy Spirit of God will minister to you and heal you in this time of grief. Psalm 23 is found in the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament). 

WHAT’S IN A NAME?

It is important to understand who God is. If really difficult to receive healing from someone you know little about. So, let’s take a brief look at the character of God.

So, who is God? There is no name for God as we understand the term to be. God is not a John or an Eric or even a Fred, for example. But what we believe are names for God are actually descriptions of God’s nature, characters, and actions.

For instance, Jehovah-Raah, which means The Lord, my Shepherd. Jehovah is translated as “The Existing One” or “Lord.” It also suggests “to become” or specifically “to become known. This denotes a God who always discloses who He is. A shepherd is the one who feeds or leads his flock to pasture (Ezekiel 34:11-15). An extended translation is “friend” or “companion.” This indicates the intimacy God desires between Himself and His people and can be understood as “The Lord, my Friend.” 

 GOD HAS NO GENDER

I refer to God as Father a lot however it does not indicate that God is a man. To be able to accept help from God. we need to trust who God is and will do what he promised us. Therefore, understanding God will benefit our faith greatly. So here we will briefly discuss who God is. God is Spirit- not a man.

People get hung up on God’s gender, but God has no gender. Why is this so important? I have found that some find it challenging to receive from God because God is a man. Past or current toxic relationships with men cause their relationship with God to become problematic. Therefore, understanding that God has no gender is especially important. 

Well, He’s a father, right? He’s a he – The concept of a genderless God can be confusing.

So let’s take a brief look and see. 

In Christianity, the Hebrew scriptures are referred to as the Old Testament. Here, God is a He. The ‘he’ simply is an allegory for His authority and creativeness. The Hebrew word he is usually not written out, but more understood from the verbal form. Then he is used as a reference to God not to be confused with the Latin HE, which refers to one’s gender.

 All the names of God in the Scripture are simply a description of his actives in creation. By this, we then understand who God is. Therefore, the is He is referring to the Infinite Being (Ain Sof), who is the creator of the universe and is above all divine names. So, God is not a he or she (Numbers 23.19-20). God is a spirit.

Jesus taught us to worship God in spirit and in truth (John 4.24). A spirit is a genderless being who is eternal, beyond time and space. God is the Alpha (the beginning) and the Omega (the end) of all things. Beyond time and space (Revelation 21:6). It is the eternal creator who lives in you by his Holy Spirit so you can succeed, “you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you” Philippians 4.13.

 We could grapple with meanings of words all day, but the vital point to grasp is that God is Yahweh, which means, I Am who I Am. It is not God’s name but describes the Eternal Divine. God in Christ is above all names, in other words, God just IS. God is past, present, and future. God is a timeless, genderless Spirit being whose essence is love.

God The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit exist as One beyond the universe or human imagination and yet present with us in our worst fears and the most profound grief. God shows himself in Christ, on earth. I know it’s mind-blowing, but that same Christ lives in you, who we call, the Holy Spirit. Colossians 1:27-To them, God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 

To place that into today’s understanding – Christ is the matrix of all that is. Christ IN YOU the hope of glory. ( the promise of beauty). How wonderful!

God is also depicted widely in Scripture as having female attributes. This is a beautiful metaphor depicting his nurturing character. We see this clearly in many scriptures, and just for an example here Deut. 32:18 “You forget the rock who begot you, unmindful of the God who gave birth to you“. Here we understand that God is not a rock, but the allegory is used to describe the steadfastness of God’s nature. Likewise, ‘he’ is also used in this way. Job knew the steadfastness of God and place his trust in this infinite being.

In my book ‘NOTHING GOOD ABOUT GRIEF: from grief to recovery’ I go into this in more detail.

 When we know who God is, we come to understand God in Jesus Christ, securing us in our journey through our darkest valley. 

You have meaning & purpose because God loves you and has a wonderful plan for a happy life.

If you want some ideas and tools to relieve and manage stress, check out the course in the top menu.

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Have you found purpose and meaning for your life?

If you have, how did it get you?

Let me know, and I would love to hear from you and your testimony, in our comments section below. 

