Faithful in the Midst

Faith in The Midst of Struggle


January 18, 2020
Tonya King

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Anxiety and Worship



Have you ever heard that worry and worship cannot live in the same heart?  It’s a phrase I heard years ago when I was first diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder.  To say I worried is an understatement.  I worried so much that it turned into a full-blown anxiety attack.  That anxiety got so bad that it paralyzed me. I came across a little book that had an intriguing title. It was a book about ridding oneself of anxiety and worry.  Since I was dealing with that exact issue, I bought the book.  Want to know what it said?  It said that the best way to get rid of anxiety and worry was to worship.  Worship? Really?  Could it be that simple?  Yes, that simple, but not easy.

When we are experiencing anxiety so great that it affects our ability to live life, worshiping can seem like a monumental task but I learned that just repeating the phrase “Jesus, I love you” was an act of worship. So that’s what I did.  I told Jesus over and over how much I loved Him and how much He had changed my life and how grateful I was.  I did this for days and days.  And, you know what? It worked.  The decrease in my anxiety was almost immediate! The more I set my heart to worship, the more my mind calmed.  Pretty soon, I was waking up with a sense of peace, not turmoil.

Now, I guard my peace.  I will not do anything to lose it.  It is so important to me and the best way to keep my peace is to keep my eyes upon Jesus.  To never lose sight of the fact that God did not give me a heart of fear.  Isaiah 35:4 says…

Say to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, he will come with vengeance; with diving retribution he will come to save you”.

Wow! What a promise.  Do not fear. Do not be torn down by anxiety.  Lift your eyes for your God is coming and he is coming to save you.  You and me. That’s a promise you can depend on.

So, when anxiety strikes, all you need to do is Worship and stay still. God is coming and He will deliver you.  That’s a promise!

September 21, 2019
Tonya King

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Never Give Up

Hey Everyone!! I am sorry that I have been away for so long.  I have been going through some medical issues, as well as some website issues.  I have fixed the website problems (thanks to my wonderful husband) and my medical issues are being resolved.  I have missed talking with you.

In the last few months, as my medical issues have been at the forefront of my mind, I stopped monitoring my Bipolar.  Bad move!  I have been manic for a few months and didn’t even realize it. (the massive spending should have been a tip off).  My husband actually brought it to my attention, and I have discussed it with my Doctor which necessitated a medication tweak.  I am still manic but getting better.  My point in telling you this…never assume that your illness will take a back seat to other priorities in your life!  Your illness ALWAYS needs to be closely monitored.

I know we would all like to think that we do not have to be diligent in monitoring our illnesses all the time.  But, as I have learned, it is when we stop paying close attention to our moods, our day to day living, our depression, is when things can go south very quickly. It’s tiring, I know.  How many times do we want to give up and just let the illness run our lives? It’s easier. But, when we let our guard down, terrible things can happen. I just read of a Pastor in California who suffered from depression who took his own life. He couldn’t get in front of his depression.  He got tired and he gave in.  This has affected me profoundly.  I hate to hear of someone suffering from a mental illness give in.

Having a mental illness is not easy.  Having any illness is not easy.  But we need to fight for every ounce of normalcy we can get.  We need to take our moods, our hurts, our confusion, our fears, our pain to God.  We need to press into Him with all we have in order to overcome what is going on at that moment.  It’s hard and sometimes things don’t change right away. But we can never give up. We owe it to ourselves and to our loved ones to do all we can to get better. If we do not turn everything over to God, we are neglecting the one person who has the power to change us. To heal us. We need to rest in the promises of God, not only for healing, but for the strength to live day to day.

It will always be a struggle; it may never get easier. But we are here for a purpose. God has chosen to allow whatever is going on in our lives and we need to make a determined decision to live out whatever our purpose is.  We cannot give up. Stay strong.  Stay connected to God. Stay in the fight.

March 27, 2019
Tonya King

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Judging Harshly

I was having my prayer time with God the other day and I was talking to Him as I always do, and I brought up the fact that I am a bit judgmental.  I asked for forgiveness for that flaw and the Lord clearly impressed upon me this thought…

“the persons we judge most harshly are the people we need to pray for most fiercely and that person may be ourselves”.

Wow.  I had to sit and think about that for a few minutes. I do judge myself harshly and I do not pray for myself all that much.  I am in intercessor and I pray for those whom God places on my heart. I pray all the time.  I pray in the grocery store, in the car, in my kitchen, in my prayer room, basically everywhere. But the subject of my prayer is rarely myself.

This thought niggled at me all day.  Why do I judge myself so harshly?  One reason… I feel like a bit of a failure because I am unable to do simple things that others take for granted because of my illness.  I cannot work, I cannot handle a lot of stress, whether good or bad, I do not react well to time changes so that means I cannot travel.  There are many things that I just cannot do, and I judge myself based on these things, on the “cannot’s”.  Do you do the same thing?  I am sure you do. We all do.  And I found that people who do not have a mental illness judge themselves on the cannot’s of life as well.  So, what does God ask us to do? Pray.

