On the way to a counseling appointment, I banged the steering wheel frustrated I had been diagnosed with a bipolar disorder. This was not a diagnosis I wanted to hear. The remedies I was given were, “take this pill” and “you’ve got to stop working and be a stay-at-home mom, like my wife”. Many women have taken this counsel and done quite well. However, I didn’t see this advice as a viable option in my life.
A pill and more free time would not get to the source of my problem. Growing up in church, I knew how to smile on the outside while I was hopeless inside. I knew how to argue with my husband while pulling in the parking lot and exit the vehicle with the smile of “we’re the happiest family ever”.
Before getting married, I would spend time meditating on God’s Word, memorizing Bible verses, and taking in uplifting resources. Married and two kids later, I took my Bible to church and picked it up almost never in between.
As I considered the counselor’s opinion, I also remembered the message often given during my youth events at church. On Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings, the youth would be encouraged to have a personal Bible reading time. After considering the options, I determined to begin again a personal Bible reading time.
Psalms was the book I determined to begin with. Vague memory causes me to think I heard the suggestion from a Christian program. In the early morning hours before the kids awoke and the day was started, I saw by way of a dim light the opened Bible. At the kitchen bar, I began reading daily from Psalms. Beside the Bible was a journal and pen where I would write down things I was learning and my prayers to God.
Day-by-day as I read the book of Psalms, one Psalm after the other; I discovered the compassion of God, guidance of God, love of God, tenderness of God, terror of God, rescue of God, and many other descriptions which enabled me to stop the pill and stop the counseling. Though the diagnosis of bipolar disorder has never been officially determined to not exist in me; I do not suffer from the mood swings and irritability that once surfaced.
When I consider the decade that has expired since then, I believe the decision to daily read through Psalms made the difference. Could I have seen the same difference with another book of the Bible? Probably. All of God’s Word is profitable and useful. I believe the book of Psalms served as medication for my sickness and allowed me to discover how GREAT God is. GREAT not just in terms of who He is but in what He has done. God used the Book of Psalms to help me taste and see that He is good.
The bigger view we have of God, the smaller view we have of ourselves. I needed to see God as bigger than me. I needed to discover God afresh and renew my mind. The Book of Psalms enabled me to do that.
Are you dealing with a bipolar disorder diagnosis today? Are you wearing the mask of Christian but hollow inside? Take a concentrated effort for the next 30 days to read through the book of Psalms. Reading approximately 5 Psalms and/or approximately 15 minutes a day will be just about right to get you through the 150 chapters found in Psalms.
The counseling appoints and the symptoms you experience may not be eliminated right away, but I guarantee after 30 days you will discover the GREATNESS of God and see yourself a little smaller. Then you will begin experiencing the healing God gives.
Written by: Anne Gurley