The Adventures of Bipolar Girl

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Bipolar and Spiritual Warfare: THIS is How I Fight My Battles…

What would you do if you were awakened in the middle of the night from a dead sleep to the sounds of an intruder in your home?

That actually happened to a coworker of mine. She recently recounted the story to me and I am still in awe over what happened because she didn’t react. She responded.  I have been in the middle of an emotional storm and my first reaction was to react. I started to free fall down the spiral staircase that is Bipolar Disorder and when I’m like that, it’s hard to hear the still small voice of my Jesus trying to get me to be still. I wanted to take a mental health day and just stay home from work because I felt emotionally spent, but Jesus told me that I had a “divine appointment” and I needed to go to work.

As I got out of my car that Monday morning, my 6:30 “Divine Appointment” met me in the parking area. We pray together this coworker and I, but it had been a while since I’d seen her. She made a beeline for me.  She told me that there had been an intruder. At first, I thought she meant at the school. With our Active Shooter drill training still fresh in my memory, fear leapt to the forefront of my mind — somebody had come on campus trying to harm my kids.  She quickly clarified: there had been an intruder in her home. The home where she lives with her aunt (also on staff), another adult female, and her aunt’s young children.

Again, I ask the question what would YOU do if there was an intruder in your home? Me? I hate to say it, but I think fear would grip me so strongly that I would be incapacitated. When we had the Active Shooter drill at school, my fear response was SO strong that all I could think of was my own personal survival. Saving the kids or anybody else didn’t even cross my mind the first scenario of the drill.  I’m pretty sure that if an intruder had come into my home, hiding would be my first response.

Not so my coworker. She went on to tell me how she, her aunt, and the other female relative went all Mama Bear on the intruder who was a woman strung out on some powerful narcotics. All they were thinking about were the sleeping children in the other room. This woman had DARED to come into their home for no good…so that’s what they gave her: NO GOOD.

They beat the living crap outta’ her.

My coworker and her relatives are Samoan. You don’t mess with Samoans. They protect their own. Between the three of them, they wrestled the woman to the ground and beat the everlastin’ gobstoppers out of her. Now, I won’t go into details… but when I heard the details, my first response was shock. I mean, what about “turning the other cheek?” Surely, this was an opportunity to witness to her about the error of her wicked ways and to convince her of her need for Jesus? Shouldn’t their response have been less violent and more… Christian?

And in an instant… as I listened to her, the Holy Spirit spoke to me. I was reminded about the parable of somebody breaking into the strong man’s house. If you break into a strong man’s house, ya’ better be strong enough to tie him up. Clearly, that intruder had never read the parable.

That woman had NO clue when she decided to break into that house what she was in for. That woman was on drugs and was dangerous. There were children in the house. Evangelism was the last thing on their minds. Somebody came into their home and threatened their safety, so they (excuse my language) kicked her ass. My coworker’s family subdued her and then called the cops. They used only enough force necessary to avoid become a statistic on the Maui News. And to that I say, AMEN!! So what did the Holy Spirit say to me….?

And THAT’S what you need to do to Satan when he tries to come into your house and mess with your mind by tying you up with fear, depression, anger, rage, resentment, et all. You need to pull out all the weapons of warfare that you possess, and you need to kick his ass.

Yes, the Holy Spirit says the word “ass” when speaking to me, because he’s more interested in changing my character than my vocabulary. In the same situation, I would’ve been scared witless. I would not have known what to do. I have never trained to defend myself…. I wouldn’t know how. And God wants to change all that and is using her story to change me. He drew a parallel: my mind is my home. It’s where I live. It’s where all my emotions and beliefs and actions are born. IF Satan gains entry into my mind and I let him, that’s when the fear… and the bitterness… and the resentment… and the self-pity… and the rage… and the anger… and the depression… and eventually… the suicidal thoughts… start to take hold.

My coworkers? They are Samoan. They know how to protect what is theirs and they are fierce in the protection of it. They took the flat end of a machete and beat her with it! I do not judge their actions because their motives were clear: PROTECT their children from the enemy. Would you have the courage or even the wisdom to know how to inflict enough force to debilitate an enemy without maiming them for life? Until you are in the exact same situation, reserve your judgments for conversations you might have with God about this because I don’t want to hear them.

