Encouragement from my own life experiences with mental illness, among other things. I hope to remind you that we are all precious to God, that none of us is ever forgotten or forsaken, and that truly all things in our lives are "worked together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purposes." (Rom. 8:28) I also hope to remind folks that God can and wants to be your Friend. And He does, indeed, still speak to His children.
Wednesday, January 7, 2015
created and designed for a purpose
13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me togetherin my
14 I praise youbecause I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was madein the
when I was woven togetherin the
depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordainedfor me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
Looking back at yesterday’s events, I realized something – I
very much used to be the dirt thrower, the mudslinger… on anyone who was nice
or happy. I was trudging through misery
and had no bandwidth for any nicety shown me, and my wretchedness exuded from
every ounce of me. I shot
daggers with my eyes, and my words and their tone stung to those with whom I
interacted – even when they meant me no harm at all. It was embarrassing to those who were with
me – and I had no understanding at the time why. When admonished for my behavior, I would
defend myself to my friends because I didn’t feel like I’d done anything wrong
because I couldn’t hear myself. I had no
idea what I sounded like when I spoke to others out and about in public. I was a JERK. There probably are more appropriate words
for how I behaved, but they aren’t part of my vocabulary anymore...
Yes, I walked in the darkness, even while having known my
Lord. I have groped and crawled through
murk and mire. I know from experience
what it feels like to be so miserable that even on overhearing someone else’s
delight, or even simple polite courtesy, my instant response was to throw crap
at it. Now, it really does tug at my
heart of compassion – realizing that I was once in their shoes, the shoes of my
“enemies”. And knowing how completely abject I was at the
time – how far deeply lost in depression.
[ I’m not saying my
haters last night were depressed or that their actions were justified. I’m just acknowledging that I have certainly
lived for extended periods not walking in the Joy of the Lord, and I know what
it feels like to instinctually throw mud on JOY when you are walking around without
it inside you for whatever reason.]
At the time, I had not yet come to understand that my
depression could be viewed from the perspective that it was a chance to draw
nearer to God. I was still very keen on
trying to get by on my own. It was not until perhaps a couple years ago
that I stumbled upon a mind blowing quote online that still resonates with me
today even though I have been very much delivered from the majority of my
I wish I remembered who wrote ^that or where I found it because
certainly I’d give them credit as credit is due. When I read that – it was the first moment in
my life that I had ever had even an inkling of considering an attitude of thankfulness
or gratitude for the depression. I had
always loathed being saddled with such a burden. Now that I am well and restored, I understand
that You gave me this package of emotional issues because You never intended
for me to carry those burdens alone – THAT was all my own doing, my own
stubbornness acting out. My own
rebellion. Your design was always that these issues would
ground me such that I would be intrinsically in need of relying wholly on You
to live and live well.
The Truth is You have designed me exactly the way I need to
be in order to accomplish all You have planned for me – to enjoy the fullest
measure of a love relationship with You.
Indeed, if I had not my “demons” as so many would call them, my innate stubbornness
would dictate I might go about my life in an entirely different manner –
utterly doing things on my own… which I did try to do for years in spite of my
internal struggles. Even as You called
out to me, even knowing You were there for me, I lamented why You would let me
suffer so if You truly loved me so much.
So instead of drawing near to You for the answer to that, I was
determined that I would get by of my own means.
Oh, how well that worked out!!! (*note intense sarcasm*) I hid
myself for years, sleeping as much of my life away as possible, self medicating
to turn the pain off for brief respites… and when that failed, I turned to self
harm and even suicide attempts. And yet
I still didn’t turn to You for help…
I did not understand then that You had
designed me this way, knowing how obstinate I would be because You created that
in me as well (I’m sure for some other purposes, perhaps to push through other
trying times, maybe my tumultuous childhood and other events that still lie
ahead) so that I would, in fact, always need to rely wholly and completely on
You. Otherwise I would go through life
without ever realizing how vital a relationship with You is to my life – to my
thriving – and I would never accomplish all the good You have called me to do,
all that is now being laid before me.
Beyond that, I would lack the empathy that has become such a large and
treasured part of who I am now, and possibly even my ability to communicate to the
degree I can my thoughts and feelings, even my creative endeavors such as
singing – which is also an incredibly HUGE part of who I am. And these are all things for which I am
incredibly grateful, talents which I have no doubt would not have developed to
the level they are today had I not walked the path I have in life.
Yes, as I say often, God has His hand in everything – You truly
have a purpose for all things – and I have no doubts that You do, indeed work
ALL things together for the good of us who love You and are called according to
Your purposes. No, it did not always
feel like it in those dreadful dark hours, but these “demons” so many refer to
are truly blessings… they are gifts that have (now that I’ve finally allowed
them to do so) taught me to draw close to You.
They have shown me that I can only live my best life, the life You have
always intended for me, by staying intimately tethered to You day by day,
moment by moment. And for that, I will
always praise You.
I know a lot of people reading this will balk initially at
the notion that bipolar disorder, anxiety and such manners could be thought of
as blessings. And I understand
that. It is one reason You began Your
words I quoted just yesterday with “But if you are willing to listen…” (Luke
6:27) because not everyone is always ready to hear AND receive every message as
it is delivered. But I trust that You
are in control, God – and that the right person who needs to hear this message
will get what they need to from it – and
that the Spirit will further illuminate these truths to them in Your time as is
fitting for Your purposes in their lives.
Praise You, praise You for all the good that can be done
May this message be blessed that
all who read it
might come to know You a little better.
All for Your Glory,
Your Name and Your Kingdom!
If you are struggling with any emotional issue,
or truly any hard time of any kind...
And it's hard for you in this moment to truly believe
that God can use what you are dealing with
or what you've been through in the past for GOOD
both for your life and for His purposes for His kingdom,