A Gift from the Past

A Gift from the Past

This one day was my typical day working at the mental health facility. I went in, did my rounds, checked with the staff to document any pertinent changes in clients’ behaviors, and got to work. One particular client was in a good mood; however, this was peculiar. See, this client had been depressed for about a week now since the most recent anniversary of his mother’s passing. He was speaking harshly about his family and himself for the past week, but now he was grinning from ear to ear.

I asked him why he was so cheerful today. We are taught in the medical field to monitor sudden changes like this, as they could indicate that the client has now become happy because he has a plan to relieve his misery. In other words, he may be planning to take life into his own hands in an irreversible way by ending it. It would not be his first attempt; however, he told me he was happy simply because he had finally come to terms with his mother’s death. I believed him after further conversation without alarm because his demeanor seemed genuine. He also told me that he had found Jesus over the weekend through the local church group that comes there and preaches.

Now, this alerted me. As many of us know, new converts are in for a surprise at just how strong and persistent the enemy can be because our acceptance of the “Good News.”  While I could not do anything medically to put him on watch or alert, my spirit was telling me something different. I felt that his recent conversion was much more of a red flag than his recent change in behavior. I asked him if he would like to pray because I wanted to participate in his new conversion and ask blessings over him. He gladly accepted. When we were done, I told him to please be on the lookout for the same present wrapped in a different package. When I said this, I thought to myself, “What did I just say?” It sounded like some cheesy fortune cookie statement or something.

When dealing with someone who is mentally ill, you never want to plant a thought with them that could manifest negatively. Therefore, I was careful not to tell him what I was really thinking, but I never thought it would come out like that. Who knows what one will say impromptu? However, I went home in hopes that this statement was just strange enough to give him anticipation and recollection should that time of challenge ever come.

He was discharged some days later, and as with all my clients, I had wished that I could keep in touch with him. However, it is definitely against all rules and better judgment to give a client your outside contact information. So, I have to rely on my prayers for them and the hope that they are doing well.

The other night I was blogging about some new medical website that had impressed me, and I checked my messages before signing off as I usually do. In my blog messages, I noticed that someone had left me a message from an email I did not recognize. It was on my blog that I had written about a year ago that spoke about overcoming challenges and being on guard – mostly written for new Christian converts. The commenter’s message said this: “when old packages come in new, shiny wrappings…send it back to the sender. Only God gives freely with no strings attached, and only God is the author of life.”

That’s all it said, but those two lines meant everything to me. Perhaps he had been faced with the temptation to end his life again. Perhaps the enemy had presented him with some other lie with the false promise that it would make his life better. I have no idea what the statement meant to him, or what he had been faced with since our last conversation, but the fact that I know he is still alive and still in God’s hand is enough for me. We never know how what we say today may impact someone tomorrow…or years later for that matter. “Dear God, please allow me to always follow the path you have set for me. Please allow me to always remember that you have divine foreknowledge and know how to weave today’s actions in with those of tomorrow. In Christ’s name we pray. Amen.”

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