Satan is my enemy. He’s all our enemy. Sometimes there will be people in my life who act like they are my enemy. They will say or do hurtful things. They will create drama in my life, but I have never really had any real evil people in my life intent on hurting me. I think that’s one way Satan works… by working through people in our lives. The people who have hurt me generally fall into two categories: “Well-meaning but soul-crushing” OR “totally ignorant and self-centered.” No matter what their motivation, I will want to fight back to protect myself, but my natural tendency is to run and hide. Then… I get angry for not standing up for myself and I drift into hating the people who hurt me thereby making them the problem and me a prisoner of anger, fear, and hatred.

Bipolar Girl used to think that she was a lover, not a fighter. Lovers generally get the crap beat out of them and then slink away to nurse their wounds on bitterness and resentment with a large dose of fear. God is telling me that I am a peace-maker… and, by definition, a fighter. That wasn’t my first reaction to the current trial in my life though. I reacted in hurt and fear and it started my free-fall down the spiral staircase.

And into that fallacy, the Lord had already spoken: You are no longer a slave of fear.

Fear would have me think that the bible says that I need to forever fill the role of “victim.” IF God won’t protect me, then I shouldn’t trust him, right? WRONG. While I do believe that we need to “turn the other cheek,” I also believe that “there is a time and a season for everything under the heavens.” And when an intruder comes into your home (physical or spiritual) intent on doing you harm… it is time to do some ass kicking and you need to use whatever weapons are at your disposal. But you ALSO need to remember that the people in question are NOT your enemy and act accordingly. Physical violence is not the first or preferred response.

 For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:3-5

People have been quoting this verse at Bipolar Girl for years… as if just saying, “I take those thoughts captive” in a really stern voice is some kind of magic mojo that would solve all of my problems. When I was not immediately “delivered,” I’d get the looks. Y’know… the looks that would suggest that I didn’t say it with enough faith… or that there must be some hidden, unconfessed sin in my life. And  THAT’S why God hadn’t delivered me from Bipolar or anything else I struggled with, right?

See what I mean about “well-meaning, but soul crushing??” That kind of advice never helped me. It just made me feel like I was doing the Christian walk wrong. It made me feel like I couldn’t tell other believers what I was struggling with because they would ultimately end up judging me. It was safer to struggle in isolation.

This past year God walked me through many of my fears. Some were things I needed to confront. Others were strongholds that he needed to break off, but with all of them, he showed me what weapons of warfare were at my disposal and how I needed to practice using if I wanted to see real freedom and transformation in my life.

All Christians have weapons of spiritual warfare (the bible assures us that we do). Yet, I am now convinced that while there are some weapons that are common to all believers, God has also equipped us individually with weapons that are unique to us and the way that he designed us. God wants to train us to use those weapons so that when we actually need to use them, we are responding and not reacting.

Writing… public speaking… owning my voice… worship… intercession… dance… art… my Thank You Post-Its…? These are ALL weapons of warfare that God has imprinted on my DNA. It is becoming harder and harder for Satan to get me all tied up in the knots of fear, bitterness, et all because I am not letting him come into my house and tie me up without a fight.

SO… my question to you: What weapons has God imprinted on your DNA… and what opportunities is he giving you to practice using them? How do you fight your battles???

 

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Bipolar and IF… Part II

IF the Son sets you free…

Powerful words. They are the reason that He came… but what exactly does it mean?

What exactly does that freedom look like because from personal experience, I can tell you that it doesn’t look like a problem free, worry free OR stress free life. There are very few people (if any) in this world who can claim to have a life completely free of problems or worries or fears… so what freedom is Jesus actually offering IF Jesus is actually real?

A cursory reading of the New Testament might convince the follower of Christ that the Christian life should be problem free. That it should be worry free. That it’s always a great adventure with all the right lighting and stage make-up… with a stunt double to do all the really hard stuff.

Yeah. You might think that if you only skimmed through the New Testament and then pieced your theology together with Christianese-y soundbites and emotionally rousing songs. That kind of faith lacks foundation… so when the storms of life come crashing in on them, these kinds of followers often don’t stay the course. Their faith is rooted in a belief in a God that doesn’t really exist outside of their imaginations. They made God into their OWN image instead of the other way around, so they get confused when the REAL God of the Bible doesn’t live up to the god they created in their minds.

