Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Lessons learned through mental illness

Some of you may know that about 6 months ago, my 23 year old daughter, who had been in & out of an abusive relationship for 5 years, was diagnosed with schizophrenia. Child welfare took her children into protective custody because she had left them with friends instead of relatives, ( I didn't even learn about this for a week or so because there was some estrangement in our relationship & my phone calls or texts often went unreturned. ) I felt strongly that she should stay out of this relationship by this point, although at first I hoped things would work out for them. But you do learn by the fifth child ( which is this daughter ) that parents have little control or influence at times, & the BEST defense is to pray fervently.                                               I will tell you that at this point, I believe my daughter is doing very well. She continues to attend church & has frequent, supervised visits with her children. Protective services has plans to return her children soon but she does worry about having full responsibility for them as a single mother.                                                       There are so many issues involving this situation that I could write a book, because mental illness is something I grew up with, as my mother was a single mom diagnosed with bi-polar illness. Several aunts & an uncle were also diagnosed with similar issues.                                                                                                          One thing God has taught me is that He truly does glorify Himself in the middle of our weaknesses. My biggest problem when my daughter was diagnosed was FEAR & surrendering the whole situation to the Lord, in trust & prayer & fasting. Another thing I've learned is God's Word is true. Demons are REAL, but we do have the power (prayer & fasting) to cast them out of people. This is rather amazing, but it can even be almost ordinary.  I've also learned that while casting demons out is important, there is something FAR more important in God's eyes....yes, that would be LOVE!  ( 1 Corinthians 13 ).  My major regret in all this & raising my children has been LACK OF LOVE. Recognizing & confessing this has been a huge blessing because God has used this to put a strong & fervent desire to be His VESSEL OF LOVE to others in their weakness, like He has loved me , in my weakness. Our weaknesses are different & Satan is good at getting us to judge others or to withdraw from them. But if we are strong in an area, it is only by God's grace, & we can use that strength to help someone. It's the opposite of what the world would say...they think you need an expert for everything. I don't know WHY someone would attempt suicide??? It's just an area where God has made me strong....but my heart absolutely aches when I discover young people who think their lives have no value & everything in me wants to reach out with God's love & somehow SHOW them how precious they are!  God has placed several young people ( through a mental health parent support group ) in my life who have suicidal tendencies, & it's a privilege & honor to pray for them & to love them & to have hope in their behalf when they have none!              Love & prayers, in Jesus, Cynthia

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