Again, we're at the NRB with meeting so many wonderful, neat folks. And now, oh my goodness, we have Lynn Eldridge with us, which is E-L-D-R-I-B-G-E. She knows how to spell Eldridge, so that's fun.
It is fun. And her book, challenging title, let me just tell you, Bipolar to Beloved. Absolutely. Wow, a journey from mental health illness to freedom. So, I can just tell you from personal experience with this one, a lot of it, I have a dear friend who wrote an article. It said, mental illness is the disease that gets no chicken soup. In other words, you do a prayer request in your Sunday school class saying, I'm struggling with schizophrenia, and then, oh yeah, let us bring you some chicken soup and that kind of stuff. So, I'm very curious on how that, because people in the church aren't just all that open, are they?
No, they're not. And somebody said to me once, you have another book besides Bipolar to Beloved because the people that come to our meetings aren't bipolar. But I found that when it was announced at a Christian conference, the woman sitting next to me said, I'm bipolar. And the woman at the end of the row said, my grandchildren are bipolar. The man at the aisle up said, my wife's bipolar. And I was being followed down the hallways at a Christian conference because it isn't that unusual anymore.
In fact, if you want my thoughts, what I see on the news looks a whole lot like bipolar. Yeah, I'm sure. I'm sure. And oh my goodness, there's such a story there in so many lives that really, so I'm very curious, your own journey.
So I'm sure that this book is about that story. But were you active in a church when that diagnosis came? And how did the people in the church treat you? Well, I'm going to try and give you a quick life history.
Raised in the church, vacation Bible school, went through several denominations. My mother was always seeking more. I had childhood depression, didn't know what it was. So when I would get up, sat, be in my room crying, my father would say, what is wrong? And since I had no understanding as an eight year old, I just watched Lassie or something and I said, I want a dog. So they bought me a dog and I named the dog Happy. But that was the beginning of me looking for things on the outside of me to fix what was going on on the inside of me because I didn't know what was going on. I didn't know that my American Indian ancestry might have played into the alcoholism. My doctor would say, do you have a family history of mental illness? And yes, my great grandfather's on both sides of my family. It's extremely prevalent in our family, even though we're, quote, looked on on the outside as successful, but not successful when their children and grandchildren are shooting up heroin in their beautiful homes with nice cars and dying. So success looks like something and that looks like pretty inside and outside.
And Jesus talks about washing the outside of the pet, but what about the inside? So my journey after my mother, who had, I love her, had a ministry and we went to church every Sunday, but she didn't know what love looked like. So it looked like criticism. It looked like berating and it looked like abuse and we were never good enough because that's all she knew. By the time I met my grandmother, she knew Jesus. I don't know what my mom grew up with, but we do generational patterns.
We do these things and the church doesn't always know how to adjust for them. People are destroyed for lack of knowledge. So I got tired of the berating by the time I hit high school. Well, I started my first eating disorder when I was in eighth grade because I wasn't skinny enough, even though I was probably 95 pounds. And it was just the voice in my head and the voice that was parroted to me that my mother heard from her mother. And so it continued and I found speed in high school, which gave me a measure of control for the pain and the weight.
Maybe then I'd be good enough. And then I found other drugs because I started dating a school drug dealer and didn't know it. And then I figured, well, a little drug, this was good, then maybe that would be better. And my father would talk to me about cheap thrills and true happiness. And I had no idea what he was talking about because I identified with the same parent with a critical voice. And that's what I believed.
Of course, if they love me and this is who I'm told I am, then they're right because they know best. But I ended up getting involved with, I wanted to buy in bulk. I was an entrepreneur in high school. And so I got involved with older men that were selling to me in bulk.
And I graduated from high school a year early and I ended up taking money to Florida and buying kilos of cocaine and bringing it back in my home state. When I got a phone call from my mother one day, she goes, come over here now. And she said, the FBI have come to your father and I because you're a minor and they're going to arrest you and or the people you're dealing with are going to kill you if you don't get out. So we're going to put you someplace where no one would find you. And I said, where's that? She goes, a Bible college. So I went two hours later. I was on a well known campus and the power of God crashed in on me and changed everything in a minute.
Nobody preaching, it was the love of God. But they'd already started for the semester. So I went and lived with my mother's sister in a nearby city out of state. And same family patterns. So I thought love looks like something. What I did realize is I was opening the door to all the doors in hell that Jesus had shut for me in a minute because we didn't know God's ways. We didn't know his truth. We didn't know him. We knew the structures of our church or culture, but we didn't know the one that loves radically. Right.
So wow. You take me back to the last couple parts of that. So you went to this Christian campus and there you said the love of Christ came crashing in. Can you kind of take us back to what that was?
Well, I was just standing on the campus and I don't know how to describe it except for I felt his love and I felt his compassion and his presence and his forgiveness. So there was a peace there on that place. Right.
And did that stay? It did until I moved in with my aunt and started in on the same unforgiveness towards my uncle and dishonored towards my mother and the words that were actually condemning me and other people. Those aren't God's ways. They were invitations for more torment.
