This poem was written for someone I love who struggles with bipolar disorder. Though I have suffered through depression, anxiety, and panic attacks, I can never truly understand her pain. I want to help but I am at a loss as to what to do.
I wanted to share this here so those who suffer from mental illness might know how your suffering breaks the hearts of those who love you but don’t know what to do.
A Broken Heart of Love
This searing pain in my heart I wish it would go away I pray for it to leave me But it is love I would be hollow without it
I watch you drowning in a sea of turmoil and fear I reach out my hand, the one connected to my broken heart “It’s okay, the sailing’s fine,” you say
I walk away, thinking perhaps my eyes deceive me and you are not drowning, or else why would you say otherwise? I know you would not lie
But still this pain deep down inside my aching heart reminds me that you are not fine, the sea is not calm
The storm rages but I cannot rescue you You cannot see my hand reaching through the darkness beckoning you to dry land
“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.”
James 1:2-3, ESV
“There is no circumstance, no trouble, no testing, that can ever touch me until, first of all, it has gone past God and past Christ, right through to me. If it has come that far, it has come with a great purpose.”
“All joy,” (verse 2) is a fantastic thought. It stresses a joy that becomes militant, something powerful and significant. “All joy,” surpasses “some joy” or even “occasional joy.” Instead it’s a joy that remains joy even when tired and weak. It will only shine brighter in the darkness.
Jewels, diamonds, and pearls are typically displayed on a black background.
This reveals their brilliance and value. In the same way darkness should only encourage us to be deliberately brighter than our surroundings. We must understand that we shine only because He makes us shine. There is a divine incandescence that awaits every believer who feels the need or desire for more of God.
God’s special nearness is available to each believer, especially those in the heat of the furnace. He is close to those who want Him, and there is nothing will stand in His way. The Lord cherishes and treasures the seeking heart. There is nothing that can detour the believer’s yearning after their Father. Your faith must be purified, and this is never optional.
Name your trial, then turn it to God in prayer.
Leave it alone and refuse to carry it no further. It’s now the Lord’s concern. Simply watch for the deliverance to come. When God sees your heart, He will lavish Himself out on you. He delights to see your faith becoming solid and real.
“God, who foresaw your tribulation, has specially armed you to go through it, not without pain but without stain.”
“If we are unfaithful, he remains faithful, for he cannot deny who he is.”
2 Timothy 2:13, NLT
There are often times of great despair; when sin or sickness is definitely in the spotlight. Losing hope is an easy response for mere mortals like us. There can be a place where the darkness won’t lift; and it’s at that point you realize that you’re simply in over your head.
I know that feeling quite well.
I have depressive bipolar disorder and because of that I tend to camp out at the margins where it seems like the grace of God evaporates. Whether it is my sin or circumstances, I occasionally feel pretty much abandoned, and it usually is something self-inflicted. (Or is it? I’m not always sure.)
We have this glaring tendency to put ourselves in where we should not have been. And condemnation means no comfort can get through to us.
We wonder if God has finally given up on us, throwing us in the trash heap of lost souls. We might feel that’s what we deserve.
“Many are saying about me, “God won’t rescue him.”
In Psalm 3, David has come to the realization that his sins have “tainted” him. He talks of many enemies that have suddenly gathered, and they are claiming that David had now gone outside of God’s grace and favor. Forever.
The theology of this seemed logical. David had sinned greatly. And just perhaps he had. David’s sin of adultery and murder was heinous and depraved. His enemies suggested that God would now abandon him.
Our own sin may be excessive, but God’s faithfulness is even more extreme.
”Lord, your love reaches to the heavens, your loyalty to the skies.’‘
The grace of God is limitless. It is beyond human comprehension or reasoning. When He committed Himself it was for forever. King David understood this, and would survive the devastating fall-out from his sins. Indeed he would reap all that he sowed (Gal. 6:7-8).
You see, Jesus has taken every ounce of your sin upon Himself.
That includes your faithlessness. He has done this astonishing thing out of the deep depths of His love and mercy. We don’t deserve it and we can’t pretend it is something else. A heart welded to His knows this. We are “saved by grace through faith.”
Do you still feel God has abandoned you forever?
Dear one, there is an unholy war on the saints that Satan is waging. He hates your simple trust in God and will shake it anyway he can. He blisters believers hoping to discourage them. And he doesn’t ever fight fair.
“The Lord appeared to us in the past,saying:“I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.”
A few weeks ago, my morning routine had taken me outside on our deck. I just sat and was soaking up the first rays and drinking a cup of coffee. My mind usually flits about; and I think about many different things. I’d like to say that at least some are engaged with challenging issues. But most though are a bit strange and out of bounds. It seems at times to be like trying to put a leash on a wild dog.
Sitting there on a deck chair, I thought about the shoes I was wearing. They were black clogs and I wore them everywhere. I’ve had them for four or five years. They had liners, so I could even wear them during winter. As I sat there, it occurred to me that I have always bought and worn either black, or brown shoes. Always. As I considered this preference, it struck me as odd. Why did I always buy dull and ordinary shoes?
I knew right then that I must buy red shoes!
Out back in the recesses of my mind, a thought burst into my thinking, it was like fireworks just went off. I would buy red shoes! I would retire my faithful sandals and wear red ones instead. I set down my coffee cup and headed for my laptop. I ordered a comfortable pair of Crocs, in crimson red.
I waited for the postman like a child waits for Christmas.
I was energized by the thought of having red shoes. I do a lot of things spontaneously. I can be far too impulsive, and it usually gets me in trouble. But when they arrived, they were even better then I expected. I put them on and started to prance around the house. And to see a 62 year old man acting like a ten year old must have been a sight. I didn’t want to take them off, and later I even flitted with the idea of even wearing them to bed.
Wearing my new red shoes was a profound experience which I didn’t anticipate. It may seem weird but when I wear them the feeling is somewhat like falling in love, or at least a reasonable facsimile. Perhaps if its nothing, I’m willing to accept that.
I think of God’s grace and how extraordinary it is.
We can reside in a barren wasteland of a tedious existence where joy is seldom found. I know this is true. But there can be an infusion of mercy in such places. A grace that meets with us and alters us. I believe we are to be “grace blasted” believers living with a sense of wonder over the kindness of God. He has chosen us to be His own sons and daughters.
“And I will be your Father, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.”