I glanced down at my arms; the three slashes seeped blood. The large amount of aspirin I consumed thinned and accelerated its departure. I wanted to escape and run. Another locked psychiatric ward would be my fate. Only my physical screams could be heard, but these lashes were the deep wails of my internal world. My young heart would be medicated, misdiagnosed, and coaxed to believe I was crazy. I was missed.
Another morning she awakens on the fallow ground. Her feeble body is stiff and sore. She wearily makes her way to another doctor. She has been to so many. They poke and prod and send her away without answers. Her resources are dwindling to nothing. She is losing hope.
My wrists were mended with a thread that pulled my flesh back together. I thought the darkness would dissolve me. “A long succession of therapists had treated me, and treated me badly, taking all my money and leaving me worse off than I was before,” I determined.
She crawls back into her little hut and listens to chants coming from the nearby Jewish synagogue. She is an outcast. As her condition worsens, she frantically looks for rags to stuff between her legs to cease the bleeding. Trepidation reverberates through her body. Does anyone know she is in here? This place of suffering is so lonely.
I was a prisoner trapped in the mental health system. I was placed in the hands of harmful people. I was locked in a place I couldn’t get out of. My pain was masked by pills that altered my mind; my charts were filled with diagnoses; and the reasons I was there were never addressed. Did anyone know I was in there? No one came for me.
Her tense body is weak from the loss of blood. She hears a ruckus in the street; it’s a different sound. She peers from her ransacked tent and stretches her neck out further then she’d dared to before. Is that him? Is that the Messiah? Her heart sinks. “Am I a fool to believe just one more time?” she asks herself.
The diagnoses piled on top of one another. I was discharged and shuffled through halfway houses. I looked at the rooms with twin beds and at the other faces that had been sentenced to residency here. In my heart I knew there was something more. This wasn’t where I belonged – Was I a fool to believe just one more time?
She finds a clean piece of clothing and dresses herself. Her weakened anemic body crawls out from the tent. How will she catch up to the crowd? She feels the warmth of blood gushing from her body. She stands and stumbles forward. Her body is throbbing and screaming with pain.
“One more step” she whispers. She pushes her way through the crowd. A small reservoir of strength lunges her forward. She falls as the crowd tries to push her back. Her worn body hits the ground and her hand grasps the hem of a robe.
As she feels him, he feels her. “Who touched me?” he asks.
I left a secular system to find “spiritual doctors.” I was on a desperate search for truth, and my desire for wholeness couldn’t be extinguished. I was tired and weary, fragmented and broken. I felt alone and misunderstood. Shame wrapped me tightly like a blanket. I threw my arms in the air and exclaimed, “I want to give up!”
Then a ruckus happened within me. I heard his voice. Resilience buoyed my sinking heart.
My weary heart began to push through the lies and accusations. I reached out again.
He stops. Others have tried to get close to him all day, but this touch is different. He turns and sees her weary body at his feet. He cups her face tenderly and peers into her eyes; she winces. Will she be pushed away? “You, my dear, are healed; your faith has made you well,” he says. The flow of blood ceases; she knows that she is healed.
I lifted my hands in surrender. The thread of his spirit began to stitch and mend the broken places. Language helped me to navigate my location. I fell repeatedly, and hope pulled me up again. I was brought to a place of safety where a holy cadence was set and my face was seen. I closed my eyes and let my tears trickle down my cheeks. I stared at the faded scars on my arms and hands. “Your faith has made you well,” he whispered.
My faith has made me well.
(Note: See Mark 5:25-34.)
Megan thrives alongside her husband of 15 years in Colorado. She is the mother of six children. While walking faithfully with friends, Megan co-hosts a marriage conference, a Christmas show, and a songwriter’s retreat. She loves Hot Tamales and Essential oils. She is a natural gatherer and organizer. You’ll find her listening to audio books while doing laundry and Costco runs.