The Jesus whom I know from Scripture ASSURES me that in this life I will have trials. He ASSURES me that I will often be misunderstood, rejected, and abandoned. He ASSURES me that storms will come and threaten to capsize my boat, but He also promises to be there with me THROUGH the trials. Though I’d like it to be different, I have never been delivered FROM any of my trials or tribulations… but Jesus sure has delivered THROUGH a lot of them. Jesus promised that he would always be WITH me THROUGH the trials, and on this, he has never wavered.

This week? This month? It’s been hard. I’ve cried. I’ve felt alone. I’ve been confused.

IF what I believe about Jesus ISN’T true, then I just went through a week… a month… of hell and had all manners of old emotional wounds reopened and new emotional wounds inflicted with a total disregard for my life… for nothing.

IF Jesus is NOT who he claimed to be… then I am a fool to be pitied. IF the bible is just some story to comfort fools like me, then whoever made up all that stuff in the bible MUST be a sadist to trick people into following something that isn’t real. People have died because of what’s between those two covers. IF it’s not true, that’s tragic.

This week is the kind of week that would have had me questioning what I believed in the past because I hadn’t learned what it really means to worship God in spirit and in truth… but now? I understand and know that worshiping God requires Spirit and Truth and I can’t pick and choose which one I prefer.

I’d like to rephrase something I heard at that Christian Women’s conference:

IF I really believe that Jesus is real and is coming back,
THEN I have a job to do…
I have an identity to be.

That’s what this months was about… doing the job God has called me to do and walking in who he made me to be. I started with that Rudyard Kipling poem because that’s how I feel now that the first storm has passed. My faith is stronger and I am seeing a maturity of faith in me that I have never seen before… and it’s not over yet.

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 2 Corinthians 4:7

 My “jar” got a bit dented this week… but I am not broken. I’m not even surprised. My faith is being tested and it hurts. I could magnify my problems and make them seem bigger that God, but where is the truth or freedom in that? I could spend all day worrying, crying, and wringing my hands… but again, what good would that do?

I could also admit that I feel weak, alone, and afraid and then cast all those burdens to Jesus knowing that he cares for me… which is EXACTLY what Scripture calls me to do. And in the doing, I find hope. I find peace. I know that Jesus has not left me and that he will deliver me THROUGH all of this in his timing.

So, again, I ask people to pray. Don’t pity me or feel sorry for me. I am exactly where God intends me to be and all of this is happening for HIS glory. I’m posting, not because I’m in crisis or seeking pity, but because I believe that God is calling me to be transparent. I hate it when my Bipolar is showing… but somewhere… out there… some other nice, but neurotic, person is going through their own trials and needs to know that Jesus is in the midst of it with them. He will walk you through the fear and the worry and the anxiety… if you would but let him. Be still and know that God IS Good. Don’t run from the suffering. His deliverance will come. It may not happen overnight. It might take way longer than you think is fair… but when the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed, and THAT is all that will matter.

 

Bipolar and IF… Part I

                  IF

If you can keep your head when all about you
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
    But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
    Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
    And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

 

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
    If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
    And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
    And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

 

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
    And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
    And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
    To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
    Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

 

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
    Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
    If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
    With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,

And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

by Rudyard Kipling

Recently I went to a Christian Women’s Conference called the “IF” gathering. I wondered what they meant by “IF.” Honestly? I felt like they were trying too hard to be cool and mysterious. I felt like I called to go, so I went anyway, but I had to bust through a lot of barriers just to get there and when I finally slid into my seat in the front row, part of me didn’t even want to be there. It was a Saturday. I was tired. I should’ve stayed home. God, in his grace, however, gave me an attitude check in the first five minutes… and I was hooked.

One of the speakers said something that stopped me in my tracks:

IF... this is true… then it means EVERYTHING.

but IF it isn’t… then it means NOTHING.

How’s that for a profound reality check on a Saturday morning? I have committed my life to being a disciple of Jesus Christ because I sought truth and I found Jesus. I believe what I say I believe. I’m not just spouting a bunch of religious cliches. There is no more debilitating cognitive dissonance for me. I BELIEVE.

