“Light is sown like seed for the righteous
And gladness for the upright in heart.”
Psalm 97:11

The mighty Creator reaches into the canvas bag
slung over His celestial shoulder, and His hands,
which hold the cosmos, take out a small
ball of light like a tiny white sun.

He gently runs his hand over the top of the sphere
and tiny particles break off from the surface like
pin pricks of light, like glitter, which He takes and
scatters toward the earth, a gift for His people.

There is still that glowing orb of gladness in His hands.
He rakes a furrow into the surface of my chest
and places it there with His own fingers,
then closes the rut with His palm.

exhausted

I remember feeling SO tired … but not in a I-didn’t-get-enough-sleep way.  Just in a deep, heavy-hearted, there-are-too-many-things-to-manage kind of way … including all your thoughts, which are vomitting all over your mind.

There is rest available.  I wish I could get you to believe that.

“Yes, keep it up,” repeated Dr. Lee, “and you will beat this still.  There is rest for you ahead.”  He narrowed his eyes at me as if he were imagining my successful future.  “But not yet. For now, more work.”

More on CBT this week.

I have a friend who is struggling with depression right now.  She has plans to see a therapist soon, but today, she told me that she feels ashamed.  “Like if Jesus is the savior of my life, why am I like this?” she asked me.

My poor, dear friend.  I’ve been there.  All the questions, most notably: why doesn’t it seem like Jesus is enough?  I am definitely that cheeky pot that sassed back to the Potter, “WHY did you make me like THIS?”  There was no answer for a long time.  But now that I’ve been sharing my story– in chapels, youth groups, online, in personal conversations, and in my novel– and I see the way that God is using it … well, I get it now.

My friend feels ashamed.  I told her not to feel that way.  But as I sat at my office desk and thought about it some more, it settled over me that as sinners, our shame is natural– but Christ has redeemed His people, has lifted up our heads.  Do the two cancel each other out?

And to my mind came this quote from Aslan, “You come of the Lord Adam and the Lady Eve.  And that is both honor enough to erect the head of the poorest beggar, and shame enough to bow the shoulders of the greatest emperor on earth. Be content.”

I am not saying that we should be happy for mental illness. 

But I am confident that God knows what He is doing.  He has His reasons. 

God, give us faith to trust You.

 

MMPI

That is, the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory.

It’s 567 true-or-false questions, and I had to take it when I started meeting with my first therapist (whom I disliked and called “Shrinkie” behind her back).

567 questions takes a long time.

567 questions for an obsessive-compulsive takes even longer.

I kept running into statements and BEATING THEM TO DEATH WITH MY BRAIN.

For example, I believe one of the questions was similar to the following:
I believe God hears me when I pray to Him.

Thought process:
I am a Christian– I should put yes.  But then again, I have committed the unforgivable sin, so He probably doesn’t hear my prayers.  But do I really believe I’ve committed that sin?  Maybe.  Maybe not.  Probably.  I should just put yes.  They want me to put yes because it will help the test to identify my beliefs.  But what if that is inconsistent with my beliefs?  On the other hand, maybe I should put no, because then it will identify that as an issue for me.  It’s definitely an issue for me.  But could I really, honestly say that I don’t believe God hears me when I pray?  I’m just being silly when I think that, right?  As a Christian, I should put yes.  I believe yes.  But then again, maybe I’m not a Christian.  If I’ve committed the unforgivable sin, then how can I still call myself a Christian?  I should just put my gut reaction.  Which is yes.  But why put a gut reaction down instead of a thought-out answer?  If I really think it through, then I don’t believe it.  Well, I think I do actually believe it– TODAY– but it could very well be a concern for me tomorrow or every day next week.  Should I put down how I feel right now in this moment, or should I put down how I usually feel, which is no?  I guess that’s not how I usually feel– maybe one-third of the time.  But most so-called “Christians” would think that one-third of the time is huge, in which case, it’s a bigger deal, and I should put down no.  Really– one-third?  Seems like a lot more.  If I think about it again, it’s probably more than one-third.  It’s maybe one-third of the time really BOLD– time when I’m terrified.  But even those other two-thirds I’m still doubtful of my salvation.  It’s just quieter.  So how do I interpret that?  One-third TERROR, two-thirds doubt.  Compared to the normal, which is little to no questioning of one’s salvation, that is a LOT.  So I should put no, so that the test correctly interprets that I have major issues with this particular scenario.

