I’ve been thinking a lot about guilt.  Guilt is unbearable and painful.  It is burdensome to the point of desiring death.  I can’t prove it, but I’ve got a feeling that I’m not the only one weighed so heavily by it.

Guilt can be a part of mental illness.  I can’t speak for everyone, but I would bet I’m not alone in this.  Feeling guilty for all the lost time to depression and anxiety.  All the lost time in the sunshine.  All the lost time with people.  All the lost smiles.  All the lost hugs.  So many things lost due to desires of isolation and despair.  We have it pressed hard into us that time is short and make the best of it.  So when we think about what we have lost to mental illness, the guilt starts building.    

Yes, that time is lost.  That is very true.  We also lose a lot of other time to meaningless things so do not fret.  It is also true that the world we look forward to after this is forever.  Time will not be lost there because time will not matter anymore.  This pain will not exist there.  So yes this might be the only life you have here, but what really matters is that you stay faithful to see the next world.  In eternity you will not feel the guilt of lost time anymore.  Hang on to the promise my friend. 

The guilt of what we have put those around us through.  They say many times over that we are not a burden to them, but let’s be honest…we are incredibly burdensome and difficult sometimes.  We speak up through wounds and chemicals sometimes instead of voiced words.  Sometimes there are no words, but something still needs to be released.  We curl up and hide instead of seeking embrace and comfort.  We do rituals that make no sense to the world to give ourselves peace.    

The people in our lives that love us truly would go the moon and back for us.  Their greatest desire is to do anything they can for us.  Just as we would do for them.  In those worst moments of guilt we forget that.  The voices inside scream they are better off without us, but truly this world would grow dark and grim for them with our loss.   Just as darkness would grow to immeasurable amounts if we lost them. 

Do not ever forget; you are loved hundreds of times more than those voices want you to believe.  Love knows no boundaries.  It crosses all obstacles, barriers, and deeds done to find us.  It even crossed the great sea of sin to the cross as an offering for all we have done.   

The guilt of who we could have been without this affliction, this thorn, this illness, this condition.  Sometimes we know who we were before it, and we miss that person of long ago.  Sometimes perhaps we never knew that person and wonder what they would have been like.  We believe that this other person without mental illness was the better person.  The person the world would have desired more.  The person everyone would have enjoyed being around more.  However, that person does not exist.  Just this one with all these problems continues to be.       

There is a reason you were put here.  God placed you exactly where you are to do a task.  You are the only one that can do it.  Maybe that person you think you should be…is not the one who could get this mission for God completed.  Maybe you have to be who you are right now.  Perhaps there are people only the you now can reach.  Perhaps there are compassions, empathies, and passions only the you now can feel that are needed for this task.  Perhaps there are wisdoms, epiphanies, and thoughts only the you now could attain.  Maybe that other you could never dream to accomplish any of this.   

Perhaps, you are exactly who you need to be, and you are exactly where you need to be.  Perhaps God worked through all of this mess and pain according to his plan to do beautiful amazing work for his kingdom through you.  Maybe someone will be saved and get to see the glory of Heaven because of all this agony you have been through and feel so much guilt for.

We continue to cry guilty in the courtroom when Jesus has already taken the sentence for us.  He has long gone to the guillotine and risen again while we sit alone and berate ourselves.  We hear multitudes testifying against us, when really there is only one voice…our voice.     

God moved heaven and earth to save you.  He has poured overwhelming amounts of love and mercy on you.  He has gifted you grace with no conditions but to take it and have faith in him and his plans for you.  Have faith, take the gift, and let that guilt be eased off of your shoulders today.  Let that weight be lifted off of you today.    

I believe that the guilt is what kills many of us.  Don’t let it take you.  I know it’s unbearable at times, believe me I know that very well.  Many fight alongside you today.  Eternity awaits us.  All we have to do is fight a little while longer.  Will you keep fighting with us today?      

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