As the purchases have come in, I have prayed for you by name.
I am so sorry you are suffering.
When I was in the depths of my anxiety and depression, I wrote down affirmations to speak that were the opposite of what I was feeling.
This practice stemmed from a practice I have done with my kids for years. The “I am…” routine. It is like the placebo effect. It is a spoonful of sugar that goes against the world and its lies.
The hard part of doing it for these cards is this, I know you don’t need any more advice or “shoulds.” Everyone is quick to tell the depressed and anxious what they should be doing. I know it is overwhelming.
I also know, this practice is productive.
So when and if you are able, saying one or all of them, especially while looking in the mirror, can be very helpful.
On the same day I wrote the essay below, I went outside to watch my young sons, Sam and Charlie ride their bikes. Our driveway is on a slight incline. The boys would get halfway up and start to complain, “I can’t!” And I would walk up behind them, give them a little push and say, “Yes you can, say it… everything is easy for me.”
As they rode around me I could hear them whisper chanting, “Everything is easy for me.”
What greater words are those words that build up, rather than tear down? If I could call you and tell you every 10 minutes, “You are healed of depression and anxiety. Everything is all right, you are well,” I would.
But the power that is in you is greater than the power in this world. And I fully believe He is not upset with you because you are depressed or anxious. At the same time, He would not chant obscenities at you. And I don’t believe He would want anyone else to either.
When you spoke the word, “Yes,” in the transformation of your salvation, that word meant you were different. That was all required for your transformation. Now you are saved.
And if you are saved you can’t be kind of saved. In my first book, Stolen Jesus, I give this example. If you were drowning and I came out in a boat and took you to shore, you would be saved. If I threw you a life jacket, you may or may not be saved. You still have to tread water or you might go under.
You yes to Jesus saved you. It cannot be undone, it cannot be added to or taken away from. It is the perfect sacrifice.
So now, in the throw of a mental illness or struggle, you are still saved. It may feel like you are going under, but you are on the shore. You will not go under.
And just like that yes was the most powerful yes, every other word you speak about that salvation encourages you, safe on the shore.
At first, especially if you are in a deep and miserable place, this will seem like nonsense. “I feel great,” might only be the words of your mouth. But I would ask you this, has saying over and over “I am miserable,” made you feel better? So, why not lie a little, in agreement with whom Jesus says you are, and let Him work a miracle in you?
Imagine a foster child in your care who was afraid of the dark. Would the recommendation be to affirm their fears, or encourage peace? This is what the “I am Well” Cards did for me. They were the sweet words of hope in the darkest season of my life.
On this side, I see the power of both the negative and the positive aspects of our self-talk.
I made this tool to help myself create a new inner dialogue.
They are not meant to replace medical help. But I fully believe they can aid in the process. If the voice in your head is raging to get better or else, these are the antidote.
Jesus is everything. You are not lacking Him, even if you are lacking in every other aspect. He is not the author of depression and anxiety, He is the God of restoration.
Be kind to His baby. If you can do not one other thing, speak to yourself as He would. I pray these cards help you do that.
The first attachment is the essay I wrote about depression and anxiety. The next three attachments are the cards. The final attachment is original art and scripture for you to print and use as a reminder, even the desert, dry and treacherous, has beauty.
I recommend printing the cards on card-stock to make them more durable.
He is for you and with you. And He will not leave or forsake you. No matter what.
Jesus be all over you.