Subscribe

* = required field

powered by MailChimp!

Categories

New beginning

My Declaration of (In)Dependence

 
 

Happy 4th of July, everyone!

 
 
In the course of my life’s events, it became necessary for me to dissolve the emotional, mental, physical, social, and spiritual bands that connected themselves to me, and to receive the power of Almighty God which He freely offered me.
 

 
I now hold the truths of the Bible to be self-evident, that I am created in the image of God and that He has endowed me with certain inalienable rights. Among these are eternal life, earthly freedom, and the pursuit of Him, which leads to true happiness.
 
 

Such was my suffering, which led me to declare my independence:
 
 
 

For my 33 years, I struggled with whether I was truly saved. I had done all the “right” things in my Christian life—I had always been in church, but that’s all I remember. I had gone through seasons of certainty, where I said, “Yep, I’m good.” To seasons of uncertainty, “I’m not so sure.” Every time, I rationalized it away.
 
In 2009, I admitted I was not 100% certain I was saved. This troubled me more than ever, especially given all the growth and freedom I had experienced the previous five years in recovery. Still, I did not want to continue with this inner restlessness any longer. I wanted to be certain. I wanted to have the assurance and the memory that I had truly accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.
 
On that Sunday afternoon, I realized that through all my life struggles, I had come to love God so much that it grieved my heart to even consider the possibility that He could look at me at the end of my days and say, “I don’t know you.” That thought alone was enough for me to take the biggest step in my recovery from codependency. I ignored all the self-criticism in those moments and the “What would people say?” Once and for all, I did it. I prayed to receive Jesus as my Lord and Savior – at the age of 33, with my accountability partner by my side. I am now 100% certain that I will spend eternity with the Lover of my soul.
 
I believe that from the moment I was born to April 5th, 2009, God had been wooing me with his grace – that undeserved favor toward me, a sinner. On that day, I was finally at a place where I had come to love him more than anything. Swallowing my pride and making it official – no matter how foolish it might appear having grown up in the church – was my way of showing Him. The very next Sunday, I was proud and humbled to have my Pastor – Pastor Jay – baptize me as a public profession of my faith.
 

 
Therefore, I, Daphne Tarango, appealing to Almighty God in the name of my Savior and Lord Jesus Christ, declare I am free and absolved from all allegiance to the enemy of my soul. All emotional, mental, physical, social, and spiritual connection between us is totally dissolved. I am a free person, and I pledge my life and my dependence to the One who came to set the captives free—Jesus, the Christ!
 
 

“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:36). 

 
 
Come alongside… Tell us about the moment you declared your independence. What led you to make that decision?
 
 

5 Steps to Clear Your Head

 

I wrote yesterday.

 

That might not mean much—after all, I’m writing right now—but it does mean a lot to me: I wrote in my journal.

 

It’s been awhile since I journaled.

 

Hmm… Is it still journaling if it was on a napkin?

 

Anyway… I needed to clear my head. Lots of stuff has been bouncing around in there, getting tangled up, setting up camp, you name it.

 

So I took pen to napkin and began clearing my head. And guess what…

 

I’m feeling much better!

 

Do you need to clear your head? Are you feeling…

  • Confused?
  • Stressed?
  • Frenzied?
  • Boxed in?
  • Chaotic?

 

I encourage you to put pen to paper—or napkin—or whatever writing surface you can find. It might be tempting to skip the writing part. But resist! Don’t discount the power of writing things down. Writing through your chaos can be a healing tool.

 

Here are five steps to C.L.E.A.R your head.

 

Come away.

You can’t clear your head if you’re surrounded by confusion. So take some time—even five-or-ten-minute increments—to come away to a place that helps you to clear your head. Yesterday, it was my bed. For you, it could be a favorite chair or a spot on a lake, or if you’re a mom, it could just be the bathroom. Regardless, to clear your head of all the confusion, physically remove yourself from all that’s probably getting you in a frenzy in the first place. Remember this: “God is not a god of confusion but a God of peace” (1 Corinthians 14:33a).

 

 

Listen to God.

