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Revelations: Thankful for reason

By Jennifer Lee Preyss
April 14, 2011 at midnight
Updated April 14, 2011 at 11:15 p.m.

Jennifer Preyss

BY JENNIFER PREYSSThe past few days have been a bit challenging for me. It seemed each day was dripping with frustration, coupled with heaping side orders of "woe is me." You know, the days where work seems extra stressful, life seems to be more and more of a question mark and God seems not to care. Not that I did a very good job of asking Him to take any of it off my shoulders. I didn't. I let myself feel frustrated and tired because that's typically my own selfish way of handling life when it spirals out of my grasp. I guess everybody has those days.

As the week progressed however, I started taking notice of my overly-complaining attitude, and asked several of my friends and co-workers to forgive me for my constant negative grumblings.

On the way to cover (what seemed like the 25th) car wreck Tuesday night, I told the photographer, "I just need a profoundly sweet moment to crack me over the head so I'll be forced out of this mood I'm in."

"Yes, that would be nice," she said, smiling.

We both laughed and carried on with our assignment.

Later that night, on the way home from work, I stopped by Twitter Man's house for a much-needed Bible study and cigar fellowship with friends.

I didn't really want to go, but it was almost as if my heart wouldn't let me drive home. I just needed some prayer and Jesus time.

Unlike many nights where we dive into scripture and philosophically discuss the simple and profound messages of the Bible, Tuesday's discussion focused on an individual issue of one of our group members.

Just so you know, before I disclose Bible Study Lady's issue, I asked permission to mention her in this column.

So, it seems Bible Study Lady's only son, let's call him H., was recently diagnosed with schizophrenia. He's a young man, who's currently residing at a San Antonio mental hospital, where he's battling hallucinations, paranoia and delusions. Basically, his brain is entirely disconnected him from reality. He's living in what can only be described as a dream-like state. For several weeks, he's believed himself to be, among other things, 17-million-years-old and often announces he's the embodiment of Jesus and other superhero-like persons.

Because H. goes in and out of reality, he recently told his mother with tears in his eyes that he wants to end his life. In another conversation, H. informed his mother, "Your son is dead, he's never coming back." There's no way of knowing which reality he was in when he uttered these hurtful words.

Of course, Bible Study Lady was deeply emotional discussing her son's diagnosis, and how it's affecting him, and her family.

In fact, I've never seen her so verbally and spiritually conflicted, slow-speaking, eyes fixated on the floor.

But then, I imagine something like this would challenge every believer's faith and even God himself. Yet even in her torment, fatigue and confusion, she said she refuses to give up hope that God has a plan for H., whether his schizophrenia continues to manifest.

As Twitter Man is a medical doctor, the group was able to thoughtfully discuss the illness, and H.'s physical and spiritual needs.

We prayed for H. that night, and prayed for Bible Study Lady to have peace and rest during this incredible (possibly lifelong) battle with H.'s schizophrenia. And of course, we prayed for H.'s mental capacities and reason to be restored.

So, even though group this week was especially heavy, it was the sweet, knock-me-over-the-head moment I needed. It was the type of conversation I needed to feel small, and realize how wonderfully blessed I am to have small problems during the week. That's right, I was thanking God for small problems.

After group ended, I went to the grocery store to pick up a few things I needed for myself and Sadie Little (my puppy), and when I exited the store, I noticed someone or something had cracked my windshield. I stared silently at the cracked windshield, estimating how much it would cost to replace it.

Then I smiled, realizing I had my wits about me enough to know I wasn't delusional, I could still drive, reason and estimate approximate repair costs of my cracked windshield. It's a simple thing, but a thing I never realized I take for granted. So, I thanked God for my cracked windshield and my ability to understand reality and drove home.

Perhaps your week has been similarly silly and complex. But I ask that you remember how blessed you are to have silly, small problems. And if you think of H., say a prayer for him in Jesus' name, and thank God for your ability to think of him at all. 'Til next time.

Jennifer Preyss is a reporter for the Victoria Advocate. You can reach her at 361-580-6535 or jpreyss@vicad.com.

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