New to Refiner’s Fire? I encourage you to read the FORWARD.
Descending the steps from my doctor’s office, I spotted a woman I would pass about half-way down.
Her grating, joy- filled voice called out to me, “Isn’t this just the most wonderful day to be alive?”
I wanted to SCREAM my reply, “This is my worst day ever – my life just ended.”
I had just had my second visit, to my second psychologist, and it had ended with these words, “I’m sorry Wanda, but I must now become the bad guy.
“You must spend ten days in a psychiatric hospital”.
Inwardly, I screamed, “This can’t be happening. Doesn’t he realize I have always loved Jesus? Doesn’t he understand I grew up in a good Christian home? Doesn’t he know I have a husband and children who love me? Good Christians don’t enter psychiatric hospitals. After all Jesus loves me.”
As I drove home, my brain went crazy.
- If I’m that crazy, why did he let me walk out of his office and drive home alone?
- What will Joe say? He already struggles with all the ups and downs I go through.
- How will I explain this to my children? “Your mother is crazy.” (They already know that!)
- What do I tell my pastor? (I was on staff of a local church serving as the Director of Children’s Ministry.)
- What are the elders going to say? Maybe they’ll ask me to leave my position in the church.
- WOW! What about the parents of the children? Will they want a crazy person serving their children? Will they trust me any longer?
- What if our family is asked to leave the church?
- How can a Christian be so mentally ill she has to go into a psychiatric hospital?
“Jesus, I really do love You. I’ve tried to serve You.
Why are you doing this to me?”
I remembered the words of a mentor when I was in my twenties. I had just been diagnosed with epilepsy, “Wanda, never tell anyone you have epilepsy. They will think you are crazy.”
WHAT WILL PEOPLE THINK NOW THAT THEY KNOW I AM CRAZY?
So many emotions and I wasn’t even home yet!
I believe it would have been a lot easier if he had been a medical doctor telling me I had cancer and was going to die in a week.
Growing up I had an understanding, Christians don’t have mental problems. It was never really spoken – but I was left with that impression.
For the past ten years, I had lived with continual terror.
Have you ever almost been in an automobile accident and terror rushes through your body as you brace for the impact? Imagine living with that feeling of terror all the time. That feeling of terror rarely if ever leaves your body. On top of the terror, you never know when diarrhea is going to hit, so you have to stake out every bathroom along every route you travel – just in case.
Medical doctors told me it was all in my mind.
I rarely shared what I felt. When I did, I heard “Trust God more,” or “Perfect love casts out fear.”
This can’t be happening! This is Crazy.
I don’t recall exactly how that awful day unfolded – I do remember sitting ‘round the dinner table talking it through with our three high school/college- aged children. Joe was always great in leading tough discussions with our kids.
Kristin: “Mom just think how you always want a good story when you’re teaching women’s Bible studies – you’re going to get some great ones now!”
We all had a good laugh.
In the weeks ahead, my musings of how the Triune God guided me through the hospital stay and much more will flow onto these pages.
I encourage you to use the Coffee Chat as a tool for growing your understanding of the Importance of Suffering in Your Walk With the Triune God. If you just want to read through the pages of the “book” go to “page” two of the book The Ride of Terror
My CHALLENGE to you —
Let’s grab a cup of coffee … imagine you and I are sitting together chatting.
Is the Triune God in His all-loving, all-powerful, all-knowing way walking you through a time of suffering or has it been a life of suffering?
OR were you blessed with little suffering in life so far? Ask Him what His purpose is for bringing you to this Blog. Does He have a ministry for you with someone who is suffering? Or does He want you to willingly walk into suffering to bring Him glory.
John Piper’s sermon has helped me to understand the importance of suffering in my walk with the Triune God. Joy in Risk and Suffering
Listen, take notes and pray over John’s message in the coming week. Don’t try and do it all in one sitting. Listen to a little bit each day and let it soak in.
After you have listened to the sermon, I would love to hear your story. Let’s chat via the comment section so others may join us. We can minister to one another as the Triune God guides us to bring glory to Him on this earth.
If you have something that can’t be shared openly write me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Next Post: The Ride of Terror