If you’re feeling confused, there might be some internal struggles going on, which can leave you pulled in all directions. When you come away and listen to God—truly listen—with your heart, He will show you the source of the confusion. God can speak to you in many ways; in my experience, His silent whisper speaks loudest. So ask Him to show you. James 1:5 says, “If you need wisdom — if you want to know what God wants you to do — ask Him, and he will gladly tell you. He will not resent your asking.”

 

 

Empty your feelings and sins.

Once you’ve come away and listened to God about the source of your confusion, empty yourself of all your feelings and any sins. God doesn’t want you to stuff your feelings. He wants you to share them freely with the One who created all feelings. Once you share your feelings with Him, you can more clearly see how you’ve gone wrong—or sinned—against Him. Then you can confess and ask His forgiveness. Remember: “God is faithful and fair. If we admit that we have sinned, he will forgive us our sins. He will forgive every wrong thing we have done. He will make us pure.” (1 John 1:9)

 

 

Affirm God’s peace.

Words can kill or they can give life (Proverbs 18:21). When you feel confused, affirming God’s peace in your life through writing will breathe life into your spirit. When you talk—and listen—to God, you will replace worry and “experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”(Philippians 4:6-7). Affirm His peace in your spirit.

 

 

Repeat as necessary.

Chances are you’ll need to clear your head again—maybe for the same reasons or for other situations entirely. Regardless, with all the craziness in this world, your spirit likely will long for peace regularly. Continue in these things: Come away, Listen to God, Empty your feelings and sins, Affirm God’s peace, and Repeat. Be intentional about it.

 

 

 

You can C.L.E.A.R. it!

 

 

Come alongside… Do you need to clear your head? What strategies do you use? Have you considered writing through your chaos? How can these tips help you today and in the future? Share your comments with us in the box below.

 

Do You Know Someone with a Mental Illness? Yes, you do.

 

Do you know someone with a mental illness?

  • Depression
  • Bipolar depression disorder
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Schizophrenia
  • Seasonal affective disorder
  • Panic disorder
  • Another mental illness

 

Maybe you yourself have a mental illness.

 

Here are some statistics from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) that might surprise you. Did you know that…

 

One in four adults—approximately 57.7 million Americans—experience a mental health disorder in a given year.

 

One in 17 lives with a serious mental illness such as schizophrenia, major depression or bipolar disorder.

 

One in 10 children live with a serious mental or emotional disorder.

 

Bipolar disorder affects 5.7 million American adults, approximately 2.6 percent of the adult population per year.

 

Of adults using homeless services, 31 percent reported having combination of these conditions.

 

Despite effective treatments, there are long delays—sometimes decades—between the first onset of symptoms and when people seek and receive treatment.

 

Fewer than one-third of adults and one-half of children with a diagnosable mental disorder receive mental health services in a given year.

 

Racial and ethnic minorities are less likely to have access to mental health services and often receive a poorer quality of care.

 

 

And this doesn’t account for the millions of people who go undiagnosed—or are willing to admit—and accept—they have a mental illness.

 

 

I say all this because…

 

I have bipolar depression disorder.

 

People near and dear to me have bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, panic disorder, depression, and countless other mental illnesses. We are not statistics. Neither are the millions of people who struggle with these disorders.

 

Many people in the Bible experienced mental illness:

 

These Biblical heroes—they were pillars of the faith—cried out to God in their distress. And God answered them. He still answers today with:

  • His Word—the Bible
  • Prayer
  • Comfort
  • Support groups
  • Counselors and therapists
  • Psychiatrists
  • Medicine

 

Before being officially diagnosed as bipolar in 2009, I lived a chaotic life—most people never would have known. But my mental life was in disarray. I managed—and even was quite successful, using my manic states to my advantage by being super-productive to the point of becoming a workaholic. Some would call that being successful; I would call it being in bondage to my own pride:

 

I didn’t want to get help.

 

I feared others would see me as weak, crazy, or even that I had committed some awful sin. I only sought help when I couldn’t manage any longer after experiencing a traumatic situation in early 2009.

 

I got help. And you can too. Your family and friends can get help.

 

Today, I live a very peaceful and joyful life—all due to God, family and friends, support groups, counselors, psychiatrists, and yes—even medicine.

 

In the words of Michael Fitzpatrick of NAMI: “Simply put, treatment works, if you can get it. But in America today, it is clear that many people living with mental illness are not provided with the essential treatment they need.”

