My heart is quiet. Peaceful. The turmoil I was pinned beneath only a couple of weeks ago has vanished. Medication is amazing. For me, it is the difference between tears pouring down my face and physical pain in my gut (that is mental pain manifest). I struggled to think clearly, there was a near constant migraine. I couldn’t get a grip.
There. I admit it, being a basket case comes frighteningly easily to me.
Now, I am a Christian. I believe that ultimately, God is the answer to all my problems. I believe that He alone will save me. I believe that He is very, very good. I believe that we live in a fallen world that is distorted by sin. I’m also what is called “post-mil” which means that I believe that when God’s son, Jesus, died on the cross 2,000 years ago, He reset the course of our history forever. He rescued us from eternal suffering and instead, paid the price for every sin ever committed. Think about that for a moment. Every. Single. Sin. Atoned for completely. No strings attached, no assistance needed. Done. He said, “It is finished.” and it was. Incredible, isn’t it? And now, we, His people, are called to usher in the new world, called Heaven. It’s coming, I can feel it. I can see it too. Life is getting better. Oh, I know it is easy to be distracted by the evil around us (ISIS, abortion, death), but when you look at the whole timeline of our world thus far, there has been vast improvement since Jesus died on the cross. This is why I can be hopeful. I can see the good things He promised would happen, beginning to happen. He is working at bringing about a better reality and it is exciting! I believe that part of our responsibility to help build God’s new Kingdom is through being a good steward in the world we habitate now, that includes (but is not limited to) understanding it. We should cultivate it and create awesome stuff from its fruits. I think medicine belongs in that category. My prescriptions and supplements, though we may craft them in a lab or in our own gardens, they all come from God’s hand.
All that said, Heaven isn’t here yet. There are still spots (large and small) of sin and suffering in our world. For starters, I am broken mentally. My head just isn’t right. God ordained several very difficult things to happen in my life; abuse, the death of a dear friend, long-term sickness — and my mind kinda short-circuited. I can no longer functional normally, independently. In some ways, it has been a blessing. If I don’t stay in God’s word, my heart slides into darkness faster than average. If I don’t immerse myself in truth, I get horribly confused and think I can’t go on living anymore. Telling the difference between truth and lies becomes extremely difficult. And so,
- I stay in God’s word.
- I am honest with those I trust for accountability.
- I go to counselling and
- I partake of God’s gift of modern medicine.
If these are crutches, they are making me a better woman, so I don’t really care.
Another aspect of living in a fallen world is never being able to achieve perfection, even with the aid of chemistry. To anyone who thinks taking a pill to help with mental illness is a cop out, allow me to introduce you to a little something called Side Effects. They come in all different shapes and sizes. The last medicine I was on made me gain weight — a lot, like 30lbs. The new pill is, thankfully, allowing my weight to regulate, but right now, it leaves me feeling creatively and emotionally zapped. I am numb. It is work to feel the joy that I know for a fact resides in my heart. It’s frustrating, but I trust that God is doing something good with me right now, something I’m going to be able to look back on one day and be thankful for. That is just how He works. So I’m trying not to get frustrated or angry. I’m trying to be thankful here and now. Introducing a new medications can be like inducing a spiritual boot camp session: If I can be joyful when I don’t feel like it — well, that is a skill worth mastering. Thank you, Lord, for this opportunity.
In the meantime, if I’m not my bubbly self, if I am quieter than usual, please know that it isn’t personal. Please know that I am ok. The doctor says to give the new medicine a couple of weeks. There is a chance my body will adjust and I’ll feel myself again. That is the outcome I am praying for. And if that doesn’t happen, I trust God has something better in mind.
He is good and He loves me — crutches and all.