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
Jacob longs for Rachel. She is his “soul mate” and because he’s in love, the customs and technicalities of the day somehow get by him. Because of this, he will have to take on Laban’s subtle trickery, where daughters get exchanged, and we must sort out who is who.
Laban’s deception creates a huge crisis for everyone.
But it seems Jacob just rolls with it. I suppose deception has always been Jacob’s strong suit. (But when we see a deceiver like Jacob gets deceived, that can’t be all bad).
Jacob is so in love with Rachel that he works for seven years for the right to marry her. This may be a bit outrageous. But we really must weigh these issues. I believe Jacob really is a monogamist at heart (shh… don’t tell him). He can only see that one girl that he is crazy about, his true love, Rachel.
But it’s Leah that I tend to think about. Her own issues are unique. Genesis 29 explains it a bit cryptically,
“Leah’s eyes were weak, but Rachel was beautiful in form and appearance.”
You need to know that there is confusion by commentators about the “weak eyes.” Some take it literally (as in, she is very “near-sighted,”) while others who look at the original Hebrew find the words to be a bit looser and vague. They tend to think that this is a polite way of saying she really wasn’t pretty. IDK, but I think I can gain from either interpretation.
I think I might understand Leah.
She is wounded, and life requires that she live as unwanted. She is a woman of tragedy and broken hopes and dreams. She will always live as a reject. At best, she will always be a distant second, and perhaps a bit scorned and neglected for this.
I conclude that Leah is the champion for the challenged.
I love Leah and I think I understand her.Her life is a long tragedy and very full of sadness. For the next 30-40 years she will always be a cast-off, someone who has been broken on life’s bitter vagaries. She’s a fellow struggler and a survivor.
Her sad life is comparable to us who have to fight so hard over our own illness or handicaps.
I’ve no idea what her issue was. But I do know that she must’ve been challenged by this terrible weakness. I understand this. My own life has been “topsy-turvy” and a really hard struggle. Somehow it seems we must work through these things way too much. It doesn’t seem fair.
For those of you who are confined to a wheelchair, or must use a cane, or who deal with a physical or mental illness. Leah should be our hero. For those who have been betrayed by addiction, or who have felt rejected through a bitter divorce– Leah speaks to us.
She is for every loser and for failures of all stripes. But through all of our setbacks and messes, we must realize that God does love us– even as we weep.
We may have Leah’s eyes, but we also have His grace.
“When you encounter difficulties and contradictions, do not try to break them, but bend them with gentleness and time.”
“In one of the villages, Jesus met a man with an advanced case of leprosy. When the man saw Jesus, he bowed with his face to the ground, begging to be healed. “Lord,” he said, “if you are willing, you can heal me and make me clean.”
Luke 5:12, NLT
The Bible text reveals that this man is desperate. His leprosy has advanced; he is covered with it from ‘head-to-toe.’ He’s an outcast now, completely infected by something he never asked for; he is ‘unclean’ and completely without hope. There is no treatment, the doctors can do nothing.
The leper knows that without the touch of Jesus, he will never be healed.
He knows it; he doesn’t need to be convinced by anyone over the hopelessness of his condition. But somehow he has heard that Jesus can do real miracles. Could it be that Jesus can heal his sickness?
The leper comes and falls on his knees before the Lord, with his face in the dirt. This man is completely broken; he has no hope, except for Jesus. What else can he do? He is with any real hope.
Our diseases differ, but our lives have been completely changed by our pain. We all have this in common.
Our pain and darkness vary. Some hurt more, some less. But we’ve all come to the place where we no longer have illusions of somehow being made whole. I sometimes think there should be a secret handshake or a password. We all share a comradeship— we’re all part of the same community.
We’re a broken club of tired and decidedly unclean misfits.
We belong to the fellowship of pain.
Lying in the dirt, we start to believe the unbelievable. Our faith doesn’t activate our healing, as much as it simply guides us to Jesus. We can kneel, and perhaps that’s all we need to do. His presence drives away the fear, the doubt, and the pain. He’s come, and somehow we begin to hope for mercy.
Only He can carry us through this.
I have struggled with deep dark depression. I’ve had to take meds. But when I come into Jesus’ presence, all my melancholy is driven out. He comes and I start to hope again. Am I a stellar example of perfect discipleship? I think not. But isn’t about us becoming “angels,” perhaps it’s more about us learning how to kneel, and to allow Jesus to touch our hearts.
You must do this. Repeatedly. Over and over and over.
“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.”
“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.”