Tuesday, March 3, 2009

When Love Hurts

One of the things I've (we've) been convicted about since surrendering to God and ministry back in 04 is not being "happy plastic Christians." You know the type... nothing is ever wrong. The sun is always shining. They seemingly have no problems. Their family is perfect because they are. Appearances...

We, the G family, know that is not how God has told us to live life's moments. There are times when love hurts. We are experiencing that these days. And after much prayer on it... it's time to share a bit about what we're going through in an effort to let someone else out there know - you're not alone. And to also shed some light on a messy subject.

I've shared before about the fact that my mother suffers from severe depression among other things. It is one of the things that I also teach, speak, and counsel on. For far too long, I/we believe that "the church" has swept this under the rug. That it is still taboo in many circles. And I know there are those who disagree with me as a pastor's wife & woman minister for being outspoken on it. I'd (we'd) rather be right with God than to be popular in any one's else book. Any church body that would consider my husband for their pastor would have to accept this about us as well.

My mother decided to take herself off her meds a few months ago in an effort to see if she could do without them. Keep in mind here - she did so without telling anyone - not her doctor, not any one else in our household (daughter, son-in-law & 3 grandsons)... and not her boyfriend of almost two years now. Needless to say... it didn't take too long for those who know her, love her, and spend any real amount of time with her to say, "She's gone off her meds!" Then, sure enough... she started confirming it verbally for all of us.

I'd like to say that the last few months we've noticed a dramatic change in her mental/emotional health. That she no longer has a need for the meds she was on. That is not the reality we are living in. And frankly, these have been moments when love hurts. It bites big time. The five of us have never been closer to each other. It continues to draw us together and not separate us. The same is true with Dick and I as husband and wife. There are times when being caregivers can overtake a family if boundaries are not put in place. At no time did God say, "Go ye therefore and forsake your spouse & children for your parent(s).

"There is no question that we love her beyond words. There is also no doubt that if she decides to not go back on her meds after having been confronted the last couple of days by the five of us and her boyfriend separately, and then he (boyfriend) and I together, we will be moving out. Does this mean that we will stop loving her and offering support to her in other ways - not necessarily.

There is a lot of talk about how much depression hurts those who suffer from it. What is not always talked about is how it affects those who love them. When we moved in with my parents in May of 05 to become a new family unit, we thought it would be for the rest of my mom's life.. we knew it would be for dad's. We planned on her going with us wherever else God called us to. That is how deep our commitment level is/was.

One thing that God has taught us over and over again especially in regards to my mother is this.... while we do not understand why some people suffer in certain ways - the relationship with Him is always the most important. His blood is truly the thickest. And there are times when love hurts... it bites... There are times when staying is the right thing to do. Then there are other times when leaving is what is called for. Will we stay? Will we leave? That remains to be seen. Honestly, we've stayed longer than I thought we would.

As I've been known to say.... this was the place I once upon a time told God I would not go. Goes to show - how things can change when you give God control of your life's moments.

My mother is doing better as far as the pneumonia goes. She is having her stress test on Monday, March 9th. We'll take each day as they come. Isn't that all we can ever really do? There is no guarantee of a tomorrow on earth. Please continue to pray for her, us and yes... even her boyfriend. No, they will not be getting married unless other miracles were to take place.

And even though there are moments when it hurts like hell.... I am thankful that it continues to draw me closer to my Real Father. I am in no way, shape or form close to having things all together. Fortunately, Father does not turn His back on me either... nor has He with my mother who is also His child. These are areas where we may never understand the why... but we must continue to keep our eyes focused on Him.

I cannot begin to imagine how much love hurt when Jesus was on the cross dying. Who am I to expect love to be easy? There is Only One who makes us complete as a person. Mental, emotional, and physical health are important... but the reality is, has always been, and will always be Spiritual health is the most important.

Have you had a Spiritual health check up lately?

As always, dear reader, you've been prayed for!