“See, the Lord God comes with might, and his arm rules for him; his reward is with him, and his recompense before him.”–Isaiah 40:10 (NRSV)
I grew up in a household of girls (my mom,sister and I). Dad was the only male in the house. Dad was a wrestler. He wrestled all through high school and college. I think he wanted a boy so he could teach that young man how to wrestle. Instead my sister and I quickly learned the ins and outs of wrestling.
There were many nights we could be found wrestling on the living room floor until Mom would yell “Someone is going to get hurt.” I treasure those times together because dad taught my sister and I a lot about wrestling. Even to this day, I remember what he taught me and love watching high school and college wrestling. (WWE, now that is a different story).
With wrestling, one must have strength in order to leverage their opponent. Strength is something that we all yearn to have. Not just muscle strength but strength in our bodies, minds, hearts etc.
Growing up, there were many times I wished that my strength would change things for our family. I desperately wanted Mom’s illness to be cured. I desperately yearned for my parent’s to be back together. I wished that mental illness was not a part of my story; part of our story as a family.
It took me 18 years to tell our story as I kept it tightly locked in my heart until then. I saw the stigma that came with the illness and was afraid to tell others that part of our story. Yet the reality is that mental illness is a gigantic part of my story. It has made me who I am today.
I have learned that strength means telling our story. Strength means holding onto this part of my story and loving my mom for exactly who God created her to be. Strength means helping to break the stigma. It has not been easy but I have grown and become stronger along the way.
That strength comes from our God who is mighty to save. That strength comes from our God who promises to never leave us or forsake us. That strength comes from our God who has given me the strength to stir up my own power in the midst of a broken messed up world.