 

Dear one, please get the treatment you need. Use all available resources—start with God and if necessary, say yes to medication.

 

You can do more than manage. You can have your life—the life God wants for you not only in eternity but also in the here and now.

 

It’s your time!

 

I have come that they may have life and have it in abundance. (John 10:10)

 

 

Come alongside: Which of these statistics surprised you most? Do you struggle with mental illness? Are you seeking treatment for it? Why or why not? What can you do to take that first step toward a full life? How can you help your loved one seek the help he or she needs? Please leave your comments below—and remember, you can comment anonymously if you so desire.

 

For more information on mental illnesses, please visit NAMI, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and the National Institute of Mental Health.
 
 


 
 

Related Products


 

 

Decisions, Decisions…

Have you ever had a decision you knew you needed to make but you kept putting it off?

 

I’ve been there for awhile now. And by awhile, I mean a little over three months.

 
Decisions
In that time, I’ve struggled with fear, uncertainty, irritability, and routine insomnia. Just a heavy spirit overall–I haven’t been able to get away from it.

 

I know what God wants me to do, and I want to obey Him, but I haven’t been sure of the outcome. Am I supposed to be? Is it even considered faith if I insist on having things in perfect order before I obey? Sure, there’s something to be said about preparation before making a big decision, but are circumstances ever perfect to obey?

 

Last week, I vowed to obey. No more putting it off. After all, delayed obedience would still be disobedience.

 

So I did it. I really did! Took one deep breath and just let it out: “I’ve decided to retire and be a stay-at-home mom.” Phew! Did I just say that?!?!

 

Although I was nervous about how that conversation would go with my manager, it actually went very well. In fact, he even asked me if I felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders.

 

“Yes!”

 

Obedience is scary, isn’t it? It tests us (Deuteronomy 13:3-4).

 

He promises to protect us when we obey Him, dear one (Psalm 5:12). We may not know what lies on the other side of obedience, but neither did Abraham when he left his home town to the land that God would show him (Hebrews 11:8). When we make that decision to obey Him no matter what, He declares us “right” with Him–and there’s no other place I would rather be (Romans 2:13). We need not fear if we know He is leading us. He will give us His favor (Deuteronomy 6:3). Even more, He will grant us peace and set us free (James 1:25).

 

Decisions, decisions… Which one are you putting off?

 

Come alongside…What about you? Have you had to make a tough decision lately? Are you still trying to muster up the courage to do so? What can you do today to move you in that direction?

 


 

Decision-Making Resources

 
 

 

New Article Published: “Coping with Change”

This week, I had my article, “Coping with Change,” published in Living Better at 50+.

 

I was truly surprised when the editor-in-chief, Carol Doyel, asked me to share an article on the site. After some correspondence, I am now one of their ongoing contributing writers.

 

 

 

If you’re a woman with spirit–no matter the age, I encourage you to visit Living Better at 50+. Here’s a little more about them from their website:

 

LivingBetterat50+ online magazine is a unique mix of health, nutrition, fitness & diet, home & travel, relationships, money & business, and includes a strong spiritual section. We target women 50+, as well as faith based women.

 

In a world that’s highly focused on twenty and thirty something’s, it’s not always easy to find information that honors our age group.LivingBetterAt50+ is changing that! Our intention is for this site to become a trusted resource for women over 50, a place where you can find up-to-date information on topics that touch your life daily.

 

I hope you will read “Coping with Change” and that you will read some of the other articles on the Living Better at 50+ web site. I’m sure you will be blessed, encouraged, and inspired to be a woman with spirit.

 

Big hugs,

Daphne

 

Affiliate Disclosure

Daphne Tarango is a participant in affiliate programs with Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, DaySpring, Church Source, Hazelden, Christian Strong (via Conversant and ShareASale). These advertising services are designed to provide a means for sites like DaphneWrites.com to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to said merchants. Some images and articles may contain links to products on merchant sites. Should you choose to make purchases through those links, please understand that I will receive a small commission. Please do not feel like you need to use these links to make any purchases. The links are only for your convenience. Thank you.

Follow Daphne

Friend me on FacebookMy profile on GoodreadsJoin my network on LinkedInFollow me on PinterestFollow me on Twitter