She came to me asking for help.  That’s a good thing.  But what was troubling her was a hard thing.  She was a mother–and was struggling with her daughter.

Twenty two years ago her daughter was born.  And I believed her–her daughter was beautiful, angelic, life giving.  The childhood years had been full of events and enjoyments.  The photo album she showed me was like a story book.

But adolescence was hard.  No, it was harder than hard.  It was conflictual, and aggressive, and filled with times of tension and catastrophe.  Social behaviours were destructive.  Drug usage became an issue.  Moral issues were huge.  There was a lot of tension in her voice even as she described the last decade.

And now, at twenty two, the daughter was hospitalized and diagnosed with schizophrenia.  From an objective neutral standpoint it was good to finally get some understanding about what was going on and why.  But from a mother’s personal up close standpoint, it felt like the walls had just closed in.

Mental health can be like that.  It may affect 1 in 5 Canadians, but in truth, it affects the 4 other Canadians around the sufferer too.

As her pastor I tried to help her see that this too wasn’t a surprise to God.  That He was the God of the sufferer as well as the God of the victor.  That her pain was real, and understandable, and God’s presence was quietly standing by in the pain to carry her through it.

She blamed herself for her daughter’s disease.  Hmmmmm.   She was angry at her daughter for not taking better care of herself and making such foolish choices in life.  Hmmmmm.   She was mad at God.  She was afraid of the future.  Hmmmmm.    There was a lot of pain going on in there.

She felt unloved.  The daughter felt unloved.  I can understand why.  Wc could all use a little more love in life, especially in desperate times.