This week I met with the chair of Disability Ministries for the United Methodist Church. I’ve been asked to join their Mental Health Task Force. This is such and honor and an opportunity to serve God. It’s also terrifying. I’ve wanted this for DECADES. I’ve prayed for God to intervene in my life and use my experiences for His glory, but it never happened – until now. For years I’ve been frustrated, feeling like a failure because I saw God using all these other people but not me. I wondered why I wasn’t good enough.
The answer I’m realizing, is God has been using me all along. I used to think my blog posts weren’t helping anyone because they were only liked by my friends and never shared. Then, at my mom’s Celebration of Life service, I had people telling me they were following my blog. I realized my blog was reaching people even when I didn’t see it. I looked at the jobs I’ve held for the last 10-15 years. I had to quit many due to my mental illness, but I could see this ribbon running through them. I had spent over a decade learning how to teach, speak and write. I didn’t get my degrees until later in life but now I have the credentials people look for. A year ago, I asked my pastor about where I should invest my time in ministry. He told me my mother was my ministry. I got to spend the last year of her life focused on her. Now that she’s passed, opportunities in other areas are opening up but I got that year to devote to her.
It’s taken me decades to get mentally stable. Those years of instability are now my connection to others with severe mental illness. I KNOW what it’s like for the meds not to work. I KNOW what it’s like to lose jobs and friends due to mental illness. I KNOW what it’s like to not be able to trust your senses and how scary that is. I can relate to others because I’ve been through the worst of it and survived! I’ve been on the rough and lonely road. I’ve been judged and alienated. And I’ve been healed the way many of us get healed: not completely, not easily, but slowly with God’s arms around me, His presence always with me.
I’m responding to His call and it’s scary. What if I fail? I can’t blame Him for not using me. He IS using me. So, now I trust. I trust He will provide me with the opportunities and abilities I need to fulfill His call. I trust that it is HIS glory that will be revealed not mine. I trust His love and guidance. And I thank Him. I thank Him for all that he’s done in the past, all He will do in the future, and the glorious present He is providing me. So, if you’re feeling unused as I did, realize He’s working even when we don’t see it and His timing is always perfect. I’m still scared but I know it’s like watching a scary movie. The adrenaline starts pumping but there’s nothing in the movie to be afraid of. There’s nothing there that can hurt you. I’m safe. We’re safe. He’s got this.