In the beginning….just kidding…
My story was not supposed to be this way…
Seriously, to know who I am today, you must get to know who I was before.
I grew up in chaos. I listened to the two most important people in my life hate each other daily. I watched them fight for me and my brother for years in court. I listened to them beat each other down with words. I tried to stay on the righteous path, loving God, but things happen and I turned down a dark path. This led me to a man that does not know God, and he became my world, my god if you really want to know. We had a difficult marriage that lasted 10 years and whittled me down to nothing, or at least I believed that. I had just gotten divorced, with a 5 year old and a 3 month old baby. I was looking at a life ahead alone, with a little boy who hated me for making daddy leave and a baby that would never know us as a couple. I was angry, scared, lost and had blamed God for everything. This is not what I had planned. This was not supposed to be my life. I had a picture in my head of my future and what I was facing was not it!
4 years into divorce, I began to wonder if God had another plan for me. I began to realize He had not abandoned me, like I had Him. He had been in every aspect of my life, guiding me in a direction I would never had gotten to alone. He was going to use all my pain and misery, even my anger for a purpose to change people’s lives. I just had to be willing to let Him in.
I started my walk with God Sept 21st, 2014, laid down the alcohol and clueless to what all that meant for my life. It was in this time that God became real to me. I was independent and had spent most of my life walking away and isolating myself. Then God just plopped me on a couch with all these amazing sweet and loving people and said, “Here, do life with them” I may or may not have freaked a bit, but then realized how great it was to have people hug me every Sunday. I remember my son, Nathan, asking why Pastor Mark kept telling him he loved him. What began as a train wreck, was finally starting to have promise of better.
Physically, my body went through a ton of changes when I quit drinking. Including my brain and all the chemicals that make it work. I had been on medicine before but it doesn’t work so well when you chase it with a shot of Vodka. I wasn’t sure medicine was what I needed, but I didn’t know how to ask for what I needed either. At a year, my depression was insane. I was barely aware of the world around me, including my kids. I was a mess, to say the least. I knew there had to be more than what I was going through. I had chosen this new path because I was assured it would be joyful, bright, cheery and wonderful. I did not choose to walk in misery or shame. I just couldn’t understand how God could help me through a year of sobriety to leave me desperate to get out of bed every day. I knew there had to be more. Picture this. Grown woman lying in the floor of a home she had just moved into with her kids, crying because she couldn’t move a dresser to a bedroom. Kids calling grandma because they couldn’t get me to stop. Grandma over speaker telling me to get up and drive to her house. Yeah, I knew there had to be more….
He knew my beginning, what it would consist of and he knew the pain I would endure. He was there all the way through it. When I should have been found dead, he kept me alive and moving towards Him. My walk in victory, completely healed from depression, started 765 days ago. I remember it like it was yesterday. Pastor Gene asked us to come up and be prayed for at the altar. He said if we believe, really believe, and he touches us, we would be healed. It is his gift! I stood in line behind Becky Balcombe, fidgeting with my hands, twisting my fingers, ready to be healed. I just knew if I believed hard enough my depression would end that day!! All I needed was a good word, a quick prayer, a healing touch! To my dismay (at the time) I walked up and Pastor Gene wrapped his hands around my face, shook at little jig and said “well you are healed, I don’t even need to say anything else. You are just healed!”
What??? Are you kidding me??? Years and years of doctors, medicines, therapy and just like that….I’m healed. No prayer? No spiritual words of wisdom? Just “you’re healed”? I needed that word. No way I could just go and be healed! After a week of wallowing in self-pity, it hit me. Go and be healed….go and sin no more….walk it out. Walk in victory. I was healed.
Today, I walk through hell most days, some worse than others. I call it an episode. Each episode is different, with different physical and mental symptoms. My feet are always cold and my hands are tingly or numb. If it is a particularly bad episode it effects my sight. I am tired, and some days it is nearly impossible to get up out of bed and face a day. I cry over absolutely the dumbest things ALL THE TIME. I am always asking God what is wrong with me. I doubt, feel sorry for myself, get angry, wallow and isolate myself. People see what I want them to see. Never the sad, lonely miserable woman I feel inside. Always the funny, smiling, loving life girl I want to be. To show my pain and ask for help means weakness. It means people will look at me with pity. I will be labeled. I already live with alcoholic across my forehead. Why do I want to add crazy and depressed to it. It means people will walk away and leave because I am too much to deal with.….LIES, all lies of the devil. These are lies I push out of my head every minute of every day. People see confidence unmatched, and I feel unworthy of even being spoken to. People see a beautiful momma, and I see a mess who has ruined her kids’ lives. People see hands raised praising Jesus for everything good, and I see someone not even worthy of His love most of the time.
And there is ALWAYS a “but”….No matter what, I wake up and thank God for getting me in the shower. I pray in the shower and most times cry in it, pouring my heart out to just make it through the day. I dry my hair, put on sometimes decent cute clothes, put my make-up on and sweetly wake my precious boy for school. I walk my dogs, fix lunch and take off for work. I listen to worship music on my ride in just to keep going forward. I play it in my background at work. I pray a lot during the work day. Then I head home with the same worship music playing. I get home and function to the best of my ability for that day. Some days I clean excessively, others I lay on a couch and binge Netflix. Then I head to bed and think of the things I may or may not have accomplished. I attempt to lay down the guilt of it all and usually accomplish it before I fall asleep. (it’s the picking it up the next day that God and I are working on right now) Here’s the kicker…I THANK GOD and give Him ALL the glory. He gets the glory for helping me get out of bed. He gets the glory for helping me focus enough to enter 4 orders that day. He gets the glory if I only enter 1 order. He gets the glory for giving me the energy to clean. He gets the glory for letting really good shows start on Netflix when I can’t get off the couch. For sending angels on earth to text and tell me they love me and they are praying for me exactly when I need to hear it, He gets all the credit. Even when I feel like I have failed, as a mother or friend or just as a person, He gets all my love because he gives me all of His.
Jesus has done more than I could ever have imagined. I never would have believed the girl I started out as, with dreams shattered and hope gone, could read my story…I never thought I would even have a story.
“For I know the plan I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” Jeremiah 29:11
Every day I wake up and walk through with Jesus holding my hand. I remind myself that I don’t have to fight. It is already won. Jesus has fought…not fighting…but won the battle. No matter how I feel!! I don’t have to walk alone and if everyone in the world left me, He would still be there holding my hand and moving me forward. I repeat in my head that I am healed. That I don’t need the words from an amazing man of God like Pastor Gene. I have them and they worked. When I go to bed I thank Jesus for holding me together and I always say, “today is the last day I will feel like this, because tomorrow I am good to go” I don’t just say it…I believe it!! Deep down in my knower…it is real. Go and be healed. Walk it out. I have the victory! I am healed and whole. Nothing can stop the will of God in my life. Nothing can change the fact that this battle is won. No matter what my body is screaming, or my mind is feeling!! I AM HEALED and I walk it out every day!! Today is the last day of my depression! Tomorrow I will wake up and be healed!!