Wednesday, August 12, 2009


I never knew that was a word, but I guess it is. Today my mom's urn was put in with Dad's at the military cemetery in Elmira, NY. I was originally planning to be there, but changed my mind on Sunday because it would take two days and too much money. My brothers understood, or at least I think they did.

It has been just over 4 months since mom was taken home. I have had so many conflicting emotions in that time. I know absolutely that she is with her Lord, and that she is experiencing true peace and joy.

Sometimes though, I find myself contemplating her last months here on earth, and my interactions with her. They were often less than stellar. Mom had Borderline Personality Disorder, and that made her a difficult person. The three months immediately after Dad's death, when she lived with us, were the three most difficult months of her life. And mine. The twelve and a half months she lived on her own after moving out of our house were a miserable, lonely time for her.

Mom had 4 hospital stays in the 3 months after Dad died. All for her mental health. How does that happen to a Christian? It bothers me that some people think Christians who suffer from mental illness, or any kind of emotional/psychological difficulties are lacking in faith somehow. As if a Christian could never encounter esteem problems, anorexia, anxiety, emotional trauma....the list could go on.

Do those people really think she chose to have BPD?? She hated it. I know she wrestled with herself, and with God. She did have faith. But she also had a lot of conflict going on in her, and would often lash out at me and my siblings without apology. Asking for help was simply not something she could do, because she could not admit to needing help.

While reading up on Borderline Personality Disorder certainly helped me to understand her, it did not always help me in the moments of our interactions. I do have regrets about some of my behaviors, but not guilt. Quite frankly, some of it was to protect my children from the emotional aspects of her disorder. And it is done now, God took her to be with Him, so it would be silly for me to dwell on what I think I should have done differently. He's in control, and I like that.

If someone is struggling, it cannot always be just prayed away. There are Christian counselors who can help, and it is my prayer that a struggling person would seek help, or be led to it, instead of feeling shame as a Christian in need.

God is faithful, God is good, all the time.

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