Easter Is NOT About Me
Bipolar Girl is NOT the poster child for Christianity.
My life has been very messy in parts, embarrassing in others, and down right ridiculous most of the time. At the bible study that I helped lead on Thursday night at work, I was fairly convinced that Good Friday wasn’t about me. That’s why it was so easy to just tell them the story of the crucifixion and not feel like we had to add all kinds of beeps and whistles. If somebody does not want to hear the truth of Jesus, all the beeps and whistles in the world will not open their ears.
I guess it was the text that I received on Friday that had me thinking that somehow God had changed his natural order of things so that everything was all about me… because the minute I read the text, I took my eyes firmly off of Jesus and put them squarely back on me.What was in the text that had so much power??
A former student was in crisis and needed my help.
I learned years ago that Bipolar Girl can stress out faster than a speeding bullet; has an overactive imagination more powerful than a locomotive; and can leap to conclusions in a single bound. When I read the text begging for my help, I panicked. I started trying to figure out how I, Bipolar Girl, was going to save her.
Well, that was Friday.
PRAISE GOD, Sunday was coming.
Saturday didn’t look that much better than Friday as I wrestled with how I was going to help her. My job has very clear and present rules about staff/student fraternization. Buying her a plane ticket back to her home country would be seriously frowned upon. If I didn’t play this right I could end up out of a job. But she was crying out to me for help. What was Jesus seriously expecting me to do??
In the past, I have wrestled with telling this girl that she needs Jesus. Her life is a train wreck of epic proportions… but who am I to use my life as an example of what Jesus can do for you? This is where I have always struggled with witnessing to people. My life is not an example of shinny happy joy-filled Christianity. I feel like a hypocrite telling people that Jesus will change their life when my life is still very much undone. If I did have one of those stories of radical transformation… of if a bear had eaten off my leg and I’d triumphed over the adversity… maybe then I could tell non-believers something that they might believe.
Me? I work better with struggling believers. Perseverance is the song that I sing and I sing it in B flat. I can tell a Christian who wants to give up that they need to persevere. I don’t even know how to lead somebody to Jesus because when I became a Christian, I did not have anybody “lead” me to Jesus. I went on an eight year journey looking for truth and ended up in a church. I heard truth there and I had to decide if I believed it or not. When I figured out that they (the Christians) were right, I went to a beach on New Year’s Day and introduced myself and all my sins to Jesus. I know why I needed Jesus… but I can’t figure out what I’d say to somebody else who needs him, but doesn’t yet know him.
Today in church they did the “Cardboard Testimonies” again. Check out youtube if you haven’t seen this before. They did it two years ago when I had my first surgery. I was happy to make my cardboard sign telling the before and after story of my life on a scraggly piece of cardboard. I even came here and blogged about it. This time when I was asked to do a cardboard sign, I couldn’t. My immediate and vehement response was, “NO!” I’m still very much struggling with my sexual addiction and my anger issues even if I’m not struggling with the bipolar. My ability to love the “unlovely” has yielded a big fat nothing. I have a hard time loving the lovely. Why does Jesus make being a Christian so hard?? As much as I’ve come out of my Bipolar Bubble… it just seems like it would be so much easier if I just went back into the bubble and put out a “Do Not Disturb” sign.
I talked to my pastor today. This is the first real talk I’ve had with him since I came back in January. For once I wasn’t sitting in his office bemoaning my own drama…. but second hand drama doesn’t feel so good either. That’s when he reminded me that it’s not about me. This girl does not need me to come to her rescue. She’s an adult and she has made a series of unfortunately bad choices. In the message today the pastor said that sometimes, pain is the best teacher. Some people will not recognize their need of Jesus until they have brought down a world of pain on themselves. That’s how I was when I was her age. I made a series of seriously bad choices that brought me to the end of myself.
There wasn’t a thing anybody could do to help me until I acknowledged my need of him and asked Jesus to save me. Did making that decision change my life immediately? In many ways it did. In many other ways it did not. I still struggled with the depression and suicidal thoughts. I still had very dysfunctional relationships and the list of things that didn’t change was long. But those things are changing now. My eternity was the one thing that changed and remained changed. My need of Jesus in my life on an ongoing basis also did not change. The truth of who Jesus is and what he did for me has also not changed.
She’s supposed to call me back at 2:30 and I have no idea what I’m going to say to her. I am emotionally exhausted. Trying to save people is tiring. No wonder there was only enough room on the cross for one person. I cannot save her because only Jesus can. I can’t give her the money to go back to her home country. Through a series of unfortunately really bad choices, she burned that particular bridge. Bailing her out now would only be enabling her to make even more bad choices. It might also be standing in the way of God’s discipline. If I jump in there trying to play God, I might very well be messing up whatever God is trying to do in her life through all of this pain. My pastor pointed out that people who get in the way of God’s plans often bring down a lot of grief upon their own heads. He actually advised me to let her face the consequences of her own actions while being there to love her.
What?? No warm and fuzzy entreaties to give her “extra grace??” No insistence that I tell her that Jesus can change her life while using my own life as an example?? He pointed out that my life isn’t what she needs. She needs Jesus and that’s what I am to hold out to her. In an hour and a half she’s going to call me and I have no idea what to say. She needs a Saviour and I’m not it. What do you say to a non-believer who is in crisis and asking you for help?? I’m pretty certain God is telling me not to bail her out, but I can’t very well tell her that. I’m sure that by 2:30 Jesus is going to open my ears so that I can hear what I need to say (SWYNTS)…but right now? I’m tired and I got nuthin’.
- Work: The ULTIMATE SWYNTS (theadventuresofbipolargirl.wordpress.com