|No this is not my kitchen|
I guess you could say I am coming out of hiding. I can not tell you how many blog posts I have written in my head, but they were never written. See, I was waiting. Waiting for life to be ordered, together, and reach some magical place where there were no problems. Guess what? Life is not like that. After much consideration, a rough summer, a year of therapy for myself, and some vulnerable conversations with a friend from college I have come to realize that my life is never going to reach the place where it is all ordered or together and as far as some magical place where there are no problems well it simply does not exist. As far as this blog I started it because I believe the Lord led me to and at one time I got started blogging consistently and then I let one person's hurtful words discourage me then stopped being consistent. That is kinda silly you know I mean not everyone is going to like me, my priorities, my lifestyle, my choices. Some might not even like me or my personality. That is okay even if some of those who feel that way are in close proximity. Not every one will like me and I accepted that a long time ago. I have felt this pressure to somehow change to not be considered unacceptable by this person in close proximity. I have struggled to figure out how to be acceptable to her and still be true to who God made me to be and what he asks me to do in my life. I cannot do both of these. You know what it is not my job to change what I do or even to worry about whether or not someone else will be pleased with what I do. The problem is not mine it is theirs. I had been asking the Lord where this person was supposed to fit in my life. As I have prayed and struggled with this the Lord led me to Hebrews 12:1-3.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you do not grow weary and lose heart.He led me to this passage and the Holy Spirit clearly told me that I needed to quit worrying about where this person fit. I was then convicted that I had let this concern become so great that I took my eyes off of Jesus to figure out this problem. The Lord clearly told me that morning to let this problem go to HIM and HE would take care of it. My job is to fix my eyes on Jesus and run the race HE is marking out for me. So I am. I found peace that had been missing for quite sometime. It is like I can breathe again.
One of the things the Lord is showing me is that I need to be vulnerable-- he is even asking me to do it on line. Yikes! That is scary. However, if I keep my eyes on Jesus then someone's negative, disapproving, or cruel words become his problem and not mine. So here I am on line obeying the Lord's command to me to be vulnerable in front of the entire world wide web.
This summer season started very rocky for us. Our youngest son has sensory issues and we have known that for quite some time now. He has been in therapy for a couple of years actually. He was having a difficult time and had been melting down several times an hour for a long time even biting, kicking, hitting and nothing seemed to work as far as correcting or helping him. I was at my wits end and it was so bad I needed a break, but there was no way I could ask someone to watch him when he was like that. It all came to a head Memorial Day Weekend. He became increasingly violent to the point of crisis. Our household was not safe. So I took him and had him admitted to an inpatient psychiatric hospital. One of the most difficult things I have ever done was drive away and leave him there. He stayed 8 days. The nearest hospital I could take him to was about an hour and 15 minute drive away and so I spent a lot of time on the road driving back and forth to visit every time there were visiting hours. The psychiatrist diagnosed him with autism. This was something I had suspected, but had been choosing to live in denial about. Denial is over now. He is doing well now and is back to the sweet boy he used to be.
I was very fortunate that I have a friend who lives in the city that this hospital is located. Actually I went to college with her and her husband. They let me stay at their house whenever I needed to during this mess. My friend (we will call her Misty) let me sleep a lot and that is what I did. However, Misty and I did have some really good conversations. We talked about how it seems like the church is scared of vulnerability when it comes to issues pertaining to mental health. She and I both talked about how the church has not been a safe place to admit mental illness struggles. Often times they are considered sin or a lack of faith or some simplistic answer that does not fit the problem, sometimes even considered demonic. I know that personally I have been given some of these answers (not the demonic one) as I struggle with depression. Some of the things I have been told-- you need to figure out what sin you have in your life that caused this or if you trusted the Lord enough you would not have this problem or if you would just praise the Lord enough he would lift you right out of that depression. I am not saying that sin does not cause depression sometimes, it does. Nor am I going to say the trusting the Lord can help when dealing with depression because it most certainly can. Neither am I saying that praising the Lord can not lift someone out of depressive episodes. It can and does many times.
My point is that church needs to be a safe place to be vulnerable. It needs to be a safe place to admit any and all pain. In my experience often times it is not. Some churches do a wonderful job and the Lord blessed me with the church we are currently in as I was able to be open and honest with this struggle. The decision to begin taking antidepressants was encouraged when I realized I needed to make this important step. The problem is that in most places of worship that I have been to it would not have been safe to admit struggles of this nature. Misty has had some different, but similar struggles. In 2 Corinthians chapter 1 we are told to comfort others with the comfort we ourselves have received from the Lord. We can not do that if we are not vulnerable with each other.
Jesus is a safe place to be vulnerable. He is the ultimate example of compassion, mercy, and agent of healing. The Christian life calls us to be more life Jesus. Therefore, we need to strive to be like HIM.
My challenge to you is to make your home and family a safe place for vulnerability. Then as you walk this out in your home it will make an impact outside your home. My life is messy, how about yours?
|Run the race! |
Don't get weary and lose heart.