Several years ago I was deep in a struggle with depression and anxiety and what we around this house call ‘edgyness’ (that you wanna climb the walls feeling). It was in the midst of this struggle that I was diagnosed by a friend who is a nutritionist and licensed mental health counselor with celiac or at least a gluten allergy. I generally pay closer attention to the food that is consumed by my body now.
She informed me that caffeine as ingested in coffee was of particular detriment to someone like me in my weakened mental and emotional state. I was drinking a cup of coffee as we spoke on the phone. I put it down and walked away from coffee for about a year and a half.
As you guessed I picked it up again. But I find myself in the midst of heavy anxiety and edgyness once again. I don’t like this because it causes me to respond to the ones I love inappropriately. With anger, frustration and shortness.
I have got to stop this kind of destructive behavior. Such is the way of sin. To lure us in with promises of fulfillment and joy, yet all they do is leave us cold and empty. Coffee may not be a source of contention for you, but it is for me. It seems sometimes as though I let it master me. If this is the case, then it becomes a sin issue for sure. God says to put no other Gods before him and to make no false gods/idols to worship. Am I letting coffee take that place? I realize this may be a stretch and many of you are thinking right now that I am crazy. So be it. But I ask what is your idol that is getting in the way of your loving God? We all have them. I am not unique in that way.
I’m working on a master’s in counseling. In this program there are various theories for how a person can handle or deal with their mental difficulties. I struggle hard when it comes to me and trying to reconcile the mental difficulties that I have had over the years. How, or maybe why, do I continue to suffer from these struggles if I have given my life over to God and I allow his Spirit to dwell within me? I think the answer to that is a lack of faith that he can or will heal me. Is that a problem with me or with God.
For me, being able to beat mental disorders is a question of how big am I going to let God be versus how big am I going to let the depression/anxiety be? If God is who I claim him to be, he can heal me. Or he can choose not to. Or maybe the method he uses is like the one that Ortberg referenced in “God is Closer than You Think” when talking about a professor he knew (with meds).
What I have decided (and I’m trying to reel it in here) is to cut coffee out of my life again. As I pen this I am 3 days dry. That’s a big deal for me. Coffee allows me to manifest behaviors and attitudes, thoughts and feelings that I don’t like nor do I like where they take/allow me to go. If my body is the temple of the Holy Spirit then I ought to take precautions to keep it as clean as I can.
What are you going to do to keep your temple clean for God?