Community Healthcare Guide

Spiritual Health feeds Mental, Emotional and Physical Health

“Give God a chance”

- By Jamie Fleury

Pastor Tom Anders of Plymouth Church of the Brethren believes that spiritual health supports mental, emotional and physical health. “It’s just so much easier for people who have a spiritual connection with God to be able to approach even their difficulti­es in a more healthy fashion; which provides a better overall health for them.”

From dealing with anxiety; to having the support of a church family; to recovery from hurts, habit and addiction; Pastor Anders believes that faith is the foundation that supports all other areas of life from birth to death and life beyond death.

Anxiety and excessive worry impacts sleep habits, blood pressure and overall health. Christians worry; but they approach it differentl­y. “We give our worry to the Lord. Sometimes we have to give it to him multiple times. But I find that when people have a good, strong spiritual connection with the Lord that they worry differentl­y. They only worry to a certain extent; and then they give it to the Lord.”

Pastor Anders believes that even when bad things happen; God will use it to strengthen the believer ’s relationsh­ip with him, themselves and others. “God can intervene or God can use the event to draw you closer to Him and to use your experience for your good; whether that be in your relationsh­ip to him or enable you to be a witness to others.”

There are tragic things that happen which are beyond our control; and seem to happen for no good reason; including terminal illnesses and the death of loved ones. “Sometimes the healing doesn’t occur this side of heaven. But it occurs, for believers it eventually occurs.”

Pastor Anders has observed first hand that those facing death from a foundation of faith can have a more peaceful experience as they approach end of life situations. “I have seen where people who have a strong relationsh­ip with the Lord approach even death so differentl­y. They are approachin­g their time when they will go be with the Lord. But what I have seen is how that effects that person’s understand­ing of what dying really is and how they approach their death. It effects the health of those who love them.”

When an individual experience­s internal conflict as they approach the end of their life; it can cause additional stress to an already grieving family. He noted that the spouse’s own health often starts to decline. “As opposed to someone who is ready to go see the Lord and it’s okay when they pass away because they know where they are going. That allows the family members to be able to approach the loved one’s impending death from a healthier perspectiv­e as well.”

Pastor Anders said that God did not promise that things would be easy but He remains faithful through all experience­s; good and bad. “When bad things happen, God is not disconnect­ed. God grieves with us when we go through difficult things; the tough things. God goes through those highs and lows with us. God cries with us. God celebrates with us.”

He said that there is a sense of peace that comes when a person asks God to move and intervene in their life. “The healing process never really begins until you come to a point where you surrender. When you surrender

you are giving it to God.”

Even if the situation does not change; some individual­s experience a sense of peace that they are not alone. “Having a good, strong relationsh­ip with the Lord can direct how you look at things in life; which will effect how well you live health wise.”

Pastor Anders said that a church family can provide supports through life; celebratin­g joys and providing support through adversitie­s. People should feel acceptance, love, and non-judgmental opinions when among a church family. “Most churches genuinely accept new people and welcome them in; and are willing to walk life with them. I think that’s a key component; that you find a group of people that will be your support group.”

He feels that after that support creates a safe environmen­t for people; it enables them to explore their lives without fear of condemnati­on and move toward recovery from un-forgivenes­s of themselves and others; and other habits that are not healthy for them.

The church hosts Celebrate Recovery ® for people seeking help to recover from “hurts, habits, and hang ups”. “They walk with you through the good times and the bad times. They are not afraid to tell you when you have messed up, but they do it in a loving manner and they pick you back up. They walk beside you and they go through it with you.”

It can be difficult for people who have been spirituall­y traumatize­d to search for or join a church home. Others are so condemned internally that they don’t feel “worthy” of being part of a loving church family.

Pastor Anders said that if those individual­s who feel rejected only remain in their own private relationsh­ip with the Lord; they can miss out on the benefits of community and the support that comes from one another. In those situations he said there is little room for growth. “We challenge each other. We support each other.”

“The great thing about being in a support group is that they will tell you what you need to hear, not what you want to hear. There is a difference.” He emphasized that a foundation of loving trust must first be formed.

“As Christians, our actions are so much more powerful than our words. I believe as a pastor that people don’t really care what I have to say until they know I genuinely care about their well being and their relationsh­ip with the Lord.”

“I would encourage everyone; for their own health; not just spiritual but their overall health; to find a good Bible believing church and to give it an opportunit­y to immerse themselves into the culture. At least give it a try. I believe that God’s word is true. If you go into it with the right mindset; and you immerse yourself in it; His word will not return to him null and void. It will bear fruit. It will produce dividends. It will change your life. It will change how you approach your entire life and overall it will improve your life.”

Pastor Anders invites you to “Give God a chance.”

Celebrate Recovery ® meets from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the church which is located at 1130 N. Michigan Street.

Follow Celebrate Recovery ® on Facebook @ Marshall County Celebrate Recovery.

More informatio­n can be obtained by reaching out to Pastor Tom Anders at pastor_tomanders@live.com.

More informatio­n about Plymouth Church of the Brethren can be found online at www. plymouthco­b.org.

 ?? PHOTO PROVIDED ?? Pastor Tom Anders
PHOTO PROVIDED Pastor Tom Anders
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