When I was first diagnosed, I always asked “why me?” “Why did I have Bipolar Disorder?” I had trouble getting past those questions. I didn’t understand what I had done to deserve such a life altering illness. I would go to counseling and ask my therapist, but she had no answers. She would tell me that no one truly knows why people get Bipolar, it’s just one of those things. Those answers did nothing to quiet the “why me” questions filling my mind. I spent many days trying to find sense out of something that seemed so senseless. I also spent many hours talking to God to try to understand.
I would search Scripture and pray for healing, but I could not find the answers I sought. Then one day, I was reading 2 Corinthians 12 about Paul having a “thorn in his flesh”. He asked God to take it away, but God said no. God told Paul…
“My grace us sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness”.
It was then that I realized that by asking all those “why me” questions, I was forgetting that God had a plan for me which included my illness. I was looking in when I should have been looking up! I had become so self-centered that I actually blamed God for my illness. Paul reminded me that everything we go through has a purpose. Paul said he would “boast” of his weakness because it would give God glory. I needed to do the same.
I wanted God to get all the glory for my weaknesses, but how do I boast about a mental illness without alienating people and losing friends? Well, I didn’t. I told people about my illness and all the while I would remind myself that God will find glory in my weakness. I lost friends and was judged by some family members, but I did not allow that to keep me form speaking out. I knew God had allowed this illness into my life for a reason and if I kept quiet about it, I may never find out what that reason was. I had to be brave.
Do you find yourself hiding your illness? Are you afraid of what others may think? We must remember that God is our strength and He will get glory from you sharing your illness and your experiences with others. You may be helping someone God puts in your path. They may need to hear your story. We never know what God has planned, but we can be 100% sure that it will work out for our good. When you are pelted by the “why me?” questions, look up. God has a plan! When you feel weak, remember, God is your strength. Think of Paul and determine to give God glory in everything. Seek God and find your purpose. Be