Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Cure or healing?

At Living Room on Friday we're going to discuss the difference between cure and healing. Jesus asked the blind Bartimeus, "What do you want?" "I want my sight," Bartimeus said to Him. And Jesus healed him.

There are so many stories like this in the Bible. On Friday I will ask the question, "What would you ask Jesus for if He asked you what you wanted?" "Would you ask for a cure for your mood disorder? Or would you ask for healing?" And what's the difference anyway?

Ezine Articles has a good piece about the difference between the two, written by Wil Langford.

Myself? I don't think I'd ask Jesus for a cure. Who I've become and the purpose I have found for my life is too much tied to my disorder. If I didn't have bipolar disorder God would not have given me the work I do. And I like the work I do. It's challenging. It's rewarding. Helping other people and trying to erase the stigma attached to mental illness is what my struggles have prepared me for.

Yes, I don't want a cure. But I do want healing. I want the peace of knowing that God is there for me in my struggles - especially my struggles with depression. I pray for strength and the ability to accept and deal with whatever difficulties might come along.

Isn't healing far better than a cure? When God heals us we become whole people. A cure isn't necessarily going to do that for us.

May God heal you, whatever problems you might be dealing with. May God bless you.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Focusing my energy

Hi everyone,

I'm back from my holiday in the sun and, although I had a wonderful time away, I'm glad to be back too so I can get to work again.

While away I had a lot of time to think, to read, and to journal. I came to the conclusion that I need to focus my energy on the things that are going to do the most good. And I need to delegate the things that sap my energy and that other people are just as capable of doing, like looking after the lunches for our Living Room meetings.

One thing I realized that I need to try to do more work on is encouraging a more accepting, more understanding church climate for people with mood disorders. That kind of climate will encourage new Living Room facilitators to come forward. I've been working on that all along with the articles and books I've written, but there's much more work to do. I can't let up.

I remembered a depression seminar I produced many years ago at a church I belonged to. It was a very successful all-day event that drew sixty people. Although that event was secular in nature, this time I'd like to do something specifically for Christians. Help them learn what depression is, what causes it, who is affected, how it is treated. Let them hear stories from people who have dealt with it. Form small discussion groups for people who live with depression and for those who are supporters. We could include a break-out session specifically for pastors and church leaders, because I would try my hardest to draw those to the seminar as well.

This is my dream right now - to organize such a seminar. I'd publicize it widely and try for a big attendance. More than sixty this time. More like a hundred...or more than that even?

Yes, I'm ready to get to work again, praying that my church leadership will give their blessings to my idea. Praying I can get some people to help me make it happen.