Crazy Life: My Testimony, Part II

Continuing my reflections begun in Temporary Insanity,” I would like to share my memories from my first few days in a SpectraCare  group home, one of many located in the Wiregrass area of Southeast Alabama.

The day I first moved in I felt both relieved and anxious … actually, manic. I was relieved to be in a well-structured, safe and secure environment, which was located in the rural outskirts of the small town of Samson. Yet I also felt very high-strung, like I couldn’t settle down to save my life, and, indeed, I had serious problems even going to sleep at night, which fueled an unreasonable fear that I would never sleep again.

Point in fact, though I was thankful to be where I was, I didn’t know if I would be able to stay. I thought I might actually have to be moved into more intensive care … somewhere, though I didn’t know where that would be. To make matters worse, I was nearly frightened to death that if I were moved into more intensive care, I would never get out. Why this particular conclusion? I can’t really say, but that was my state of mind.Hypomania

Oftentimes I just felt like screaming, not because of where I was — I was grateful for my new locale — but because I deeply felt totally overwhelmed. My Ordeal followed me into the group home, but what else should I have expected? Naturally, it was not going to end simply because I’d moved somewhere new.

I can distinctly recall lying in bed as early as 7 to 8 p.m. wondering if I’d be able to rest … to fall asleep. Of course, the attention I gave to this question only aggravated the problem. Thinking about it made it worse.

As an answer to my difficulties in sleep, the staff psychiatrist upped my dosage of Seroquel to a whopping 600 mg just before bedtime. For my constant agitation and anxiety, he prescribed both Buspirone and Vistaril. The good doctor also increased my dosage of Depakote to 2000 mg per day … so I ended up quite drugged, to say the least. This bothered me, but not as much as feeling severely agitated all the time and not being able to sleep at night; consequently, I took all of my medication without hesitation.

Strangely enough, during these first days in the group home I really didn’t allow myself to wonder all that much about God and where God might be in my Ordeal. In fact, I really didn’t pray much. It was almost like I was spiritually stymied. Spiritually I felt numb … not able to engage my soul in … whatever. I did still believe in God; that was never a question. I was, or felt like I was, spiritually impotent. Did this bother me? At the time, no it did not, and this is what I mean by feeling numb.

The first rekindling of the flame of faith came in our Sunday morning attendance at a semi-Charismatic, racially-mixed church, and it came more through the praise-and-worship music than anything that was actually said… Well, at the time I really did not need, nor probably could have handled, any intellectual/theological engagement of my mind. It was my heart that needed nourishment and encouragement, and this is what that church provided, much to my gratitude.

After about four to six weeks I had calmed down and settled in to what felt more like an actual home. And it is probably well-worth noting that I received no visits, nor even phone calls from family and friends during this initial stage, which was ultimately good. To tell the truth, I really did not want to shoulder the burden of visiting or even talking on the phone. During my first days in the Samson Group Home, it would have been too much. I just couldn’t do it, but what I could do, was rest and recuperate … thankfully.

When finally I was able to receive my first visit from family — specifically my eldest sister and her husband — I was ready. But that’s another recollection for another time.

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Shield on the Battlefield

Raise up the blood-soaked shield of faith on the battlefield,
And do not yield to the enemy, for your destiny is sealed
By the God of heaven and earth, in whom you have trusted,
To whom the surety of victory belongs for which you long,
And this has become your battle song sung long and strong;
He is your Beloved, in whom you live and have your being,
Seeing all from small to grand and tall, every inch of ground,
Hearing every sound, even the pounding of your very heart;
And your Beloved has given you the better part of his own,
Even as he has sown seeds of love, joy, and peace . . .
Look to his banner and fight on in the light of his bright face!

Let It Rain

Clouds full of promise, filled with blessing,
Rain down on this parched land so thirsty
With mercy born of angelic love and grace;
Speed your message to these lips of ours
So that we may drink and surely live again
As we continue on our journey here below,
Here below, plodding onward and upward
To heights hitherto unknown to pilgrims,
Pilgrims in search of a new Eden on earth
. . .
Lord, have mercy, and let it rain, let it rain

Grace

Grace . . . she wears rags but clothes you in silk and gold;
She is the milk of heaven but earthbound and quite bold;
Grace . . . she has no discretion and is never in recession;
She makes the wild one mild but strong; meek, not weak;
Grace . . . she’s not cheap but is free to befriend everyone;
She takes the laughter and scorn but is never torn apart;
Grace . . . she came with blood for every vein, not in vain;
She acts like a mere child but her prize is becoming wise;
Grace . . . she is bound by divine duty to restoring beauty;
She wears no masks but basks in bright sunlight of glory,
And this is her story . . .
Grace


Note: First published in February of this year, now republished due to some renewed interest as well as for new reader-followers. Blessings to one and all!

Passing Clouds Along the Sky

Passing clouds along the sky, who would veil the earth from distant light, hear me now hail the night in promise of the dawn of yet another day. No tear will be shed in mournful loneliness underneath your dark forebodings and ill-promise of storm and terror. The Sun will rise with piercing ray and power breaking dark, speeding gloom far away … and I will rejoice and laugh again.

Death comes now, but as passing friend, not remaining foe ~ no bolted gate, no! an open door ~ and we embrace and exchange the kiss of peace, so long ago did the din of war cease at the mouth of an empty tomb, where once lay the dead-now-risen One. And so it is the Reaper now comes with promise, not plague, in sweet anticipation of the never-ending day when ends his work, and he too shall rest.

Passing clouds along the sky, who would shut out all light and make assault in storm upon the world, would you have me cry? Would you have me beg you disappear, and what with the rain would matter my tear? Would you have me hide in dark from the darkness you bring, when so soon from the Sun everlasting light will spring? And would I myself deny the dawn of joy and never laugh again?

Look east, dark clouds, along the line! Even now shows faint promise round the distant Mount, as black gives way to the golden ray! Dawn is birthed from the womb of night, and hope is cradled in the coffin ~ yes, there if life! For some short season we may bid farewell but you, clouds of doom, are passing; the Sun will appear and we will rejoice and laugh and never again will you veil this earth, for the night will be forever done!

Passing clouds along the sky, who would veil the earth from distant light, hear me now … The Sun of Righteousness has risen with healing in His wings!


Note: First published in June 2015, now republished especially for Eastertide. Blessings to one and all!

Happier Days Are Coming

Happier days are coming, blooming within the soul
Of the one who waits expectantly with living hope
And expectation in anticipation of fresh joy untold
With bold confidence that happier days are coming,
Looming large on the horizon as prayers bear their
Weight in heaven above, from where all blessings
Flow as sacred wind blows, rushing in with answers
To supplications made in humility with the ability
To believe, relieving distress and dismay with rays
Of bright light flooding every part of the heart now
. . .
Happier days are coming, blooming within the soul
Of the one who waits expectantly with living hope
And expectation in anticipation of fresh joy untold,
So be bold! And hold on! Happier days are coming!

Resuscitation

Suddenly now, life emerges again to begin again,
Where once there was but dearth and cold death
Because of my choice made with an empty voice,
But you have other plans for this foolish man,
Plans that span time and space in pace with love
From above, and so now another chance is given
To enhance my days along the way of this life . . .
And she comes with candle alit in her sweet soul
To fill an obvious hole in my own where you had
Already carefully sown the seeds of compassion,
So suddenly this man can smile and laugh again!
. . .
Suddenly now, life emerges again to begin again,
Where once there was but dearth and cold death