My comfort in my suffering is this:
Your promise preserves my life. (Psalm 119:50)
“Easy reading is damn hard writing.” ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne.
Someone once said, “I don’t enjoy writing. I enjoy having written.” My experience is far from this. I delight in writing. Many times in my life it has been the sole thing to keep me sane. As I write, the voices within and around me are orchestrated through my fingers, inspired by the Spirit, and guided by the Scriptures. My writing is by no means God’s Word. It is one saintly sinner’s attempt to say something that gives glory to God and uplifts God’s people.
I’ve been struggling to write this week. Daily devotions. Encouraging emails. Blog posts. Nothing is coming to me and it is terribly frustrating. Often when I have struggled in the past, I draw from current experience. What have I found joyful? What is troubling me? What do I want to improve? I didn’t take this approach here because, as my wife Susan pointed out, I have been very hard on myself lately. As a husband, a father, a brother in Christ. I have been paralyzed by past regret and the sense that I can never make amends for past wrongs. Writing from my own experience now would only add to the burden.
So, I won’t put myself (or you) through this. Instead, I will celebrate what God is doing through my Delight in Disorder ministry. Here are a few of the messages I have received in response to my writing.
Tony, I don’t open my e-mail regularly, so when I do I have several of your articles to read. Seems like there is always one speaking to me. I am sure you realize how much you help people. just want you to know a old cousin has gotten a lot from your writings. ~ Jab
very good article Tony… I recently said to my other friend who is the pastor that I hope someday I will have a better understanding of what my place is in the world…a Blessed Christmas to you and your family…I am glad to have you as a friend and as someone who understands my situation ~DG
I share your love for the Psalms. The Psalms help validate our emotional ups and downs. You can almost always find a Psalm that fits your mood. Unfortunately, our culture—and sometimes church culture—does not. This can be even harder on us men. Many seem to think that the goal is to not be too emotional… But… emotional flatness does not equal emotional health. Not having strong emotions might just mean you’re dead or heartless!.. the saints are anything but emotionally flat! They weep, they cry, they grieve. They rejoice, they sing, they dance. We see this from David to Jeremiah to Peter to Paul. Most importantly, we see this in Jesus, the most perfectly psychological healthy man ever. Luke 10:21 tells us that Jesus prayed, “full of joy through the Holy Spirit.” Hebrews 5:7 tells us that He prayed, “with loud cries and tears.” ~ PM
Thank you for providing a tiny bit of stability in a world of chaos! I live in the UK and saw your article on the Mind facebook feed (https://www.mind.org.uk/infor
mation-support/your-stories/ psychosis-and-religion/#.WrI- AGrFLIU), and it was so nice to see. I grew up a Christian but also one with depression, anxiety and hearing voices. I am no longer a Christian as I cannot work out what is what in my head, however you have shown there is hope, there is a path, just a very difficult one to find! I have always thought one of the voices I have is God, so commanding and hard to ignore, even though now I have no idea what I believe. That voice is a lot quieter these days since I am not an active Christian, so that seemed to confirm to me that it was indeed God. However you have made me question that now, and I think that is good, as those commands were hard and harsh. It left me questioning who God is if he treats us like that. Anyway a rather waffly comment, but anyway thanks, I have hope that I am not as insane as I think people think I am. ~ RW