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.


June-Star said...

My thoughts and prayers are with you love. It takes a lot of courage to write what you have and I hope you realize just how strong you, with the aid of christ, really are!

Peace and love, Jen

C and/or K said...

Thanks for sharing, Suzanne. I thank God that you are walking faithfully with him when a lot of others would have been asking, "Why me, God?"
Take care,

Suzanne den Boer said...

Thanks Jen. I think I am strong because of all the prayers of other believers.

Thanks Karen. I can't really ask why me, because I feel I am somewhat to blame for my present state.

John den Boer said...

That was very moving, Suzanne. I don't think you give yourself enough credit.

I love you,

Mary-Ann said...

Suzanne, you have such an amazing attitude towards life. I know that I've said this a million times, but I really truly think that God has a very special, important plan for you.

I'm looking forward to getting together on the weekend.

Suzanne den Boer said...

Thanks John. Great talking with you.

Thanks Mary-Ann. I learned my attitude from you, as I recall.

Suzanne den Boer said...

I am now discharged from the hospital as of 1:25 pm this afternoon! To celebrate I bought my family chocolate (Lindor and Hersheys in small, yet delectable, quantities).

Rod and Bec said...

Hi Suzanne! Thank you again, for your honesty and your wisdom. It is good to hear what God is doing in your life, and as we talked about before, it's not ever over! I look forward to hearing more about what you are learning.
Also...I just wanted to say that my heart got so excited when you mentioned you were considering translation...I hope the passion continues to burn.
Blessings to you,

Anonymous said...

We are so thankful for your recovery Suzanne. We have been praying for you! God has a plan for your life and it is an assurance for all of us to know that He has our lives in the palms of His hands. He is faithful and loves us deeply. Thank you for sharing and I will continue to uphold you in my thoughts and prayers.

Angeline vA

Suzanne den Boer said...

Thanks for your encouraging comment Becky. I'll probably see you soon at Oma's 85th birthday celebration. The translation dream has been perculating for awhile, but no definite planning has been involved thus far.

As I mentioned, I really do sense the prayers of many Christians. My church family at Immanuel is very special to me. Thanks so much for your family's prayers for me Angeline vA (I still want to call you Mrs. vA). God is very good and he works in all things.