But mine has not been an easy believe-ism born in an incubator of answered prayer; a problem free life; and as stunt double to do all really the hard stuff. I have  had to live every minute of every day of this uphill battle with only my faith in Jesus to sustain me. But what if Jesus isn’t real?? It’s easy to doubt him when the world is closing in on you…

If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised.  And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.  More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised.  For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either.  And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins.  Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied. 1 Corinthians 15: 13-19

When I first believed, I thought Jesus would just work some kind of mojo and make all my problems go away: the depression… the suicidal thoughts… the incest issues… the sexual addiction… the porn addiction… the rage issues… et all. I thought ALL of it would just go away.

God did NOT deliver me from any of that stuff immediately. In fact, more hurt and pain (both physical and mental) was added to my stockpile year after year until I felt like the proverbial camel with a herniated disk. I cried out to God. I prayed. I read my bible… went to church… threw myself into Christian service, yet the struggle continued.

This is where the difference between being a follower of Jesus and being a disciple of Jesus becomes a game changer. Jesus had plenty of followers back in the day. They came to him in droves for healing; to get a free lunch; and to see miracles on demand. In an era without the internet, Jesus was like cable. The followers were only interested in what they could see him do. They didn’t really care who he was or what he taught. IF they had sought to abide in what he taught… then they would have known truth — the kind that only the Son can provide… the kind that sets you free.

And THAT’S what this week has been about — having the Son set me free. From where I sit, things are probably going to get a lot worse before I get to see this freedom, but because I believe that God knows EXACTLY where I am… I can see the circumstances without being full overcome by them. I refuse to pretend like nothing’s wrong. Right now everything seems wrong and my life hurts... but I am in the process of overcoming… so I won’t ask God to rush me through this suffering. I’m not going to whine and complain about it… ok… I will… but only to a select number of people who will see my whining and complaining for what it is — a call for more mature believers to stand with me in prayer.

I am not looking for pity or unsolicited advice. Prayer. That is what I want. That is what I need. “The prayer of a righteous [person] is powerful and effective.”

 

Bipolar and Life

This past year I finally found out what it meant for me to walk out my life in the way that God designed me… and it’s been an incredibly WILD and AMAZING ride. This “little light of mine” wasn’t some hand-held flashlight. It has bee a full-blown flame throwin’ kinda’ light which hasn’t sat well with some people.

If last year was about “no longer being a slave to fear…” THIS year… I will remind myself that I AM NOT ASHAMED to be me! Now that I have FOUND my voice, I fully intend OWN it!

And if folks object to ME being me…?? Well… I’ve got a few thoughts about that…

 

Bipolar Girl vs Peace (originally posted February 2010)

I just finished reading an interesting book called Chasing Francis. It’s a fictional story that looks at the real life of St. Francis of a Assisi. The main character in the book has grown weary of carrying around a tired faith that masqueraded as the real deal and ended up going on a spiritual pilgrimage that brought him up close and personal with the life of St. Francis. One point that stood out for me and has had me thinking for days now is the notion of being a peace lover vs a peacemaker. I never would have thought there was a difference, but this book made me open my eyes to the fact that there is a huge difference and that I’d been rooting for the wrong team for a really long time.

Peace. Pretty much everybody wants it except for maybe serial killers and people who talk in movie theaters. Just the other day, I was driving my car and that old song about war came on and I started to rock out. Y’know the song…

WAR!
Huh!
What is it good for?
Absolutely NOTHIN’,
say it again..

Thereby musically making my point that peace is what most people want. Nobody likes war, especially bipolar girls. Since I hate conflict of any kind, I was belting that song out loud enough to make my tonsils shake.

In my peace loving attempt to avoid conflict I have remained silent, when I should have spoken up. I have stepped back, when I should have stepped forward. I have looked the other way, when I should have looked people squarely in the eye. And if you think that all this peace loving comes without a price tag, you’re wrong. Being a peace lover cost me mental health points that I can’t get back. When I think of all the dramas in my life that might have ended a lot quicker had I given up trying to preserve peace at all costs and just once stood up and gave the boat a really good rock… I have to concede that while peace loving seems good… but peacemaking is so much better.

It’s pro-active for one thing. Instead of biting my tongue tight enough to bore holes through it, I could have been taking active steps to work towards reconciliation rather than damage control and clean up.

