When you have a loved one struggle through a mental health issue, you almost stop breathing. You hold your breath each day and ask yourself: “Is he back? Is that him? Will he be staying for a while this time?”
The answer to “How is ____ doing?” has never been: “Aweome, totally back to normal!” or “Oh, all better, thanks!”
Because you don’t trust; you don’t let yourself hope too far into the future; you don’t assume brighter days. You wake up and weep in your Wheaties for the quickest flash of a smile, no matter how fleeting.
I will be dedicating some of my upcoming blogs to laying down the masks and shame associated with mental wellness (and lack of wellness) issues because we’ve personally dipped enough times into this pool to want to come alongside others and say:
“You’re not alone.”
I don’t pretend to understand or relate to every facet of mental health struggles. I am definitely not an expert on the subject. But I am ready to tell our story—which was first my story—and now has touched another one of us. And I won’t stop telling it, in careful honoring of those who struggle, until I feel the hope that carried us through has reached its proper audience.
This story isn’t just ours. It belongs to so many folks. As I finish up these first two books, I would appreciate prayer for this endeavor, for its reach, and for its purpose. I want to shine light in dark places and bring hope to the brokenhearted because that’s what Jesus did for us.
Below is a little glimpse of our better days lately because good moments are to be pinned up on a board and highlighted in bright neon, sang about, and danced to. We find joy and hope in each victory, and we thank God for sustaining us through both still-on-the-runway, engine-maintenance days as well as paper-airplanes-in-full-flight days because there is so much to be learned from both.