Right?

I’ll come back to it later.

You get the point. 🙂

a poem

THREE DAYS WITHOUT EFFEXOR

 Streetlights reflect in puddles

like small potholes of light,

but even that image can’t inspire

the poet to breathe.

Depression sits in her like a saucer,

completely removable,

given the right circumstances,

given the right medicine.

But for now the saucer lies in her chest,

shrapnel of melancholia,

a cup overflowing with eagerness

only to sleep, to sample oblivion.

Kissing Doorknobs

The other night, I posted the following on Facebook:
I definitely feel called by God to the novel I’m writing. “Kissing Doorknobs” (a YA novel about OCD) was huge in my life … like finding a friend who understood me. I hope the same for my novel! OCD is such an alienating disorder, so anytime you can find someone/something that understands you, it’s huge, like a reminder that you’re not alone.
 
I wanted to tell everyone a little more about the book Kissing Doorknobs, a story about a young girl named Tara and her battle with OCD.  Tara counts sidewalk cracks, kisses her fingers before she touches the doorknob, and recites prayers to calm herself. 
 
After I read this book, I handed it over to my mom, knowing it would help her understand me better.  I highly recommend this quick and easy read for anyone who has or suspects they might have OCD– but also for those of you who love an obsessive-compulsive. 
 
Here are some quotes from the book that jived with me:
 
“I was eleven years old and still in possession of my own thoughts.”  Because, believe me, in the throes of it all, ugly, unwanted thoughts were being fired at me like bullets.
 
“One tear fell down my right cheek.  Unbelievably and instantly, my left cheek felt cheated!”  Yep.  I used to do this with tapping my feet or fingers.
 
“I worried about death and heaven and Judgment Day.”  It was wonderful to encounter myself in the story.  It helped me to realize that I was normal– well, normal for an OC.
 
“I wanted to confess everything.  Everything.”  Enough said.
 
“I knew my worries weren’t normal.  I knew because my friends had worries too, but they were nothing like mine.  Mine were perpetual.”  Picture a girl who cried in bed every night for three years.
 
“It was like playing two video games at once or watching television and listening to the radio.  It was noisy.  It was exhausting.  It was stressful.”  See my poem that illustrates this.
 
“[I] was too afraid of the answer to ask him the question.”  Hence, my own parents didn’t even know that I cried every night.  5th-8th grade.  Doesn’t it break your heart?
 
“She never minded my doubts and consistently reassured me that I was not going to hell.”  Raise your hand if you’ve been this person in my life.  Okay, you can all put your hands down now!
 
“It was like paying attention to a dozen things at once.”
 
“Although [my parents] wanted to help, they didn’t know how, or even what was wrong with me.”
 
“I felt sick but wasn’t sure of what.”  In my own book, I describe it this way: “a nagging feeling in the back of my throat, the feeling you get when you’ve made a huge mistake but haven’t told anyone yet.  An ugly, wooden expectancy, guilt taking up space but not quite filling the emptiness.”
 
“I suspected she was always thinking things that were different from what she said.” and “they could all think something about me that they weren’t telling me.  They could pretend.”  In my own life, it spiralled into paranoia.  I thought my friends were demons trying to trick me into hell.  More on that later; aren’t you pumped? 😉
 
“doubt that I’d ever win the war for my freedom.”  Because OCD is slavery, to be honest.
 
I love hearing your comments and questions, so please leave one on here or on Facebook.  Thanks guys!