Defensive

Photo from Power of Positivity.com

This post talks about finding yourself in a position that is too big for you to handle on your own. We want you to know that being alone is often a lie that the enemy uses against us. If you are experiencing a battle that you cannot face anymore, there are numbers listed here that are trained and can help you through this time. If this is an emergency, your local 911 is available to help. You do not have to do this alone.

I am so angry at the healthcare system right now. I don’t have a doctor. My children don’t have a doctor. 50,000 other people in my province can say the same thing. So what do I do when I need help? I take a chance at a few appointments in the after-hours clinic, or go into ‘the outdoor’/hospital emergency room. If I have a cold or some weird bacterial thing, it’s pretty straightforward: I go in, the doctor-on-call looks me over, sees that I am sick, gives me medicine, sends me home, a week later I am restored to health. Help wanted. Help sought out. Help used. Help worked.

But what if the doctor-on-call can’t see what’s wrong? What if I go in reporting depression? Or anxiety? Or grief? Or I have been living with my particular diagnosis for so long that it has finally rendered me so exhausted, incapacitated, and defeated that I. Just. Can’t. Do. It. Any. More.

What then?

All I did was praise

What do I do when I have come to the realization that the system that was designed to heal me from all of my wounds has failed?

What then?

All I did was worship

What do I do if the only solution is to fantasize, plot, plan, or attempt to execute a plan that will bring the only relief I can see?

What. Then.

All I did was bow down

When I reach out to the support system the doctors felt was good enough to release me from their care while the crisis within raged where they couldn’t find it, and was met with opinions of “you just need to…” or “well you need to put in the work”, what then?

What then?

All I did was stay still

I felt like there was nothing available. Nothing I could do to get help. Nothing that anyone else could do to help me. Every attempt to find help was met with a medication change or a ‘sorry we’re too full to help you right now’, or an over-capacity therapist who didn’t seem to have time for me. I was … lost.

When I thought I lost me

I didn’t know who I was anymore – terrified to do anything outside of familiar habits of soothing. Terrified to talk to anyone for fear of the usual responses that begin with ‘you just’ or ‘you should’. Fear of what I ‘knew best’ being challenged by an (well-meaning) asshole friend.

You know where I left me

This system designed to help me knew nothing of how to help me. Or at least how I wanted to be helped.

So here I stand, broken, unfamiliar, and scared. Where do I go? What do I do? I so badly crave change – I can’t imagine anyone would forgive me for ending it all if they knew the pain I was in. How do I piece together what is left of me? Where was God in all of this? Where the hell was He?

You go before I know

God, what am I missing? Am I doing this wrong? Why don’t you hear my cries? Why can’t you help me? What. Do. I. have. to. do. to. make. you. see. me.

That you’ve even gone to win my war

And then it hits me: this isn’t my fight. I have spent a lifetime of fighting my enemy without even realizing that God had gone to battle before I even knew I was in one. He is silent because he is fighting for me. The Bible tells me that this war is not my own. Specifically : “Do not be afraid! Don’t be discouraged by this mighty army, for the battle is not yours but God’s” (2 Chronicles 20:15, NLT). Now this verse is talking about an actual army with people in it, but does it not apply to the battle I am currently facing?

We have learned about triumphal procession at church before. Enough times that I can make some (in my opinion) hilarious jokes about it. This is the description of God going ahead of us in victory to conquer our battles. Before I even knew this battle had begun, God was there – declaring victory.

You picked up all my pieces

A mental health battle leaves us battered and weary, bruised and scarred in ways that can’t be seen. It requires self advocacy. Unfortunately the self-advocate doesn’t have the physical resources to do the groundwork of visit after visit after visit when each recurring visit gets a label of frequent flyer attached. Who wants that?

Put me back together

What do I do when I can’t? I want to change but I can’t. I am afraid of change. Of who I am without depression, grief, whatever the battle may be for you.

You are the defender of my heart

It sounds as crazy as the fight to be heard in the mental healthcare system, but I stopped fighting. Physically, mentally, emotionally, figuratively, literally. This. Is. Not. My. Battle. It. Is. God’s. He is doing the work I can’t while I am too weary. God has already been where I am now, and he declared the victory in this war as mine. But how do I get the help I so badly desire? I stop fighting. Does it mean I do nothing? No. Eventually it comes back to putting in the hard work. But for now,

All I did was praise
All I did was worship
All I did was bow down
All I did was stay still

My greatest defender is taking care of what I can’t until I have the rest I need to do the hard work. It’s kind of like a spiritual self-care program with four steps: be still, be humble, be thankful, and be okay with God fighting your battle while you can’t.

I encourage you to use the song used in this post as your starting point of worship when you don’t know what to do. It is a reminder that it is okay to be lost, not knowing what your next step is. God is taking care of you even when you can’t. Check out Defender by Upperroom

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