Love that Inspires Growth and Hope through Trials

Love that Inspires Growth and Hope through Trials

Mental Illness and Our Take on It

The gallery holds LIGHT for MI's collective works of writing, poetry, and images as a way of release from the stresses and suffering of mental illness.

Dedicated as a belated 21st Birthday gift and as words of encouragement in a time of trial for a dear brother in Christ, Eli that ‘ginger madman without a Blue Box’(but in possession of a smithy.)

Words from a brother to a sister and now back again....

My dearly struggling brother, I do not know if you remember the conversation we had almost a year ago... I remember it well and it is what has kept me living for these hard times... When I say living, let me elaborate... being truly alive, by seeing purpose in my steps...and in that, wanting to stretch out and show all their purpose. I know you may be wondering why I'm bringing it up, if it seems to have only have affected me in this way... But let me go deeper into it. When you spoke to me I saw a part of your heart reveal itself to me... and I want to show that part to you again.

In Christ Alone and to His name be the glory!

--Hazel Sincerity Shepherd

I sat on a log, weeping. I had done it again, I let my emotions have me again. Blood was spilled on my arms. Now, long since cleaned and tended to, the cuts still stung and smelled of iron. Scared to be honest to my best friend. Scared to come out of this wood. But come out, I must... to stop walloping in this self piteous state. I rose and directed my steps on a path well-worn. I wanted to talk to someone, someone who I looked very highly to... I was almost numb as I drew near to the door of his cabin, just blindly walking towards it. I raised a timdly trembling fist to knock, I hesitated... Then knocked softly three times. I waited with my fingers fiddling and breath held. It always scared me to come to the cabin, why? I never understood it, but too late to back down, now... As the door opened abruptly and a man stood tall over my short, trembling, plump figure... I began to really feel puny again... The man's blazing red hair always made me think that it came from a fiery heart of passion... Shaking that thought from my head... I looked at his deep blue eyes, that revealed a hint of a no-nonsense attitude. He read deep into me and I shrunk again... I was a mess, I knew that and my face was still stained with tears.

"What's wrong now, child?" Andrew asked me, the question wasn't unkind, but it sent a squirm in my stomach.

My words caught in my throat and I shook as I spoke, "I'm finding out truths that I really need to talk about."

Andrew sighed wearily, but stood out of the way of the door to let me walk in, with my shoulders tense, head cringing...


"All of my deliberate disobedience backfires on me..." I said, almost emotionlessly by this point.

"Because, you finally regained Christ." Andrew said, pointedly, "Think on that."

I sat on a sofa, after pouring out my entire problem, hoping for a way to release myself from what I had done. I wept long enough, that I knew I might have sounded like a blubbering idiot, but I hadn't cared... I once I let everything out I stared out into space... Blankly looking through my surroundings... I held a mug of tea, long-since after becoming lukewarm. Lights twinkled in my eyes, and pictures moved in my mind, and I could have sworn I could hear music in the far distance of the mountains beyond this forest. When I looked to where Andrew had gone, I saw he had stood up with both our mugs in his hands to place on the table in there corner. My eyes twinkled and sparkled with images of a scarred hand wiping away all tears. Visions of dancing in fields, with the Bridegroom... laughter, joy, all sorrow since victored in one roaring swipe of this Lover's Hand. Then my heart began to ache and long for it... I excitedly shook, my childlike joy unable to be contained and my tongue loosed in heartwrenching yet rejoicing speech, "When will Christ return? Forget about dying, I want to see Him return! So that all His people may partake in paradise and not just me!"

Andrew's eyes snapped to me and I looked down at my lap with a tearfilled smile at it. He sighed and sat down next to me, "Christ will return when it's God's will. Christ himself said that no man knows when He'll return, only the Father."

"What a mystery!" my face leapt to look at Andrew with tears of absolute joy.

"Part of what makes God so righteous," Andrew's long and old gaze to the distance made me want to leap from the sofa and speak a truth so beautiful... a hope so colourful.... a love so great, tears spilled over my face and fell all over my hands.

I couldn't resist the pull anymore... I jumped and held my face wiped the tears, threw my hands up as it went through my long chocolate-brown curls, "Leave it a beautiful glorious mystery! That's what I'll do!"

Andrew looked up at me, with a softened glance, then rose and patted my shoulder, "Good on you, lass."

"It's like waiting for your birthday, except it's a rebirthday!" I leapt away from his hand and danced, cried, laughed, and cried again.

Andrew smiled at me and I froze, "Pretty much, all eternity being reborn."

I stared at my hands, trembling and wet by tears, and wiped my joyous tears from my eyes with one, "But I can't imagine a life without tears..."

Andrew sat back down, "Me neither. Or pains... That sensation would be amazing."

I gently sat back down and hugged him... rubbing his back, "I always imagined Jesus holding up his robes and running to me.... and picking me up and spinning me around... I thought of it that way when I was 17 I didn't imagine myself 17, tho.... I imagined myself a little child, yet ageless standing in awe, smiling not my normal mischievous smile no, but an indescribable joy filled smile."

Andrew nodded, "Aye...Or me kneeling before him in my battered Earthly armor, and him stripping me of my sinful, bloodied gear and garbing me in fresh, pure gear. All my bitterness and worry about whether I'd really make it or not stripped away, to the quiet, kind-hearted little boy who loved to read."

"I can't ever imagine me innocent... I never was... I had trials as long as I can remember. But, to think I will be innocent, in white garments of righteousness... washed by the blood of the body...we'll know each other and I would see Papa Bud always thought of him with healed barefeet on the streets of gold, dancing!" my tear flowed again, I couldn't stop! The Spirit filled me... and I was just gonna let Him say these things to me... and I was going to speak it too!

Andrew's smile didn't dim in anyway, and his reply sent pleasant chills to wash my heated bones, "Amen and bagpipes reeling."

I could almost hear bagpipes in my heart now. I spoke the word as if savouring a scrumptious meal, "Bagpipes..."

"...not having to worry about a knife slipping into my ribs, my mind and heart fully healed," Andrew looked down at his shoes, with a serene smile.

My heart overflowed with joy for this brother. I knew what he went through... and I knew this would be something best to stay silent on. So, I let him rejoice in his own thoughts.

"...and I will be finally free..." he closed his eyes.

Then I danced again in my own thoughts and let the words flow again, "I would be able to write poems, pure and true, with words I've never dreamed of....colours I couldn't describe now and there'd be no sun or moon, cuz God would be the only light! It seems too good ... it seems way too good for me.... but that's why God is amazing!"

"Exactly. That's what we have to hope for, to hold in our hearts..." Andrew's countenance was so filled with peace, that I almost couldn't recognize him...

Tears filled my eyes again, and I drew him near and hugged him.

Written and Finished August 1, 2014

Inspired by a true story in a fictional setting

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Who We Are

Arianna LIGHT for MI

Arianna is a proud authoress, artist, and musician, but the most important thing about her is; she seeks the hidden face of God with a passion. A lover of culture, art, music, and all things geeky and Celtic, her writings are often greatly impacted by these things.


Valerie LIGHT for MI

Valerie is the wife of a remarkable man, and the mother of three children, with two of whom having various degrees of mental illness. Valerie is no stranger to mental illness herself as a sufferer of depression on and off for years.