Raising a child with an undiagnosed brain disorder was severely stressful. For seventeen years, I could not convince a doctor, psychologist, teacher, pastor, or counselor that my child was extremely ill, not just misbehaving. Her mood swings were rapid and intense, changing every few minutes. My hopes for a better future soon evaporated.
One morning, I was so distraught that I decided to become a run-away mom. Thinking that I could not live under the stress one more minute, I packed up a suitcase, a cosmetic bag, my Bible and guitar, and placed them near the back door. Before my husband returned home from work and the kids came from school, I would be gone.
The balance in my checking account was $487.00, a meager amount today, but in 1981, that was enough money to get by for several weeks. I was positive I could secure a job long before running out of cash.
However, there was a providential interruption…
About 9:00 a.m., a friend called saying she was in a jam. She had to leave for an important meeting in 15 minutes and her babysitter had just cancelled. Could I watch her son for 2 1/2 hours?
Because she was always available when I needed support, I felt compelled to come to her rescue. Confident that I had time to help a good friend in crisis and still get out of the house before my family came home, I declared, “Yes, I can do it.”
My bags were still sitting at the back door. Not wanting to explain the obvious, I quickly moved them out of sight. As the morning wore on, I interacted with my friend’s son, did a few household chores, and sat down to scan the Bible for answers to the confusion that filled my mind. Opening it to Psalm 139, I read…
Where shall I go from your Spirit?
Or where shall I flee from your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, you are there!
If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! (Psalm 139:7-8)
Enter – God’s grace…
Ah, yes, where could I go to hide? Where would I make my bed that night? No matter where I went, God would surely be with me; but, although I could run away from my troubled family, could I run away from myself? Could I live apart from being a wife and a mother – from doing what God had called me to do?
The text went on to state that God would surely uphold me; He would hold me in His right hand. The darkness that covered me was nothing to Him…
Even there your hand shall lead me
And your right hand shall hold me.
If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
And the light about me be night,”
even the darkness is as light with you. (Psalm 139:10-11)
To stay or leave, the choice was mine. Suddenly, conviction washed over me. I had to stay – I had to bloom where He had planted me. Vowing not to tell anyone about my foolish impulse, I tearfully unpacked the bags and returned the guitar and Bible to their places.
God’s grace was enough – enough for an “almost” run-away mom!
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