Red Vine Spirituality

Taylor K. Arthur balances Bipolar 1 Disorder, marriage, and motherhood with a nitty-gritty faith inspiring a twisted, blissful life.

Until the boat breaks (Welcome to a new season on Red vine)

Welcome to a new season on Red Vine!

Can you believe this is our fourth year of nitty-gritties? I remember my first post. I was scared out of my mind the first time I hit “publish,” even though I was certain of this call I couldn’t ignore any longer.

I was scared of bringing up Bipolar. I was scared for my family, my boys, my future career opportunities. Would I ever be allowed to teach again? I kept coming to God with the many risks of going public ON THE INTERNET. But, all I continued to feel from Him was a further nudge toward full disclosure. Ugh.

So, I stalled. I wrote about stillbirth and being a heart mom and poured out my grief. I theologized and preached on everything but the one subject I had been given a mandate to address.

It took me fifteen months to bring up my mental illness on Red Vine. When I finally came out with it in my first post, Bipolar Mama: Out of the Pit, I realized I was in for it. Life as I knew it would never be the same.

And it’s not. As I have given myself over to this excruciatingly humble calling, I have been amazed at how He leads me. And, how He lets me sit in the dark and wait for Him.

There’s been a lot of dark lately, if I’m going to be honest. I have never felt so totally vulnerable, so all-in to a “yes” before. There isn’t an area of my life that hasn’t been rearranged or affected. I’ve had to get more disciplined with my time. I’ve had to say no to meetings with friends and girls’ nights outs. I’ve had to seek out and accept help with my house and my kids. I’ve even put on my big girl pants and flown to the east coast all by myself to attend SheSpeaks.

It was the first time I’d ever done something that grown up before. And, being alone and outing my Bipolar self with every handshake in a conference room of 800 women? That is a post for another day, but I will tell you this: it was hard.

When I came home from SheSpeaks a hysterical ball of exhaustion, I wanted to give up this calling that I never asked for. I wanted to drop this very heavy burden and run in the opposite direction. There may have been a moment in prayer when I whispered to God that I was done. Tired of it.

Then I read a post by Kaitlyn Bouchillon, who is a recent college graduate following her own calling. She referred to Acts 27 in her post, This Is My Brave, where Paul is on a boat that is being tossed by a vicious storm.

An angel appears to Paul in the midst of the storm and assures him that he and the entire crew will survive if they stay with the ship, but they will perish if they leave the ship. So do you know what they do?

They cut the ropes to the life boats.

They commit to staying with the ship until it falls apart or they can run it aground.

I realize in my journey to write in obedience, I’ve tried to keep my life boats just in case. I’ve dabbled in every Bible study, teaching, and leadership opportunity that came my way just in case. I seriously considered trying to get a job this last month.

Something, anything, Lord, but this excruciating walk in the dark!

But isn’t that always the way God accomplishes His greatest will in us? We don’t get life boats in our faith walks! We don’t get a back up plan, a secret savings account in the Caymans.

When we’re on His journey, we just may have to get dirty, hungry, exhausted, and a bit terrified while we sit in the storm and WAIT. FOR. HIM.

So, after a few mornings crying in the tent on our family vacation, after a few glances through the job boards, after looking into homeschooling the boys, I finally climbed into my bed with my Bible one morning this August.

I’m not going to say that I saw an angel, but my scared, frustrated, lonely, tired heart was tended to. And I know now more than ever that I don’t have to know what’s happening or how it’s going to work out. I don’t need to know how we’re paying tuition next year or what our investments in this ministry will yield.

I just need to cut the ropes. I just need to write in obedience, to hold on to the side of this boat until my feet hit the shore.

Or, until this boat breaks. Until I hold onto its pieces and am washed upon a new shore of His choosing.

Peel it all away, Jesus. This girl is trusting, running, to You.

Until the boat breaks, friends. I hope you’ll stick around to see how He gets me to shore.

And, may I ask: What’s your boat? I’d love to hear about your faith walks and encourage you along the way.



  1. I love this post! I can relate to your honesty about avoiding the boat. Writing a blog is my boat. I’m in it with you, knowing God is at the steering wheel. The world needs your message, honest message of hope in the midst of such a misunderstood illness.

    Thanks for your boldness and honesty Taylor!

    • Thanks, Laura! It’s so good to hear from you. We need more and MORE Christians talking about this illness in every capacity. I am excited to start following your blog! God bless you.

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