Amazing Grace

*WARNING*: If you’re offended by discussions about God, faith, religion, or other topics of a spiritual nature, you may prefer to skip this post and find something more to your liking. Or, if you choose to continue, PLEASE don’t respond with arguments against the existence of God or use derogatory terms for Him, such as the “Flying Spaghetti Monster” or “Sky Pixie”. My faith is one of my few non-negotiables, and since this is my blog, I will delete any and all comments that offend me. Thank you for your understanding.

Anyway……as such events often do, the recent upheavals in my life have called to mind the reasons why I believe in a God of mercy and love. It’s not that I don’t pray or go to church regularly—we’re there pretty much every Sunday—but once in awhile a person goes through a spiritual dry spell when he or she takes faith for granted. It’s just there, the way food is when you’re hungry or water when you’re thirsty.

Got a problem? Say a prayer. Done something you’re ashamed of? Go to Confession. Feeling sad or scared? Light a candle. Everything has a remedy; but what I’m beginning to understand is that the Great Physician doesn’t always prescribe the medicine we expect.

Let’s get real here: who would CHOOSE to have bipolar disorder? For that matter, who would ask for her spouse to get pancreatic cancer? Yet I’m learning vast amounts about the world and my place in it through these experiences, and even more importantly, I’m discovering at long last what God’s grace really means and how it’s working to change my heart.

For one thing, I’m amazed to find out how very much I’m loved; not only by my family and friends, but by so many people whom I’ve never met in person—people I ‘know’ only on the Internet, who have nonetheless reached out to me from places I’ve never even heard of. There are literally hundreds of folks praying for my husband and me; we are listed on the prayer chains at more churches than we’ll ever know.

And that doesn’t even begin to take into account the hundreds more who don’t believe in the same God as I do—or any god at all—yet who are sending positive energy and good thoughts our way. These, too, are much appreciated…..and I’m happy to accept any and all wishes for health and a long life for my dear one.

With all this outpouring of love and concern, I’m starting to feel that maybe—just maybe—I’ve done something right. That my life has counted for something. Instead of feeling as though I’m being punished, I’m grateful beyond words for the work God is doing through all of these people. And as much as it’s within my power, I want to help others at least as much as I’m being helped…..that’s one of the reasons I started this blog in the first place.

I am not one to judge a philosophy I don’t understand and didn’t create, but I honestly cannot imagine how anyone gets through things like this without faith in a Higher Power, whatever one may choose to call it. Somebody once said that if God didn’t exist, man would have had to invent Him…..if for no other reason than to have someone to blame when things go sideways!

For me, however, God has always been the source of all strength. When a situation becomes more than I can handle, I lean on Him to carry some of the burden because I KNOW I can’t do it alone. I know I am weak and irresponsible and I sometimes don’t think things out before I say (or do) them; however, He created me with all my quirks and foibles, and He’s saved me from self-inflicted disasters more times than I can possibly count.

I could go on all night about the reawakening of my relationship with the Almighty, but suffice it to say that I know I’d never be able to face bipolar disorder—let alone the possible loss of my husband—without His strong arms to hold me up when I falter. And I wonder: if there is no hope of a better world than this one, what is the purpose of our suffering? If there’s nothing but a black void awaiting us on the other side of death, what gives meaning to our experiences?

Just a few thoughts on a summer night when the prayers storming Heaven as we speak are all that stand between me and my worst fears…..

Published by bpnurse

I'm a retired registered nurse and writer who also happens to be street-rat crazy, if the DSM-IV.....oops, 5---is to be believed. I was diagnosed with bipolar I disorder at the age of 55, and am still sorting through the ashes of the flaming garbage pile that my life had become. Here, I'll share the lumps and bumps of a late-life journey toward sanity.... along with some rants, gripes, sour grapes and good old-fashioned whining from time to time. It's not easy being bipolar in a unipolar world; let's figure it out together.

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