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Monday, October 3, 2011

The Tough Stuff

After church yesterday, my mom wanted to talk about the challenges she was coming up against  with my older sister who is in the throws of a mental illness. A mental illness my sister doesn't believe she has; everyone else is crazy and she's the only sane one. My sister has been home for about two months now and she has good days and bad days. My mom talked about how it was so challenging for her and all the emotions that swirl around you as you wonder if the person you once knew will ever be back or if this new self was the new norm. I was asked if I could come talk to her being that I am more logical. So, I agreed.


In the evening, I received the call from my mom asking me to come over. When I got there, my sister was asking questions about God and Satan and science and all kinds of things associated with this line of thought. I had been praying on and off all day because I knew whatever her state, it was going to be a challenge for me. At first, the dialogue flowed well. I was calm, answering questions, restating information, asking qualifying questions, and we were moving along. Unfortunately, things went in the wrong direction when she asked me if I believed that only those who believed in Jesus were going to heaven. I told her we'd have to agree to disagree and that her choice of what she believed didn't have to be what I believed, but if Jesus Christ wasn't her Lord and Savior she wouldn't be going to heaven. 


In the Bible is says, you can only come to the Father through His son. My sister's beliefs are based on what she knows and chooses to believe and I was speaking from Biblical facts and my faith in them being the Word of God. Not a God. Not "my" God. THE GOD. The God of all creation. Creator of heaven and earth. She was arguing that such thinking meant others would not have the opportunity to know Jesus because they'd never been taught about Him. I explained that people in China, for instance, are going through a huge transition to Christendom and soon will have the largest populous of such. 


We are sent into the world in order to be Christ's hands and feet and share this message. Then comes the choice. As I explained to her, it is then up to the person hearing the message to decide whether or not they believe it. I can't change their mind, I can only share the message--plant the seed--water it, and when/if it takes root and grows it will be harvested by God. Not me.  


In the end, I reminded my sister that regardless of what she believes I love her. She went on to tell me that she believes in her god and she may even be that god. That was it for me. I had to go. One of the strongest delusions is one of godhood. It is one that reminds me I am not talking to a person of reason and rationale. I am talking to someone locked in her mind where her brilliance is now confused and distorted. I miss my sister. The one I used to know. The one who wrote stories that I used to love to read. The one who had such an amazing wit and sense of humor. The one who life seemed to be so easy for. The one who is now someone I used to know. She is now the one I cry for, the one I hurt for, the one I pray for, the one I place in God's hands because He is the only one who can restore and redeem this situation. In Jesus' name I pray for just that. Will you pray with me?

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