I don't know who will read this, who has been reading these words of mine, I know why I chose to turn off comments and why I'm not blogging on my other blog and one day I may share why, but not today.
Today I'm sad. Today I grieve.
Back in 2003 when I lived in Montana at the time, one of the most influential books I read was A Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren. The book captivated me from the beginning when he began it with "it is not about you" for truly it is not about me, it is always about Jesus. Every word he wrote in that book I could gained knowledge and wisdom about, when he talked about serving, when he talked about gift envy (I was guilty of that one in relationship to the talents my husband had in playing guitar on the worship team out front and I was "stuck" in the nursery holding and rocking babies). I thought my gift was less important than his, until God gently reminded me I truly was doing such a wonderful ministry to hold babies and love on them so their parents could go and be fed by the word in worship service knowing their kids were lovingly taken care of.
On 12/12/2003, I was reading the book, A Purpose Driven Life, while I was waiting for my son at an appointment he was at. It was a particularly stressful time for our family in several different ways and things and I was pretty much spent on things going on with our then 18 year old daughter and the struggles she had with depression, psychosis, and thoughts of suicide and self harm. I remember reading in the book the importance of forgiving those that hurt us, but we did not have to trust them right away, they had to earn our trust back.
What I didn't realize at the time, and didn't realize until a short time later when I put events together, was at the very same time I was reading these words my daughter was taking an overdose of medications in an attempt to kill herself.
She had struggled with depression and thoughts of suicide the majority of her high school years and I was diligent to watch her when she was "particularly bad" and tried to get her the help she needed. If I ever felt she was a danger to herself, she accompanied me everywhere, I never left her alone.
This particular time I had no warnings that she was in a state of mind of wanting to harm herself. When I left her to take her brother to his appointment, I didn't suspect anything different or wrong about her and her behavior.
She was napping when I left, which she had a tendency to do. I didn't think anything of it until I came back from church later that evening and had asked my husband if she had come out at any time during the time I was gone. He indicated she hadn't. It was a several hour time span that was around the time she might have made herself something to eat. When I realized she was still in her room, in her bed, I got concerned and "stormed" her room, confronted her with what was going on and she told me "I took some of my pills".
I couldn't quite get how much she had taken and of what and I tried to sort out what was left of her prescriptions, but realized she probably needed to be taken to the hospital for their evaluation.
That's another story for another day, but suffice it to say, she survived, for which I am grateful.
I could forgive her for what she did, but my trust had to be rebuilt and I also knew despite my best efforts and my diligence, I could no longer keep her safe in our house. She ended up going for a prolonged hospitalization and as painful as it was, we could not have her come back and live with us for I no longer trusted her word, nor trusted I could keep her safe.
Mental illness is devastating for the one that if affects and the family it affects.
My heart grieves and is so sad for Rick Warren, his wife, and his family tonight on the loss of their precious son Matthew. I truly understand they tried to do the best they could to get the help he needed.
I had the privilege of attending Saddleback Church that Rick Warren founded and pastored for a few months while we lived in the Laguna Niguel area of Orange County. You can't imagine how big of a church it is until you actually see the campus.
I had the privilege of listening to his sermons and see Rich Warren worship. He is genuine, he loves Jesus, he shares the message of Jesus.
I know he and his family grieve tonight.
I know God is with them comforting them.
I know they will draw on God for their strength.
I can't imagine their sadness, their pain, their hurt.
I ask if you read this and if you pray, you pray for them..........
Lord, be with the Warren family, comfort them, help them to feel your presence, help them to continue to trust in you, help them in their grief, just be with them, in Jesus' precious name I pray.......amen......