You know, Jesus said that we walk in forgiveness so we don't open the door to the tormentor. Right. This is real.
It's not an option. Okay. So you went from the campus now to the aunt. Then what happened? Well, I ended up going to a small Bible college and graduated with a bachelor's in theology but I reopened the door to bipolar, to torment, to eating disorders. I got on a plane, went to Dallas, walked in a bar named Cowboys and there was a good looking man there and he was a cocaine dealer. So I went back to the same place that I had been set free from by the love and power of God because I didn't know the ways of God.
Okay. And so I ended up going to Chicago and getting involved with some people up there that were probably not healthy for me. I ended up deciding if my troubles were in Chicago I'd have to go farther away. So I moved to India. I moved to Thailand. India?
Thailand? Yeah. I got into quite a few different New Age, Buddhism, Hinduism, Daoism and alcoholism and those things didn't quite bring the answer. You were certainly searching. Well that's the cool thing when you listen to that story is you go, you would sense something on that campus that there's a peace and understanding.
So no wonder. There's got to be, where can I find this permanently rather than something that just felt so... So I ended up getting out of a mental institution in 2011 and I asked my cousin who unfortunately is deceased if he could go with me and get me some help where I was killing myself and he said there was a healer at church. And I was like, oh no. But I went and I got invited to a healing room where they prayed for me and I felt that presence again. And I told God I'd give him one more chance.
I go all in. But I said, you healed the lunatic. You had compassion on the multitude. You healed them all. You're not a respecter of persons.
You're not a man that you should like. I want my healing. I ran into a woman that knew my mother and myself when I was a little girl and I said, I need prayer. She goes, why? I said, I'm bipolar and I'm suicidal and I've got eating disorders and I'm addicted. And she's going, no you don't. And I go, well yes. She goes, no you're not. You're the head and not the tail. You're above and not the knee. He'll give you beauty for ashes.
Give him the ashes. Choose who you want to believe. And I thought she was crazier than I was. So I went back the next week, told her I was bipolar suicidal and all.
She goes, no you're not. You know there are facts and there is truth. The facts are you had a diagnosis. But God says he's the truth. So who do you want to believe? The systems of this world are the one who created you. You have the mind of Christ. You are the apple of his eye. He is pleased with you.
He's not angry with you. You see I thought God was angry, punishing, judging, condemning, etc. And somebody said to me, is that God or is that you? And so maybe I identified God through the eyes of my most influential parent when I was growing up. So what I had to do is go back to the Bible and learn what the truth was. Wow. That is quite a story. Bipolar to beloved.
Again Lynn Eldridge endorsed by Dr. Randy Clark, Dr. Heidi Baker, and Dr. Mike Hutchins. So when you're writing the book, quite often God sneaks up on you and something you really hadn't processed much. Was there a chapter or something within the book that just like, man I did not see that coming and I had not yet received Christ in that tender place? What I think has taken the longest time to recognize from writing the book is that he has given me a voice and that I'm qualified to give it. I know his truth. He has given me this story, not because I'm smart, but because he's good. And I just think it's the goodness of God and it's really hard sometimes to be brought up in families where there's a lot of shame and control. You said that so beautifully.
Let me rephrase it in a way. I have a friend who's a junkyard guy. He's my Christian junkyard guy.
He says it like this. What I thought, because he was a drug dealer, all this stuff, they asked him to teach Sunday school and he said, you don't understand, man. I am totally disqualified. But what he said, he discovered was what he thought made him disqualified actually made him uniquely qualified.
And the other thing that jumps out in scripture, King David said in 119 Psalms, I will give my testimonies before kings and not be ashamed. Nobody, nobody can't tell their story because you're the only person that lives that. And then it's a miraculous God story because we know who the hero is. We know the hero in my story.
Believe me, it ain't Robbie. A sick mind like mine did not fix a sick mind like mine. We're all sick.
The only place I understand normal is on a dishwasher or a washing machine. You don't find it anywhere else. So don't think that anybody else has got, because we all have our struggles and then I'm sure that God's up there. But fortunately he loved you. And you know, the other thing that I would say to you that I think you need to hear is the second Corinthians chapter one. It says the God of all comfort comforts us, that we can comfort others with the comfort that he comforted us with. And that's what this book is. Right. Right. And I love that he takes a foolish confound the wise.
The doctor said there was no way, but Jesus said he is the way. Exactly. Exactly. So beautiful. End of story. It really is, Lynn. God bless you and thank you for the courage to do this. That's quite the journey and oh my goodness. Absolutely amazing. Stunning cover too, by the way. Absolutely beautiful woman, Lynn Eldridge. Thank you very much. Thank you.
How do people get the book? Go to Lynn Eldridge. LynnEldridge.com. I also have a course there on time for a turnaround and it's also on Amazon. There you go.
LynnEldridge.com. If I could say one thing. You can say as many things as you want. We're loved? Oh yes we are. That's it. Yes we are.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-20 00:27:07 / 2023-05-20 00:33:02 / 6