Not A Day Promised

Battling mental illness through education and resources. "Let the wise hear and
increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance." Proverbs 1:5

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Word Picture - The Invisible Electric Fence

by Julie Brooks

As many of you know, Bipolar disorder has dramaticly affected my life. Loosing Carson to this disease and homeschooling our youngest with chronic Bipolar disorder has enabled me to see it’s effect on a minute-by-minute basis.

God gave me a word picture this morning that might give others a glimpse into those that struggle with and are misunderstood because they suffer with Bipolar disorder and/or other mental illnesses.

Because Bipolar disorder is an invisible illness, there is also an invisible electrical fence surrounding those suffering. Attempts to reach those experiencing the effects of mental illness can elicit a retaliatory sting of words or actions that are hurtful. Their reactions may not make sense and can cause those who love them to draw back in pain.

But, as we move closer to those suffering with mental illness, drawing on God’s supernatural love, their electric fence begins to lose its strength, and soon it can be clipped. As we step over that dead wire, we breathe life, trust and understanding into that person struggling with mental illness and its effects.

Don’t let pain stop you from reaching out to someone who is mentally ill. There is a miracle from the Lord to be seen; not a cure, not an easy fix, but a life that is touched by the supernatural love and power of our God!

I am praying, with faith in our Lord, that you will join me in touching the lives of those suffering with mental illness.

Word Picture - Mental Illness: The Natural Disaster Within

by Julie Brooks

The Lord gave me this word picture a couple of months ago, but I just remembered writing it as I thought of the help needed to rebuild lives affected by the recent tornadoes in our area.

We all have seen the destruction that can come as a result of natural disasters, such as tornadoes, earthquakes, hurricanes, and tsunamis. Suffering with mental illness is a natural disaster turned inward. The damage is hidden from those around the person suffering because the disaster starts from within; i.e., irrational thoughts, paralyzing fears, physical symptoms (headaches, stomach issues); the list goes on!

We must educate ourselves to the signs of these oncoming disasters. Education, plus a purposeful and kindred connection are required to equip a caregiver, or just one who cares, to sense when an individual is trying desperately to “contain” the development of the inevitable disaster brewing within. It is possible to assist in calming the upcoming disaster within, before eruption, if there is someone educated around them to point out the pain and erratic behavior they are seeing exhibited and offer understanding and support.

However, if you haven’t experienced this type of natural disaster within, of mental illness, yourself, or see a loved one who suffers with it, once it happens, it is truly hard to imagine! The behavior that can follow can look like so many other behaviors; i.e., anger, sadness, isolation, defiance, that can be misunderstood. Unfortunately, the results can be devastating and sometimes fatal (suicide) to the person experiencing the mental illness. The disaster can create “shock waves” that affect family, friends and friends of friends.

If mental illness is handled not by the Red Cross but by those that have been healed by Christ’s blood, shed on the cross, those that are Christ followers, the outcome will look more like a construction site than a disaster site.

If we as Christians believe that God is in the business of helping rebuild and restore lives, then what are we as Christians waiting for? We are willing to help with natural disasters everywhere. Will we not take the time to proactively educate ourselves about mental illness and what it looks like? Is it easier to just avoid the disaster site?.

With the Lord’s insight, and willingness on our part to become educated and open to the hidden pain around us, we can join The Lord’s Disaster Relief Team. Rebuilding any disaster site takes preparation, time and tireless effort, but the results will be one disaster site at a time reconstructed for His eternal glory.

Will you join me in praying for the Lord’s construction sites and teams to begin popping up everywhere? The life restored could be yours or your loved one’s.