Encouragement, Mental Health

Being Well While Being Ill

I have prayed for years for God to heal me of my Bipolar Disorder and although I have not been completely healed, at this point, I am well.  It is possible for someone who is ill to be well.  I know this sounds like an oxymoron, but I would like to unpack this a bit.  Wellness does not necessarily mean physical health. I am referring to wellness that penetrates deep into our souls. Wellness only a close relationship with God can bring.

I have learned over the years, that my being well is completely dependent on having a vibrant and deep relationship with God and being compliant with my medication and therapy.  My wellness is a 3-fold prescription.

In the early days of my diagnosis, I thought I didn’t need medication or therapy.  I felt that God would heal my supernaturally and I would never be bothered by Bipolar Disorder.  Oh, I was so wrong.  I started taking my medication and slowly got better but I questioned God constantly about when He was going to heal me.  I didn’t realize that I could be well without being healed.  My mental state improved, and I began therapy, all the while, still praying for healing.  Now, I am not saying there is anything wrong with praying for healing.  As a matter of fact, I encourage this, but healing is not the end all to end all.  Deepening our relationship with God through our illnesses is most important.

Over the years, I have went through many rough times with my illness.  Many times, I felt defeated and wanted to give up and not fight any longer, but I would always turn to God and get strengthened.  He was always with me.  When I needed to be in the mental hospital, He was there.  All the while making me stronger and healing my spirit.  When I was so depressed, I could not get out of bed, He was there bringing me hope through the Psalms.  When I was so manic that I went on thousand dollars spending sprees, He was there, giving me hope that my mood would level out and I would be well again.

I have been walking this tightrope since I was 17 but I did not turn to God for help until I was officially diagnosed in 2003.  Since then, I have been on a constant road to wellness. Each episode I would go through was painful and frightening, but I would always come out a bit stronger and a bit wiser.  My God has never let me down.  I will always suffer from this disorder.  I see no end and there is no cure, but I can always make the choice to trust God with it, and to know that each day I live symptom free is a gift.  I am well in the deepest part of me, the part that is so dependent on God that I know without Him, I would be dead.  No exaggerating.  I would have taken my own life by now.  But, strength, wholeness, and wellness, even without healing is possible.  It comes down to a choice.  A choice to trust God and to decide to be well despite being ill.

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