Well if I didn’t share my spiritual side and my struggles regarding my son’s mental illness, then I would be hiding a big piece of who I am. And one of the things I committed to do when starting this blog was to be honest and open, even when it wasn’t pretty so that others may not feel so alone.
So bear with me as I open up my heart to you about a spiritual challenge I’ve faced this year.
I’ve been angry at God.
I’ve felt attacked by God.
I’ve felt unloved by God.
Boy it’s hard to type out such ugly thoughts. But I’ve felt them and I would be a liar if I told you I didn’t.
Realizing your child has an illness is one of the deepest pains a mother can feel. But with a metal illness, this feeling is even more complicated.
One moment your child is attacking you physically, hurting your own flesh, screaming words of hate and disgust.
In response you feel anger, hatred toward the behavior you are up against. You’re fighting someone who has invaded your home.
Then the next minute, your child is a heap on the floor, wanting to kill themselves, crying out for help.
And you push aside you former resentment and scoop up your child, rocking them in your arms to bring them comfort, to rescue them from their pain.
The best way to describe my life at times is... I’m living in hell.
Now as a Christian, I’m far from perfect, I mess up a lot and fall short of being a good example for others. But I believe that God has the power to heal my son, to rescue us from this hell in our home.
But it hasn’t happened yet.
And it makes me angry. It makes me feel mad at God, it makes me feel like God is punishing me, like he doesn’t love me.
Honesty isn’t always pretty, huh?
I share these thoughts with you, not because I believe they are true, but to show you the challenges I’ve faced in my faith with God. It’s times like these when I’ve felt great sorrow. But thanks to God, He’s showing me His love and reminding me that He’s by my side, it’s through him that I’m getting through this.
This past weekend I went on a women’s retreat with my church and the theme was “Let Go & Trust God”. I have to say this weekend was designed for me. I realized that God isn’t punishing me, he really does love me and loves my child. I was able to connect with other women who’ve faced overwhelming challenges too. In the case of a dear friend, her son was diagnosed with a deadly brain tumor. When she asked the doctor if any of his former patients had survived this cancer, his response was no. In a testimony like this, I was able to see how God was working in her life and it made me realize that even though God doesn’t cause suffering, he can still use it for good. In the case of this child with the brain tumor, he’s still alive and now tumor free. He’s an example of how God does bring healing and restoration, even when the odds are against you.
I know my testimony is far from being written, but I can honestly say that God has already used my suffering for good. I think I’ve changed for the better as a person. I’m more patient, more compassionate, more tolerant, more honest and more forgiving. I’m also trusting God more lately, I’ve realized that I can’t fix it like I want to, so I have no choice but to lean on God. I’m still type A, but I’ve become more relaxed in wanting to control everything. I don’t strive for perfection, like I did when I was younger, instead I’m learning to let go in many good ways. I’m more able to focus on what really is important in life, instead of what society teaches us. I’m also learning to live in the moment and appreciate simple moments of joy. I don’t wait for a perfect day to find happiness. In addition, I know this blog has brought good to some of you, I cry every time I receive an email from a follower that has been helped by reading my story and have been encouraged by many of your own stories.
But let me be straight with you and say that I don’t have this all figured out, rather I’m encouraged and focused on the right things, right now. Believe me, I have a long way to go before I can completely let go and trust God. I’m sure I’ll be reviewing this post for encouragement in the future when I lose my way.
But to know that God is using my challenges for good, that He’s taking my jagged rocks and creating beautifully polished stones out of them, I feel nothing but hope and gratefulness.
I feel wrapped in God’s love.