Actually, this is a thank-you email.
Our (adopted) daughter is only five years old, and has very obvious childhood-onset bipolar. Unfortunately, this is a new diagnosis among children, and many people refuse to believe that such young, innocent children's lives could be affected by mental illness. Believe me, there is nobody who would want to believe that more than the children or the parents of the children who are suffering with these illnesses. But, unfortunately, they do exist. In fact, there is now PROOF that a dog that can sense-out a seizure just before it happens can also sense-out a bipolar episode. This is probably do to the nature of bipolar, as they now believe bipolar is a form of epilepsy.
Recently a Christian teacher asked me, "Could this be a generational curse? After all, God doesn't want any of His children to suffer. We will definitely be praying for your daughter." This got me thinking, and I ended up at your website reading the article "Could My Children's Autism be the Result of a Generational Curse?" Boy, was I thankful to learn about what a generational curse really amounts to. Our daughter is on medication, and even that BARELY works.
Going to your website not only taught me about generational curses (enough to where now I can go back and speak with the woman more informatively!), but it also reminded me that this is NOT my fault. I tend to try to lay blame somewhere, and the best person to blame is myself. I can second-guess everything I've done "wrong," imagined and perceived, and say that is why she is suffering. And believe me, she IS suffering, and doesn't mind saying so! For several months, we lied to her and told her bipolar simply means you are very smart. I got tired of lying to her. Today I finally agreed with her, and said, You're right. It IS a bad thing, but you can learn to live with it. Either you can defeat it, or it can defeat you. If you want to NOT let it get the best of you, you have to work very hard at it, especially when you're older.
But we'll get through it together.
It's so hard, I just can't begin to tell you what it is like to deal with a mental illness, especially in such a young child. We love her with all our heart and might. She has shown us how to love unconditionally. Sometimes, though, it takes everything inside us to stay strong.
Thank you for explaining about generational curses, and the fact that sometimes an illness is an illness, not necessarily a sin.
BLESS YOUR HEART!!!! I am so sorry to hear about this trial your family is going through, and will be for a very, very long time. Our pastor's young son was also diagnosed with BPD when he was even younger than your daughter. It makes for a living hell some days, doesn't it?
I am delighted that you were able to find this article and that it encouraged you. How unfortunate that the teacher has such a profound misunderstanding of God and the role of suffering in our lives. What do people do with verses such as 1 Peter 4:19, which talks about those who "suffer according to God's will"? I guess they skip over them.
Recently, I had the privilege of chatting with the pastor of Wedgwood Baptist Church in Fort Worth; you may remember that this was the church where a gunman murdered a number of students and staff at a "See You At The Pole" rally a few years ago. Dr. Al Meredith, who obviously knows something about suffering, suggested to me a wonderful book called Don't Waste Your Sorrows by Paul Billheimer, which I am in the process of reading right now. It's excellent, and I recommend it to you in view of the suffering you are experiencing.
I would also like to suggest that you pass on the blessing to your daughter that you received in owning the truth that her CPD is not your fault; she is not too young for you to bless her with the truth that it is not HER fault, either. Often when children experience suffering of various types, they personalize it and believe that they did something to cause it. The fact that it's illogical doesn't stop them! The message of "It's not your fault" is a type of revelation; children usually cannot know or figure out this truth without someone else telling them. You just might relieve her of a terrible burden she could be carrying needlessly by sharing this wonderful freeing news with her.
I pray you and your family will know God's comfort and peace as you live out this challenge to His glory and your benefit.
About the Author
Sue Bohlin is an associate speaker with Probe Ministries. She attended the University of Illinois, and has been a Bible teacher and conference speaker for over 35 years. She is a frequent speaker for MOPS (Mothers of Pre-Schoolers) and Stonecroft Ministries (Christian Women's Connections), and serves on the board and as a small group leader of Living Hope Ministries, a Christ-centered outreach to those dealing with unwanted homosexuality. Sue is on the Bible.org Women's Leadership Team and is a regular contributor to Bible.org's Tapestry Blog. She is also a professional calligrapher and the webmistress for Probe Ministries; but most importantly, she is the wife of Dr. Ray Bohlin and the mother of their two grown sons. Her personal website is suebohlin.com.
What is Probe?
Probe Ministries is a non-profit ministry whose mission is to assist the church in renewing the minds of believers with a Christian worldview and to equip the church to engage the world for Christ. Probe fulfills this mission through our Mind Games conferences for youth and adults, our 3-minute daily radio program, and our extensive Web site at www.probe.org.
Further information about Probe's materials and ministry may be obtained by contacting us at:
2001 W. Plano Parkway, Suite 2000
Plano TX 75075