Sometimes, I wonder how God got me here.
It’s been almost 13 years since I asked Christ into my heart and I still remember it like it was yesterday.
I asked God for help. I had just attempted suicide. I was tired. The voices in my head wouldn’t stop.
I needed Jesus to rescue me.
He’s been rescuing me ever since.
He was there when I struggled with self-harm. His love hung over my head that night at 15, when I jumped into the shower with all my clothes on, the voices in my head too overpowering. He walked alongside me the first time I was hospitalized. His heart was grieved through every wrong diagnosis, every time my stepfather shushed my mouth from telling the doctors my symptoms. Because you don’t want the diagnosis they’ll give you.
God cried with me through every lie and hurt. His arms surrounded me through every isolation I put myself through. His hedge of protection was there every time I tried or wanted to try to end it all.
He was with me the day my friends gave up on me, screaming words of condemnation through a web chat. He weathered the storm of angry pastors and confused leaders. And every time they told me I wasn’t enough, I wasn’t pursuing holiness enough, God was there to remind me I was worthy. I was His.
And He was the one that walked me through the Emergency Room doors to get me the help I asked for at 13. It was He who opened the eyes of every doctor so that I could get diagnosed properly. So that I could live a very different future than the one I might have had otherwise.
He delighted with me the first time I made consistent eye contact with the doctor and giggled with joy over the feeling of rough carpet yarn on my bare feet. The word the doctors gave me, the diagnosis I had been waiting so long for, feels most days like the most beautiful word I’ve ever heard. Schizophrenia doesn’t sound scary or shameful. It sounds like God’s love outpouring for me. Like light shining through the darkness.
It is as if God has placed me in new clothes. A coat of many colors, perhaps. Because with a diagnosis comes treatment. With treatment comes life. With life comes hope. And there’s no shame in hope.