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How to get through and recover from Burnout of Mind, Body & Spirit and Stay Sane!

I want to share with you in this post,  how I get through Burn out and stay sane. This is not the whole story but a snippet from my new book about Holistic Living, which features Mindfulness and issues around mental health. I am in the process of writing it. It will be published and made available to you later in the year – so keep a lookout for that!

Also, If you struggle to make self-care a priority or do not know how to start your holistic-mindfulness journey, check out my course, which will be available in the Summer of 2021- subscribe free to this blog to get updates on this! I am starting a new blog soon just dedicated to Holistic  mindfulness, so keep a look out for that going live!

Before the sun arise to greet the new day, I kneel once more upon my  bedside rug with my hands over my eyes, and pray: “Oh, Lord, let me feel at one with you, myself, and others. Let me perform my tasks with the motivation of hope, faith and love. May  grace be in my thoughts, actions and speech this day”.

To pray this prayer daily, is the only way I know to effectually get through and to recover from burn out.

My strength is so very  limited, but Gods strength is limitless, so I draw upon that in faith. I admire people who get through stuff all by themselves. They don’t seem to need God, people or any other intervention- they just get on with it successfully. But that’s not me. I know my weakness and limitations. I recognise that I  desperately  need the power of God in my life. The power of God is called the Holy Spirit who is part of the God head in Christ. The holy Spirit  is given to empowers us, to bring us through, so we can be witness of his love and grace.

That does not mean to say that I sit back and watch God magically work on my behalf. No Never!

But what I do is to submit myself in prayer like the one above, and go through my day knowing that I am not alone. Then I am diligent to learn and apply practical steps as listed below to help me. However,  the difference is that I go forward into my day Gods ability- in Gods power and strength to get through and recover from burn out.

How did I get burnt out if the first place if I trusted in God?

Well the answer is simple – I didn’t!

As a perfectionist, a high achiever, I expect far too much of myself. I don’t give my body, mind or spirit enough time out or flexibility in my tasks, it’s something I am still learning to do. God gives us time out, urging us to rest- it’s called the Sabbath. So having cleared that up, let’s have a little look at a few practical ways  to recover from and avoid burn out in the future.

1) Take the time to  pause and change direction by learning how you can help yourself overcome burnout and feel healthy and positive again.

FIRST-Adopt the three “R” approach:

Recognize. Watch for the warning signs of burnout. Be self-aware. Listen to your thoughts and words, notice you’re the way you approach actions.

Reverse. Undo the damage by seeking support and managing stress- this is what we are doing here now.

Resilience. Build your resilience to stress by taking care of your physical and emotional health.

SECOND – Learn strategies to do the three “3 R’s” that you are comfortable with.

In the next blog post I will list some strategies That I have found has helped me, and may be of help to you as well.

Thank you for visiting me here, I hope this post was helpful. If it was, I would love to hear from you. Feel free to contact me and share any thoughts you have. And if you enjoyed reading this blog, please support it by subscribing to my FREE newsletter and receive your FREE thankyou gift!

 If you feel you would like further support through prayer, counselling or coaching, please contact me. Details of How to get in touch with me is found in the top menu on my home page.

 HEAD OVER TO YOUTUBE AND CATCH UP WITH MY VIDEOS – it is Free! 

I look forward to your visit to my next blog post!

Paula Rose Parish

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What is Burnout? How you can recognise Extreme Stress Burnout Syndrome the Signs and Symptoms.

We all have ‘off’ days when we feel helpless, overloaded, or unappreciated. The alarm sounds and we reluctantly drag ourselves out of bed. however, If you feel like this most of the time, you may be burned out.

 Like you, I have experienced burnout many times in my life. It’s something that is insidious. You don’t notice it’s happening, It sneaks up on you and you are not aware of it until you just crash.

Being aware of what burnout is, and recognising the symptoms is half the battle won.

What is BURNOUT SYNDROME?

Burnout is exhaustion as a result of high levels of stress. Your mind, body and spirit can only handle feeling overworked and overwhelmed for so long. Your body will be tired, your emotions will be fraught. Your spirit( your inner core) will feel simply dried out.

