Friday, October 22, 2010

At the Psychiatrist's Office

I took my husband to his appointment the other day and brought my ipod so I could play Klondike Solitaire when my husband went in for his session. I am by nature an introvert and don’t usually start conversations with people. I passed a young woman who was hunched over and talking on her cell phone with her purse in the seat I was going to sit in. She pulled her purse to the floor without looking up at me. I will just be honest here and tell you that she looked a mess, and my first instinct was to ignore her. (I am so glad Jesus is more powerful than my natural instincts.) I sat down and started talking to my husband. After this young woman put her phone back in her purse, she kept her head down--one hand shielding her eyes from the light above. I didn’t want to disturb her, but since the last time we were in this office we had to wait 4 hours, I wanted to see how far behind the doctor was in his appointments. So I asked her the time of her appointment. I was surprised to see how young she was when she faced me. I found out she was scheduled to go in about 30 minutes before my husband. I glanced at the clock and saw that the doctor was at least an hour behind because someone else was ahead of her.

Then she asked me if the lights were blinking over us. I said I thought so…just a little…and she was relieved because she thought it was in her mind. She said she hadn’t slept well for a long time and sometimes her eyes played tricks on her. I told her I was also experiencing insomnia due to menopause and could totally relate. She apologized for the way she looked—no makeup and hair not combed. My heart suddenly went out to her. I felt as if she could’ve been my own daughter. Then she told me she was a recovering alcoholic, that she had cried out to God one night and had made the choice to obey Him and not drink, and how she suffered from depression and anxiety. I told her I had a history of depression and panic disorder and knew a little of what she was feeling.

She began telling me some of her story, and I learned she had a little girl she was raising without a father. She wanted to get well so that she could take care of her properly. She talked on for several minutes, and there were some similarities between her experiences with depression and mine. I also recognized the heaviness and hopelessness in her voice. When she stopped talking, I told her about my experience with severe depression and panic and how God had helped me through it. Then it was her time to go in to see the psychiatrist. After she left, I felt like such an idiot because I hadn’t thought to offer her my copy of the Bible verses I keep in my purse. I prayed to God that if He wanted me to give her the verses, He would arrange a way for me to do it.

Later, when she came out of the office, she stopped in front of me and thanked me for talking to her. She said she felt much better after we had talked and that she felt God had sent me to her. I had my verses folded up in my hand and placed them in hers explaining that they were the ones I used to get free. She smiled and said, “You want me to have your verses?”, like I had given her something precious. I smiled and our eyes locked for a moment and she whispered “thank you” and then she left. I have chill bumps on my arms right now—just like I did then.

My point in telling this is to focus on how much God loves each one of us. He sees us. We are not hidden from His sight when we are suffering. He loved that young woman so much that He arranged our divine appointment so she could get her hands on His promises. He did not want her living in defeat. God does not kick us when we’re down. He lifts us up. All we have to do is trust Him enough to be obedient and then be willing to receive from Him.

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