My friend has always said that it was obvious even before kindergarten her daughter was a highly anxious, fearful child. The last of three children, she had trouble sleeping, and almost every night – way into her teenage years even – she climbed into her parents’ bed because her brain would allow her to rest. She had trouble making friends, especially the good kind of friends and has always felt different.
Yes, these are typical childhood things, but this was beyond normal, and her parents sought therapy before she was ten years old. From that point on, she has continued in counseling. Today she is almost twenty and has withdrawn from college to once again “work on her mental health” as she and her parents have done many times.
The pain in my friend’s eyes, the horrific nightmare of watching helplessly as she is sexually active with a low-life looser, the guilt that she pushed her daughter into mental illness is gut wrenching. But the most painful thing . . .
She has completely turned her back on all things Christian, particularly on God who she believes created her tortured mind.
This child of God just wants to be happy, normal, and she wants the whispers of “You’re not good enough” or “Sex and drugs will make you happy” or “You’re so bad that you don’t deserve to live” to go away. She doesn’t want to take tons of pills just to make it through just one day without thoughts of suicide.
It’s a parent’s worst nightmare, but in this case, it’s a Christian parent’s worst nightmare.
She has heard a million times that Jesus loves her and died for her, but she doesn’t believe it. Why should she? She spends her days being mentally tortured. The devil has won, or so it seems.
Happiness has eluded this precious young lady and, yes, child of God. What do I mean by “child of God? Clearly she has turned her back on him, but that doesn’t mean she’s not his child.
For even at this very moment God is cradling her in his arms, holding her above the waters in which she often threatens to drown herself.
No, I do not understand the workings of her mind, I’m not a licensed therapist, and I don’t have to live with the demons that continually encourage her to end it all. But here’s what I know:
Even in those horrible, heart breaking choices and that contempt for the God who created her, she is loved vastly more than any human can possibly love her, and that includes her heartsick parents.
What does she need the most to be content and have a joy-filled life? Surrender. Obedience.
Every person who ever walked this earth has a choice to make, and truly it’s the only one that matters:
Will you accept God’s unconditional love and grace?
Will you allow his Son Jesus to transform your life?
Will you surrender and quit trying to control your own life?
Will you believe he is the only one who can give you peace?
If the answer is, “Yes, Lord, you’re the only one who can save me,” then you have just invited him into your heart, your life, and your mind.
It’s called redemption, and it doesn’t make your life perfect. It makes your life complete and he doesn’t care about your past sins. He doesn’t ask you to “clean it up first, then I’ll consider your salvation.”
When you give up the struggle and surrender your life to Jesus, you will get up from your knees and feel the burden lifted from your shoulders.
For my friend’s daughter the heartbreaking struggle continues, and even though she doesn’t feel forgiven or loved, God will not let her break free of his firm hand. He’s in it for the long haul.