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Home > Support > Mothering > I was recently diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. Do you think that the Lord would rather me send my toddler to school?
 
 
Question: I am very excited to homeschool my little girl but I have a problem. I was recently diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder and am getting on medication to help. Do you think that the Lord would rather me send my toddler to school rather than keeping her home? I am a wreck at wondering whether I should homeschool or not. I prayed for months and know this is what I want to do, but is it what God would rather me do?
Answer:

Dear Mom,

As I read your letter I was impressed with your spirit of sacrifice and willingness to follow the Lord's will completely. This is a very strong testimony of faith and docility. Your daughter is indeed blest to have in you a mother who has a heart for her child and her child's needs.

I am going to assume that because you stated that you are about to receive medication for the treatment and management of your condition that you are under a physician's care. Though I do not understand all of the aspects of this illness I do believe that one should be under the care of a qualified health care provider who can adjust the dosage of medication according to the results of usage. It would seem to me that along with medication there must certainly be lifestyle choices, etc. that are to be worked through and fully understood. Medication works only as well as we are willing to work with the medication. I am sure that you are learning every day more and more about your illness and ways to cope with the demands it makes upon your life. This aspect of the illness alone is vital to your having a healthy relationship with your daughter and other persons as well. I am certain that there are other considerations surrounding the treatment of your illness that affect you and need to be understood. All of these issues take time and patience to work through and to cooperate with in order to lead a full and fruitful life. In other words, it seems that it is vital that you allow yourself the time to work through these issues without the burden of a change in lifestyle.

The great blessing here however is twofold. First your daughter is very young and her formal education is a couple of years away. This is a blessing because it gives you the luxury of time. Secondly this time gives you the opportunity to address the issues of your illness before you start formal education. Is it going to hurt your daughter for her to attend a preschool program while you work through the priorities of your situation? I do not think so at all. In fact it will give you some space to learn more about your illness, to read up on homeschooling, and to make a plan of approach for that time that you begin her homeschool. Many preschool programs are for a couple of days a week and are merely a time for a toddler to play with other children while under the watchful eye of a teacher. It may be that the Lord is allowing you this time in order that you can fully address the most pressing issues in your life. Does this mean that you are not able to homeschool? Certainly not. It means that you are being allowed the time to get prepared before you start.

When I felt the call from the Lord to homeschool I was in the middle of a very tumultuous situation in our life. Due to the circumstances I was forced to begin homeschool after the end of the present school year. I was not 'ready' to begin because I was not ready. The time between when I realized I was supposed to homeschool and the actual beginning of the journey was approximately 7 months. This time allowed me to fully educate and prepare. When September came I was 'ready, set, teach'. The knowledge that I knew I was going to homeschool, gave me the strength during some difficult times to carry on despite the situation with which I was faced. The time allowed me to focus upon the real meaning of the homeschooling lifestyle. It gave me a goal that was well worth working towards.

This time also allowed for something much more important than planning my children's education. It allowed for me to grow spiritually as I prepared to enter into what I believed to be the Lord's will for our family. No matter whether we are homeschooling or not, there is great power within us through the Holy Spirit when we reach a point in our life whereby we are accepting of the Lord's will for us. It is powerful because it reduces our earthly desires to dust and replaces them with the Lord's will alone. This is a powerful feeling and one that causes us to walk hand in hand with the Lord. Prayer, Eucharistic Adoration, the Holy Mass, and other forms of worship afford us the benefit of more deeply appreciating what is taking place in our hearts. This step is fundamental to our being able to experience a fruitful outcome no matter the work we are doing.

I admire you greatly. You are a holy witness to the struggle of ordinary people who must labor under burdens which are difficult and many times hidden from the view of others. Mental illness is everything that a medical illness means to a healthy person. It can be limiting or not depending upon the care one receives and the true love and understanding one is given. I admire your docility and purity that allows you the humility of spirit to seek help and to act upon your desire to be fully mom for your children. This is of the Lord. Surely one such as you who has made this difficult step in her life is indeed walking hand in hand with God. Praise God. You will be a wonderful teacher because you are an excellent and humble, teachable student of the Lord.

Let us pray a Memorare for all those persons who are suffering under the influence of mental illness in their lives. Let us offer up our prayers for them today that those persons who love them will find the courage to help them receive the help they need. Jesus we love you and long to see Your face. Allow that our dear sister in Christ be surrounded by persons who are able to instruct her, care for her, and guide her as she begins the journey into the healing process. Allow that she be inspired through the Holy Spirit to have a fruitful homeschooling journey now and in the future as well. St. Dymphna pray for us. St. Angela Merici pray for us. Amen.

Sending out a prayer,

Rita Munn

   
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