To All Who Have Lost Faith… A Poem For You

The Lost Disciple of Galilee

The Lost Disciple of Galilee [1]

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The Shepherd looked upon my face [1]

I wondered how to earn his grace [2]

With shame I came to realize

The debt unpaid before his eyes[3]

He asked me once, his voice at ease

“Lovest thou me more than these?”

The question’s sting I could not hide

“Yea, Lord Thou knowest” was my reply

“Feed my lambs” I heard him say

This charge, it stirs me to this day

Silence took me, then a question he said

“Lovest thou me?” as he handed me bread

“Thou knowest I love thee!” I began to weep

His next remark was “Feed my sheep”

A memory from my darkest hour

When I denied him, my heart did cower

To die for him I thought I could[4]

But thrice denied as he said I would[5]

He took my face and raised my gaze

I beheld him through a tearful haze

He named my name, the question he said[6]

“Lovest thou me?” and I wished to be dead[7]

These questions stirred up all of my grief[8]

I searched within and found some relief

I stood to say with all my heart[9]

“Thou knowest all things..” I said in part[10]

“Thou knowest I love thee.” my word was firm[11]

“Feed my sheep” His voice in me burned[12]

His tokened hands stretched forth to embrace[13]

He brushed the tears from off my face[14]

“When thou wast young’ he began to say

“You walked where you wanted- just like today[15]

But when you are older, your hands will stretch taut

And I will carry you to where you would not.[16]

Your time has now come, put off childish things[17]

My grace is sufficient; Come follow thou me[18]

For in life and in death, all things to this end

Greater love hath no man than to die for his friends[19]

Verily, verily I say unto you

To live for your friends is a noble cause too

Remember to give and to die for my sake[20]

Then Co-heirs to my glory you’ll someday partake.”[21]

So ends the debate between grace and self-merit[22]

His Gospel will free us, to retain we must share it.[23] [24]

Footnotes

[1] See John 21

[2] 1 Corinthians 13:12

[3] 2 Nephi 25:20; Ephesians 2:8-9

[4] Romans 13:8-10; Mosiah 2:21-24,34

[5] Matthew 26:35; John 13:37

[6] John 18:13-27; Luke 54:62; Matthew 26:69-72; Mark 14:66-42

[7] Isaiah 43:1

[8] Alma 36:15

[9] John 21:17; Alma 36:12-13

[10] Psalm 20:8

[11] 1 Samuel 16:7 2 Nephi 9:20

[12] John 21:17

[13] John 21:17; Luke 24:32

[14] Isaiah 5:25; 9:12, 17, 21; 10:4

[15] Revelation 21:4

[16] Acts 14:16; D&C 1:16; Alma 5; Isaiah 55:8-9

[17] John 21: 18

[18] 1 Corinthians 13:11

[19] Ether 12:27; Matthew 4:19

[20] John 15:13

[21] JST Mark 8:37

[22] Romans 8:15-16

[23] Ephesians 2:8-9; James 2:14-26

[24] Romans 3:24; D&C 4; Mosiah 3; Mosiah 18:8-9

Augustus Nelson (Written September 2017)

Picture is Cast your nets, by Greg Olsen

 

My Next Introduction…

 

Something feels wrong. People are repulsed/ and confused by you, the questions asked and expressed in the faces of others are: are you ok, and what is wrong with you? The looks of worry, concern and sometimes fear cause wounds to your self-appraisal. You are wondering: what IS wrong with me? What am I showing that is causing such reactions from people without saying any words? So you decided to get away from people because it feels like you are naked, broken, and an item of gossip. You are completely exposed, and sociality disturbs you. You need to hide because you are a wounded monster- it is about damage control. But here is one problem: you can’t get away. You have too many people who have been addicted to you just a few days/weeks before- they contact you and want to hang out- but now you say no. It seems to further wound you when you hear the disappointment in their voices. You have no explanation as to why you can’t hang out, so the conversation is awkward and doesn’t end well. You worry for the person’s wellbeing- because despite your own insecurities you can still see theirs, and now feel responsible for their hurts. So the first sleepless night is centered around the question: what is wrong with me? You soon realize that you are unable to go to sleep and that is not good. Every health fact that you had ever been taught: true or false floods your mind. You soon become obsessed about your sleep. After worrying all night staring at the ceiling you get out of bed when the sun rises and find that you have ZERO appetite. You instantly think about how you need to eat and you won’t be able to survive long without food. Your mind is becoming a muddled mess; you can comprehend what is around you but can’t respond appropriately or in a timely manner. You have never felt this way before and your worry is increasing. You soon lose your ability to place words with your thoughts and feelings. “I don’t know” becomes your go to phrase for any question. After meager attempts for help that go unrecognized you come to a conclusion that this is over your head. You now think that you are going crazy and think about clinical help-but you are afraid that they will cart you away, put you in a straight jacket, and medicate you into a vegetable state. Let the fear and delusions begin and increase. You don’t want to hurt anyone by action or inaction. You are stuck between a rock and a hard place. Another sleepless night and your mental process was about how to end it. The racing thoughts, worry, loss of appetite, and inability to make sense of your thoughts create a vortex of chaos, which needs to end. You conclude that suicide is a feasible option. As a last ditch option you pray for help- you are unable to form the words: but after several hours you manage after addressing Deity to get out the words: please help me. Your desperate plea doesn’t stop the storm at the closing of your prayer so you determine that God isn’t real and you are alone. You reason very quickly that if God isn’t real then there is no punishment/life following this. You determine that it is ‘safe’ to end your life. The next day is chaos, the next night you make your plan.

My less than a week introduction to dysphoria, paranoia, delusions, psychosis, and rapid self induced death attempt.

My Introduction…

Everyone loves you, you are the man/woman of the month- people are addicted to you, they can’t get enough of being around you. You seem to be contagious- in the best kind of way. You obtain prestige, praise, quick social success and everyone looks at you with quizzical expressions on their face with their heads tilted slightly to the side. ‘Why is he/she so happy?’ They seem to think. You feel great, like a million bucks, healthy, sexy, and an immense amount of energy that feels as though it should be illegal. You seem to get everything that you want and more. You are spiritually on fire, you love everyone and everything- a total ‘YES!’ man/woman. You soon wonder what was so hard about life before- you start making drafts for world peace, as you are certain that you have the answers- if only people could ‘wake up’ like you had then the world world would certainly be a utopia- Eden’s Garden. You absorb people’s pain and leave them joy, you sense depression in others and seem to have the touch to wipe the darkness from peoples countenance’s. You are a flame of glory drawing everyone to your gaze, the social gravity that people align with. When you lose it feels like winning, when you win- it feels like another awesome day. Your attitude is so bright that when you strike out, you smile and joke with mirth that: ‘it is just a game.’ You feel immortal: you don’t need sleep, you don’t even need to eat, you just keep on solving the world’s problems. A month has passed in bliss. You laugh in the Devil’s face: Welcome to Euphoric Mania where all of your wildest dreams come true.

This was my first awakening to Bipolar Disorder- of course I didn’t know it. I didn’t think I had a problem- quite the opposite- I had figured life out… finally. Oh if I could only see the darkness on the horizon…