He was oppressed and afflicted,
    yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
    and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
    so he did not open his mouth.

 Isaiah 53:7

Upon awakening yesterday, I remembered how it had felt to retire from nine years of dedicated service sharing the love of God with individuals who, like me, lived with mental health challenges.

I remembered my excitement about an opportunity to join a study group, signing up as soon as I could. I badly needed friends and hoped to find them in the group. But two days before the first meeting, I got a call telling me that I would not be allowed to join. Reason given? There are already two others with mental health issues in the group.

After so many years of giving my all in service to the Lord, I was now excluded from something I badly needed for myself. I well remember my reaction—the inability to stop the overflowing expressions of pain. The crying out.

Why? I asked repeatedly. No answer came.

For all my adult life I had been considered a good person, but upon retiring from devoted service to those who needed God in their life, I seemed to suddenly be considered evil and was treated that way. Months of anger and demeaning words followed me in the early morning hours.

Painful flashbacks and suffering continued for many years, often making me look for ways to die. Diagnosis: Complex PTSD. My life and my husband’s life changed. I could not be left alone for more than an hour at a time.

And yes, I kept crying out, unable to find peace in the wrong that was done to me.

If only I had kept quiet.

I had courageously followed Christ for many years. But I was unable to keep the silence he did as he was led to the cross.

I am not Jesus.