We need to be praying for ourselves. We need to be praying for self-acceptance.  For the ability to stop looking at the “cannot’s” in our lives and focus on the “cans”.  We are able to do more than we give ourselves credit for.  We are special in the eyes of the Lord.  We are not “less than” to Jesus.  So why do we beat ourselves up?   I think part of it is the stigma associated with mental illness.  In society, we are already judged, regardless of who we are, but because of our illness.  Society says that we are not acceptable as we are. That somehow, we should change.

We listen to these false truths, which are nothing more than lies of the enemy, and we judge.  I think it is high time we start praying.  We need to call down the authority of God into our lives to dispatch the enemy from our minds. Prayer is powerful!  Prayer changes things! We need to be praying for ourselves and to stop judging ourselves so harshly. We are perfect in eyes.

We need to see ourselves as he sees us…beautiful, treasured, sacred, His.

March 21, 2019
Tonya King

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Set Apart

So many times, during the up’s and downs of my illness, I would say “I wish I was normal”.  Being normal (without symptoms, without stigma) was a goal I sought after.  I didn’t like feeling different from everyone else and I was ashamed that I had an illness that I could not control.  I didn’t want to tell anyone about my diagnosis because I didn’t want them to think about me differently.  But it was obvious to all around me that I was different.

Early on in my diagnosis, I would search Scripture on healing.  Being healed was my number one priority.  But, while searching the Scriptures, the Holy Spirit kept drawing me to verses that told of Jesus’s story and how he was different.  Jesus didn’t fall into the norm of His day.  He stuck out.  He did not try to conform to the world, He stayed separate.  He was in the world but not of the world.  So, if Jesus wasn’t “normal” why should I strive to be “normal” as defined by the world?

Well the answer is “I should not”.  I began to realize that Bipolar Disorder was my cross to bear.  I didn’t ask for it, but we all have something.  My illness set me apart from the world and yours does too.

We tend to view ourselves as “less than” but really, we’re special.  God allowed our illnesses to set us apart and to make a change in this world concerning mental illness.  We as Christians who suffer have a platform to bring about change as to how we are treated.  We can tell all that God is our strength and hope and that, like Jesus, we are not the norm because we are not supposed to be. Christians without mental illnesses are also set apart from this world, to be a light in the darkness.

So, on one hand, we are special because we are different, and on the other, we are special because we are like Jesus, made in His image! Set apart for a purpose.  I suppose you could say that we are fortunate because our illnesses send us to the feet of Jesus for strength to overcome. Maybe, having a mental illness is what brings us closer to God and for that we can be thankful.  I am not sure I would be as close to Jesus as I am without carrying this burden.  Being healed would be terrific but, as long as I have Bipolar, I will stop striving for normal and stay in the realm of special, just like Jesus!


March 17, 2019
Tonya King

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Worry and Worship

For most of my life, I’ve been a worrier.  I would worry about finances, my children’s health, my husband being far away in the military, and just about every other thing under the sun. I don’t know if my worry is a product of my illness or if I am just a worrier by nature.  Either way, it has caused me a great deal of anxiety and needless sleepless nights.

My worry really kicked into gear when the 911 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center occurred.  My husband was in the military at that time and he called and told me he was going to war and didn’t know anything else.  Oh my, what a day.  I had to pull myself together enough to tell our four children who were 12, 10, 7, and 4 at the time that we were at war and Daddy was going to fight. Try explaining to a four-year-old about war.  Not an easy nor enviable task.  This time frame ushered in a slew of symptoms I was not equipped to handle. My life became out of control.  My worry became a beast that colored my days.  Fear became a constant companion.

I was not serving the Lord at this time, which I can say only made the situation worse.  I didn’t know where to turn for help.  I was treated for depression which made the worry all the worse because it caused me to go manic. Now I was worried and manic.  It is a wonder I survived.

Fast forward to 2003.  My husband is home, my children are back to a normal life and my illness is raging!  My husband, poor guy, didn’t know what to think. He only knew I was not the same woman he left.  My worry was out of control.  I worried when he would go to the recruiting office for fear it would be bombed.  I worried when my children went out fearing they were somehow targets for enemy attack.  I worried about myself that I was going to implode at any time. This was the time I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder.  That same time, the Lord met me in my deepest, darkest place.  He gently brought me out of my place of despair and filled me with a hope I had not had in decades.  He also spoke this to my heart… “worry and worship cannot exist in one heart. One has to go”.  I understood immediately that my worry habit was causing my heart to be divided. I needed to make a change.

