From I Will not Hide

April 2012: I don’t like myself very much right now. Who do I think I am, anyway, making such a big deal over something I disagreed with my pastor on? Am I cut out to be an activist?

I don’t think all this disagreeing and fussing over things makes me a very attractive person. Why can’t I just be sweet and easy to get along with? I worry that some people are getting tired of me. I write far too many emails. What a nuisance I am! But the pastor is one of the few people I can talk to about spiritual matters. And having discussions about God is important to me. I’m embarrassed, but can’t seem to change.

I’m not the person I used to be. Quiet and submissive, respectful. Not getting upset about things. What happened? Is the person I am today the person God intended me to be? I’ve changed so much from what I was!

Looking back I can see I became a different person twenty-five years ago when I decided I couldn’t do life on my own anymore. I made God part of my life. That’s when all the changes started to happen. It’s all God’s doing. Amazing all the things that have happened!

Without God I would not have had the courage to start my writing career with Sick, But No One Brought Me Flowers for the Vancouver Sun. In one fell swoop everyone in my church, and everyone else who knew me, learned that I had spent time in a mental hospital. God made it possible for me to start writing honestly about things people had for too long kept silent. He took away my fears. He made me the teacher I always wanted to be, educating the public about mental health issues.

In God I found someone I could trust and lean on when things got tough. Before this I had always been unsure of myself. Shy. But God made me a leader. How encouraging it is now, when I’m down, to remember I don’t live for myself alone.

I became healthier. I don’t remember too many psychotic episodes since that time. Of course, that’s largely due to improved medications too. But didn’t God make those possible as well?

I thank you, dear God, for all you are. I thank you for your boundless love. I thank you for giving me a life worth living. All this work that I’m now part of is your doing. I’m your instrument, your pen, your voice, your hands and feet. And I hope I have a bit of your heart in me too. How can we work for you without your heart?

Maybe I should not dislike myself so much. You, God, made me into the person I am. I guess it’s okay to get angry about injustice. You do that too. It’s probably okay to disagree with my pastor once in a while. He’s wise but not infallible. Maybe I should be proud to be an activist. Wasn’t your Son one too?