WHO AM I?
This mental battle plagues my inner and outer world so much that I struggle with this question. I wrestle, but I will only let you see me as "normal."
If I have problems, I'm seen as the "one" with "issues." If I have "issues," then I'm the one who is "broken." If I am "broken," then I'm sent to the doctor and labeled with a mental sickness and given pills to make me better. BUT I wish it was an antibiotic to kill this "sickness" ... unfortunately it doesn't work that way. I'm stuck with this "illness," and all it's "issues," with no cure.
All my labels stack up, "problems, issues, broken, mental illness." These labels seem like military dog tags hanging around my neck or price tags of how much I'm worth that leave me vulnerable to be preyed upon by the bully or even the criminal. Who am I?
Does God really care about my depression and anxiety?
The spiritual stigma follows because I can't keep up with all the happy one's experiencing God. I can't keep up with the scripture reading or even the verses I am supposed to be meditating on. I'm not trying to be disobedient, I just can't calm this anxiety against what I'm forcing myself to believe. Then, I'm afraid of God because I can't keep up ... "I'm not enough." BUT then after the patience, or the understanding runs-out, I'm told that somehow my pain is a spiritual issue for one more touch of freedom, one more breakthrough. I feel alone suffering and waiting for God. My love remains for God and my friends, but my frustrating pain is turned into, "Am I ever enough?" And now I'm afraid of God ... is this how it should be with a loving God?
I see the campaigns, the brochures, and hear I'm not alone ... but why do I feel like I'm the project, the cause for the healthy, and I still sit alone? This razor is present with me all the time and my scars tell me "I should be enough." WHO AM I?
'Who am I?' Does God really care? This is really more knowing the character and truth of the One says to us, "I AM and I dwell with you."
God sees the pain and draws close to us ... He is not intimidated by our human condition and all its frailties. HE sees no labels, nor does He use them! How does He see us?
Isaiah 57.15 "For thus says the high and exalted One Who lives forever, whose name is Holy, "I dwell on a high and holy place, And also with the contrite and lowly of spirit in order to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite."
He equates His own glorious dwelling, His presence, with the lowly and contrite. His glorious nature is attracted to the weak, broken, beaten and down trodden, those weighed down with a deplorable burden of unworthiness, guilt, shame, and those who are distraught from the unrelenting afflictions. He dwells with those who have lost hope! If this is a law within His Kingdom, then this is the law of His comfort, His law of redeeming love for justice! If we were to explore and imagine what the Great I AM would proclaim ... He might say ...
"This is where I AM and where you will find Me! This is where I AM, not to fix them, but to love abundantly, renewing and releasing them from every chain, heavy weight, removing the painful yokes and the countless burdens their afflictions have caused! I will renew them from all the past hurts, pains, and shame they may have caused ... and have also been committed against them. I have wept for them and I AM with them now!
"I will remove all their labels and give them every bit of My worth ... I AM proclaiming new titles of favor and glory for them ... to Me they are Holy, Beloved, Pure, Delightful, Beautiful, and My absolute Joy! I AM with them, I AM singing to them, I AM cheering for them, I AM interceding for them. When you look at them ... you will see Me. If you judge them, you judge Me! If you love them, you love Me! She is mine ... he is mine!
"This is how the Kingdom of God works ... and I AM fully taking delight in giving it to them. Yes, they are part of my plan and my full inheritance! In this Kingdom there are no labels ... instead just a gigantic banner of love over them."
I can imagine Him saying this ... can you?
Who am I? It's not what culture, stigma, or what other people label or say. Sure He knows the "diagnosis" and what they "think". This isn't to say that we should forgo the recovery care and the whole process, but rather as we go through this journey, we can trust Him to be right there with us and know He is looking at us with affectionate delight, because I am the value of Himself.
Who am I? ... well, I'm learning to turn my "am I" questions into "I am" statements.
Today ... "I am enough!" ... because that's how He looks at me!
Founder / Exec. Director
Mental Health Grace Alliance