I chose to worship.  And, you know what? My worry lessened. I was no longer controlled by my out of control emotions.  God was setting me upon a rock and my life was beginning to take shape in Him. It took years of prayer, medication, and therapy to get myself to a place where I no longer worried about things.  I realized I have no control over what happens, but God is in control, at all times, of all things.  Whew! What a relief to finally know and know for certain that my worry will not change things. It will only cause me anxiety and stress which fuels my illness.  The Lord has faithfully and methodically delivered me from worry.  It took some time, but I can honestly say, I no longer worry.  If I am concerned with a situation, I take it to God, leave it with Him and go about my business.  I have never been more at ease.

My husband and my family are ever so grateful to God for giving them back the wife and mother they once had. And I am so grateful that He has brought me through, stronger and He will do the same for you.  You need but ask.

February 28, 2019
Tonya King

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We Are Blessed to be A Blessing

We Are Blessed to be a Blessing

So many times, we forget that we are blessed.  Yes, we suffer from a mental illness but that does not negate God’s blessings on our lives.  Every day that we wake up and have the wherewithal to go through the day feeling well is a blessing. Each small victory we have is a blessing.  Each time we can touch another with our story is a blessing.  God is blessing us in so many ways that sometimes we can take that for granted.  We need to be more aware of the way God is blessing us, so we can be a blessing to others.

Being a blessing to others is not complicated.  We do not have to stretch ourselves too much to brighten someone’s day.  A simple smile and cheerful hello could be all that person needs to give them something to smile about.  Sending someone a card telling them you care and are praying for them would be a blessing to them.  It’s so easy and simple things can bring the biggest blessing.

But not only will doing things for others bring them blessings, these blessings get multiplied back to you.  You will never regret blessing someone.  A few weeks ago, I was asked to bring dinner to a family whose husband had a stroke.  The family lived quite a ways from me and taking them dinner was going to be a strain on my time.  I had to shop for the ingredients, assemble and bake the casserole, put it into a travel bag and drive the 45 minutes to their home.  All on a Friday night when my family was over and wanting dinner as well.  I obeyed God in this and I was thoroughly blessed when I saw the thankfulness on their faces.  It was a simple act of obedience on my part that brought me a huge blessing and I am so glad I obeyed.

See, simple things bring blessings.  We do not have to complicate this.  God blesses us, so we can bless others.  I know that sometimes the hardest thing we do in a day is getting out of bed.  Days are dark, tiring and anxiety that builds so much we are frozen in fear.  These are the times we need a blessing.  God says you reap what you sow.  If you have been a blessing to others, God will have others be a blessing to you right when you need it.  He will send blessings your way at just the right time.  Remember we are blessed so we can be a blessing and others will then be a blessing to us.

February 20, 2019
Tonya King

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The Lion of the Tribe of Judah

When I think of Jesus my mind tends to focus on His sacrifice as the “lamb of God”.  He is referred to the “Lamb of God” twice in the Old Testament, but many times in the New Testament – 29 times, primarily in Revelation.  But there is another name which Jesus is known as – “The Lion of the Tribe of Judah”.

Revelation 5:5 refers to Jesus as the “Lion from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David who has overcome so as to open the book and its seven seals”.  When I think of a lion, I picture a majestic, strong, fierce animal.  I also think of loyalty and royalty as well.  Can you see Jesus as a fierce, loyal lion?  Does the image of a lion, rippling with strength and might come to your mind or do you always imagine Jesus as the lamb?

There are days when I am hurting and in need of the strength of Jesus to pull me up and out of the pit.  In those times I picture Jesus as the lion who has come to save me from myself and the attacks against my mind.  In Revelation 19:11-16 Jesus is described as the rider of the white horse called “Faithful and True”. “His eyes were like a fiery flame and many crowns were on his head. He had a name written that no one knows except himself. He wore a robe dipped in blood and his name is called the Word of God” (CSB).  This description does not conjure up the image of a lamb in my mind.

Yes, Jesus was the lamb who took away the sins of the world and He was crucified and resurrected, but He is coming back as a lion who will destroy the enemy forever.  I need to focus on this aspect of Jesus because there are times when my illness requires the strength of a lion to overcome its debilitating effects and to set my feet back on the rock.  I am sure you feel this same despair at times, and you look to Jesus for your strength.  It is comforting to know that He is as fierce as a lion and ready to fight for you whenever you call on Him.  He is the source of our strength.  He is our comforter and healer and he is the lion who fights for us.

There are times when I love to think of Jesus as my shepherd, or the lamb of God especially when I am reading the Psalms. But the image of the lion imbibes me with strength.  I am a lioness and my Lord is the lion of the tribe of Judah and He will always defend and protect me and through all trials!

I have a picture of a white lion in my prayer room that is a constant reminder of the strength and loyalty of Jesus. It is a beautiful image and I look at and am in awe of who Jesus is to me.  The next time you are tempted to think there is no one on your side and that you are fighting this battle against your illness alone, remember that Jesus is the Lion who will fight your battle for you. You need only lay down at His feet and allow His power and fierceness to defeat your enemies. He is the “lamb of God” and He is also the “Lion of the Tribe of Judah” and whether you need a shepherd or a warrior, Jesus is both and all that you need.