Ten Year Anniversary

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.

30 comments

  1. […] My relationship with the Lord has matured over time; I have written of my own journey earlier this week and last month. […]

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  2. […] I wrote a couple of weeks ago about my ten year anniversary of coming to Christ, I began a reflection of my journey so far, and my discipleship by the Spirit. […]

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  3. Happy anniversary of your faith walk with Jesus, dear Susan. When someone doesn’t followup, it says something about them and not the person they neglected. ❤
    Blessings ~ Wendy

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  4. What a touching and powerful testimony, Susan. Sadly, mental health is one of those areas that seems to make the church squirm, but you will probably never know (this side of heaven) how many people have been touched by your transparency and bravery. So glad you ran into His open arms…here’s to many more years being held in Love’s embrace ❤

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    1. Thank you, Cindy. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I am so glad.

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  6. Happy tenth second-birthday, Susan! 🎂

    Great testimony, too!
    Blessings to you. Much love.

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    1. Thank you, Mel. Continuing to grow with Him every day.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Happy anniversary! May you continue to be greatly blessed.

    I’m sorry about the pastor not answering you. We have some issues in the church, in society as a whole, about responding to mental health. I often watch people pray for healing of everything from corns to funny moles, but we aren’t as likely to pray for someone’s depression or anxiety.

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    1. I agree with you. Too many believe it’s a matter of “going for a walk” or “laziness.” We have to speak out in order to eradicate the shame and stigma, otherwise parishioners will continue to stay silent, continue to be judged.
      Thank you for your understanding – and congratulations!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Very cool Susan!!! May God continue to Bless you and yours my friend 🙂

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    1. Thanks, Vincent! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re very welcome Susan!!!

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  9. Our Redeemer has overcome the world. Our gift of faith in Him is our overcoming path. The only thing that works in a human life, any life. We have both learned “The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing”. We and all of our many brothers and sisters in the Living Church will press on and stand firm till the end. Nothing and no one will stop us. Thank you for sharing. Keeping planting and watering those seeds.

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    1. Thank you, Gary. God is my Redeemer and my Rock; He is my Shepherd and my Father. He always comforts me and always sets me on the right path.

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  10. I am diagnosed with severe clinical depression and anxiety and can relate to so much of what you have shared. On my blog, I have asked readers to communally pray for our pastoral community to be me pro active in speaking about mental illness. Thank you for sharing your walk of faith…I will be praying for you!

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    1. And I will pray for you and your pastoral community, Rick. It is a difficult thing when your church is ignorant of mental illness. I have found this online “cloud” community to be my church family – supporting, loving and filled with grace.
      May He hear our prayers and lift us all.

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  11. What a special day to remember and rejoice over! I’m so sorry that your pastor did not respond to your post sharing your testimony… I have learned along the way that people will disappoint and let us down- but He never will! He is faithful! Blessings to you ❤️

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    1. Absolutely right, Julie. He is my Rock.

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  12. Happy Anniversary! It’s always fun to celebrate, and 10 years with Christ is a good reason to do so. May you continue to grow in your faith and in His grace

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    1. Thank you, Pete. I consider folks like you loving members of my “cloud” church family. I cherish my relationship with you, trust you with my vulnerability and know I can reach out to you for encouragement and prayer any time. Our relationship does not start and end on Sunday, and it is a mutually loving one through Christ, with no judgment attached. And for that, I thank you and all my family here.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I fully concur. Thanks for your kind words. We fulfill Eph 4:29 around here!

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  13. ((hugs)) every day

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    1. ((hugs back)) dirt brother

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  14. Happy New Birthday!

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    1. 🙂 Sometimes it feels like that every day, Tony.

      Liked by 1 person

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