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Where We Go He Will Follow

It got bad when a man who made the world laugh couldn't make himself laugh.

I think I realized very early on that life isn't guaranteed. One of my earliest memories is that of attending the funeral of my mother's grandmother. I remember walking up to the casket and seeing a human shell. I vividly understood the notion that the breath in my lungs would one day cease. Providence reminded me of this truth when as a teenager I came close to dying from one of seven collapsed lungs, the centrepiece of my transition from innocence into to the cold reality of human mortality. Age has brought much joy, but also the haunting notion that I am trudging to a definite end of this thing we call life. When my father, a person of whom time has kindled the deepest of admiration, suffered massive heart failure just over five years ago, I was reminded again of the profound value of breath. The will to survive exists because life is worth living.

So why did a man who made the world laugh take away his breath?

It is true that he was a complete stranger, but to me, he represented the final prognosis for many of us who have darkness ever lurking in the recesses of our minds.

It's difficult to explain.

(There is a spot in my basement. From the rafters. "Can't do that to my family. Please God help me.")

It took months to process that I was back in this place again. It had been over a decade. I hated, loathed, despised the site of myself in the mirror. "You're a failure, how did you let this happen again!" My mind, racing ahead and behind, shouting all my failures in a resounding giant chorus of self-hate.

The mind is the most powerful object in the entirety of the universe, and when broken, can destroy a most precious thing called the human soul. I had reached the end. Last October, I typed, too ashamed of my handwriting, a suicide note. I really wanted to end what was happening inside my tortured soul. With my girls in their rooms napping, I can ashamedly say, I was planning to exit this life. A phone call interrupted my, if I were to recite them here, incoherent ramblings. In silence I had been suffering.

"Hello, Is Jennifer there?"
"No, she is upstairs napping."
"OK, well tell her I called!"
"Will do."

Nothing profound other than a human voice, filled with precious human breath.

I sat back down and heard from another voice; a terrible yet beautiful voice. The voice of a Father, a Lover, and a King. A voice of my Protector and Creator. The voice of God. The breath that breathed into me something I was planning to take away.

"I love you."

Some people have a hard time resolving God with a world of hurt. Some people simply get it. I was talking to a friend a few weeks ago who had just lost his third child in a row to miscarriage. He looked at me, with the pain of a wounded man and said: "We are drowning, and God is the only one throwing out a life preserver."

Our God is not a genie. He has allowed my dreams to be slowed, my breath to labour, and my mind to get lost in the dark woods of mental illness. In all of this he has given me something that nothing, in all of the universe could ever be of equal - all of the foolish idols that we craft: wealth, fame, money, power, sex, these are mere grains of sand when compared to the God whose presence literally fills the confines of space and time.

He gives us himself.

From the moment I opened my eyes, I looked into a world that is full of hurt. Bodies that are decaying, minds that are prone to illness, and souls that are turned towards evil deeds. This God, this all wise, powerful loving and Holy God, cuts right through to the heart of our needs - to belong, to be loved, to be accepted, to be forgiven, to be understood, to be heard, and stands right at the door of our very heart and says: "I AM enough."

It took me months to work up the courage to see a doctor and admit that I was back here again. I am doing much better. I am receiving treatment and it is looking like this is going to be a life long battle. I understand that my mind is prone to this world of hurt, and this is my burden to carry. However, I know, and am convinced, that no matter where we go, He will follow.


J said…
I love you so much.

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