It took me a loooong time to learn this. And really just this week I feel like I understand it more. I believe and know that
Mental Health is just as important as Physical Health
I know because I deal with both every day. In both of my daughters.
Sometimes I wondered why I had a 'Normal Rockwell' childhood. I grew up not knowing that people suffered from things in their heads and their hearts that they couldn't escape from.
I grew up not knowing that physically people suffered every day even if you couldn't see it.
I certainly grew up not knowing that CHILDREN could live with mental or physical illness.
I am blessed to be physically and mentally very healthy.
God has made me strong in both areas so that I can raise daughters that daily struggle with issues.
While Anna physically appears to be "fine" she deals with issues relating to her early childhood that impact her every single day. She's come so far, so very far from a million billion acts of deliberate love. But we can't erase what happened to her for fourteen months in an orphanage. Some things she mentally healed from. Some things she's just not ready to do yet. And that's okay. We love her anyway. Her pain is real and it is deep. And they only thing I can do is have empathy, love her more and pray.
Abigail's physical health is more visible. You can see it. (Although I can see pain some times in Anna's eyes) Abigail has doctors visits. She has hospital procedures. She is extremely little for her age. Everyone knows at a restaurant that she can't order any of the food from the menu. She's never had pizza or ice cream. Mac and cheese, what's that? And when we're out and about it obvious that she struggles physically. She's often in pain and on many medications to help her. It's visible.
And I'm grateful for their struggles. Yes, I'd take them away (and pray for healing every day) if I could. But I've learned so much from them.
I've learned to be patient and willing to be quiet and wait of God.
I've learned how to hold on to my husband for dear life.
I've learned to keep my peace while I pray and wait for healing.
I've learned to be more compassionate, more caring, have more empathy for all others.
I've learned that my way is not the only way or even the best way. That I can love more, be more kind, enjoy people for who they are - that we're supposed to all be different, and that our families can run differently.
I've learned to remember how it feels to have a hurt heart and use that to be more loving, more kind, and more accepting of others.
I've learned that those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the almighty. (Psalm 91:1)