This month marks ten years since I chose to follow Christ. Ten years since I walked into the embrace of my Father’s arms. Ten years since I have learned to listen to the Spirit abiding inside me. And almost 15 years since I was diagnosed with bipolar II (2).
Faith is my invisible source of strength, integrity, guidance, love, forgiveness and grace. It is the reason I rise in the morning. It is how I have the ability to stay on – or promptly return to – the narrow path. It is the abundance I use to love, encourage, comfort and forgive. It is the Way in which I maintain my heart-to-heart relationship with my Father.
Because I remain teachable and open to the Spirit, my mind and heart have been transformed. I continue to be renewed and matured day by day, molded to the likeness of the character of Jesus. I am thankful every day of His radical, saving grace and his lavish, scandalous love for me.
Bipolar is an invisible brain disorder which is still misunderstood by the general population. It is invisible in that those of us who have it do not “look” sick; it is, however, visible in brain scans. Bipolar is also a spectrum disorder from mild to severe; the symptoms and management medications each person experiences is different.
The medications I take saved my life. But for the last ten years, I have relied on God to help me when the depression of bipolar got the better of me to the point where getting out of bed or taking a shower has been a monumental task. The medications I take keep me from the scary swings of hypomania. But God alone has held me tightly enough to prevent me from the suicidal lows of the recurrent depression I experience.
I am still selective to whom I reveal my bipolar diagnosis. I was hopeful for a time about my church. I even emailed a link to my initial post about the diagnosis to my pastor with whom I have had several, productive one-on-one conversations about other subjects. Disappointingly, to this day I have never heard back from him.
This is why I am thankful I have developed a personal relationship with my Lord. It is why I have developed trusted relationships with people in my online church. I know God will never abandon me. I recognize His love is unconditional. I have learned He regards me as His pearl of great price. My experience is He keeps His promises, He protects me from the enemy and He wraps me in His everlasting embrace of love and grace.