So much of my stress and grief with my family over the past few years came from the internal struggle I was waging against myself. I had a lot of pent up bitterness and resentment towards certain family members for the roles I felt they played in creating my sexual addiction. When I would talk to them I wouldn’t say anything at all about what I was really feeling. Sometimes I just wanted to yell at them and let them know how their actions had really screwed up my life. Instead, I put on the good lil’ Christian girl mask and acted like nothing was wrong. I had created the illusion of peace where there really was none. As far as they were concerned, things were fine.

Of course, letting that much time go by before I finally spoke up did not help  the peace making efforts. In fact, peace making was pretty much impossible given the players involved and the amount of time that had passed. If I could do it all over again? I would have spoken up sooner. I did speak up, in part, to my mom the year I got saved… but because I didn’t want to rock the boat, I only said as much as I dared. Upon reflection, I should have dared more. As Chasing Francis points out, the Bible doesn’t commend peace lovers. It’s the peacemakers, the people who do the hard work of  bringing peace to hostile situations (whether they be on a global scale or family sized) that earn the eternal brownie points.

How does this relate to my Bipolar Disorder or neurotic people in general? The more unstable my mind was, the more I tried to maintain peace at all costs. The greater my love of peace and the more I tried to “maintain” it, the less peace I actually had. It created more depression and more unnecessary stress. I think most neurotic people love peace so much that they will put up with truly unhealthy situations and people because they don’t want to disturb the semblance of peace. But when you think about… is pseudo-peace really worth protecting?

I’ve been asking God to turn me into a peacemaker, so is it any wonder that a conflict is brewing on my horizon? I have been reminding myself that I did ask for this, so rather than donning the bullet proof vest of the peace lover, I’m going to grab the white flag of peace and stand up and rock the boat. I might get knocked overboard, but I will just remind myself that Jesus could have enabled Peter breathe under the waves if only he’d dared to ask.

Bipolar and “Wasting Time”

Lately, I’ve been really
impatient with God.
For ONCE
in my LIFE
Everything is going well…

Every aspect of my life is BETTER
than it’s EVER been…

So from where I sit,
it should be time for a scene change….
or a commercial
or something.

My life is good…
but the life
I’m living
is NOT
my passion.
My passion is a hazy
dream on a distant
horizon… and I want
to know what it IS
and how I get it.

Now that I’ve moved
from merely EXISTING
to actually LIVING….
I’m hankering to LIVE LARGE…
or, as Christians, would say:
Live ABUNDANTLY.

For months now
I have felt the need to
move on to WHATEVER
comes NEXT…
but I don’t have a clear picture
of whatever
that NEXT looks like.

All these dreams and talents and passions
have been bubbling up to the surface
and are fairly OOZING out of my pores.
I want to do everything and all things
RIGHT NOW.

No, scratch that.

I want to do it all YESTERDAY.

That passport that I got back in December
has calling my name LOUDLY
yet God is STILL saying, “Wait.”

I thought I was waiting patiently
until God showed me
that I wasn’t.
He’s been telling me to
slow down…
to be patient…
to stop feeling like
I need to do everything
NOW so that I can make up
for “lost” time….

I was whining to him one day
about that very thing..
about how so much
of my life has been
wasted, first with the whole
mental illness thing, and then
with the whole physical disability
saga.

I can walk now.
Hell…
I’m almost at a run!
Surely, Jesus,
it’s time for me
to FLY now.

But, mid-whine, he stopped me.
He told me to stop “despising
the day of its small beginnings.”
He had me consider this:

In God’s economy, NOTHING is wasted. He reminded me to REMEMBER how the Native Americans used every part of the buffalo. Nothing was wasted… not even the bones. And to consider how, early African Americans made meals out of all of the “wasted” parts of animals — the feet, the ears, the intestines… they even ate pig tails. And let’s not forget the Hawaiians and Polynesians… they use EVERY part of the coconut. Don’t believe me… watch Moana.



God’s point? God used anthropological evidence through pretty much every culture, the world over, to demonstrate a truth: He wastes NOTHING. And that includes my life. NOTHING in my life is wasted. Not my past. Not my present. So, I need to stop fearing that my past has somehow disqualified me from reaching his plan for me or that I have to work harder to “catch up.”

