Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Doing good

Big disappointment. We had to cancel the plans for a seminar because a couple of the speakers weren't able to make it on the date we had planned. And there's no other good time this year for me to devote to it. A trip in late May and possibly a heavy presentation I have to make in October. I felt dejected to know my efforts to educate had been thwarted. Next possible opportunity for a seminar is next year sometime.

But an email I had received from Nancie about someone newly diagnosed with bipolar disorder aroused fresh passion in me.

In Nancie's words, "He has encountered much condemnation and misjudgment from his precious churches and Christian friends. He is very discouraged but yet know how important it is for him to find a good and supportive church, and to walk closely with the Lord. He is putting his trust in the Lord and learning to depend more upon Him. He is now in the midst of looking for a good church where there will be brothers and sisters who can love him with Christ's unconditional love and enable him to grow together with them."

Being bipolar myself and realizing the importance of supportive Christian friends, I felt I had to do something. I decided I needed to write again. I realized I was ready to write again. To empty the frustrations about all that is wrong. To try and encourage Christians to have empathy and learn how they can be supportive. To build some understanding. Though I can't have a seminar, I CAN write.

So yesterday I spent most of the day writing. It felt good. The words flowed freely. I was fulfilling the purpose God had given me life for - to help people with mental illness. There's a good chance this will be published on a Christian website that draws 1000 hits a day. They've been asking me for material.

Today I see my counselor and I'm not sure if she'll be particularly happy with me. She has been trying to tell me to not think so much about always doing for other people. To "dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture." (Psalm 37:3) My husband has been trying to tell me the same thing. And a friend at church who heard about the cancellation of the seminar said to me, "Maybe you should just live for a while."

But Psalm 37 also says to "Trust in the Lord and DO GOOD". How can I simply dwell in the land when there are things wrong with it, things that God leads me to bring improvement to? Now that I have written I feel much more secure, fulfilled, satisfied that I have done my part, through God's help, to make the land a safe one to dwell in.

Further along in Psalm 37, verses 5 and 6 say:

Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this:
He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn,
the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.

Yes, I want to commit my ways to God and let Him lead. And I'm so glad He led me in such a clear way in this writing. This article may do a lot more good than a seminar would. Maybe cancelling the seminar was not such a bad thing.


More Than Conquerors said...

Dear Marja,

Thanks for this post and for sharing about Will's struggles. Thank God for giving you the gifts of writing and the passion to help others. The Lord is surely using you in a different way though the seminar was canceled! Many people read the internet and those suffering often searched the internet for help. So your writings will be greatly used of the Lord as well, perhaps much more than a seminar as thousands not only today but every other day may search and find your writings which help them!

In God's providence, Will found my blog and wrote to me. He must have felt very alone but thank God for giving him hope as he read of how the Lord is helping me to cope. I mentioned to him about you and a few others too so that he knows he is not alone. Support from people around us, especially fellow Christians, is so precious and crucial. Whenever I can, I too try to encourage Christians to have empathy and learn how they can be supportive, to build some understanding. With the love and support from others, people with bipolar and depression can also live a useful and productive life.

Knowing how difficult coping with this condition can be, and with the burden the Lord has laid on our heart to share and help others, it is hard not think so much about always doing for other people :) I believe God allows us to go through sufferings and know His comfort, so that we can comfort others. It gives meaning to our life daily, meaning to our suffering too. But the challenge is how to maintain a balance, so that we do not get burn-out in the process :) It's so hard as we are called to lay down our lives for our brethren, and there always seemed to be so many in need! I am also trying to learn to be more dependent upon the Lord and rest in Him and His leading.

Glad you wrote. May God continue to use your writing to be a blessing and help to those in need! Do pace yourself :) This is a reminder to me too :)

With love and prayers,

marja said...

Dear Nancie,

You're such a writer yourself as you show in this comment and your own blog. You have such a gift for words - encouraging words. Thank you for them.

Love, marja

Anonymous said...

Hi Marja,

Maybe "doing good" for you, right now, means "take care of yourself before others, even for a little while". I know about that as some of my professionals have had to teach me that! I have the tendency to help others a lot too!

Can we get together soon...it's been way too long!

K. in WR

marja said...

Hi K.

Yes, I'm trying my hardest to withdraw, even a bit - spending time on a few other things as well.

Are you ever out this way so we could get together? I never go to WR anymore.


Anonymous said...

sure! sounds good, I will email you soon :)