Sunday, May 3, 2015

I am weak. When will I be strong?

I've been thinking a lot about my weaknesses lately. I'm reading this book Weakness is not sin, today I read " the whole point of weakness [...] is to teach us humility and charity".

I felt very hopeless when I read that. I know it, it's in the scriptures, and yet it came to me different today.

I know my mental illnesses are weaknesses, not sins, I know that. But lately I've felt so lost when trying to find my way out of the darkness that comes with mental illness. I keep pondering how sin is straightforward, the way to relief and peace is repentance. It's laid out, and while it's not an easy process it is clear. But with weakness, there's no set way to overcome them- and it may not even be in our life that we will, perhaps at times we have to simply learn to live with them. And yet, that makes my heart ache.

When I read about how weaknesses are the way to learning humility and charity my immediate thought was, "am I failing at that too?"

I was so overwhelmed with the feeling that if I were learning humility and charity, if a small portion of my heart had already started to succeed with ose two Christ-like qualities, would I still be going through this crippling pain of mental illness?

For a moment I definitly equated my lack of mental health to how good of a desciple I am becoming.

I told a friend about this sorrow and feelings of failure I was having, if they were true. Their reply "I think these weaknesses are here to glorify God."

He lead me to St.  John 9:1-3

"And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth. 
And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?
Jesus answered, neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him."

My heart calmed.

This is not my fault, nor my parents, or for any other reason than being a mortal in this imperfect world. The severity of my mental illness, the confusion and sadness that comes is not my fault or my own doing. My ability to love, have compassion and serve is not linked to my inability to feel happy at all times or cope with anxiety and bipolar.

I know I'll forget this truth from time to time. I am grateful for these verses. That sometimes our weaknesses hurt and delay our ability to see the hope in our lives. Yet the simple act of enduring these weaknesses manifest to the world that Christ's peace is real. That perhaps the way He needs me as His tool right now is to endure this period of trial and weakness, to be a testimony that it is possible.

I want to give away all my sins to know God (Alma 22), and I will most certainly try to endure my weaknesses that another may come to know Him too.

Maybe it's not a matter of when will I become strong, but how are my weaknesses manifesting His strength today?

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