Intensely Loved, but Definitely Broken, [Reality]

bryondeck-2For everyone who loves Jesus, but yet has had an experience of terrible loss, sickness or the death of a loved one…this post is meant for you.

I am evangelical, a former pastor, and a Bible college instructor. I also have bipolar depression, and a bit of paranoia and delusional thinking. I have been hospitalized in mental hospitals seven times in 10 years.  But, I love Jesus more than anything. And I’ve been told by many who repeatedly insist that He loves me as well.

I have experienced the darkest and most crippling depressions.  There are some weeks (months?) I could not get out of bed, shower or even eat.  For this Bipolar, I must take Lithium, Zoloft, and Lamictal.  These meds hold me in place. I’m being treated for a seizure disorder, and have had surgery to remove a tumor in my brain. I now walk with a cane.

“He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.”

1 Corinthians 1:3

This blog is geared for the mentally ill believer, the terminally ill, habitual sinners and all who are confused and dismayed by their own brokenness. But you don’t need a diagnosis to read this blog.

It seems like failures—

  • the mentally feeble,
  • lame,
  • chronically ill
  • blind, and deaf
  • sinners, great and small
  • and mentally ill have not always been welcome in the Church. I think that is about to change.

I’m honestly convinced that it has been the churches’ loss. How is the Church ever going to learn to love the unlovely without us to ‘train’ them? We the disabled are sprinkled into each fellowship to tutor them through our illnesses.

The church need not look to new ‘fund raising ideas’ or to pave the parking lot, it just needs to reach out to the broken– one at a time.  I think God will bless every church who will do this. This is the work and passion of Jesus. This is what Jesus’ church looks like. “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” (Luke 19:10.)

The Church needs us, whether it realizes it or not.  It is as broken people that we model our fallenness as the paradigm to intimacy with Jesus.  We often are the first to know that it has never been about our giftedness, but our intimacy. 

We are a witness, a tangled but tangible reminder, of how God’s grace gives His power to the weak and despised (2 Cor. 2).

“For I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.” 

Matthew 9:13

“Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”

Mathew 11:28-30

I simply can not say anything more. Just please love us.

“The power of the Church is not a parade of flawless people, but of a flawless Christ who embraces our flaws. The Church is not made up of whole people, rather of the broken people who find wholeness in a Christ who was broken for us.”

–Mike Yaconelli

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All scripture quotations are from the New Living Translation.

New Crisis Texting Now Available!

There is a new way to get crisis help via text messaging. It is 24/7 and completely anonymous and confidential. You can text from anywhere in the USA for any kind of crisis you might be going through.

Just type, 741-741

This could really help those who need assistance or just someone to “talk” to. It is not a faith-based service but it is an option.

Please let me know if it works for you.

 

ybic, Bryan

flash99603@hotmail.com

BB 1-800 Page: https://brokenbelievers.com/247-help-lines-net/

 

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Schizophrenia Understood

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Understanding the World of the Schizophrenic

Schizophrenia is a chronic, severe, and disabling brain disorder that has affected people throughout history. About 1 percent of Americans have this illness. People with the disorder may hear voices other people don’t hear. They may believe other people are reading their minds, controlling their thoughts, or plotting to harm them. This can terrify people with the illness and make them withdrawn or extremely agitated.

People with schizophrenia may not make sense when they talk. They may sit for hours without moving or talking. Sometimes people with schizophrenia seem perfectly fine until they talk about what they are really thinking. Families and society are affected by schizophrenia too. Many people with schizophrenia have difficulty holding a job or caring for themselves, so they rely on others for help.

Treatment helps relieve many symptoms of schizophrenia, but most people who have the disorder cope with symptoms throughout their lives. However, many people with schizophrenia can lead rewarding and meaningful lives in their communities. Researchers are developing more effective medications and using new research tools to understand the causes of schizophrenia. In the years to come, this work may help prevent and better treat the illness.

The symptoms of schizophrenia fall into three broad categories:

  1. positive symptoms,
  2. negative symptoms, and
  3. cognitive symptoms.

Positive symptoms

Positive symptoms are psychotic behaviors not seen in healthy people. People with positive symptoms often “lose touch” with reality. These symptoms can come and go. Sometimes they are severe and at other times hardly noticeable, depending on whether the individual is receiving treatment. They include the following:

Hallucinations are things a person sees, hears, smells, or feels that no one else can see, hear, smell, or feel. “Voices” are the most common type of hallucination in schizophrenia. Many people with the disorder hear voices. The voices may talk to the person about his or her behavior, order the person to do things, or warn the person of danger. Sometimes the voices talk to each other. People with schizophrenia may hear voices for a long time before family and friends notice the problem.

Other types of hallucinations include seeing people or objects that are not there, smelling odors that no one else detects, and feeling things like invisible fingers touching their bodies when no one is near.

