Saturday, August 11, 2012

A letter and a card from Lindsay and the family

If you have ever been in a psychiatric hospital you know how lonely it is.  Their visiting hours are  not very long.  I remember in 1998 when I was in the hospital because I needed ECT (Electro/Convulsive Therapy).  I asked the young charge nurse if I could see my wife and she said, "only for ten minutes." So Robyn drove about twenty five miles round trip. She saw me and prayed with me.  The rest of the day  (it was on a Saturday), there  was very little to do. I paced around in a panic all day. Now what good could come out of those type of restrictions?    I was too depressed to argue.  It is horrible enough to be severely depressed but yo prevent family from seeing you that is downright cruel. But the good is You realize with the psalmist who said,

 Because of all my adversaries, I have become a reproach, Especially to my neighbors, And an object of dread to my acquaintances ; Those who see me in the street flee from me.  I am forgotten as a dead man, out of mind ; I am like a broken vessel.  For I have heard the slander of many, Terror is on every side ; While they took counsel together against me, They schemed to take away my life.       But as for me, I trust in You, O LORD, I say, "You are my God." My times are in Your hand ; Deliver me from the hand of my enemies and from those who persecute me," Psalm 31:11-15.

Someone from my church  had given me a beautiful poster which had the Scripture,  Ecclesiastes 3:11a, "He has made everything beautiful in its time." And though I could not trace His hand, even in that very lonely place, God was leading me through the storm.

God also used my family during this time of great distress.  They had made a card and on the front with the Scripture,   " Behold, Jehovah's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear,"Isaiah 59:1a, (ASV).

Then Dear Dad,
We all love you and hope you will get home soon. P.S. I am looking forward to watching that movie again. Brant
Dad, I am praying for you and know that you will come through this on top.  I love you, Steve Get Well Soon  with hearts around this, Tyler.
Dad, We're all praying for you and I  hope you feel a change really soon and get better. I love you.

A letter from Lindsay was attached, She was sixteen at the time.

Dear Dad, I hope that somehow this will help you.  I know that you may feel like God is ignoring you. But I can honestly tell you for sure; He is NOT! And He loves you very much. I know that you will get better and I pray it  will be soon.  Please feel like you can talk to me, if mom's not around or something. 
I remember how much you helped me and I wish that somehow help you.
(I had helped Lindsay by taking her to a psychiatrist when she was in the fourth grade, in Topeka, KS.  She had separation anxiety and Robyn and  I also were able to come up with a cognitive behavioral treatment plan and implement it  with her school.), Later when she had panic attacks, we continued to help her get psychiatric treatment that worked.
I love you,
Lindsay (with a heart)

Lindsay then gave me a sheet of paper where she had written out Psalm 6.

   " O LORD, do not rebuke me in Your anger, Nor chasten me in Your wrath. Be gracious to me, O LORD, for I am pining away ; Heal me, O LORD, for my bones are dismayedAnd my soul is greatly dismayed ; But You, O LORD -how long?   Return, O LORD, rescue my soul ; Save me because of Your lovingkindness.    For there is no mention of You in death ; In Sheol who will give You thanks  I am weary with my sighing ; Every night I make my bed swim, I dissolve my couch with my tears. My eye has wasted away with grief ; It has become old because of all my adversariesDepart from me, all you who do iniquity, For the LORD has heard the voice of my weepingThe LORD has heard my supplication, The LORD receives my prayer.   All my enemies will be ashamed and greatly dismayed ; They shall turn back, they will suddenly be ashamed. "

But what if you have no family?  Many have had to go through hospitalization alone.
Two things,  First,  I hope that you have a church family.  People in the church need to come to the hospital and meet with you and love you and pray for you.
Secondly, If you know the LORD, He knows your loneliness. He can come to you in your darkest hour.  Every hair on your head is numbered, In all your afflictions, He is very present help in the time of trouble.  Depression is very ugly but He will make all things beautiful in His time.
I have been there more than once.  Persevere in Tribulation. 
Steve Bloem