To be perfectly honest, I am a little hesitant to share what I am about to share today. I don’t talk about this stuff much anymore because I have gotten negative feedback on it in the past and I’m not sure if it really helps anybody or not. However, I feel that God has called me to be transparent and talk about my life, the good and the bad. I talk about Jesus all the time and everybody is good with that. However, when I talk about certain other things I tend to get a different type of feedback. I am often told I need deliverance, as if I had a demonic spirit. I have well-meaning Christians quote Scriptures that may or may not have anything to do with me and my situation. I welcome any and all prayers that anybody wants to send up for me, as I surely do need them. But I leave the rest of it to God.
This morning I was in the kitchen making coffee. As I went to the sink to get some water I glanced out the window and the old familiar thought about the snipers came back to me. I wondered if they were out there, watching me through their rifle scopes, ready to put a bullet in me at any moment. This is the kind of thing I often deal with, call it paranoia or delusion or whatever you will. Like I said, I am hesitant to talk about these things because I don’t feel that anybody really understands, but I share it now because there just might be someone dealing with something similar in their life today. So I stare out the window and wonder. As I stand in the kitchen waiting for the coffee to get done I come to the realization that I don’t always know where the lines are drawn with this stuff. Can I just write it off as paranoia? Or is there more to it than that?
I am very aware that the diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder and other mental illnesses includes paranoia and delusions. I understand that mental illness affects the way that we think and interpret the world around us. Yet I cannot simply write these things off as my imagination running wild on me. It seems way too real to me and I cannot let go of the thought that the government is watching me and threatening me every day. Why is that, you may ask? I am not sure. I don’t really have a good answer for that. I have had some theories over the years, but I have come to no solid conclusions. This is just something I deal with and it is part of my life, like it or not. I have prayed many times and I have had other people praying for me for years, and yet it doesn’t seem to be going away. I don’t believe it is a spiritual issue, but rather something that is really going on and something I have to just deal with. Why God allows what He allows, I do not know. But I trust that He has a purpose in it all.
I also wonder if there are really people out there watching and threatening me or if it is simply a thought that the government has put into my head. I feel that they have the power to insert thoughts into my head and cause me to think certain things. Perhaps this is one of those things. I am not always sure where the lines are drawn between what is in my head and what is going on in the world. I will be the first to admit that. Some things seem far too real to me to not be happening, and yet I am told that they are not. I have had to struggle with this for a long time and I have gotten used to it for the most part. I don’t really know if this is due to my schizoaffective disorder, as I think many are convinced of, or if there is more going on. I don’t bring this up much because it doesn’t really seem to help me or anybody else when I have these conversations, but maybe it will help someone out there who is struggling with the same things as me.
The thing I do know is that God is with me. I know that God is faithful and His word is true. I know that He has not given me a spirit of fear, but has given me His Spirit, who dwells in me and seals me for the day of redemption. I have peace in my trials and tribulations because of this, even when I am not sure of exactly what is going on. I struggle on, knowing that God is with me and even though my thinking is sometimes a little off, that He is using me in my life. I sometimes get discouraged at the thought of the comments I get when I post things like this but I am confident that I am on the path that God has prepared for me and carrying out the vision He has given me. I pray that somebody out there would relate to what I am going through and see that even in these struggles, we can have faith in God. Many in the church deal with mental issues and I pray for them today, that they would find peace and understanding, reaching out and finding the healing that they need from the body of Christ.