Chariots and horses

psalm-20-3I saw a poster years ago that said, “The magic is, there is no magic.” And despite our deepest wishes, there is also no silver bullet, no special formula, no perfect plan. For those who care for a loved one dealing with mental illness, we search high and low for the right doctors, the right medications, the right program hoping to find the healing. Few find it.

Sometimes, though, we do find a combination of doctors, therapists, medications, support groups and housing that brings a fragile stability, movement toward recovery and a measure of relief, even if short-lived and not ideal. All the while we stay on the hunt looking for the magic hat into which we can dump our concerns and fears; and then, with an “abracadabra,” we eagerly await a carefree answer to pop out.

It is good and right that we keep looking for solutions. Nelson and I have surely done so in our journey with our son, Douglas, and there has been some measure of relief along the way. New approaches to treatment of mental health difficulties are developing daily. Medications are evolving at quick pace. Support groups and educational programs, like those offered by NAMI and Mental Health Grace Alliance, are spreading. All of these resources give us help. But according to Psalm 20:7, they are not where we put our trust.

Like chariots and horses helped the ancients win their battles, doctors and medications can help our loved ones gain victories over aspects of their mental health disorders. There are assets and tools to assist in the recovery, but we do not set our hope in them. As people of faith, our trust is in the name of the Lord our God.