(January 17, 2010)

I’m finding it increasingly difficult to post – increasingly difficult to be absolutely honest about the stuff I’m dealing with. Instead, I journal and email my closest friends. Thing is, when you’re in leadership and when you’re trying to be there for people, you just don’t want everyone to know the truth about everything, especially when you’re struggling. I’m not doing badly right now but, in true bipolar fashion, there have been times and there are times…

I was looking at a website the other day and read the perfect description of what I go through. “Over the life of a person who lives with bipolar disorder, the illness expresses itself in an irregular pattern of changes of mood, energy and thinking.” So true! And how irregular my changes of mood, energy and thinking have been lately – from day to day!

Good thing I have a lot more than just myself to think about. Good thing I have a worthwhile purpose to live for. Good thing I have a lot of people to support me and pray for me in the work I do. Good thing I’m trusting God, most of the time…or do I do enough of that?

Actually all too often I start thinking everything’s up to me alone and I forget that it’s God doing the work and I just have to follow along. How comforting when God brings me back, when I remember that I can relax – when I don’t need to be as stressed.

Often lately I’ve felt overwhelmed, which is actually – I think – just a symptom of depression. There’s my own Living Room group to look after. And then there’s the greater Living Room movement, a movement that is growing. Exciting, eh? And yet it’s a huge responsibility, especially for someone dealing with such fluctuations in “mood, energy, and thinking.” If only I had only one of those responsibilities to deal with – the group or the movement – life would be easier to manage. Or would it?

I love my group. I love leading devotional times. I love being there for individuals as they go through struggles. The relationships I develop are priceless. God is very much in those relationships. I feel His presence in the love I share with those people. I could never give up my group or its people.

And I’m committed to seeing more Living Room groups spring up. I want to see lots of Living Rooms to serve people who need faith-based support. I want to see this movement securely in place to continue long after I’m gone. It’s a valuable ministry, a ministry that all Christians with mood disorders should have access to. A place where they can talk about both, their faith and mental health issues – probably the only place where they can feel safe doing so. I could never give up planting new Living Rooms.

Ah, it’s felt good talking to you. It’s felt good being honest with you. Please don’t feel sorry for me. I lead a rich life. I’m hugely blessed. Just need a bit of prayer now and again. And doesn’t everyone?