In God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can man do to me? ~Psalm 56: 11
In one of the longest and exhausting years of my life, I confess, humans seemed to do a lot to me. I hoped life would calm down; I prayed it would calm down. Unfortunately, life had other plans. I have bipolar disorder. When you complicate mental illness with additional stress, things get ugly.
How do we manage mental illness when life continuously batters us? Is there some magic way to process the weight of circumstance we endure? In all my years of stress management, I’ve yet to find an answer to that question. However, my doctors believe it is out there somewhere, and my health demands I figure it out.
In God, I trust; I shall not be afraid-this includes my mental health.
For all the jaded moments, there has been clarity in one thing- I have no control over others. While I sat in the uncertainty of what one choice might do, I wasted my precious time. Wrestling with fear stole my peace; for that, I hold many regrets. Is it possible to fear and still trust? According to this verse, we trust in God and will not fear. One depends on the other.
I failed to live this truth in the months leading up to 2020. As the pile increased, my faith decreased. I believe in God, but some days my doubt is stronger than my faith. How do we overcome this obstacle?
We are here for a short time, in that time we have much to learn. Does God expect us to master Christian mental health skills after one crisis? Being that every situation is different, and every response is different, I don’t think so. I pray for wisdom more than I pray for anything else.
We are unable to predict the future. If I could see what was to come, I wouldn’t want to go. Jesus smiles and orders, “Follow me.” Still, it is a choice. As we decide to obey, the journey ahead is unknown. If you are not willing to walk into the night, blindfolded then this won’t be very easy. For me, I came to know Jesus when darkness was all I knew. With no idea of much of anything, I chose to believe. I decided to go.
The last 23 years of my life in Christ have been rocky. Yet, peace blankets me in mysterious ways. For reasons beyond me, I learned to maintain my mental illness. Satan is relentless; he attacks over and over. I wonder if he continues his search for a breaking point. Does having bipolar come with a beacon of distress? If so, my radar is out of order; move on, sir.
My heart belongs to Jesus. I invited Him in long ago. The Holy Spirit dwells here, from the top of my head to the tip of my toes. I am covered by the blood of Jesus Christ. That includes my mental illness, my hurting heart, my spiraling mind. My thoughts are His, I just have to remember that truth.