In the light of her comments about things not changing or getting better, I wonder if telling her the depression/mania situation will probably never change, like Paul’s thorn in the flesh, and that she’s going to have to learn to live with it would be helpful.
I wonder if we need to help her see that this is her life now and it is never going to change. She can walk with God in her depression, or she can be bummed in her depression, but she is always going to be depressed. God is not going to take her thorn away and she needs to accept his grace (2 Cor. 12:9) and rejoice in her difficulties and temptations (Jas. 1:2).
I’m not sure anyone has told Sharon that her life can or will get better if she walks with God. But I believe she thinks if she does enough of the right things, God will make her life better. She is not doing enough and so he isn’t doing his part. Or maybe she thinks she is doing enough and he isn’t doing his part. But this isn’t how God works. She doesn’t understand grace. She doesn’t understand life or relationship with God. She doesn’t understand that we walk with God no matter what happens in our life because we love God and know that he loves us.
We’re all dying. And we can’t try to make arrangements with God to keep that process from happening. Sin has killed us, Jesus has saved us, but we still live with bodies that are falling apart. And so we live with God, rejoicing in his presence while our bodies waste away (Psa. 73:26). Part of being godly, the sanctification process, means understanding where we are in the world and embracing, even rejoicing in what God has for us, even if we wouldn’t have asked for that particular trial for ourselves.
We don’t know the mind or future plans of God. Paul had the gift of revelation regarding his thorn. We don’t know anything either way with regard to Sharon’s depression/mania.
Sharon might need to come to grips with her current situation, live in the moment, accept her situation as God’s gift to her for today, probably for the rest of her life, and live with joy. If he heals her, it is a miracle, not the result of having made a deal with her.
It seems that it would be helpful for her to view it more like she’s lost her fingers rather than that she’s just waiting for God to quit tormenting her. I see this as part of taking up her cross and following Jesus. The cross is painful, this is painful. It requires total submission and humility. It requires dying daily. Sharon, it seems, wants everything on her terms.
I suppose I would view it more as dying than giving up hope. I think they are different categories. In dying there is the promise of resurrection. The hope she has is not in the Lord God, it is in the system or agreement that she thinks she has with God. So, I’m asking that Sharon give up her idea by dying to herself, taking up her cross, and following Jesus believing that her situation my never change.