When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the broken-hearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all. (Psalm 34:17-19 ESV)
This week’s blog post addresses the difficult topic of mental health from a heart-felt and personal perspective. Scripture tells us that we live in a sinful, broken world and like any of the other parts of our body; our brain is prone to illness. We can look forward to the day when we will receive new and resurrected bodies (Romans 8:22-23) but until then, we live in bodies that will not function as God intended, that will be prone to illness.
I trust that you will appreciate this earnest letter to God penned by a concerned mom. Afterwards, reflect on the lyrics of Matthew West’s song, “Mended”.
I did it all the right way...taught my kids to love Jesus, encouraged them in volunteering, even homeschooled! I know they say that You love us for who we are and not for what we do, but come on, there has to be extra grace for someone who works as hard at this as I do.
Now I am looking through a locked hospital door at my beautiful daughter, my wonderful loving daughter who is so connected to my heart. My husband has always joked that they forgot to cut the umbilical cord.
I am buzzed into the room and three people simultaneously burst into tears - me, my beautiful daughter, and her ever faithful and supportive sister. God...I'm losing it here. This isn't real; I'm not actually having a conversation about removing the cords from a sweatshirt and locking up shoes. There are bandages on her arms, but where are the bandages for the heart? How do you pull your heart out of your throat and put it back in its proper place?
Paul told the Thessalonians to pray without ceasing, but I can't seem to get past "Jesus help me". For some things, there are no words. God, I need to know that You are in control of this situation.
Now I'm being asked to leave. My daughter looks at me in despair and fear, because she doesn't belong here. Emergency psych wards are for other people's children - not mine. As I stand by the desk, struggling to stay in one piece, God shows up. A nurse gives me a number to call to get a room in a specialty house. I desperately needed that small light, because two minutes later I am in the elevator sobbing uncontrollably. I can't think, I can't breathe...God, I'm not going to make it through this.
Ten minutes later I am in a beautiful room using a complimentary computer to send out desperate prayer requests. I know that the prayers of a righteous person are powerful and effective, and this is my only hope. How do you walk through this situation without God? I know that God has my back and I'm still barely breathing.
We're told that God uses trials in our life to teach us lessons and help us grow. They forget to mention that growth hurts and to be honest, I'm getting tired of learning lessons; I want healing. But God seems to be saying 'wait', so I wait and I pray and I cry and I hope.
We're three years into this journey and I can't begin to count the ways that God has shown up through friends and hugs and an extraordinary young man who is willing to walk this road with us. And on those days when we are back in the valley, I can say with total confidence that I know my Redeemer lives, because I have seen his Glory.
By: Bethany Breault