Courage Not My Own

Portion of work in progress; 2015; watercolor and pastel.

Portion of work in progress; 2015; watercolor and pastel.

Someone I dearly love is battling acute mental illness. I am scared, I am overwhelmed. My heart breaks for the one I love. I am trying to be brave.

I turn to the One who knows, who keeps track:  of my every tossing through the night, of every wandering of the one I love. I crawl under and hide in the shadow of the One who tenderly keeps every tear:  rivers tracing cheeks and frozen ice locked in shock. I call to God from a broken heart. And I know He hears. I know as never before:  He is with me; He is for me; He is with and for the one I love.

And here, in my weakness and trembling, strange courage floods my veins and pulses strong:  courage not my own. I am pressed, tiny and vulnerable, under tender wings. And His heart-beat, so close to mine, becomes my own.

I don’t know where this road will turn next or where this story will end; but here, in this moment, what I can’t see or touch is more real than what is visible. Here, in the steadfast love and faithfulness of God, I am held.

14 thoughts on “Courage Not My Own

  1. Prayer, prayer and more prayer…I am sending so much love your way.
    And I am sending this…sent to me by a dear friend (a friend who made it through this experience) when my daughter’s illness first began presenting six years ago.
    “May nothing disturb you,
    Nothing frighten you.
    All things pass.
    God does not leave.
    Patient endurance attains all things.
    Whoever has God lacks nothing.
    God alone is enough.”
    St. Teresa of Avila
    1515-1582

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  2. A Prayer for you dearest Colleen, from “Gentle Words in a Raging Storm:”

    O God of Hope,
    The turbulent waters of life wear us out.
    Our arms are sore, our breath gone; we can swim no more.
    It seems often to be just that moment you choose
    to invite us to walk on water,
    to do the impossible,
    to go beyond what we think we can do,
    to risk the unknown, the familiar, the unexpected…

    Show us, when we forget, the strength that comes from relationship,
    from community, from a helping hand.
    May we be open to your creative activity in our lives
    which introduces new options,
    paints with bright colors,
    dances to a different tune.
    Give us your hand and we will walk with you,
    Even upon the waters! Amen.

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  3. Someone very dear to my heart is going through mental illness as well. Although I truly believe nothing is too big which cannot be overcome by the love of God. Neither you nor I will give up praying because we know this. I know little about this but I often feel it that mental illness is a spiritual illness and my heart aches for those who go through it. Praying this morning your dear one and mine. Xx

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    • A dear friend of mine explained it this way. Mental illness is really a holistic experience. There is a perhaps a physiological issue, like brain chemistry imbalance, and then the enemy takes full advantage of it. Evil has no mercy. But God is stronger. I will keep you in my prayers Teresa. I’m so sorry you know this road.

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