Those long dark years spent in the valley of the shadow of death? Were not wasted. Did I hate those years? Yes, I did. I’m not going to try to make myself look more religious than I am by tacking on a big old Christianesy grin and acting like I cheerfully persevered through it all.

I didn’t.

But God was faithful.

El Roi, the God Who Sees Me, saw EVERYTHING and none of it… neither the mentally ill years; nor the physically ill years… were wasted. I may not see how it is all woven into his divine design, but I believe on the basis of all the cultural evidence that he left like bread crumbs for me to find, that He is going to make something wonderful and useful out of all of my “wasted” years. My future will be BECAUSE of the life that I lived, not in spite of it. SO… with that in mind, I am going to stop fretting about my future and about missing my calling. I’ve got it on good authority that you cannot “miss out” on your destiny if you’re actively seeking God.

My past doesn’t define me, yet neither does my future. I need to stop living with one foot in the past and one foot in said future. Y’know, there’s a saying about what happens when you straddle the fence between the past and the future — you piss on the present.  Gnarly, but true. Time to stand tall and to stand firm.

So… I intend to stop and be still.  I intend to breathe. I intend to live in, and appreciate, God’s NOW. God is still God. God is always God. My future… my passions… my abundant life..? It’s all secure in His hands.

Bipolar and Rejection

Dear Rejection,

For so long, I thought that I was afraid of you. I did everything in my power to avoid you. I developed a lot of REALLY unhealthy “coping techniques” to survive when our paths actually did crossed. Rejection, I’m sorry.

I see now that I was wrong about you. You are not some big bad hairy monster of a beast waiting for a chance to destroy me. Rather than running from you… or hiding from you… I need to walk towards you.

As Jesus walked towards you, he stepped fully into the reason why the Father sent him. Had he run from you, the entire world would stand condemned in their sins. Instead of cringing from you, he embraced you. Arms spread wide he hugged you, and in doing so, he embraced all of humanity for all of eternity.

Rejection is built into the very fabric of the Christian faith. There are a lot of reasons why that is… and some would require a really quick and easy fix… but that’s best left for another letter on another day. For now… Rejection, I’m not going to rebuke you or cast you out. I’m not going to call you names.

Just like money is not the “root of all evil…”
(Love of money is)…

You are not my enemy.
Fear of you is.

Fear told me that I had to do whatever it took to avoid you, so I did. I missed out of so many of the things you could have taught me over the years. Well… fear and I are no longer friends. I am free to live life without being afraid of you.

Becoming friends with you won’t be easy… but if Jesus could do it… then he will show me how. There is much we need to talk about, you and I. I will write more soon. Until then, think on something my friend Peter wrote:

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20Peter+2&version=NIV    

Bipolar and Identity

Yesterday I got up early and went to the Y to work out. Evidently, this new me likes doing that on a Saturday. I had a great time, so much so… that after I was done, I went for another walk outside. Evidently, New Me likes that too. Old Me used to be afraid to go outside because there were so many things outside for me to fear.

As I walked, I found a path that looked interesting, so I took it and went on a journey that I hadn’t expected. I got nearly get swept away by fear and hatred and something else… that I couldn’t identify. I didn’t know what it was, but all I could think of was how I wanted to find a bench so I could sit down and cry.

Yet the LORD, who was walking with me, urged me to keep going. As we continued on, He talked to me. I began to see light. I began to see truth. When I made it back to my car, I had to get my journal, so I could record the memory of that moment. This is what I wrote:

Evidently…I Didn’t Learn Everything
I Needed to Know in Kindergarten
(or After the Playground)

Jesus!!!
If I had stopped to sit
near the play-structure…
watching all of the fathers
out playing with their kids
I would’ve given in to the tears
and would have been swept away
by the grief.

It took me a while to realize it
but I was in
mourning.
I’ve always
been in mourning.

They killed my childhood.

My father…
my stepfather…
my brothers and my sisters…
my mother…

My family.
Hating them would be SO easy.

Abba??
You said that when I became a man
I should put childish ways
behind me.

Hating the BECAUSE of times
long gone? Over memories
of a childhood
that never was?

Childish.

But into that “darkening-ness”
You spoke light to me:
I might be an adult…
but I will ALWAYS be your child.
Child-like... not childish
THAT is your gift to me.

