Friday, July 3, 2015

My journey through mental illness and how one scripture brought me hope

I am almost done with my reading the Book of Mormon in the month of June challenge. It has been challenging to find time to read 8 chapters a day. However, my children have heard me listening to or seen me reading. I hope they know how important it is to put the things of the Lord first. Tonight, I was reading in Ether 2:24-25.

24 For behold, ye shall be as a whale in the midst of the sea; for the mountain waves shall dash upon you. Nevertheless, I will bring you up again out of the depths of the sea; for the winds have gone forth out of my mouth, and also the rains and the floods have I sent forth.
 25 And behold, I prepare you against these things; for ye cannot cross this great deep save I prepare you against the waves of the sea, and the winds which have gone forth, and the floods which shall come. Therefore what will ye that I should prepare for you that ye may have light when ye are swallowed up in the depths of the sea?
  After the fall of the Tower of Babel the Lord had compassion on Jared and his friends and family's language is not confounded. The Jaredites are preparing to leave and go to the promise land in barges. The brother of Jared asks the Lord how they can have light in these dark vessels. The Lord proposes that the brother of Jared find a way for there to be light. The Lord says:

"Therefore what will ye that I should prepare for you that ye may have light when ye are swallowed up in the depths of the sea?"

I really felt a connection this time to the story. A deep connection like these scriptures were describing exactly how depression feels I have never really thought about this passage of scripture in that way before. As many of you know I struggle with depression and all that comes with it. I have taken medication off and on for 5 years. I feel like that only masks the pain for a while. I feel swallowed up in a sea of despair and darkness at times. I thought about the question the Lord asks the brother of Jared and feel its application for my depression. What can I do so that I can have light when I feel like I might drown in my seas of woes? I just sat and thought about this question for a while. Could I have enough faith to find my cure and then ask if it is what I should do. So many days I feel like I will do anything for a way to make it better, to feel normal again. Could I?

I feel a warmth and hope that I have not felt in a long time. I have been tossed to and fro, thoughts and experiences have crashed against me. The flood of tears are guilt stained and hopeless. This mental illness has felt like a chain drowning me. I am crying, now, but only because I feel those seas of darkness calming and that the Lord has given me all I need to surface, breathe and gather courage to battle it all again. He has built me to be a strong vessel, but it is up to me to keep the light. He can touch and light my heart and give me that hope.

Hope is a light that only fades if we let it. I have been grasping for hope for so long. This scripture gives me peace and hope for the day I will not be tossed so easily by this illness and that the darkness will be swept away. He will rescue me and guide me through this!

I have hope! 

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