Burnout will make you feel overwhelmed, emotionally drained, and unable to meet daily demands. As the stress continues, you begin to lose interest and motivation and the feeling of overwhelm takes hold.

In our modern society, we think that constantly living under stress is a ‘normal’ way to live. But I have news for you- it’s NOT!

Burn out left unchecked, may lead to a nervous/ mental breakdown. The problems are, that burnout happens gradually, therefore, you might not notice symptoms immediately. But once it takes hold, it can affect your ability to function across all aspects of your life.

SYMPTOMS OF BURNOUT

By no means is this is not a comprehensive list, and you may experience just a few or, many of these symptoms.

  • You may begin to feel less motivated since it seems like nothing you do really matters.
  • If you are experiencing burnout, you may view your living environment and/or your job as increasingly stressful and frustrating. 
  • You may develop a distrust, or disinterest in the people in your life, and may also feel emotionally distant and indifferent.
  • You may develop a distrust, or disinterest and your life in general.
  • You may feel detachment, and alone in the world.
  • Where once you were content with your life in general or work, but now You may feel resentful of the responsibilities and demands it imposes. 
  • Burnout may lead to physical symptoms, like headaches, muscle pain, and stomach-aches or intestinal issues, etc.
  •  Burnout causes people to feel drained, lack motivation, emotionally exhausted, unable to cope with the smallest of tasks.
  • Constant Tiredness is a symptom of burnout.
  • Difficulty in focusing one’s mind and concentrating and often lack creativity is also a symptom.
  • No zest for life, you feel like you are on a constant treadmill.
  • Every day is a struggle
  • Caring about your work or home life seems like a total waste of energy.
  • The majority of your day is spent on tasks you find either mind-numbingly dull or overwhelming.
  •  You may feel one step forward and 2 back and nothing you do makes a difference or is appreciated by others.
  • Lowered immunity 
  •  Frequent illnesses

Burnout may be the result of unrelenting stress, but it isn’t the same as too much stress. Stress can be a positive motivation tool. It may provide the metal fuel to forge forward. Stressed people can still get everything under control, to feel better.

Burnout, on the other hand, is about destructive, extreme unrelenting stressors. Being burned out means feeling empty and mentally exhausted, devoid of motivation, and beyond caring, unable to pull one socks up and get on with it.

People experiencing burnout often cannot see any hope of positive change in their situations. Burnout is a sense of being all dried up, wrung out, parched as a desert, in mind body and spirit. 

Burn-out shares some similar symptoms of mental health conditions, such as depression. Individuals with depression experience negative feelings and thoughts about all aspects of life, not just at work. Depression symptoms may also include a loss of interest in things, feelings of hopelessness, cognitive and physical symptoms as well as thoughts of ending one’s life to get some relief. You may not be depressed, but just burnt out. Once you rest and recover, the veil of gloom will lift and you will feel your old self again. If it does not lift- you may be clinically depressed. If this is the case- you must seek medical help!

In my next post, I will share some tips about how to recover from Burn-out

I want to share with you my Holistic journey. This post is not the whole story but a snippet from my new book about Holistic Living, which features Mindfulness and issues around mental health. It will be published and made available to you later in the year – so keep a lookout for that! If you struggle to make self-care a priority or do not know how to start your mindfulness journey, check out my course, which will be available in the Summer of 2021- subscribe free to this blog to get updates on this! Regardless of where you are on your journey, I hope you will find something useful here- if so, please let me know down in the comments. 

I hope this post was helpful. If it was, I would love to hear from you. Feel free to contact me and share any thoughts you have. And if you enjoyed reading this blog, please support it by subscribing to my FREE newsletter and receive your FREE thankyou gift!

 If you feel you would like further support through prayer, counselling or coaching, please contact me. Details of How to get in touch with me is found in the top menu on my home page.

 HEAD OVER TO YOUTUBE AND CATCH UP WITH MY VIDEOS – it is Free! 

I look forward to your visit to my next blog post!

Paula Rose Parish