As most of you know, I have schizoaffective disorder. It makes my life difficult in many ways but the most debilitating is what it does to my faith. I have delusions – false beliefs – that do not align with what I believe when I am lucid. At its most severe, I believe I’m literally in hell but even when it’s not at its worst, I will start to think God hates me, I can’t please Him, He’s abandoned me.
I could quote verse after verse of scripture that speaks of God’s love and forgiveness but what struck me today was John 9:2-3 (The Message) His disciples asked, "Rabbi, who sinned: this man or his parents, causing him to be born blind? Jesus said, "You're asking the wrong question. You're looking for someone to blame. There is no such cause-effect here. Look instead for what God can do.
Frequently, when I’m delusional (and sometimes even when I’m not), I think as the disciples do: I must have done something wrong to have a mental illness. Many churches espouse just that; if you’re mentally ill you must either have sin in your life or you are demon possessed. But I am neither. Yes, I sin, but my sins are forgiven. I am tormented by Satan, but I belong to God. I’m “asking the wrong question”. It’s not about me or my illness it’s about what God is doing in my life.
I’m destabilized again. My counselors are worried and my psychiatrist is combing the books trying to find something else we can try. But in moments like now, when I can write, I know God is working in my life. I’m terrified to be destabilizing as I start new ministries. The chemicals in my brain sabotage my good intentions. I cling to God’s promises. What He wants me to do, He will enable me to do. When my trust goes weak, He is strong because it’s not about me, It’s about Him. I don’t know what will happen next but right now, in this moment, I’m going to feel God’s arms around me. I’m going to listen to His voice that comforts me. I’m going to trust that He knows what He’s doing even when I have no idea!