(July 4, 2009)

I want to write about how much better I’m feeling, but think it would be best if I simply copy here an email I sent to some friends letting them know:

“Shortly before we left on our holiday I wrote this to you:  I don’t know what’s normal for me anymore. I’ve been abnormal for so long that I can’t figure out who I’m supposed to be.

W. and I had a wonderful time away. A good time together. It has been a long time since I’ve felt as good as I have lately. This started in the days before our trip and was especially so while we were in the Chilcotin. I woke up each morning with the familiar feeling of joy and gratitude for my life. I feel so much more alive than I have for a long time. I’m motivated and strong. And I know this is the work of God in me, the result of a lot of prayer. I want to thank you so very much for your prayers. It’s amazing how God works.

When I woke up each morning with my heart dancing within me I suspected I might be getting manic. I asked W. how I seemed to him but he told me that I’ve simply become the old Marja again – enthusiastic and very alive. So this is who I’m really supposed to be? So this is what’s normal? If that’s so, the person I was has been “lost” for a very long time. But neat how God helped me not to suffer too too much. I was able to function most of the time, though not as well as I should have. But I also went into the depths many times.

Several weeks ago I wondered how I would be different once I emerge from these episodes. Because you can’t go through this stuff without changing somehow. I’ve always found it that way. That’s why – after it’s all over – I never regret having gone through it. When you’re in the pit you can’t think of anything except that you want to die. Yet I DO come out of it and God refines me through the experience. I do believe God has a purpose for all I go through. Today I’m so much better equipped to help people. I so know the feeling of riding a roller coaster, helpless to make it stop. That feeling of hopelessness. Hard as it is, I need these experiences now and then if I’m to do the work God has given me to do. I only hope he’ll give me a rest from them for a while now. I need to have a chance to work. I need to be strong for awhile.

While we were away I read about David’s life in 1st and 2nd Samuel and I read the Psalms (esp meditated a lot on Psalm 18:20-24 in the Message). And I prayed that I could be like David – to have that kind of courage and fearless trust in God. It’s something I’m working on.”