It’s a cloudy cool afternoon in late spring. Sweet scent of jasmine is wafting through my window. Rain is approaching; clouds the color of steel mass in the darkening distance.
It has been a long week. Someone I love dearly is struggling with mental health issues. After decades of trauma and abuse, this person’s life has finally boiled over into that dark abyss from which it is doubtful this person will ever recover. I am an optimist usually; but, I am also a realist when the brutal truth sucker punches me.
I honestly tried to save this person by standing with them, by never retaliating no matter how abusive their words and actions were to me. I thought that I could somehow lead them out of the dark abyss of mental illness. I prayed for them; I gave them a prayer card; I listened to their endless tirades and angry accusations. I attempted to have a servant’s heart; I attempted to be God’s hands. I attempted to lift this person out of the darkness of mental illness. Alas, I know that it was hubris to even entertain the notion that I have the power to achieve such a thing. Truth is mental health issues are often about brain chemistry coupled with environment, nature, nurture, et cetera.
I am exhausted.
I am exhausted by the storm that is this person’s life. I have had to walk away to stop myself from being pulled under along with them. I cannot bear the brunt of this person’s rage. I cannot, simply put. I have to put the life jacket on myself to keep myself from drowning.
Growing up I remember seeing signs that said “Jesus Saves.” I truly believe that he does. However, there are those situations and circumstances in which we have to step back and let Jesus save those whom we love. Sometimes, in our deep love for others, we get it twisted and think that we can save someone whom we love.
I can’t save this person whom I love dearly. I tried, and I failed.
I commend this person into God’s hands and pray that angels surround them and give them the peace that surpasses all understanding.
I have used the pronouns they and them to protect the identity of this person.
Please pray for those who suffer from mental illness. And, for those of us who loved them dearly.
My heart is broken.
Jenny W. Andrews copyright 2023