Mental Health

Purposeful Perspective

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[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he times in my life when I have found myself the most depressed and in mental anguish have been when I’ve been drifting without purpose, or feeling like I have failed to achieve a goal that I set myself.

In these times, the best thing I can do is surrender. Surrender is not letting go of your desires, but letting go the belief that you can only be happy once that desire has been fulfilled. I am called to have hopes and dreams and desires, but equally my happiness is not built on things falling into place just where I need them.

My life changed when this became my reality. I look at it this way: I’m not giving away my power of how I live to things that are outside of my control. For example, neither you or I have to kill our desire to get married for example. We can’t just decide that God doesn’t love us and that we cannot be happy until then. Before surrender, I based all of my hope on something external and said, “I will know that God loves me when I find a spouse”, but the problem is that I don’t know when that is going to happen! More than that, if just believe that God wants me to feel unloved until then, I am living in hope deferred — which isn’t the hope God gives us.

For me, it all goes back to “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6:33). It’s easy for me to so often just focus on the “all these other things added to us” bit. We can often forget about the seeking first. That’s the important bit — surrendering to God’s design for this world by seeking him and putting him first brings with it a life brimming with purpose, hope, peace and joy.

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