September 1, 2014

One year later

“In quietness and confidence is your strength.” (Isaiah 30:15)

The person who found me read that scripture hours before driving to my house with her husband. The scripture about quietness resonated so loudly with her she scribbled it on her mirror.

She had no idea she would read different words on another mirror a few hours later, where the sound of terror had given way to an eerie silence the night before.

What they found when they arrived was a sad sight, the wreckage of a life that had slowly spun out of control and then crashed into a helpless mess.

But that’s enough about that story.

Anniversaries can be a time to celebrate. A time to reflect. A time to mark sad or special events. They can also be a time to move on.

For me, it’s a time to reflect on one big miracle and a bunch of tiny ones.

It might sound like no big feat, except for those who suffer from depression or bipolar or crippling anxiety, but since being released from the hospital a year ago, I’ve spent one day in the bed. With a migraine. That’s a miracle.

I’m still here with my family and my wife, despite the tremendous toll bipolar disorder takes on marriages and the unfair strain it puts on families.

I’m still providing for my family, though some days, a lot of days, I wonder when the next relapse will sneak up behind me in the night and grab me around the neck.

I’ve nearly given up hope a few times, and then found it again, realizing something when my faith has gotten slippery. Hope not grounded in faith offers little assurance. It’s almost guaranteed to disappoint us.

I’ve learned there are no limits to the compassion and kindness of friends, whose outpouring of love and support are medicine for the soul.

I’ve learned there is no blessing like a family that will stop at nothing to offer love, support and loyalty when all seems lost.

I’ve learned that secrets lose their power to hurt us when we drag them into the light.

I’ve learned that getting lost in the wilderness is a terrifying experience, but God never leaves your side if you just call on him.

I’ve learned that for me, praying for God’s will makes me feel better than praying for a cure.

Most of all, I’ve learned that the longer we suffer, the stronger we get.

Thanks to my family. Thanks to my friends. Thanks to the readers I don’t know. And thanks be to God. It is because of Him that I’m still here.