After a long rain yesterday, today’s sunlight is all the more treasurable. Grace. That one word fills my mind as I walk on the grassy field down to the playground. I am glad I came to visit my sister today. Having nowhere to go, I put my child in the back seat and just started driving. Thirty miles later, here I am at my sister’s house, the place that I stayed as I continued to stabilize my shattered mind. After my early morning work at the coffee shop, I would often go to the back of my sister’s apartment building to find this view. This place was perfect for the bipolar mind. I had a full view of the busy shopping mall right across the street. There was Aldi, Target, Walmart, Home Depot, and Giant all within a walking distance. My work was located in the middle of this buzzing shopping center. After work, I would walk back to my sister’s apartment, quickly change my clothes and shoes and head out the door. After a quick walk around the building, my senses would find this open view of peaceful field where I knew deer families were grazing all day and drinking their water from the creek just beneath my feet. I found peace here. I found comfort here. I found healing here. As much as I did in the heavenly Hawaii. This cold Maryland winter was enough Hawaii for me. Perhaps, more than Hawaii, because I had the benefit of my loving family during my recovery.
With one look at this old view, my mind is quickly brought back to the times of my past mental chaos. Perhaps my reading about Marshall Applewhite right before my walk aided my time travel. With my mental eyes, I can clearly retrace those sad, depressing walks I made here on this very same path. I know exactly the spot where the anguishing, torturing pain knocked me down. On that dark stormy night, I was lying flat on the wet ground, looking up at the black sky spitting out floods of torrential rain. I did not care about the cold rain hitting my face with such sharpness. Have you ever wondered how the simple rain could torture your soul? I did not care if those rain drops turned into swords to pierce my body in pieces. In that moment, death seemed so tempting, so liberating, it seemed the only gateway for survival. I walked so many days, months, and seasons right here on this field fighting death that nobody could see but me.
It was only by grace that I am here today walking this same place with full understanding of my painful past of mental illness. Healing is not about forgetting the pain. Healing is about understanding the pain. When you understand your pain, you understand the weakest part of yourself. It was here in this place that I freely revealed my weakest self and learn to embrace that being as the way God loved me. God taught me how to forgive and love myself despite my weaknesses. As a matter of fact, He loved me even more because of my weaknesses. His love for me was His amazing grace. I still find it hard to believe that God could care so much for a little soul like me. He has the same love for every single one of His entire creatures.
Just as a warm blanket soothes your cold symptoms, just as snow covers the filth, grace covers your soul from the blemishes of the mind and heart. Without grace, life cannot sustain. Without grace, we all cease to exist. Without grace, we wouldn’t have existed to begin with.
So you see? Grace is the force that carries us through. It is the amazing grace that makes life all the more sweater and fuller. It makes life possible.