Imagine yourself being on a battlefield most of your life. You feel the pain of the war surrounding you almost your entire life, but depending on how close you are to the front line depends on how much of a toll it takes on you. All of a sudden a few strong healthy individuals purposely make a bold move to the front line, and you decide to lock arms and do whatever it takes to win the war. You know it could be brutal, but you really are pretty naive at just how ugly it could get. You get knocked down over and over and over again, and each time you just have to muster up the energy to get up and go at it again. You rely on the rest of your team to keep fighting it with you, and you just know you can't wave the white flag of defeat. There's too much at stake. Eventually eight of the most excruciating months of your life have gone by, and you finally can see a hint of progress. By now you feel so wasted . . . so spent . . . and you feel like you've been shot at way too many times, and now you're just lying flat on the ground, and your heart is broken in a million pieces and scattered all around you. You look at not only the pieces of your heart but the shattered remnants of everyone else's as well, and you have no idea what it will take to put all those pieces back together or if they can even be put back together. You wonder if it will be worth the effort or if you'll spend the rest of your life fighting the same battle you've fought your entire life and it will all be for naught.
What makes this battle totally unique from most, though, is that you're not fighting AGAINST anyone, even though they perceive that you are. You're actually fighting FOR someone. All you're trying to do is show them how sweet and rich life could be. You just want the BEST for them, but they can't see that. They just see you as the enemy, but really you just want EVERYONE to be able to walk off the battlefield and never go back. You don't want your kids and grandkids to have to live on this battlefield. You try to reason that freedom could be found if the help you're offering would be gladly accepted. They just don't see it that way though. Mentally, they just . . . don't . . . get . . . it . . . because they can't. Instead, they attack you mentally, emotionally, and even spiritually, and you know you shouldn't let it bother you because you are the healthy one, but it does. You long for life to be different. You long for solutions. You long for the war to be over.
This, my friends, is what it's like to be on the battleground with a loved one with a mental illness.
This is where I've been.
I've been on the front line fighting against mental illness. Not against the person but against the illness and its devastating ripple effects. It's taken a toll on me as well as the others who are on the front line with me. Thankfully, by God's grace, we all have many other aspects of our lives that bring us much joy, but this has had a way of sucking the life right out of us on so many occasions. We're not through the war, but at least we've finally entered phase two.
Some of you have been on the battlefield supporting us for a long time already, and we will be forever grateful. Some of you are glad to finally have an explanation but just can't fathom what I'm talking about. (Be thankful.) Some of you can relate to the pain because you've been in a similar place and the pain I've described is all too familiar. Maybe you're exhausted too and just can't figure out how to get up and get going.
It is only by the grace of God that I can find the energy to even think about getting up off the ground and keep marching forward. This war against mental illness is far from over; it's only just begun. But He's given me a slight glimmer of hope, and I need to act on it. It's tempting to just keep this idea to myself so there is no accountability factor involved, but the Lord already prompted me to open my mouth to the rest of the front line, and one other person has already made the same commitment. There is definitely strength in numbers.
Because of that, I'm writing this today and being extremely vulnerable. Let's face it. We need some additional prayer warriors, obviously to help the one with the mental illness, but also just to even help the front line get up off the ground and find new strength for the days ahead. Bottom line is there is just a whole lot of healing that needs to happen, and we can't do it on our own. We need a whole army of prayer warriors to fight this war to completion. Would you consider being one of those prayer warriors?
Our commitment that we've made is to spend 30 minutes a day walking and praying at least five days a week for as long as phase two is underway, which could be up to three months. I'm not asking that this be everyone's prayer focus for the entire 30 minutes, but if we could be lifted up to God at least part of that time, it would be so appreciated.
Imagine being able to say this war is over. Imagine a miracle. Imagine being able to give GOD the glory.
This is what keeps me marching onward.
Wanna join us?