We ask a lot of questions in life, and demand as many answers. We are unhappy wondering, unsatisfied without a measurable and weighable answer we can see and touch. Why God, why did you make me bipolar? Why do I suffer from this? Why can’t you just take it away, fix me, heal me?
Somewhere in our Western civilisation, we became obsessed with answers, with finding the “truth”. We looked at our world and measured it, calculating, weighing each aspect of life determined to find the reason for life itself. We went through a renaissance which changed not only our relationship with God, but with our world. At the same time protestant reformers like Martin Luther were revolutionising Christianity and our relationship with God, people like Sir Francis Bacon were promoting a different kind of relationship. These new thinkers sought to carefully observe and calculate the world we could see, dismissing any answer that was unseen.
We some how dismissed the spiritual world, the unseen, and held on only to what we could see for ourselves. Even within the church. As a christian suffering from bipolar disorder, I have felt this so keenly. Because my illness is unseen, it has been dismissed not only by society but by the church.
We’re taught in school to observe, to carefully weigh and measure, form hypothesis, and calculate conclusions based only on what we can see. This is so pervasive in Western society every child knows what the scientific method is. We even bring it into our churches. We limit God to only our experiences of Him, disregarding the ways in which he transforms others because we have not experienced Him in this way.
I often feel that because of my illness I have been witness to many miracles, to the utter love and amazement that God truly is. I marvel in bible studies and discussions with other Christians as to just how limiting their faith is, all because they themselves have not experienced God the way I have. Its hard not to be arrogant at this, until I open my mouth and my experiences are disregarded, looked down upon by others, and I am made to feel inferior by those same people because of my mental illness.
Because of my mental illness, I am different. I think differently, I see things in contrasting ways, and I am able to bring that difference to the body of Christ. Yet most of the time, my difference excludes me, maybe not indirectly, and maybe sometimes it’s all in my head. My faith is ever strong, though it may waver from day to day, it never fades. I have learned that it is ok to be different, because that is the way God made me, bipolar and all!!