Some days, I beat bipolar.
It is funny how many friends and family praise me. They say I am doing so well, that I have responded to my diagnosis exceptionally. They are proud, they love me, and they can’t wait to see how God will use me.
But they don’t see me at my worst, when I curl up in bed and try to squeeze out tears from my empty tearducts.
It’s hard to feel hopeful in those moments. It’s hard to feel anything at all.
Lately, I’ve come across the phrase to “struggle well.”
When I hear this term, I picture cancer patients fearlessly undergoing chemotherapy treatments, and constantly hoping in The Lord.
I don’t think of myself, because I still consider myself a victim, not a survivor. I struggle and doubt and wrestle with my mind. I fear and hurt and cry.
After reading James 5, I think it is okay to struggle and doubt and wrestle. It is okay to feel afraid and to experience hurt and to cry out to The Lord.
James 5 walks through patience among suffering, and the prayer of faith.
The passage says, “You too, be patient and stand firm, for the Lord’s coming is near.“ It says, “We count as blessed those who have persevered.”
It goes on to say, “Is anyone among you troubled? Let them pray. Is anyone among you happy? Let them sing songs of praise….The prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up.”
During even the toughest days, I remember that Jesus is coming soon. I remember that God is in the here and now, fighting by my side and even in my future. I cannot ever be fully hopeless, because my hope is built upon the Lord’s promise to return. My hope is built on His promise to restore and redeem.
Bipolar disorder is a mental illness. It isn’t an ordinary, physical sickness, but it can be just as debilitating. Like cancer, or a broken leg, it can be healed and managed well.
With the Lord, there is always hope.
There is always an answer to a prayer. There is always an open door. There is always a silver lining. Often, it’s hard to hear His reply, or to notice the door, or to see the silver. But friends, they are always there. Jesus is coming soon.