In Chapter 6 of “A Digital Age Courtship”, this one was emotionally tough on me.
I have a brother who suffers with anxiety and PTSD, along with a slew of other issues of early childhood trauma. Most of what he suffers from could have been prevented if those charged with taking care of him did a better a job.
(He is not a brother by blood, my family took him in when he was a boy.)
Peter Anderson in the story is interesting character. He grew up being raised in the church that Tru’s parents founded. My backstory for him is that he is bipolar but because his parents were Word of Faith and Prosperity Gospel inclined they prayed for him more than getting him the actual medical help he needed to help with the chemical imbalance in his brain.
In time, they get Pete the medical help he needs for his mental health because they don’t want to lose their son.
To make matters worse, Peter’s father is emotionally and verbally abusive. To the point it drives his mother to drink and to abuse prescription pills.
So Pete has a really hard time believing in God because the doctrine he was raised to believe doesn’t match what he witnesses on day to day in his life. The only person that helps reinforce the notion God is real is Tru.
Now, as you know, if you’ve been following this series, I began writing this story fully believing in some NAR and a lot of WOF/Prosperity Gospel hogwash. I saw first hand how just praying for someone with serious issues doesn’t do anything. God isn’t like some force of magic you use on people and make their problems disappear.
Not all WOF and Prosperity Gospel preachers are out to lunch, those who got lots of money and don’t want to be sued encourage seeing doctors and using medicine. Okay, even average ones because they realize that God doesn’t answer every prayer requests for supernatural healing. Honestly, in these circles people give God praise for things time heal or a different doctor giving a different a diagnosis.
Now, the bulk of this chapter is inspired by testimonies I heard when I was caught up in deception. Maybe God was really in it, maybe he wasn’t it, either way I am glad those people in real life didn’t take their own lives.
Also, people can form eerily close bonds and connections. I once had a best friend where I could finish his sentences and he could finish mine. I could sense when he was about to call or text me. It was weird. I don’t have an explanation for it and I don’t care to get one.
The overall point is that suicide is a series issue. And people facing it increases by the year it seems. Whether people are Christians or not they suffer with suicidal thoughts.
I used to promote the notion that believing in Jesus cures suicidal thoughts and though I believe following Jesus can help, sometimes therapy is needed or in the case of mood disorders and chemical imbalances, medicine is needed.
A day in glory is coming where we can put to rest our struggle with mental illness and what not, but until then some of us will fight this battle until the Lord takes us.
For anyone who struggles with mental illness or has a loved one who does, the fight isn’t tiresome but you don’t battle in vain. There is purpose in your toil and do not give up. Get the professional help needed. Find a strong community to fight with you. And if you haven’t pledge your life to the Lord yet by repenting from sin, do that now! The Lord is a great help in times of trouble and relying on Him is unspeakably wonderful.
“Saving Pete” is wholeheartedly dedicated to the ones who trudge through this burden, remember you are not alone.