“Keep in touch with it because it is at those moments of pain where you are most open to the pain of other people – most open to your own deep places. Keep in touch with those sad times because it is then that you are most aware of your own powerlessness, crushed in a way by what is happening to you, but also most aware of God’s power to pull you through it, to be with you in it.”–Frederick Buechner
This quote was shared on Saturday on the (In)Courage blog by Jennifer Dukes Lee in her post on Friday. Talk about a quote stopping you in your tracks! I think I must have read this quote at least three times. Words often have the power to change us, bless us or even make us mad. For me, these words touched my heart. Because I truly believe that this is what I’ve been trying to do throughout this #write31 days challenge!
My families story of mental illness has changed each of us. It has made us into the people we are today. It took me a long time to be able to share our story; 18 years to be exact. I know that I am powerless to this illness, and so I need to trust in God and the promise that God will never leave us or forsake us.
I’ll be completely honest here. It has been and still is hard to watch my Mom at her highest highs and most especially at her lowest lows. In fact, there have been times that I wished I could take the illness away for Mom and my other family members who daily struggle. Yet I know that is not the reality of our story. But I still need to continue to share our story.
Mental illness is that deep place for me. And without experiencing that deep place, I wouldn’t be open to hearing others stories. I wouldn’t be able to walk with others in their journeys. I wouldn’t be open to sharing in the pain of others. But because I have experienced that deep place, I am able to do all these things. I am able to know that God will pull me; will pull all of us up out of the pit when we need to be lifted out of the pit or out of the ditch as the Message translation states.
“He lifted me out of the ditch, pulled me from deep mud. He stood me up on a solid rock to make sure I wouldn’t slip.”—-Psalm 40:2; The Message Translation