“I’ve asked for help. Over and over and over again. And I’ve gotten it sometimes. And I’m tired of asking. I’m tired of having to reach out for help. I want the help to come to me this time. If you (the proverbial, universal “you” spoken to the wind) want me to stay alive, then you come and help me. I’m tired of this being a one-sided conversation. I’m tired of only getting help when I ask for it, and sometimes not even then.”
I wrote that in January 2009.
I was tired of fighting. And I resented the fact that I had to fight so hard just to stay alive. I was angry at the world and yelling at the wind.
Looking back from where I am now, what stands out to me the most was that I wasn’t yelling at anyone in particular. I was mad at the universe for weighing me down with the burden of survival.
I wasn’t yelling at God. But neither was I asking Him for help. It never occurred to me, back then, that I could ask God to help me keep fighting. It never crossed my mind that I could ask Him to help me deal with the depression and bipolar symptoms.
I knew God. I’d been walking with Him for decades at that point. But somehow I thought this was “my” problem. I had to, “Fight the good fight of the faith.” (I Tim. 6:12)
Philippians 2:14 (NLT)
Do everything without complaining and arguing
That was my mantra. So much of my relationship with God was based on what I did and didn’t do. I lost sight of His grace and mercy.
“I’m tired of this being a one-sided conversation.”
I see now that it was a one-sided conversation because I was talking to the “universe” and not to my heavenly Father.
“Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.”
In November 2009, I started attending Overeaters Anonymous (OA) meetings. I was there because my eating was out of control and I knew my mind was the problem, not the food. Within the first few weeks, I realized that I had never asked God to help me with my eating issues. God used this “spiritual, not religious” program to teach me how to ask Him for help. It started with asking for help with food and eating, but His plan was so much bigger.
Eventually, I went from admitting that I was powerless over food to admitting I was powerless over depression and bipolar disorder and asking Jesus to restore me to sanity.
for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.
It took me 8½ years to get from there to where I am now. And if I could go back and tell my 2009-self anything, it would be that the answer is in God’s Word.
That’s the whole reason I started this blog. I want to tell people who are fighting mental illness every day that there is hope. And that hope is easy to get to.
Even when I’m ranting.
Moses said to the Lord, “You have been telling me, ‘Lead these people,’ but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. You have said, ‘I know you by name and you have found favor with me.’ If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you. Remember that this nation is your people.”
That would be like me telling God, “You keep telling me to fight the good fight of faith, but you haven’t told me how to do that when my own mind is fighting against me every day. And you keep saying that I’m your child and that you love me. If you really love me that much, then help me to understand how all this is supposed to work.”
God didn’t strike Moses down for talking to Him like that. He answered him with love.
The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”
I ranted to the universe, and I received sympathy and empathy from friends who understood what I was going through. But if I’d ranted to God, I could have received His presence and His rest.
The good news is God loves me so much that He didn’t wait for me to specifically ask Him for help. He took my ambiguous cry to the universe and led me to OA later that same year. From there, He led me to Celebrate Recovery, where He drew me more into His Word. Once He got me feeding on His Word consistently, He led me to the choices I needed to make – and gave me the strength to make them – that brought me into His rest.
If you were going to rant to God, what would you say?
photo credit: typographyimages