When I was a child, I loved trains and imagined living like a hobo and traveling through the country sitting on the side of an open car. One day while driving past a train track, my mother told me the story of my great grandfather’s death. She told me that he committed suicide by deliberately walking on the trails when a train was coming; she said no one ever talked about it because it was shameful to the family. I felt a connection with him, although I had never known him; I felt like I knew his heart. I knew the deep yearnings of trying to escape the never-ending trail of tears, loneliness, and brokenness. I, too, tried to end my life twice because of the shame of my past, and I continued living in patterns that seemed to have no end to destructive behaviors. Moreover, some beliefs were grounded and rooted by culture and traditions that were not good, nor were they God’s intentions for His creation. Evil and sin distorted the good God intended for humanity. The Bible says, “Then God saw everything that He made, and indeed it was good” (Genesis 1:31). I waited for my train to bring me into a better future, but it never stopped; it just went by. Why? Because I sat at the station waiting and believing in false hope without making changes.
Because I have been authentic about my struggles with mental illness, some have used my openness as tools to convince others that I am crazy. Mental illness is a curable illness if you get help from someone who knows what they are doing, such as professionals. Let me tell you what crazy is. Crazy is doing the same old things over and over again with the same past outcomes. Dr. Henry Cloud says that the past is a predictor of the future (Cloud, Henry (2010)Necessary Endings). In other words, if a person says they are sorry but are not making evident change, then you can count on being in the same situation in the future. Matthew 7:15-20 says, “You can tell a tree by its fruit. If someone hurts you, and they do not change their behaviors, the fruit remains the same. The Lord Jesus also warns that there are wolves in sheep’s clothing; we need knowledge, discernment, and understanding. When I began this journey in mental healing, I knew this was something I had to do or die. My health has been affected by stressful situations that need change or an ending. When you’re stuck at a train track, waiting for the never-ending train to pass, you feel stuck. You can’t move forward. You’ve lost sight of the beginning, nor can you see the end.
The Longest Train
As I reflect the year coming to an end
I see myself standing aside from the tracks
I stand alone watching my life go by, some days long,
others were quickly passing by.
There are changes I need to make,
and say good-bye to old ways by the renewing of my mind
Lord grant me this one thing today, everything taken,
or wasted, be redeemed through Christ, as I make my way home heaven-bound
Lisa Rene Delgado
Cloud, Henry. Necessary Endings