As Job saw his life fall apart before his eyes, so I saw my life crumble into chaos.
As David cried out to the Lord to be saved, so I wept numerous times through the darkest nights of my life.
As Paul pleaded for God to remove the thorn in his flesh, so I cried for God’s intervention to save me from evil.
Much like those stories in the Bible, I found myself in peril when I encountered bipolar disorder episodes in my past. The unhinged sanity and peace of mind that fled from me in bipolar mania and depression was so much like the terrors of the night that David wrote of in Psalms, and if anything, I met my own tormentors – messengers of Satan, just like Paul’s. The voices that acted like concerned bystanders, talking about me in my head – I overheard their commentary on my unprecedented behaviors and was helpless to combat their taunting, let alone save myself from my rash choices.
The confusion and paranoia that reigned in me felt like the trials of those who cried to God in their Biblical positions – Job, David, Paul. I am able to identify with them because not only did they experience trials and temptations, but God shed His grace on them and responded. The same God who redeemed their circumstances, I am proud to say but humbled to know, has redeemed mine as well.
I am no longer in those pits. I have been given joy and sunlight in place of the distress and sorrow. And God has done this! I disobeyed, I chose to go off my medications. God didn’t have to save me. Yet, He is good, and does good. He redeemed me and set me free from the symptoms. He restored my soul, gave me medication in the right amount, led me beside still waters. It was not instantaneous relief, but purposeful suffering and a disbursement of grace that He healed me.
In Job’s story, God restored his fortunes “when he had prayed for his friends.” (Job 42:10) Job had repented of listening to his friends, but that’s not when God chose to restore his shambled life. God chose to restore Job’s life when he heard Job praying for his friends, and answered Job’s prayers for them. In my opinion, they acted like Job’s enemies the whole time, but Job was so humble he probably only had friends.
I am in awe that God has done such a good work in my life, too. Not only that, He has heard my prayers and my friends’ prayers for this job I’ve been hoping to get. It’s called an Integrated Health Specialist, and is in essence, a patient advocate role. My responsibilities include visiting clients of mental health and substance abuse status, coming alongside them and basically assisting them with the tools and resources they need to recover and get back to a normal healthy life. I am thrilled that I am able to do this. I have come to a place of recovery myself and by the grace of God, have been granted this position to help others get back to, or come into, a place of stability and success.
This job is like the cherry on top. I’ve discounted my “dream job” ideals, for sure, as I have already attempted “dream job” after “dream job.” This is like a divine mandate! I can’t deny God has been behind the scenes, working all things out to the good – because just look. I’m going to be helping others like me and be able to coach them back to find their own green pastures and still waters – and hopefully even introduce them to their Good Shepherd Himself!
One of my favorite Psalms is where it says,
“Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.
My soul is cast down within me; therefore I remember you from the land of Jordan and of Hermon, from Mount Mizar.
Deep calls to deep at the roar of your waterfalls; all your breakers and your waves have gone over me…” (Psalm 42:5-7)
Praise God, since He has seen me through that place!
Psalm 119:79 says, “Let those who fear you turn to me, that they may know your testimonies.” And that’s my prayer for this post today. May you, reader, know that God has done this. He has been good and faithful to restore my soul. He is my Good Shepherd, and He has found this one sheep who was at one time wandering, lost, and alone. He left 99 behind to find me, and He can do the same for you.