Thursday, January 25, 2007

What are we here for?

I'm excited about the meeting our Living Room group is having tomorrow! We'll be starting a four-session series of discussions: A spiritual journey to discover what we're here for.

Whoever is interested in joining the journey (I suspect it will be everyone) will be reading a chapter a day of Rick Warren's Purpose Driven Life. Then, each meeting we'll get together and compare notes on what we're discovering - what we're learning about the purpose of our lives.

There was a time in my life when I used to hear the words to the old Peggy Lee song repeating themselves in my head: "Is that all there is? Is that all there is?" There didn't seem to much point to my life. But things have changed a lot. I have found a purpose - actually, a whole family of purposes. My life has meaning. I love getting up in the morning; there's so much I enjoy doing.

I think that having a strong sense of purpose for my life - knowing what God made me to do - helps keep me well. I think I'm able to fight off mild depression easier than I used to. Of course, bipolar is a medical illness, and having purpose does not make all my moods magically disappear. But, somehow, I think it helps.

"I know the plans I have for you," says the Lord. "They are plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope." Jeremiah 29:11

I believe that even my strong moods are part of God's plan for me. Without the highs and lows I've experienced I would not be who I am today. I would not be as creative or as passionate. I think I might be quite a bore. I thank God for making me who I am - even if I DO have a mental illness.


Dream Writer said...

You are very inspiring...very inspirational. I use to be the same way as you, but I think that I've been in such a deep depression that I have lost my way.

Thanks for sharing and being who you are:)

Anonymous said...

same as dream writer. too much suffering, im only 20, its not fair and i cant take it anymore.

Anonymous said...

I am a firm believer that without the creative brilliance of bipolar, we would not be who we are today- and I am so young and still trying to figure out my "purpose"- but I'm pretty sure that god is dropping a hint that I need to help people- I just wish he could be more specific. I can't wait to hear about your chats with the group.

marja said...

Dream: You'll get there again. Once you come out of this depression, you'll be inspired all the more. It's when you lose time to sickness and then recover your health that you value you life more than ever, and will want to use it for good.

I truly believe that great good can come out of bad. The trick is having the patience to wait for the bad to go away. But you know, Dream, that it will.

One thing we can learn from this bipolar game we play is perseverance.

marja said...

Sarah: Read the Psalms - Psalm 40 especially: "I waited patiently for the Lord;...He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire...."

I know you're going through a hell right now. But please believe. If you keep God close, he will have a plan for you - a plan for good, not for evil.

Please hang in there, Sarah. I'm praying for you.

marja said...

Hi Tay, I also believe that helping people will be a good thing for you. You're pursuing the right path, the kind of path God would want from you. And we who know what suffering is, are in a better position than anyone to help others. We know the language of suffering.

The Bible says: ...God "comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God." 2 Corinthians 1:4

And that is so very, very true. Especially if we will remember to follow God and his ways.

Anonymous said...

I am very thankful to have found this site as I also am a Christian struggling with a mood disorder. No one wants to discuss or acknowledge it, leaving me often feeling shamed, inferior and lonely. Often, my faith is all I have in the darkest moments. Through prayer and spiritual awareness of my suffering, I know the Lord feels it too and comforts me, always, somehow...if I look and listen and wait.

marja said...

Anonymous: Thank you for visiting. It's a great comfort to me, too, to know that God shares in my suffering and that I'm not alone. In Phillipians 3:10 Paul talks about "the fellowhip of sharing in his sufferings". Makes the pain feel like less of a futile exercise, doesn't it?

So good to find like-minded people to share with. Glad you found me.