Monday, April 4, 2011

Joy in hard times and counting my gifts

I just read something on a well respected lady who blogs and has also written a book...
She was talking about how we present ourselves with our family. She posted this paragraph and it's rattled me:

"If you don’t feel that you have joy--then pray. Joy is a fruit of the Spirit, meaning that when the Spirit of God is living and moving in your life, that joy will naturally flow.
I'm not offering a Pollyanna attitude to women with clinical depression as I have seen the effects of that first hand in my family, but rather I speak to those women who see the world through the murky haze of a glass half empty. If you haven’t given your attitude over to God then you’re missing out on one of the greatest gifts that God offers in your Christian walk--joy.
And upon that joy--add virtue. Allow Him to use you in every way, including the way you choose you attitude."

The sentence in bold above is what confuses me relating to my bipolar and depression. I can't reconsile in my heart and mind what this means with my relationship with God.

So what does that mean for me as a person struggling with bipolar and having a hard time understanding and having joy when everything in me feels so overwhelmed and foggy? Not because I want it too, but because my brain/mind isn't working right and I'm not seeing the truth clearly. I guess this is the part where I think.. "Ok God how am I suppose to be then?" What does that mean for me? How do I have joy when everything inside me seems broken and distorted and I can't see the truth right?
I don't understand. It's like I can't be for Jesus who I want to be in the down times. Or it feels like I'm not capable of much during those times (which equals in my mind not useful). Oh I don't know, I'm sure I probably just need to accept this and move on with what I've been given, which is much. I'm having a hard time accepting this as part of me though. Maybe part of it is that I don't have any control over myself. The illness comes and goes as it pleases and I can't do anything to prevent it. Even when I pray like Darlene was talking about, in the midst of a depression episode I don't see the joy.
Someone did post this on my blog this week in reply to one of my posts: "Don’t forget in the dark what God has shown you in the light". That is powerful and I'm going to hang onto that.

I think more than struggling through to see the joy; I feel confused at the purpose and reasons God has with this bipolar. I know God is working and using it. I know because I do believe He brings good out of everything and He doesn't waste anything. I'm having a hard time reconciling this though.

In the midst of it all I'm continueing to count my gifts from Jesus because He is good all the time.... truly ALL the time:
Gifts #322-338

Children so excited about Grandma coming to visit.

Little ones sitting on the front porch waiting for her arrival.

Strong and gentle husband that serves me when I'm sick.

Tender hugs from little ones that miss me being up and around when I'm sick.
Ice Cream served by my husband in the evening when the kids are sound asleep.

Friends who care about me.

The power of prayer.

Constant process of learning and loving others and being loved by God.

A note from my sweet Rebecca that said "Mommy I love you, I hope you feel better soon".

Rain and thunder during an afternoon nap.

Birthdays that are such a joy to celebrate.

Constant care and tender love from my Heavenly Father

Home sweet home.

God is good even in the dark.

God hears the cries of my heart.

God understands and accepts my questioning.

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