Friday, March 30, 2007

Update on My Life

My beautiful, graceful, gracious Mom is celebrating her birthday today. As she becomes a year older and embarks on the time of year when she is older and wiser than my Dad, I wish her a happy birthday. May blessings overflow in her life.

I am living at home and moving all the things out of my apartment tomorrow. Saying good-bye to the apartment is somewhat saddening, but I will be on the look-out for a more suitable living situation with other people, which will be better for my mental health.

I've been working on Greek and as of Tuesday finally caught up with the rest of the class. I am still doing well in the class, but lack further energy right now to study much this weekend and push on to the end, the day after Easter Monday when I have my exam. Maybe Saturday, and Monday I'll manage to get some work done...

I did get accepted to Calvin Seminary to the Masters of Theological Studies program. However since I was in the hospital when all the applications for scholarships and financial aid needed to be completed, I am not able to go. Also right now, I am sensing a new direction and that God has shut that door.

My Mom has given me an assignment to write down my testimony for the Burning Bush, a Flamborough Christian Fellowship publication. Other than that I need to be looking for meaningful employment, although I do have casual flexible summer work starting in mid April back at Connon Nurseries.

On Monday I will celebrate my grandpa's birthday with him and my grandma. Easter weekend I look forward to celebrating my Oma's 85th birthday with the extended family. I will be coming in my own car, but my sister Linda will be driving! I am very blessed.

I call this time in my life a time of rest. I've been taking many walks and doing a lot of talking with the unfortunate walking companions, cooking supper or making a salad for the family meal, and I just started a crocheting project for my friend Mary-Ann's wedding in October. When I try to do too many things, I feel overwhelmed. But rest is very good.

When I look at what God accomplished through one hospitalization, as far as healing and restoration and destroying fear and hopelessness, I am in awe of him.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Hope in the Hospital

I have been in the hospital since February 16, 2007 following another episode of confused thoughts. It had been a long time and felt a lot different somehow. I am actually very thankful I returned to the hospital as I have been experiencing much healing, facing many old fears, and realizing God is greater than any mental illness. My fellow patients have taught me much and I would love to write some of my experiences and what I have learned through interactions with other patients. I recently met someone who has lived with schizophrenia for most of his adult life, speaks in schools to educate about mental illness, and as an artist dreams of painting a canvas worthy of hanging in heaven. As he spoke about his life, a full and varied one, and his deep faith, I felt a quickening in my spirit, an assurance that despite illness, life with God continues.
I haven't relinquished fully my desire for a medication-free future, but it is no longer connected to any time-table. It is no longer a pressing goal or requirement for contentment in life, although I confess to being very happy to be off my most hated drug. I have a good doctor at the hospital and God has also been at work. I still seek healing and restoration and I feel I am healed in an important sense. Despite emotional turmoil and pain, I feel an underlying peace. I sense that many are praying for me.
Some things left behind in the journey include my desire for an academic career as a professor and my plans to attend Calvin Seminary in the fall. I also have danced in my hospital room and left John Calvin in the sixteenth century. I look forward to a lively conversation about predestination in heaven with him, but it is no longer a pressing topic for debate on earth. Maybe some day I will actually read his Institutes, but maybe not. I'd rather not be a formal theologian, and I realize being a professor may not be a calling which would give me real fulfillment or satisfaction. My passion for the Scriptures remains and I will be attempting to complete my Greek course. However I am feeling a tug towards Bible translation rather than a masters degree in Theological Studies.
Right now I am trying not to race on ahead of God, but to stay here in this moment, to slowly reenter my life. I'll be staying with my parents for a time and searching for a job and new living situation. My contract for my clerical office job was to expire mid-March, so I won't be returning to that job. Ofcourse I have no idea what may happen in the remainder of my life, but I'll be patient to see how it unfolds. My ambitions may return in some altered form and my dreams remain, and God's amazing faithfulness and abundant grace continues.