And with THAT truth
in mind and in heart
I forgave
those “stealers”
of childhoods…
those liars.
those taunters.
those destroyers
of dreams
and identity.

Because You loved me first.
You love me now.
You will love me
longest and last.

You are my Father
and your children
are my family.

My past does not define me.
I know who I am.
I might be an adult,
but I will always
be your child.

I am Laurel Crowned
and I
am the daughter
of the King.

1 Corinthians 13 According to Bipolar Girl

Post #737
17th April 2005, 04:10 PM

Today’s message in church was AMAZING. I was wondering if I was on the right path… today confirmed it. Things the pastor said made me think of something that I’d written on April 3rd. I’ve been wondering about love and if I’d ever find it. I was reminded today of something God revealed to me earlier this month about what love actually is so that I will know it when I see it. I share those thoughts today. My thoughts are the hot pink ones.

1 Corinthians 13 According to Bipolar Girl

1Cor 13:1 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.

I can say whatever I want, even “holy” stuff, but if I don’t love God, I’m just making noise.

1Cor. 13:2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.

Even if I have all knowledge and God gives me great faith, and if I “believe” in God, but don’t actually LOVE him; then I’m nothing. At the day of Judgement, Jesus will say the he doesn’t know me, so for all eternity I will BE  nothing.

1Cor.13:3 If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Even if I sacrifice everything (give up everything I own; do good works; or die for “the cause”) if I don’t love God… then I haven’t gained anything.

I’ve lost.

So what does it look like to actually love God? I’m learning that I have to love God before I can love others.  I’m finally understanding what love of God isn’t. Now… I’m looking at what loving God is:

1Cor13:4 Love is patient.  *God is patient with me.

In order for me to show my love for God, I need to be patient with Him. I can’t try to force my timing. I must wait for His will and on His timing. No more childish tantrums when He says, “Wait.”

Love is kind:

When God tells me “no” or “wait” what is my attitude towards Him? If I love Him, I will be kind to Him no matter how I feel about what He tells me.

It does not envy, it does not boast:

Loving God means I don’t envy how he has blessed or gifted other people. I don’t have to want  what He has given them, but neither do I brag about how He’s blessed me. I’m gifted with a lot of creative talents. I need to understand who he designed me to be and walk confidently in who I am as a child of the living God. No over-the-top pride or false modesty.

1Cor.13:5  It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.

If I love God, I’ll stop being rude to Him. I won’t ignore Him when He’s talking to me. I won’t interrupt Him mid-sentence, I won’t pitch tantrums when I don’t get my way. I will watch the tone in which I speak to Him. If I love God, my walk will stop being about “what’s in it for me” and become “what’s in it for Him?” I will become God-seeking instead of self-seeking. My life will become God-centered instead of self-centered. I will seek His kingdom instead of my own.

If I love God, I need to stop playing the fool by getting angry at Him when bad things happen to me and He doesn’t stop them. I need to stop reminding Him of every bad thing that He has “allowed” to happen to me over my life time. I need to stop dwelling on the wrongs of others… wrongs that others have done to me… because by holding on to this anger… by dwelling on how God let  me be hurt, I set my own suffering above that of Christ.

1Cor13:6 Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth.

If I truly love God, I won’t wish ill to those who hurt me. I won’t be happy to repay evil with evil. I will rejoice in whatever truth God reveals in or through the life of that person or people.

1Cor13:7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Loving God means protecting His name with my witness. People will ALWAYS judge the Father by the way His kids act. I used to say that I LOVED God… but hated his kids. I’m not the only one who has ever thought this.

It also means letting Him protect my mind from guilt whenever I feel that I’ve fallen short. Loving God means trusting Him even when everything seems overwhelming and out of control. Loving God means always hoping in Him and not giving way to the doubt that kills. Loving God means persevering because “perseverance must finish it’s work, so that [I] may be mature and complete lacking nothing.” James 1:4

If I truly love God, I won’t ever stop loving Him… no matter what. I won’t threaten to walk away from Him because life gets hard or things don’t go my way. Loving HIM opens me up to be able to love other people…

1Cor13:8 Love never fails…

Bipolar and Personal Training… Under Construction

Yesterday I had my first session with my Personal Trainer…

‘enough said.

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