Meds and Miracles

This is a combination of two of the devotions I sent out during Christmas time dealing with psychotropic medication.  I wanted to make sure everyone had a chance to read them, so here goes.

Part I
Oh no, anything but meds!
I’ve been thinking about the role of meds dealing with mental illness,
especially depression.  I’ve heard the use of them condemned at all,
been  told if I was right with God I wouldn’t have it, and medicine
controls me, not the Holy Spirit.

At times I felt broken, not a good, God breaks me to bring us closer
together, but like Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and the Island of
Misfit toys.  I knew from a very young age that I was different than
other people, and I thought the different was a very bad thing.  I
believed if I could get through this without meds it would make me
stronger and better.  I could not accept that I was so screwed up I
would need these meds for the rest of my life.  I thought I would go
around numb, my personality would change and my true self would be
lost forever.  My diagnosis made it worse for me.  It seems like
weekly a bipolar person is in trouble for killing a family member or
committing another heinous crime.  I thought could never tell anyone
again that I was sick, lest I be lumped in with the murderers and
sociopaths.

From my previous letters you can already guess I don’t buy any of it
any more.  Taking my meds are one of the most important thing I do all
day.  They keep me out of the hospital, heck, they probably keep me
out of jail when I think about the road I was headed before my
diagnosis.  With my moods in control I am able to better serve God and
my family.  I take six different prescriptions, two mood stabilizers,
an anti-psychotic (I am not psychotic but I forgot the PC word for it)
a drug that helps get rid of the side effects,  an anti-depressant to
help with my OCD and a amphetamine to help with the ADHD.   My
personality is brighter, I’m more likely to reach out to people, more
able to take care of the things and people I care about (like you!)
It is the most well I’ve felt in my life.

One last thing – in my opinion, if
depression/anxiety/bipolar/

ocd/ADHD/ schizophrenia  are a spiritual
problem, then praying to God and reading your Bible would clear it up
right away.  (I don’t want to be puffed up but if anyone I knew was
‘sold out’ for the Lord it was me).  If my sickness leads me to depend
more on God, I welcome it.  I’ve stopped praying for wellness though,
because I don’t think it’s time for me to be healed of it.  I don’t
think mood issues are any more spiritual than diabetes or skin cancer
are spiritual –if I have it for not trusting God, then give me the
faith I need.  In the mean time I want to remind everybody that many
mood disorders can be fatal.  So can depression.  I’m not trying to
tell anyone not to pray but hoping to remind them there are other
things that God uses to make us well.

Considering Miracles – Part II

My last email was met with some encouragement to consider God’s
miraculous healing, either in lieu of or in partner ship.  Of course
God is the best healer and he is the one who makes us whole.  I never
want to take the glory from Him and His powerful touch.  I believe he
can and does heal.  I never want to put my medication before God, or
exalt my pills before Him.

But you know how I love my meds…..

It may not seem like it, but I believe meds are not for everyone.  I
got some great feedback from a sister who decided her meds were not
working out and she survives well with out them.  I have read about
people, and even know a woman, who was told by God their medicine was
keeping them from getting well.  They stopped their meds and were
healed.  I praise the Lord for these healings and am thankful for
them, but I am convinced this is not the way the Lord works for
everyone.

I’ve met people who hear voices and those who believe those voices are
from the Lord, and the voices tell them to do dangerous things.  When
I had a bad drug in reaction while I was in the hospital I heard
voices that were not of God – nor do I believe they were of the evil
one.  They didn’t give me instructions or encouragement, they just
sounded like a nurse and another patient having a conversation outside
the door, but it wasn’t.  I heard them speak but it wasn’t a regular
voice.  I believe I’ve also heard God’s voice, but it was an entirely
different experience.  In either case, obviously, the source and
message must be discerned before taking action.  If you hear a voice
that is telling you to quit taking your meds, I believe, the wisest
course of action is to (a) check with your doctor and (b) check with
your pastor or other spiritual adviser, just to be safe.  It’s not
that the voice is not of God, I’m just encouraging you to take care of
yourself and give God the credit where the credit is due.

I have been blessed before with the gift of healing.  I’ve laid hands
on brothers and sisters and they were healed almost instantly.  I’ve
decided not to list the examples because it sounded too much like
bragging, and I don’t want to do that to our Lord and His
graciousness.  But, obviously not everyone I prayed for gets healed.
There was no pattern among those receiving healing – one man
despicable in his actions was healed, another gracious, glorious woman
of God remains ill.

I don’t feel like I’ve really pushed anyone along in their journey
today, and for that I am sorry.  I really wanted to clear up my
thoughts and intensions behind sharing all this with all of you.

When I pray for you I will pray for

God’s blessing to you
God’s joy to you
God’s healing for you (however that may look)
My friendship to you
Good medical care for you
Blessings for you and your family
Many miracles in your life.

By the way, I wanted to add something.  I am not a certificated
counselor, psychologist or any other mental health professional.  I am
not an ordained pastor – the only training I’ve received was from when
I was a peer counselor in seventh grade.    If you need professional
help, (for example, you are suicidal or think you’re going to hurt
your kids) please get it.  I want to be a support to you, but my
emails and my chats are not meant to  take the place of a
professional.

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