Recently I’ve been feeling like a dead leaf. Lifeless and lacking purpose. Drifting without direction. Discouraged and defeated.
Surprisingly, raising a son with mental illness (MI) didn’t do me in. My multiple sclerosis (MS) hasn’t conquered me. My thwarted writing plans snarled me. Leaving me sinking in quicksand.
Strange how we can handle the big problems. And how smaller disappointments demolish our determination. So what was my final knock-down punch?
The marketing plan I created to promote my picture book hasn’t been yielding the intended results fast enough. My throne of self-sufficiency has crumbled.
Howie noticed my discouragement and lovingly said, “Don’t worry, Vic, we’ll figure it out.”
“I think that’s been my problem,” I replied. “I’VE been figuring it out. I need to figure HIM out.”
Since I can’t control the course of my MS or the symptoms of Chris’s MI, I’m starved for control. My problem has been this obsession to control things. I want to control SOMETHING in my life. Can you identify?
Our power to manage everything associated with MI is limited. MI prevents our kids from responding to our love.
Do you reach out to your child only to have him shut down? Is your comfort rejected?
Sometimes our well-meaning efforts backfire.
Do your peaceful words only enflame his anger? Does your child refuse to follow your advice? Do you intervene on your child’s behalf only to be misunderstood? Have you sought the advice of countless specialists only to have no clear diagnosis?
We encounter obstacles and dead ends.
What tempts you to give up? How many times can you get knocked down and rise again? How long can you support your child who has mental illness (MI) without seeing any improvement?
Quitting isn’t an option. What mother could ever abandon her most vulnerable child? So we try and try. Even though nothing seems to help our child with MI.
The eagle can provide insight into why our efforts fail. Instead of relying on its massive wingspan (average 6’ – 7.5’), it waits for the perfect conditions to step off its peak.
It soars and glides with less effort because it goes with the flow of God’s winds. Air currents, such as slope updrafts (winds that runs into a mountain and are forced to rise), enable the eagle to rise without flapping its wings. A massive eagle can simply float upward by catching a ride on rising bubbles of hot air called “thermals.”
Like the eagle, we can wait for God’s perfect timing. That will keep us from flapping in our own strength. We can depend on His power to carry us through the journey.
Those of us who are downcast have this promise: “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. (1 Peter 5:6-7)”
Picture that. God’s hand cradling you. Then imagine Him gently lifting you up. In due time, He’ll uplift your countenance and soothe your emotions if you trust Him with all your cares. He’s sure to guide you along HIS path.
Feeling weary? Tired of the trial? In a pit of hopelessness? God’s Word promises you’ll soar like an eagle if you hope in Him.
“Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. (Isaiah 40:31)”
God saw my problem: the anguish of my soul.
“I will be glad and rejoice in your love, for you saw my affliction and knew the anguish of my soul. (Psalm 31:7)”
God provided the solution: the Anchor for my soul.
“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. (Hebrews 6:19)”
Let’s trade anguish for the Anchor. Let’s not lose hope. Or give up. Let’s keep doing our best and trust God for the rest.
Following God’s lead through trials gets easier. His constant faithfulness demonstrates the Truth of His Word. His love never fails.
The group Jesus Culture reminds us in their song ‘One Thing Remains’ that God’s love, “never fails, never gives up, never runs out.”