I love when I blog these days. Usually it is about something that God has reminded me of and I feel like I need to get it out. Yesterday God reminded me of something. I have a sweet friend who struggles with a mental illness. It is not one that require hospitalization. My friend is able to function in society, but he has this issue. It has not been easy for him. Not at all. And you know what? I can relate to him. Not because I have a mental illness, but because I understand. Part of it has to do with what God reminded me of yesterday. Just because someone you know has been diagnosed with a mental illness does not mean that you go running for the hills. You do just the opposite. Stand by, be a friend, and educate yourself on what they are dealing with so that way when there is a crisis (and there will be because I have seen it first hand) you know how to help them get help. The other part is because in my own family, I have seen two different people struggle with the same exact thing that my sweet friend struggles with. It is not easy at all. But thank God for giving grace to each of their spouses to be able to be there for them. And God is giving me grace to be able to step up and be a friend to my friend.
I have started educating myself on the struggles that he has and it is really helping me to understand him a lot better. Now I am getting things and now I am understanding that what may be easily solvable for a problem in the life of a person who does not struggle with what he has, it is 1,000 times harder for him. Especially when he is not on his medication. So, I thank God for grace and understanding, I still pray for my friend's salvation. I believe there is a day coming that he will pray to receive Jesus into his heart. In the mean time, I am going to be a good example of Christ in his life, pray for him, and be a good friend to him.
Another thought that I have before I close, is that there are some (those who are charismatic in their beliefs) that God will take it away and the reason it has not been taken away is because you have not had enough faith or enough trust. That is soooo not true. God has a different plan for each person's life. Not removing an illness - mental or otherwise - is a reminder that God's grace is sufficient for what it is that the person is dealing with. Look at the Apostle Paul. He had a thorn in his flesh that he prayed at least three different times to have removed. Did God remove it? Nope. Why? No idea. God knows why. I am glad that there are other Christians who struggle with what my sweet friend has going on in his life and that they have blogged about it because it helps me to be understanding and encouraging. Something that we all need, but especially him.
Enjoy the Selah version of Amazing Grace. A reminder of something we need to extend to everyone no matter what they may be struggling with.