This post is something I genuinely didn’t think I’d have to write. I made a bargain, a pact of sorts, several years ago and the other party has upheld His part, so this is mine.
A little backstory…
For years, and I mean YEARS, I’ve been irrationally angry with God. Angry isn’t even an adequate word but will have to suffice. I admit to wavering in my belief in His existence but you can’t be as angry as I was at Something, Someone, you don’t believe in.
I was angry at how God had allowed my son to suffer so much with his mental health. No child should have to endure the level of despair and helplessness he went through.
From the time he was an adolescent (when he received his first diagnosis), through his teens and early adulthood, he suffered from a litany of disorders, diseases, whatever you want to call it. OCD, ADHD, panic/anxiety disorder, severe depression, and at one point emerging schizophrenia.
He has been prescribed a pharmacy of varying amounts of antipsychotic medications. Meds that would treat one disorder while exacerbating others. Side effects were horrendous. Then there were the withdrawal symptoms that ensued while weaning off one drug to transition to other.
Doctors didn’t really have a good idea how to treat him since many of these drugs have not been studied for use with young patients. He was a pharmaceutical guinea pig and the experiments didn’t always work in his favor.
In his early 20s, he was hospitalized twice because of suicidal ideations. After the second stay, he decided he was done living on the fringe. With the support and supervision of his psychiatrist, he weaned off all his antipsychotic medications.
That’s where the bargain comes into play.
Back at the darkest days of my son’s mental health struggles, I blamed God. I had to blame Someone, Something. How could He let my son suffer so much, an innocent kid when this all started.
I turned away from God. I was so hurt, so very angry. So I did what any petulant child would do, I offer up a deal.
Make my kids whole, make them successful, happy, and independent.
I couldn’t make it easy. I had to include my daughter, I had to make it hard for God to fulfill His part, mainly because I didn’t believe it would happen. Then, I would have no obligation to believe in Him if He was impotent in relieving my kids’ pain.
If He could do what I asked, I would be open to negotiations to come back into the Fold.
My daughter, the older of the two children, has her own event management company. She works mainly with non-profit organizations, helping raise millions of dollars for local charities. She is highly regarded, very successful, and repeatedly sought out for her expertise
My son, while still navigating his mental health obstacle course, as of this past October, has been med-free for three years. He’s gainfully employed with a good wage, full benefits, and job security. He is in the process of buying a house and could be living independently by the end of January. Something I will now say is truly miraculous.
Since I made this Divine Bargain so long ago, I had mostly put it out of my mind. I didn’t actually believe it would feasibly come to fruition.
Then on November 10, I get a text from an old friend:
“Good morning Tara! (Husband) saw (son) on the weekend and I had just been thinking of him, so that was confirmation for me that I should reach out to you. Also, your name came up again because (daughter) is making rosaries, similar to the one you made years ago. I often think what a work of art that is.
Hope you’re doing well. I just visited (your website) and see that we are experiencing similar health concerns. I would love to connect with you again, I have been praying about inviting a few people to meet during Advent to share our lives and reflect on scripture readings. I thought it would be great to get some… friends together. I don’t know? Just following my heart…
If we just meet for coffee, I would feel blessed.”
We met today.
I told her about my bargain and that her message came at a perfect time. It felt like it was time to see this promise through.
This post, telling the world (or at least my little corner of it) about Our pact, was my promise to give voice to God’s role in putting my children’s lives in order.
Negotiations have begun in earnest.