Bipolar or Gifted?
After several years of struggling with my identity as a Christian woman, and years of complaining about the stigma mental illness has in the body of Christ, God told me if I want to see change, I have to be willing to raise my voice and shine His light on a hidden and under acknowledged situation so many believers and non believers are facing. His only requirement from me being... TRANSPARENCY. If I was writing this 5 years ago, I would be scared to death to open myself up like this. But let me share a little secret. When you find your TRUE IDENTITY in Christ Jesus, you begin to love yourself and embrace everything God has created you to be. God has given me such a peace after years of fighting this battle. And it has not been a pretty fight.
I've used what the enemy created to kill steal and destroy my spirit and made it into a one way vessel straight to the heart of God! I have learned to embrace my imbalance and I want you to learn as well! So bare with me as I share some places God has taken my heart over the years.
God has ways of turning what the enemy means for harm into BEAUTY!
We just have to get to the point where we stop viewing depression as our enemy and maybe look at it as a GIFT!
After struggling with depression for 12 years and being put on the bipolar 2 spectrum, I quit fighting! I embraced it and my life has changed DRAMATICALLY!
You heard me right. Why not embrace something that has the potential to make you run straight into the arms of God? Satan can touch our minds and our bodies. But he cannot touch our soul unless we let him.
What possible gifts can depression give?
1. It has the ability to create the most compassionate people on the planet! I have learned not to be quick to judge others because I too know what suffering feels like. I know how badly I need God to make it through just a normal day. I feel like God has given me compassion for people who are easily overlooked as too damaged.
We have the ability to be empathetic and sympathetic in powerful ways. Our story can change lives!
I recently led a family member who was struggling with depression to Christ. The testimony of my suffering allowed this to happen. YES! My disorder is worth it if I further the Kingdom of God. Take that Satan!
The gift of compassion!
2. It has the ability to give us the gift or mercy and forgiveness. If I could tell you how many times I have to apologize when my manic episodes get the best of me. I have to ask for forgiveness OFTEN from my family. (DON'T use your disorder as EXCUSE to be a jerk!) This has given me a strong desire to forgive easily. I have also learned to have grace for myself and not be afraid to admit my shortcomings.
The gift of forgiveness and mercy!
. We are DEEP thinkers. This can become a problem if we do not give God the reins. I can become an OVER THINKER. But our thoughts can become quite creative. It can be both a blessing and a curse to think and feel so deeply. So make sure you choose to take all your thoughts and feelings captive and make them submit to Christ!
The gift of feeling and thinking deeply!
4. We are able to develop a huge dose of HUMILITY! We tend to the needs of the suffering easier because we have empathy and know what its like to suffer. I can't tell you how many times I have heard "non empathetic people" say people who struggle with depression create it for themselves. Rather than those who struggle themselves will not be so quick to judge, because they have carried that burden. Depression is my cross to bear and the thorn in my side. Who's to say I could easily be like Peter when it comes to pride. I wouldn't be surprised. If his pride caused God to allow a thorn in his side, who is to say my disorder isn't mine? Who wants to be a cocky Christian who loves to throw miracles in the face of others. Maybe my faith alone is MY HEALING~ We often forget to want the HEALER more than the HEALING, do we not?
The gift of humility!
5. The gift of faith! Depression gives us no choice BUT to have faith. In the midst of my darkest hour, my faith was the only light I had to find my way out! So the theory that some preachers and Christian's give... that we are depressed because we lack faith..... gah! Clearly they just don't get it! Thank you Jesus for being our sustainer and constant reliable friend!
The gift of faith!
I often wonder if I would be as eager to seek God if my mental health was in tip top shape. Maybe my daily denying myself and picking up my cross is what keeps me close to Him. If that is the case I choose not to fight it, but embrace my bipolar disorder. It keeps me hungry and seeking the heart of God! I really encourage you to change your view on your struggle with whatever mental illness disorder you struggle with and see it as an opportunity to know God in ways a "healthy minded" person could never grasp! I often wonder if my or (you the reader's) personality and disorder are somehow intertwined making us specifically who God created us to be. Or, maybe they are separate. I don't know. It doesn't matter. I know where my identity lies. And I know there is nothing God would change about me. Psalms 139:13-14 says I am perfectly knit together in my mother's womb. I am fearfully and wonderfully made!
Let me end with this. Are you tired of fighting depression? Are you tired of fighting whatever battle it is you face? If fighting it is not working, why not try something different? Why not embrace it and find some hidden gifts. God has filled my heart with some amazing treasures. I bet He has something amazing for you too if seek Him!
Love Your's Truly,
The Perfectly Imbalanced