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Bipolar to Beloved: This is My Journey

I was so tormented and medicated myself with so much drugs and alcohol, I didn’t think I’d live to 18, and then I didn’t think I’d live to 21, 23, 25… Mostly because I didn’t want to. I was willing to die for cocaine. That’s how much I loved it. Family members died for heroine. But we were successful in the world’s eyes: we had nice houses and nice cars. 

After I became a follower of Jesus, I went to Sri Lanka on a mission trip and was going to Mozambique by myself. I end up having to stay at a hotel in Johannesburg by myself. Johannesburg is pretty rough. I was probably the only blonde American in who knows how many miles. I stayed in a hotel far from the airport because I didn’t know there was a closer one. I thought,

“They might kill me here. I don’t know if I’ll make it through tonight. This is a heart check. This is real. Do I have something worth living for and something worth dying for?”

We get so distracted with our Starbucks and our friendships, what we’re doing throughout the day, that we don’t think about our destiny. Did I get too distracted to live my destiny? Someone once said to me, “My biggest fear for you is you’re going to arrive at the end of your life and realize you’ve blown past your destiny.” I’m really grateful for this time to pause, hold our horses, reboot, reset, and evaluate what we’re doing with our time and our lives. This is a time to consider what really matters.

"Is He worthy of it all, or is that just something I sing on Sundays?"

As I drove from Illinois to Nashville, I got this image of the people on the East Coast who landed here and decided to go west. They packed up their wagons, and as the road got harder and their path got narrower, they had to unload stuff because it wasn’t worth taking with them. They couldn’t take it with them. It was a place they’d never been, a place they’d never seen, but they had their sights set on it. They said, “We’ve gone too far to turn back now.” When do we reach that point with God, where we’ve gone too far to turn back? When are we willing to let go of our own stuff because we’re convinced that what He has waiting for us is worth the trip and worth the loss?

Paul said, “To live is Christ and to die is gain.” According to Paul, he was good either way. He lived in service to Christ and he died to go home to Heaven with Him, and he was fine with either one at any time.

For a while, I was writing down 3 things every night that I was grateful for. It’s easy for me to start off the morning being grateful, because I love mornings, but in the evenings, I just need to continually be thanking God in all seasons for all things. Even in persecution — and what’s our persecution? Our iPad is dying? — but even in our worst circumstances, we have something to be grateful for.


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