Lenten Devotional: From Chaos to Calm

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Lenten Devotional: From Chaos to Calm

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Chaos. Pain. Fear.

I have battled these all of my life.

Fortunately, I decided early in life to trust Jesus as my Savior and worked hard to make Him Lord of my life.  For the most part, I could stay in control when around people because I felt God’s calling me to be a fisher of men.

My moods could change in the blink of an eye.  I had trouble with taking orders from any authority figure. I had a hard time keeping close friends. I developed all types of defense mechanisms – the biggest was reading. Escaping into books allowed me a welcome respite from the world.

I knew I needed help, so I went to a counselor.  No one wants to be diagnosed with a mental disorder: it is at once a relief to know what’s “wrong” and a doorway into the nightmare. I was first diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) about 15 years ago.  I decided to ignore it, so God made sure I went to another counselor who diagnosed me with the same thing.  That time, I decided to pay attention.  I knew I needed to do something different.

BPD’s main characteristics are instability in relationships, moods, and behavior. Now that I knew which direction to go, I went online and found a full description of the disorder as well as treatment plans. I doubt that I would have been able to tolerate regular sessions with a professional, besides, I couldn’t afford one.

I never will forget one of my biggest break troughs. I had wanted to just give up. At times, I was in so much pain that I didn’t want to deal with it any more.  I was sitting on my couch, listening to music, when all of a sudden the passage from Joshua came alive. “… I will never leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and courageous ….”  (Joshua 1: 5 and 6). I closed my eyes and felt God’s strength flowing through me.

It took several months before I began to see any real difference. I alternately sat on my couch and sobbed my heart out and read some comforting words from God’s Word.  I would write or type countless conversations with God – I could feel His guiding hand. Gradually, I grew calmer and more careful of those around me.  Panic episodes came farther and farther apart.  The chaos subsided into calm.

I am still on my journey to healing, but this I know, the journey has been worth it.  God, indeed, has never left me – He has guided my path and renewed my strength.

Cathy R. Woods