Delusions are false beliefs that are not part of the person’s culture and do not change. The person believes delusions even after other people prove that the beliefs are not true or logical.

People with schizophrenia can have delusions that seem bizarre, such as believing that neighbors can control their behavior with magnetic waves. They may also believe that people on television are directing special messages to them, or that radio stations are broadcasting their thoughts aloud to others. Sometimes they believe they are someone else, such as a famous historical figure. They may have paranoid delusions and believe that others are trying to harm them, such as by cheating, harassing, poisoning, spying on, or plotting against them or the people they care about. These beliefs are called “delusions of persecution.”

Thought disorders are unusual or dysfunctional ways of thinking. One form of thought disorder is called “disorganized thinking.” This is when a person has trouble organizing his or her thoughts or connecting them logically. They may talk in a garbled way that is hard to understand. Another form is called “thought blocking.” This is when a person stops speaking abruptly in the middle of a thought. When asked why he or she stopped talking, the person may say that it felt as if the thought had been taken out of his or her head. Finally, a person with a thought disorder might make up meaningless words, or “neologisms.”

Movement disorders may appear as agitated body movements. A person with a movement disorder may repeat certain motions over and over. In the other extreme, a person may become catatonic. Catatonia is a state in which a person does not move and does not respond to others. Catatonia is rare today, but it was more common when treatment for schizophrenia was not available. “Voices” are the most common type of hallucination in schizophrenia.

Negative symptoms

Negative symptoms are associated with disruptions to normal emotions and behaviors. These symptoms are harder to recognize as part of the disorder and can be mistaken for depression or other conditions. These symptoms include the following:

  • “Flat affect” (a person’s face does not move or he or she talks in a dull or monotonous voice)
  • Lack of pleasure in everyday life
  • Lack of ability to begin and sustain planned activities
  • Speaking little, even when forced to interact.

People with negative symptoms need help with everyday tasks. They often neglect basic personal hygiene. This may make them seem lazy or unwilling to help themselves, but the problems are symptoms caused by the schizophrenia.

Cognitive symptoms

Cognitive symptoms are subtle. Like negative symptoms, cognitive symptoms may be difficult to recognize as part of the disorder. Often, they are detected only when other tests are performed. Cognitive symptoms include the following:

  • Poor “executive functioning” (the ability to understand information and use it to make decisions)
  • Trouble focusing or paying attention
  • Problems with “working memory” (the ability to use information immediately after learning it).

Cognitive symptoms often make it hard to lead a normal life and earn a living. They can cause great emotional distress.

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Much of this article came from an outside source. I’m just the errand boy on this post.

Lost Time, [Regrets]

The most important thing to remember about depression is this: you do not get the time back. It is not tacked on at the end of your life to make up for the disaster years. Whatever time is eaten by a depression is gone forever. The minutes that are ticking by as you experience the illness are minutes you will not know again.” 

— Andrew Solomon (The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression)

I guess that is the strange futility of our depression.  All the time we use up so much time by being depressed and it is not, given back to us.  I have lost so much time due to my mental illness.  When I get to the end of my earthly life, I will see how many weeks I spent in paranoia, fear, and anxiety.  But on top of this, I have allowed depression to eat up months of my life.

To realize and know this loss is painful.  I have lost way too much time in mental hospitals, and treatment centers.  The halfway houses, and so many counseling sessions.  Life has been snatched away from me, and time continues to pursue me relentlessly.

I have lost so much.  I will never get it returned to me, in this lifetime.  It’s gone, wasted and blown away by the wind. There is so much I regret, so much has been lost.  This is one of the brutal aspects of mental illness.  It seems as if I have wasted and frittered away a good chunk of my life.

Paranoia and self-deception have cruelly taken from me a great deal. I’ve been told that back in the 30s and 40s of terrible plagues of locusts that attacked and devoured American farms.  The locust can quickly destroy trees, plants, and crops, and in this destruction, The prophet. sees a warning, and in this destruction of long ago, he discovers a wonderful promise of restoration.

“The Lord says, “I will give you back what you lost
    to the swarming locusts, the hopping locusts,
the stripping locusts, and the cutting locusts.
    It was I who sent this great destroying army against you.”

Joel 2:25, NLT

So much has been wasted by the plague.  It has been devoured and lost is to me completely. Dwelling on this terrible deficit can only drag me down further. A wasted life will take me to this grim and sad place.  However, I do not have to live in this desolation.

You see, we have been given another chance.  As sincere believers in the grace of God our lives are not to be considered wasted.  His Spirit has intervened, and what was lost has now been found.  Our ugly vacancies have been renewed and strengthened.  And His love for us redeems all our lostness.

Let Him be the Lord of your past.  Our life apart from Him has been savagely attacked.  It seems we have completely opened our lives to darkness.  Satan has cruelly tried to destroy us.  But the Father has made an infinite effort to bring us home. Hallelujah!

ybic, Bryan

 

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