Friday, April 22, 2011

It would be easier if I were NOT following Christ...

Well, that's what it feels like at times.

In the most recent installment of Being Bipolar I shared how I lost my faith in God because of some things that should never happen to anyone. And then over the course of many years how I found God again and came to have a relationship with Christ. That has been almost fifteen years ago and I am thankful that more times than not, I do appreciate that I have done my best to seek after Christ with all my heart, with all my soul and with all of my strength and, yes, with all of my mind.

Two nights ago I opened up and shared the hurt that I was feeling about a person who had been close to me telling me that I had to "pay the consequences" because of bipolar disorder: a mental illness and medical condition that I am only recently come to recognize that I have been struggling with for the duration of my entire life. It's something that I was born with and will die with and that I very often can't wait to die and be free of at last.

And I guess that it hurts most especially, because I know that I have been seeking Christ and because I did believe that this other person, was doing likewise in their own life. I desperately needed to believe that this person who I had cared for and still do care for, had that much in common with me: Christ, Who is enough to overcome all our failings and shortcomings.

I needed to believe that because I do need Christ and His grace. Because I am nothing without Him.

But what if I hadn't been a follower of Christ?

I can't help but think that, I would be having a much easier time right now.

Because without Christ, there would be no love for this person at all. Without Christ, I could be more than content to simply "move on" as this individual and others have been telling me that I should. Without Christ, I know without a doubt that I could absolutely just keep going on living my life for my own sake, without any regard or second thought about any other person. Without Christ, I could be selfish.

Without Christ, I would be free to not have the care and love that is so ingrained into my nature and that I have never been able to disassociate myself from.

Without Christ, I'm sure that according to the measure of the world, that I would have enjoyed more comfort and success than I have ever been able to achieve before.

But I have chosen to follow Christ. And that does entail having to endure and be subject to trial and tribulation and torment. And of those, the worst has been - as I said previously - being thought of as a monster and a person who didn't follow Christ at all.

I suppose, this is part of the cost. None of the people who most led me to Christ ever told me that it would be this hard. Did I take following Him too seriously? Did I take following Him not seriously enough?

Is it that, as I have pondered before already, my mental illness keeps Him from hearing my prayers? Has He ever heard my crying out to Him? Can He hear me, at all?

If I were not following Christ, I would not have such thoughts occupying my mind, night and day. Just as if I had no mental illness, I could have been a man ten times better than I could ever be, according to some.

But, I do have Christ. And I guess because of that, I have something that is painful and messy and brings wretched grief and so very often doesn't seem to make sense at all...

I have a life.

1 comments:

Erin Patrick said...

Chris in reading your writing about being bipolar I think of Lazarus. He was dead and in his tomb for many days. Jesus came and Lazarus was restored unto life and came out of his tomb. Bipolar drove you into a tomb against your will but Christ within you was stronger. Yes you do have Christ my brother! Take comfort from Him this Easter. Don't let others tell you that you should be back in the tomb. You couldn't help it any more than Lazarus could have helped but die. But in the end his death and your bipolar are used to give glory to God. If people don't see that then their eyes are blinded to Christ. Leave them to God. Rejoice in the freedom that He made for you!