After a lot of confusion, drama, fear, horrible decisions, and finally a complete and total breakdown that left me in the fetal position in my bathtub, at the age of 16, I begged my mother to “please just fix me.”
She took me to our family doctor of whom we’d known my whole life, who diagnosed me with severe depression. Therapy was suggested, appointments made, and Prozac prescribed and administered. By the time I was 21, mostly because of life and things outside of my control, I was then additionally diagnosed with anxiety and mild obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). The OCD mostly resolved itself after a time and rarely springs up, now. The depression and anxiety are still a battle but one I will never give up the fight against.
Understand that for the sake of this post appealing to those who haven’t the time to read for hours I’m giving The Cliff Notes version, here. To say that there was a lot that brought me to these diagnoses would be the understatement of the century.
A lot of incidents led up to this particular day and to make a very long story short I was having suicidal thoughts. When you’re to that point, satan has deluded you into believing that the world would actually be better off without you, even your kids. It’s not unheard of to truly believe you’re doing everyone a favor. That’s where I was…even with the Prozac. I went to church as I did at least three times a week, every week. Trust me… no one knew what was going on inside of me. There are people right now reading this saying, “Holy crap. I had no idea and she sat next to me in choir.” I digress. There was a visiting pastor. I don’t even remember what he preached on. I was told he had preached on some message that easily applied to the body as a whole on how we treated one another. I was borderline catatonic in my own world of shame, pain, and misery that I could barely pay attention. All I remember was this – the most important part of this story: he invited people to the alter. My God! When you’ve done everything…you’ll do anything. Keep in mind that at this point I truly believed that even God looked down on me as if to say, “I can’t believe I took the time to make you.” The lies that satan will tell and the extent at which he’ll go to knows no bounds. He is the master of lies and he had found his foothold. So…for me to go to the alter was really an act of “What the heck…” I didn’t go believing ANYTHING was going to happen. I just went. And…something happened. Something that can’t be explained. To be honest, I don’t care if you believe me or not. It is what it is and it’s why I’m here today and why I’ll never consider suicide EVER again. I want to preface what I’m about to say by saying this: NO ONE but me and one other person knew that I was having these thoughts. And…trust me, this other person wasn’t a talker. This preacher made his way to me. He was very quiet for just a moment as he looked at me and then he prayed for me and it was over in a moment. It was only afterward that I realized that in that still quiet moment, the Holy Spirit was speaking to him. In front of the only other person in the world that knew what was going on with me, this preacher laid his hand on my head and said the following (I paraphrase), “God this is your child and you love her and I rebuke any and every single thought of suicide that would ever enter her mind. She is a child of the Most High and has a great purpose. The devil can’t have her because she’s already been claimed by You!” That was it for me.
That was it.
All I needed, all I need, is to know that God is in it with me. That He sees me. And, after that day…that knowledge was given to me when I needed it most.
But I was too sick to see at the time, to inundated with everything else going on around me, too blind to see… Was that so many of His answers, the answers, and encouragement were already in His word waiting for me to find them.
At that time, I was to sick to wait patiently but now I know that His word promises…
I waited patiently for the LORD; And He inclined to me, And heard my cry. He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, Out of the miry clay, And set my feet upon a rock, And established my steps. He has put a new song in my mouth— Praise to our God; Many will see it and fear, And will trust in the LORD. Psalms 40:1-3
I had no idea that Psalms 40:1-3 would soon be my testimony. It proved to me that just as God showed up for the psalmist, He showed up for me. I matter to God and so do you.
In times of anxiety, I would encourage you to meditate on this:
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
In other words, take your burdens immediately to God. Don’t hesitate. Don’t run to your friends. Run to God. And if you find yourself worrying over those things again, give them back to God again! No matter how many times you pick back up your burdens, God will never get tired of you bringing them back to Him.
“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.” Philippians 4:8
Do not – I REPEAT – do not sit around and watch the news, read the news, look at your Facebook newsfeed, Twitter feed, what have you and allow it to steal your joy. It is so unbelievably easy for you to get mired down in the direction you see this world going into. It’s so easy to get pessimistic and morose over the very real atrocities that are happening in this world. Two of the greatest differences between now and many years ago are that 1) we have access to far more information and current events around the entire planet then we ever had before; and 2) information has led us to believe we merely need our “Tower of Babel” and no longer need God. This is why it’s IMPERATIVE that you think on “whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy.”
“The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:9
We are to be active participants in our lives. Remember where in the Bible it tells us about how if we want friends we need to be friendly, if we want love we need to give love, etc.? That rule applies here. These things that God has taught us that are right, that are noble, that are good…these things that we know Christ did, God’s men and women did…we need to go do them.
So, today change your mind. Decide to fight. Clearly satan feels threatened by you or he wouldn’t come at you with a full frontal assault. Right? So…prove him right. Prove that he should feel threatened by you.
One step at a time. It may just be putting on clothes and getting out of your pajamas today. But, tomorrow, fix your hair. The next day, leave your house. The next day, go to someone else’s house. Every day take one step more. Every day delve into God’s word and spend time in prayer seeking his purpose for your life. Because clearly, as I said earlier, He has a purpose for you. After all, satan finds you threatening!
You have a purpose. For me, it’s being my husband’s “right-hand man;” it’s being a strong mother to two very strong offspring; it’s writing and teaching. Many days I still feel like a square peg trying to fit in around hole. But, after God took His time throughout all the universe to let me know that He loves me and loves all of you, I’ll never give up the fight no matter what. Why would I ever give up when I know I’m on the winning side – the side of God who shows up and proves that there are no other gods before Him?
Comment below with some of the things you meditate on!