September 23, 2013

On wings of prayer, journey to hope takes flight

My problems look so small from up here. Maybe it takes 30,000 feet to get some perspective. Maybe it’s the comforting white noise of the engines. Maybe it’s seeing amber and red lights far below, moving as busy little ants in tidy lines.

Maybe it’s not any of those things at all. Maybe it’s the body of Christ and the prayers of so many family and friends at work.

That’s what I want to believe. That’s what I believe today more than I did yesterday, or maybe any other day in my life.

God’s world just seems so much more orderly up here. It just seems to make more sense. Only I know I can’t live up here in the clouds. I have to return to the valley of my despair to face my demons.

As much as I would rather live in the “fake world,” I know I have to return to the real world soon.

Tomorrow is a crossroads day for me. And by the grace of God, I don’t feel like I stand here waiting to get pummeled by a speeding train. I feel at peace.

Peace has been hard to come by for a long time. Mental illness does that to those who suffer from it. Depression is a liar, you see. And it is relentless, cunning and baffling. The black clouds come when they want to come, and there isn’t a damn thing I can do to stop them.

Yet today, on the eve of my admission to a world-class clinic where I hope to get some answers, I feel peace and serenity.

I’m holding on to the serenity prayer…for the courage to change the things I can, the serenity to accept the things I can’t change and the wisdom to know the difference.

I’m holding on to the promise that God will never forsake me. He might allow me to suffer, but he will never leave me.

He might not remove this thorn from my side as I have prayed so many times before. I’m okay with that. I’d at least like to know what species the damn thorn is, though. Maybe I’ll find out in the days ahead.

For the sake of my family, my awesome wife and my beautiful children, I pray my peace won’t be fleeting this time.

Tonight I pray for healing, spiritual and physical.

If healing doesn’t come, I will rejoice in my suffering. I will remember the countless prayers, calls, texts and acts of kindness that have been shown to my family. They have taught me the power of love in the storm of my life.

Even though I know struggles will come again, I will rest easy this beautiful night.

I will rest easy because I know how this movie ends. Mental illness might wreck my mind. 

It might spoil the good seasons of my life. It might even make my quite miserable again.

Whether it’s now or in the end, I will win and this illness will lose­­.

And that is all that matters.