Mental health article Written by guest blogger Cortland Jones
Mental health is important, and discussions around mental health even more so. Cortland Jones has an interesting take on allowing yourself to feel the emotions and show authenticity to heal.
‘He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me. Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”’ – Matthew 26:37-39 NIV
A look at mental health
Mental health needs to be regarded as an essential and integral aspect of life for adults and youth. Though not always regarded as such, it even carries with it a social stigma. The topic of mental health has been catapulted into the forefront of national media due to the impact of the virus COVID-19 and the global pandemic.
More and more you are seeing individuals amongst us, particularly entertainers and athletes. They are often associated with the perception of being immune to the troubles of life most of us are encumbered by. They come forth to acknowledge and reveal their vulnerabilities and misfortunes associated with the reality of being human despite their status in life.
During a season of misfortune, grief, and loss going through a divorce, I was able to take solace in understanding the need to prioritize my mental health needs. I was inspired by friends and colleagues who worked in the mental health field. I had friends who talked about seeing a counsellor and ‘going to therapy.’ A friend, who is a licensed clinical social worker, talked openly about having a therapist, so there was no stigma about therapy and counselling.
These friends also modelled vulnerability and transparency. I had become accustomed to those I associated with which made seeing a therapist and getting counselling easy when it was time to reach out for help post-divorce. Closer inspection of Matthew 26:37-38 reveals to us a time in the life of Jesus Christ. He alludes to the reality of what He is going through, hurting the quality or state of His physiological well-being. You will also see hidden within these texts some helpful tips on coping with moments of distress and duress.
Helpful tips on managing distress
Before we take a look at Matthew 26:37-39, also consider the Jesus we often celebrate and revere, as we should as our Lord and Savior, did not live the celebrated life we may think He did being fully God and fully man. Consider this verse located in the book of Hebrews: ‘During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered.’ – Hebrews 5:7-8 NIV
The Bible depicts Jesus’ life as one spent in sorrow, crying, lamenting in prayer before God, and associated with suffering. So this reinforces to me, especially during times of trial and tribulation that every day with Jesus is not going to be unicorns and rainbows. It also reinforces not to be ashamed of the sorrow, grief, the depression I feel because my Lord and Savior experienced it too.
The example of Jesus
Jesus, being our example, models for us how He handled the reality of what
was happening to Him and within Him that we can apply in coping with misfortune, grief, loss, distress, and moments of duress:
Jesus confided in three people what He was feeling v.37
Jesus was willing to be vulnerable and open with what He was feeling v. 37
Jesus was willing to feel the emotion not denying what was being felt v. 37
Jesus identified and verbalized the specific emotions he was feeling v. 38
Jesus invited those He confided in to pray for Him v. 38
Jesus prayed intently about what He was feeling v. 39
Jesus expressed what was felt interfered with His desire to do God’s will v. 39
Jesus concluded that how He felt did not supersede God’s will v. 39
It is the energy of the intense emotions we need to release to God, associated with our thoughts and feelings during times of great distress and duress that aid us in being able to work through them and still live a lifestyle of triumph.
About the author
Cortland Jones is a published author and entrepreneur, since 2014, who has helped three other clients become published authors through his empowerment coaching service. He has been a faithful follower of Jesus Christ, since 1992. Cortland loves to share his faith to encourage and empower others in walking by faith. He is also the co-host of the podcast Village Talk. He highlights the voices and views of the community. Look out for his new podcast Believe in Spring 2021 focusing on faith and Bible study.