I keep being asked if I didn’t fear God would smite me for calling Him names. I was like ‘No! I believe He is big enough and can handle it after all He didn’t strike David dead and others who did madness so I don’t think he would strike me down.’ Was I naïve? Maybe but seeing that I was being honest…He would have to handle it and I was right.
He came through, hugged me, loved me and rebuilt me. He pushed me through the people He sent to help and demanded nothing but full attention and work to get better. He sent me teachers to give the needed skills. He sent people who wouldn’t take nonsense or excuses from me. He made a way to walk through the valley of the shadow of death because the valley is a place of learning just like the green pasture is an important place of growth and rest. In reality, nothing is like people say and I could fully count of His word to perform.
Indeed I have found the joy of the Lord is my strength but it is a different concept. You see, when I understood that there would be valleys, I would feel the shadow of death, fear would come close, loss would show its face but His rod and staff, yes…His rod and staff, they will comfort and guide me; He will send His angels to watch over me; He will send me help from the holy hill. The difference has been how I find Him and connect to His plan His way in even in the darkest hour and there were many dark hours. Yet in the darkness, He was the one who was right next to me all the time.
One thing is certain, I will never tell anyone to just believe like I used to. I now ask hard questions and push for honest answers that will lead to learning the right choices for walking and strength to stay the path. Sometimes all it takes is an emoji from one who knows me, a look from one of my pillars, a slice of cake and black coffee, a good book, a moment watching the sunset, a tear shed in the privacy of my workout, a walk in the estate, thirteen-page journal entries…there was never one way to deal with it. The only thing I know for sure is His rod and staff…no platitudes, no affirmations to chant, just dealing with issues one at a time.
The way out was to categorise life into sectors: emotions, faith, finances, the marriage, friends, family etc. I dealt with the issues sequentially in an order that worked for me. It has been the hardest but sweetest journey because I have tools, I have proof, I have support and for that I am aware that I am privileged.
There has been an increase of strength and joy in my heart and I owe it to God because of the dark times that have drawn me closer to him, given me the skills I need for navigation and trimmed off my madness and the sense of judgement I had against those who were struggling. The struggles have made me stronger and more compassionate and I hadn’t even noticed it till my sister said, ‘I like the person you have become through the challenges; you are nicer and more compassionate.’
So if the trouble will help another person down the road; bring it on. There is a method and a purpose for the madness so bring it on. The reality is that each of us must deal with the issues and rise to the fullness that awaits us. Here’s to more conversations about life and mental health.