Wow, it’s hard to believe that it’s been a year since my first blog post! I certainly had more plans for this blog than what has actually come to fruition thus far. But, “life happens” as they say. I simply found myself too consumed with my real life to focus on my internet life.
But I thought that this would be a great time for a new blog post, not just to celebrate its anniversary, but to also share some Big News. Keep reading for more!
But first, some backstory...
The premise of Mining for Diamonds was to share glimpses of my journey of navigating through the many facets of my life, and seeing God’s faithfulness as He formed treasures in darkness. I’ve been open about the fact that one of the most challenging areas for me has been my marriage…although not in the ways one might think. I married a man diagnosed with a serious mental illness…and in recent years, his illness has taken him away from me and our daughter. As a result, I’ve been “solo” parenting, and just trying to live life as best I could in the face of a great deal of instability and unknowns. I couldn’t do it without my faith and an amazing “tribe” of family and friends. Still, I have had to face challenges and deal with stresses that are unique. Mental illness is such a loaded topic these days, and even in spite of the recent increase in noble efforts to reduce stigma, educate and inform, it is still a complicated subject.
As an aside, I want to mention one of the recent “noble efforts” I observed…in an episode of the new show “Chicago Med”, the hospital psychiatrist schooled one of the ER doctors about patient… a respected academic professor with a PhD…who exhibited bizarre behaviors. The dialog went something like this:
Hospital psychiatrist: “Dr. [character’s name] has bipolar disorder.”
ER doc: “Oh, so it’s more than a medical issue.”
Hospital psychiatrist: “With all due respect, Doctor, it is entirely a medical issue.”
Anyway, I found it challenging at times to explain to people why my husband left, or where he was. Not that I owe anyone an explanation, but people do assume a lot of things…divorce is the first thing that comes to mind. But no, I am not divorced. I’m not even sure “separated” would’ve been entirely accurate, even though he was gone. I mean, I could just say “well, he is diagnosed as bipolar, got sick, and I have no idea where he is but I am hoping and praying that one day he comes back.” If I was asked, I would answer exactly that in some form, because it’s the truth. But not quite enough. So, I decided to blog about it, to hopefully give people insights on not only how it is to navigate life when serious mental illness is involved, but to also show them that in the midst of it, I was at least living a LIFE. I wanted to share how God has been faithful in the midst of it all. Plus, I would have something to refer people to… “Hey, just read my blog if you want to know more”…rather than get into some long-winded discourse.
Blogging can be such an amazing medium to share ideas, stories, and insights…I love to write and connect with people, so I thought “I’ll start a blog and use it as a platform!” As if people really care what little old me has to say about anything! But then…why not? I could write with a reasonable amount of authority about all kinds of issues…race, faith, mental health, music…so many voices are clamoring for attention, why not throw mine in the mix.
But I found myself too busy living life to sit down in front of the computer and write about it.
My life has been busy for a very good reason.
Over the course of the past several months, a series of extraordinary miracles have taken place in our lives, and God has answered countless prayers!!!
Before I announce the Big News, I just want to say that, in spite of our challenges, I have never, ever given up on my husband. I’m not going to be all noble and say that I never considered it. However, I can say that I always believed deep down that he would triumph over his challenges and go on to do great and mighty things…and I was determined that when that day came, I would be there for him. Yes he left. I didn’t know where he was, and had zero contact with him (not for days, months, or weeks, but for YEARS). I did have some idea of his whereabouts, based on public records…but for various reasons I did not pursue him. However, my daughter and I both, along with a wonderful team of loving friends and family, continued to pray and believe for my husband’s mental health and healing, as well as the reconciliation and restoration of our family. I felt that, with the right help, under the right circumstances, my husband could, and would, overcome. I knew that, in his RIGHT mind, he never would have left his wife and child. I believed he was worth fighting for on my knees.
I am pleased to report that, through a series of amazing circumstances, (not all pleasant but definitely miraculous!) my husband was indeed able to get the care and treatment that it has been nearly impossible for him to get for years and years and YEARS. Anyone who has had to navigate the horrific, bloody minefield that is both mental illness and mental health care in this country knows what I’m talking about. That is why this is nothing short of a miracle.
So, without further ado, it gives me great pleasure to announce that…
MY HUSBAND IS COMING HOME!!!!!!!
Ok, so now I really have a reason to endeavor to blog regularly, because this is huge news! It’s a lot take in and adjust to, but I cannot even begin to tell you just how ecstatic and awestruck that I am!!!! It is not exactly sudden, but has been in the works behind the scenes for a while (I hinted at it in my last post, and my wedding anniversary post in September). Also, it is happening under careful supervision, counsel, with tons of support and at least a rough outline of a plan, so that we never find ourselves in this position ever again. (One of the things I cannot stress enough is the need for a strong support team!!!) So as thrilled as I am, I am also sobered by the reality of the long road ahead.
It’s not the end of a journey, but the beginning of a WHOLE NEW ONE. It’s not like we’re going to be able to pick up where we left off. We literally have to start over. It will involve a great deal of time, effort, and energy to heal, recover, and create a new normal for us. To put things in perspective, when my husband left, our daughter was 7. Now she is 12. That’s a lot of catching up to do! It is exciting, scary, wonderful and terrifying, at the same time. It’s many, many things.
The details of my husband’s journey I will leave for him to share one day when he’s ready. Right now, it’s not the most important thing. The important thing is that for him, that journey is over and it’s time for him to return home to his family. We are on track for this to take place within the next month. I hope you will stay tuned, and follow along our journey of reconciliation, recovery, and what I pray will eventually lead to a rebirth. Prayers would also be most welcome as well!
I’ll leave you a quote from my very first blog post, something I will definitely refer back to many times throughout the days ahead:
Even though there is something of a question mark that remains over him and our marriage, the main point I want to get across in this blog is this: in the midst of it all, God is faithful. He has walked me through some deep valleys in my marriage, and I am confident that He will walk my little family all the way through to His glorious Light. My husband’s story is not over, and neither, I believe, is our marriage.
The adventure continues...!