When Mavis prayed…

Page 28 in the series Before the Pirates Came*

Mavis Jackson was a member of the First Street Baptist Church and a bartender at the club.  She had known poverty, heartache, and the trials of raising six kids on her own.  Miranda was stopping for a drink more often than she should, sometimes sitting at the bar while her friends played nine holes.  Alcohol no longer made her feel light and happy, the life of the party.  Getting drunk only made things worse.   

Try as he might, Brian couldn’t help her. He was a social drinker and did not understand the direction that her addiction was taking.  Miranda remembered their first date when Brian told her how people who drank top shelf  liquor wouldn’t become alcoholics or get hangovers.  He was wrong on both counts.  And frankly, Miranda was getting tired of all his questions. 

But she liked talking to Mavis.  She was understanding and didn’t judge her.   She had become Miranda’s confidant and friend, making her laugh even on her worst days. And there was one other thing:  She always said, “God bless you” and “I’m prayin’ for you, girl!”  There was something in her words that drew Miranda close… something she never felt at church on Sunday, something she couldn’t quite explain.  

One day, whether by luck or by providence,  Mavis told Miranda about a counselor at the community health center who had helped her with some of her own personal problems.  Mavis reached across the bar, took Miranda by the hand, and made her promise she would call and get help.

Clinical Social Worker, Lydia Ogletree, was an attractive lady in her fifties. She was wearing this season’s navy and tan Pendleton skirt, coordinating jacket, and a turtleneck that looked like cashmere.  A big owl pendant swung on a silver chain around her neck.  Miranda thought it looked ridiculous, but they were considered stylish in those days so she decided to overlook it. 

The only other piece of jewelry she had on was an impressive diamond ring, round cut, simple setting, with a plain gold wedding band.  It was really beautiful and it made Miranda ask herself one thing:  What on earth was this lady doing at a clinic to help poor people?  It’s not like she needed the job…

Lydia Ogletree listened to Miranda talk about her life, her profound and unexplainable sadness, and her lack of interest in the things she used to enjoy– like her marriage.  She looked down at her hands and scratched at her neglected cuticles.  She told Lydia about the good times she spent with Brian and the mood swings she experienced during their three years together. 

At the end of their session, Lydia Ogletree leaned forward in her chair, looked into Miranda’s desperate face and said, “I have good news.  You have a condition called bipolar disorder.  There’s no cure,  but there is an effective way to treat it!  Why don’t we work on this together… I think I can help you.” 

Lydia made her an appointment with a doctor for some tests, then set up a time for Miranda to see her again next week.  “Let’s meet at my private office and save that seat for someone who really can’t afford to pay, hmm?”  Miranda had fudged a few of the numbers on the clinic’s paperwork,  and now she had been caught in a lie.  She wasn’t going to pull anything over on Lydia, and she decided not to try.  ”I’m located on the square, right next to Stowe Publishing.

*This story is based on some true events, however, has been fictionalized and all persons appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real people, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.


© 2012, Shoes for an Imaginary Life. All rights reserved.

This entry was posted in About Him, About me, Bipolar girl. Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to When Mavis prayed…

  1. Elvirah says:

    Mavis and Lydia seems to be very nice; they would like to help Miranda come out her misery so-called bi-polar disorder. Hope she would get back to her normal state with the prayers of Mavis and with the treatment, Lydia suggested.

    • Linda says:

      Friends who pray are wonderful, aren’t they? Miranda didn’t know how blessed she was, but God didn’t leave her even though she wasn’t sure about Him. And when she finds Him, look out. It is the most exciting time in her life, but some crazy things have to happen first…

      There’s more about Lithium treatment to come… : )

    • Jean says:

      Finding this post has anreeswd my prayers

    • Janess says:

      My hat is off to your astute command over this tocar-bpivo!

  2. Jan says:

    So great when loving friends help us find the help we need. People pray for us, people we don’t even know. The universal network of prayer is my safety net.

    • Linda says:

      That is such a great observation, Jan. Who was praying, I wonder… Goodness knows it was clear that Miranda was heading in the wrong direction…

      I’m happy that you have a safety net of prayer warriors to stand by you. I’ve come to really appreciate those friends, too. ; )

  3. Linda, I think I like both Mavis and Lydia. :) I have to keep reminding myself that this part of the story is pre-Harry, which tells me that even though Mavis and Lydia may help a lot, Miranda still has a long way to go before reaching the promised land. Looking forward to the next installment. Peace, Linda

    • Linda says:

      The promised land! Haha. You know how long it took those Israelites to get there and Miranda was no different, always making things as difficult as possible.

      You’re right about those two ladies. Fwiw, Miranda spent years (on and off) in Lydia’s office. She proved to be a rock solid Christian whose suggestions never steered her wrong. Wow… what a blessing and a joy to reflect upon. : )

  4. “…an impressive diamond ring, round cut, simple setting, with a plain gold wedding band…”

    Most men writers, me included, would have just written, “big honking ring,” but female writers tend to do a better job with descriptions.

    Good job. Okay, I’m ready for the next page.

  5. Debbie says:

    I get goosebumps thinking of God’s hand on this, of there being a Mavis , who knew Lydia, who just happened to know what was happening to Miranda. :D This is marvelous, Linda, and it has Big God written all over it. . .or in it, I guess.
    God bless you as you write and care and pray today!

    • Linda says:

      “God’s hand”… awesome, I know. I get so excited for Miranda that I can’t stop thinking about her and her journey… and the spiritual wonder that lies ahead. I can’t wait to read those “Miranda’s first year with the Lord” journals. I loved finding God… I bet you’ll like those, too! : )

  6. Jim Travis says:

    I love it when in hindsight you can see your life reads like a script. When going through it, it seems like chaos, yet when looking back it looks more like a pinball game, with people strategically placed as bumpers to guide you wherever it is that God wants you to wind up, eg. Mavis and Lydia. It is a long and winding road though isn’t it? Look forward to your further pages, God Bless-Jim

    • Linda says:

      I love the analogy of a pinball game… wow, that is exactly right.

      The thing about Mavis and Lydia is that I didn’t have a clue… didn’t know that God was in the business of doing that sort of thing. : ) Happy to be saved… not chaos free, but not afraid of it either. ; )

  7. Theresa says:

    It is almost 2:30 in the morning, and I am up. I’m glad I stopped by. The kindness of people who we encounter, and of the sovereignty of a kind God. That is a wonderful thing.

    Blessings and hugs

  8. Ferd says:

    Miranda has had her troubles for sure. And all along, there have been angels guarding over her every step. It seems there has been a good guy (or gal) for every bad guy and bad decision.

    What a wonderful turning point Mavis provided. If there is a medical problem, it is great to have a diagnosis. At least she then knew what she was dealing with! And Mavis gave good hope that there was effective treatment! Wow! :-)

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