October 27th, 2009

I can’t remember a column or series of columns I have written for the Pastor’s Pen that prompted more reaction than the last three columns on ADHD. 

My favorite pair of reactions, both from mothers whose children have been diagnosed with ADHD –

·         “You don’t have ADHD.”

·         “You just realized you have ADHD?  I’ve known that ever since you came to Corinth.”

I understand both reactions, since ADHD takes so many forms. 

One person wrote to me, “Now I understand you better.”

Another member said over lunch, “Maybe ADHD is the ‘disease du jour.’  Maybe we all have it.”

A Corinth leader wrote, “You have really put yourself down.  I don’t think many in the congregation would agree with you.”

One of my family members commented to my mother, “Why is Bob writing all that about himself?”

The answer to that last question may come in an e-mail I received from a church member who wrote, “The fact that you are willing to share some of your difficulties resulting from ADHD helped me understand some of my problems and furthermore gave me a greater understanding of what my doctor was trying to tell me. What a blessing it is that you continue to touch my life.”

My daughter Cara wrote about last week’s column, “This is amazing!  I actually found myself relaxing as I read this…like I know you really understand, now!   So many people don’t understand how frustrating life can be for ‘us’ that suffer from ADHD.  Somebody asked me today about when I don’t take Adderall and I said, ‘Oh my stars, I get on my nerves so badly!’”

Cara was an inspiration for this whole series.  As a Clinical Counseling student, she is digging deeply into the whats and whys of her own behavior.  She is facing those issues with candor and courage.  She wrote a paper titled “Undistracted” on her ADHD that inspired me to face honestly my own.

In that paper, Cara quoted James 1:24-25, which warns against looking in the mirror of God’s Word, disliking what you see, and doing nothing about it.  The problem with ADHD, Cara said, is that often you can’t remember what God’s Word said ten minutes later!  Contemporary science can help us remember and treat ADHD, but the Bible helps us see ourselves as belonging to the One who loves us as we are.

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