When I think about what I have been through in life and how I am now in a place of peace, I cannot do anything but shake my head in wonder and utter joy.
I used to be so unhappy. Unhappy wasn’t even the word. Totally miserable would be more like it. I would sit in my room, praying for a change in my life and wondering if I was ever going to get one. I would be so lonely and feel like I was the only person on the planet.
I thought about all that I was missing out on and everything that I had lost and my eyes cried many tears as a result of those musings. I was depressed and in a state of great despair. I wondered if God even existed at times, though I knew He did. I was just angry at Him during those periods of my life and I blamed Him for everything except the good things that He had been doing in my life. Because I couldn’t see those good things. I did not see the blessings that were right in front of me. A house to live in. A husband. A car to drive. Health. A job. A life without physical pain. Being able to take care of my own physical needs. I didn’t see any of those things until I lost them all. They all fell down around me like dominoes. One minute I was walking around and the next I was bedridden and screaming because of the pain ravaging through my body like a runaway freight train.
My health was the first thing to go. Then the job was lost because I couldn’t work as a result of the severe chronic pain. Then my home was taken. Then my beloved husband left me because he could not take my physical and mental pain. After that, I had to walk away from my car at a truck stop and get on a bus. Then I was hit with CFS (chronic fatigue syndrome.) and I was bedridden for 23 hours per day for eight months.
I learned a lot while I was imprisoned within my body and pinned to that bed those months. I endured boredom that made me think I was losing my mind. I had nothing for company except a Netbook computer and the Internet. I would go to depression support groups and give my support to as many people as I could reach in my deteriorating state. For I had learned that when you are suffering great losses, the best anecdote for it is to help others. I lay on my side and typed encouraging messages to people who were in extreme states of depression and suicidal. I got down into their black pits of despair and I held their hands in my heart, for I knew exactly where they were living.
As I helped others, I found that it helped me more. I discovered that there were people who were going through rougher things than I and that humbled me and made me more determined to get out of my own pit. I began watching Navy Seal training videos and programs of that nature and mentally took myself through what the Seals were going through and the more I did that, the stronger I become emotionally. I couldn’t do anything about my illness, but I did not have to let it take over my life the way that it had. I could still have a good quality of life even though I could barely move myself.
I read my bible and received strength. I unearthed the peace that passes understanding, as the word says. It did not make sense to be experiencing joy in the midst of great turmoil, but that was my reality. I found that the bible was more than just nice-sounding words on a page. Those words were true because they were working in a life that was ravaged by grief and pain and I was receiving peace and joy. God sneaked up on me, as I am fond of saying.
If you are going through a period of sadness or grief, if you are enduring losses and you don’t know what to do, if you are experiencing depression and/or suicidal thoughts, let me encourage you. You CAN and WILL get through your trials if you follow my formula. First, take the focus off of your problems and put it onto others. Help out a neighbor, volunteer at a food bank, read a book to an elderly resident in a nursing home, volunteer to do some extra work on your job…anything that will help others. The bible says it is more blessed to give than to receive and that is true.
Next, do some things that will strengthen your mind. You don’t have to do the Navy Seals training, but it is a great mental challenge and workout.
Third, and most importantly, ask God to help you, pull out a bible, and begin to read. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. I know what I am talking about because I lived in a black pit and was suicidal, I’ve lived with severe pain for five years, CFS for four years, was homeless on the streets of Montana for two years, and endured many years of physical and mental abuse and depression, and here I sit…at complete peace. No inner turmoil. Just quiet inside my head and joy in my heart. How would you like to trade some of your own heartache for some of that?
If you have read this far, it means that you are stronger than you realize and have more going for you than you think. You can make changes in your life, starting with small ones, and come out on top of life instead of life being on top of you. You can do it!
You were born a champion. If you have not discovered that yet, get ready because you are about to. You did not just happen onto this web page. You were sent here. We were destined to meet. I will be here every day to encourage you and you will receive that encouragement and take one step at a time and that will take you to victory. You will discover your own roar.
Believe in yourself. Believe in God. He believes in you. And so do I.
Blessed be the Name of the Lord.