New Church Life March/April 2017 - Page 58

new church life: march/april 2017 It doesn’t stop. In some cases I believe that medications can help seal that crack for them. This can create a level playing field for that person so they can then engage in what we might call normal battles against the hells, as opposed to ones that are completely overwhelming all the time. We are a church that feels good about the truth we have. There are some very wonderful truths about the Lord’s power. The one I have been referencing – that all evil is flowing in from evil spirits from hell and that all good is flowing in from heaven from the Lord. That it’s not us. That’s such an important teaching. If we can recognize that those voices – those negative impulses and thoughts – are not me. That I didn’t create them. That they are flowing into me. Or that we can reflect, “Oh, I can say no thank you to that.” And that we can choose – but not always. Or the comforting teaching about the power of the angels to help remove evil from our minds. It teaches that an angel armed with the truth can disperse thousands of evil spirits with just a look and an effort of the will. But I offer these beautiful truths with a caution. When I first moved here to Colorado I went to Colorado State University to take some graduate courses. I thought I was going to study Marriage and Family therapy. I found that trying to pastor a new society of the church and go to graduate school at the same time was too much. But I did take one course on Grief and Loss and started one on Adolescence. In the course on Grief and Loss they were talking about suicide. They said that in Larimer County (where CSU was) they had the highest suicide rate in the nation. They were puzzled by that. “Why is that happening here in Larimer County?” After much thought, research and reflection they came up with the thought that there is such external beauty in Larimer County and it’s sunny almost all the time. If on the inside you are struggling to feel sunny and beautiful and happy, and the world around you is sunny and beautiful and happy, the disconnect, dissonance or tension can feel overwhelming. “Why don’t I feel the way it looks all around me all the time?” That was their best guess at why that happened. I wonder if it’s possible that with our teachings on the beauty of heaven and the ideals of marriage – so beautiful and so amazing – in contrast to how a person might be feeling within can be overwhelming. If someone is feeling sad, depressed and unworthy, feeling like a failure because they can’t live up to the high ideals, that the tension is too great, then suicide might seem like a better choice. So we share these truths, recognizing that we all struggle – that we’re dealing with struggles and need to admit that. We are not our thoughts. We are not our bodies. We are not our diseases. We are not our illnesses. They do not define us. And no one here is perfect or without issues. Look around you. It is a room filled with imperfect people. Welcome! 124