Dr. Willis Newman, Esmeralda Newman, bible-teaching-about.com

Lost and unsure what to do

QUESTION:

Hello Dr Newman,

I don't know if I met "you", or one of your followers, but tell me if this sounds familiar. "You" were wondering where the popular Rainforest Cafe was here in Las Vegas. And I, was standing outside of a children’s store, where I worked and told "you" where it could be found. This was at the Balleys hotel. Later I saw "you" walking by again and asked if you found it, "you" did and then handed me a business card where I found this site.

Anyway, if that was "you", hello again. If not, regardless, I have been holding onto this card for weeks now, and finally decided to check it out. I have had religious people give me cards and scriptures before, so naturally I was gonna throw it away, until I saw you were a Christian and were simply offering an online way of God's word. 

It spoke to me in a mysterious way. I am a single, 24yr old Christian living in this sin city alone, basically. My family is back in ___ and well...a lot has been presented upon my "plate" as of lately. I have a lot of faith that what is meant to be, will be...and have my family saying prayers, but aside from my praying, as well...I'm a little lost for direction.

Judging by your site here, I see you are probably a very busy man. However, I decided to try to give it a shot and reach out here. I am horrible with reading long essays, and don't sit still during sermons. But I know I need to seek help somewhere. I am not in a church, and I have huge issues behind that, if given the time I will open up about.

And I don't know where I'm really going with this...I will leave that in your hands. And try my best to read some of the things that need to speak to my heart and soul mostly, at this given moment. With all that being said...I hope to hear from you soon. Maybe you have some insight. I'd gladly appreciate and accept it. I hope I am not being too much of a nuisance.

Take Care,

J

ANSWER:

Jenn:

Yes, I do remember you, and that was me, not a "follower." It is good to hear from you! We had a wonderful time in Vegas. Actually, rather than "sin city" I think it should be called "vacuum city." By that I mean it seems like everywhere one turns there is a giant suction sucking money out of my pocket!

My son was getting married during that week, so all our family was there. My son-in-law and two grandsons and myself took in the prize fight (Pavlic vs. Taylor), and that was great. We did find the Rainforest. Thanks.

At any rate, thanks for getting in touch. You said you needed "direction," but did not indicate where you wanted to go; consequently, I don't know which way to point. There are many studies in this website, and I understand it may be difficult to know where to start.

You might want to browse through the table of contents, and maybe something will pop out at you. Otherwise, I recommend you start with the article under the heading "Spiritual Life" and "Bible teaching about salvation." After that, you might want to try the article on Bible teaching about sin, and Bible teaching about assurance of salvation.

After that, get back to me, and maybe I can answer specific questions for you. But, in the meantime, I will pray for you. All the best, and may God bless you richly.

Dr. Newman  (yep, it’s me. Check out the picture in the "About Us" section.)

FOLLOW-UP RESPONSE:

Dr. Newman:

Ok, it IS you. I wasn't too sure, sorry about that.

Well, my job that I had started some panic attacks. It stems back to a vehicle accident I got in a yr ago. And it was the fear of feeling trapped and alone. This was a single person shift, so it didn't help things. I started to seek help for it, and continued to try to make it work. Eventually, my manager wrote me up for reasons attached it, and then ended up firing me. She covered all her tracks and at this point, I am unemployed. 

Going through as much as I went through in my struggles trying to overcome this, it was a huge let down. And an even more huge test of faith. As I said in the previous email, I am alone out here and that didn't seem to help much either. So naturally, I had depression, anxiety, and the panic attacks. Which now are all going hand in hand. 

Something else I realized: no matter how long ago a situation that you battled depression with was, when presented with depression all over again, it comes back as well. 

The dr's answers were always medicine. And I refused to go that way for numerous reasons. So its like I'm back at square one. And that’s just where I felt so lost. 

My job acted as if they were helping me, when they were just out to fire me for other reasons then medical BECAUSE of the medical issue. So I opened up and trusted in them alot. And finding a job out here can be easy, but very stressful. 

I'm sure you can understand a but now why I feel as though I'm carrying the world on my shoulders. Job = money = rent, gas, cost of living = my health and well being

Me = alone in Vegas = questioning a lot of things.

Anyhow, I haven't had a panic attack since I worked. And I have some money saved until I find another job. So at the moment, the water is calm. But I was fearing a storm and no idea where to go. And as a Christian, turning to God in these times, he carries you. But I knew spiritual guidance would help as well. So there I was...writing you an email.

I would appreciate your prayers greatly, as I have others praying for me as well. Then we also found out today that my _______ might have cancer. She had suspected this for over a yr now, but didn't do a thing about it. She is a DR's daughter and believes that "cutting into cancer" will only make it spread. So she is basically gonna give up. And we really fear that. Prayers for her, mostly would be amazing,

Thanks for your time. I will read those soon.

Jenn

Jenn:

Wow! Sounds like you are a little down on your luck (of course, in God’s realm luck doesn’t exist). You mention panic attacks, depression, anxiety, a car wreck, job loss, being alone, carrying the world on your shoulders, and the possible loss of your grandmother. That's a lot!

Here are some suggestions that may help.

1. Try to find a support group, which probably would be a good church in the area since you are a Christian. Talk to the pastor, and find friends. That will take time, because you don't know who to trust at first. Be sure they are competent to help, and are not out to take advantage of you. You can always talk to God, and trust Him.

2. You need to soon find a job. You probably already know how to do that. But, there are three good studies in this website on how to do that. They are in the Christian leadership section, are the ones on achieving goals, and making plans. The other one is in the Christian life skills, and is on problem solving.

3. Next, I suggest that you begin working on the feelings you are having. Since you were in a car wreck, you may have symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder. Anxiety and depression sometimes go with that problem. There are two articles in the Christian life skills section on understanding and managing stress. 

4. Several times you mention depression. Basically, depression is caused by constant negative thoughts bombarding your mind. The thoughts are in three areas: how bad a person you think you are, how bad your think your situation is, and believing there is no hope for the future. The resultant feelings are those of being deserted, defective, defeated, etc.

5. The idea is to replace those haywire ideas with more accurate ones. I explain in the article under Christian life skills called "managing thoughts." That will give you a tool to help you get out onto paper the distorted thought you are telling yourself, and will give you opportunity to replace them. I suggest you go through the exercise once a day until your feelings get manageable. Remember, the sequence goes like this: thoughts, then feelings, then behavior. To change feelings, change the thinking. I see in your letter that you have many negative, defeating thoughts. But, also, you have many realistic positive thoughts. That is good. Find some more blessings to count.

6. I don't know why you "refuse" the medicine for depression, etc. Sometimes that can help in the short haul until you get your thoughts under control. 

7. Don't rule out professional counseling - though that can be expensive, and you are out of a job. 

8. Well, Jenn, this is a lot of direction. Take things a day at a time, plod through the suggestions, and see what happens. Here are some facts to consider. You are not a horrible person, your situation may be painful but not horrible, and there is hope for the future. You say you are a Christian; consequently, you have God on your side, and He loves you very much - and has promises never to leave you. Your family loves you. Pray and trust in God to direct you.

You mentioned you "was fearing a storm and no idea where to go." Don't borrow trouble, nor dread what might happen. We don't know what the future holds, but we know God holds the future in His hands. Plan and make good choices for the future, but live for today. You will be able to solve tomorrow's problems - and they will always be there. Enjoy today, and solve those problems. 

There are two sections of Scripture that you might dwell upon: Matthew 6:25-34; Philippians 4:4-9. 

Stay in touch.

Dr. Newman

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