So many people suffer from sadness this time of year. It is mind-boggling to me being that I am one of those who has suffered since I was sixteen years old — I believed for so long that I was alone. I believed that something was wrong with me because I did not have the joy that I would see others have. After all, it is Christmas – the most wonderful time of the year, right? OK, sorry. I never thought that was cute either, especially when I was in deep depression.
Well, this Christmas, just two months before my 50th birthday AND my six year milestone of sobriety (WOW…only God!), something extra incredible is taking place inside of my heart for the first time. The Holy Spirit of Christmas is moving and I have to tell the world about it because I know without a doubt that what God is doing for me at this very moment is something that He will do for anyone who calls out to Him wholeheartedly. No matter how long it takes, those who keep following, obeying, seeking, and trusting Him will receive their miracle too! But you must believe without a doubt and NEVER GIVE UP while waiting.
I pray this story of my own Christmastime miracle will reach many. I so want to encourage the hearts that feel like giving up and who perhaps are losing all hope. Do not give in to those thoughts that are from the devil wanting to destroy you. I know how tiring it is year after year to have the heavy heart that you are currently suffering. I walked with that heavy heart for over 30 years of my life.
For just a quick background of my story, one day, in my most desperate moment, God heard my sincere cries and reached down and changed everything. He changed me in ways I never dreamed of. I have been living an incredible life as a new Christian since 2010. Notice that I did not say it was an easy life, but incredible, nonetheless. For those who are new to my story, I suffered from severe depression and was tormented by thoughts of suicide. The only way I knew to deal with it was to drink as much as I could to kill the emotional pain with the hope that one day I would not wake up. But there came a day with a heartfelt rock bottom cry and that is when God sobered me up and took the severe depression away. It was a true miracle.
However, when Christmas 2010 came, I was discouraged by how heavy my heart became once again. I did not understand it. I pushed through and sometime after the New Year, I was all right again – only to find it start all over again come Christmas 2011…2012…2013…2014. Toward the end of 2014, I could not believe that I was starting to go backwards, spiritually speaking. In the Spring of 2015, I was entertaining thoughts of giving up. I was so tired of the fight. I was starting to believe once again that I was worthless and that everyone would be better off without me. I heard stories of recent suicides – I have a hard time explaining where my mind went with that, but it really had me thinking that maybe it is not such a bad idea after all (dang devil is such a liar).
So what happened that made me go backward? Well, it all started with an annual physical in September 2014 that suddenly had me going through invasive medical tests and procedures that caused a lot of physical pain. Although that was pretty bad and discouraging in itself, the part that really brought me down was the reason I was having to go through any of it. It was due to a repercussion from my past life. The poor choices I made long ago had caught up with me and the devil took advantage of my vulnerable state. He had me believing that I did not deserve God’s love. That I was a bad person and that was why I had to suffer the consequences of my choices. I got knocked down pretty hard spiritually and I would get up and be all right for a bit, but I would get knocked down again and again until I almost got lost in the dark again.
I cannot tell you how grateful I am that I never fully gave in. I still continued to cry out to Jesus for help. I had sisters in Christ listening to my tears and praying for me each week at Bible study — one being my pastor who would also answer every text message and email I had ever sent her during each week when I was struggling. My church prayed for me. I even had a dear and very busy brother in Christ make time to call me frequently to pray. I am so blessed because these wonderful people of God helped me to keep on keeping on and Jesus lit the pathway in the darkness so I could see just enough to get to the other side with Him.
It has been an incredible year of spiritual growth. That is what I love so much about this journey of walking with God in the center. NOTHING goes to waste. He truly uses all things for good. I received a clean bill of health from that last medical issue and I received much more than that! I have complete freedom for the first time in my entire life! GOD BROKE THROUGH, AND I BROKE FREE!!!! In that year-long struggle of dealing with depression, I became an incredibly strong woman of God. God’s Word, my sword, never leaves me and I am able to fight off every attack of the enemy since. I am eternally grateful. Now this is all wonderful, but this is not the miracle that I am wanting to share. But since this all helped me to open the way for God to give me the miracle, it is an important part of the story that needed to be told.
SO, the greatest lesson I learned through this year-long struggle was this: Getting past my past! That is it! I needed to completely let go of the shame…AGAIN. I had let it go before, but the enemy was able to sneak it back in when the medical issue came up. However, since I did not give in, Jesus once again took the pain away. He showed me that I am not worthless and He gave me His wonderful self-esteem — the days of no esteem are over. The enemy, the accuser of my life, has been silenced! I learned that NOTHING in this world can ever change who I am in Christ. NOTHING, NO ONE, and NO THING defines me. Only God does and I know so well what He thinks of me. I know what He thinks of you too. Just open the Bible and listen to the Love He has for you that pours out all over the place.
This breakthrough that took place around August 2015 has been bringing some incredible blessings as I continue on in the journey. My strength has helped me to become an incredible prayer warrior for others, and it brought me the most beautiful gift I have experienced in a long time — God turned my Christmastime misery into a Christmastime miracle. I do NOT have a heavy heart this year! Friends, that is nothing short of a miracle, especially since my circumstances have not changed. I am still alone (meaning single and childless) and still have my losses in life, BUT have so much more in Christ and my eyes can see that now. I see more now what I have gained in Christ and that is a life-saving transformation! Jesus has filled every hole in my heart with His gift of grace and love. He has filled me with His Presence and I wish I could explain this better for those of you still suffer, because you need to feel what I am feeling. It is beyond incredible. With Jesus’ love consuming my heart now, there is absolutely no room for any sadness or darkness. My heart, which is His heart, is pouring into yours at this very moment as you read this. I pray you can feel Him! He is right there with you! Open up and let Him pour in…
I also just want you to know that I get it – your heavy heart. I am praying for your miracle to come and I pray that you will not give up while you wait for it. Remember, I suffered for over 30 years, and after giving my life to the Lord, I waited another five years. But God came through, just like He promises too. While I waited, I took advantage of every challenge so that I could grow closer to God and grow stronger in Him. I am so in awe of His power that is available to those of us who seek it.
So, that is it. I have been talking about this a while, and writing down what is going on in my heart is difficult. I do not think I could ever do it justice, but I pray God gets through somehow. I just want to say again, never give up. Never give in. Trust in God. Surround yourself by godly people who will help keep you lifted when you are down and will encourage and love you every step of the way. Choose to make opportunities for lessons learned out of every challenge and wait to be amazed. You will be. It is a promise. It is HIS promise.
May your heavy heart be light soon – may it be filled with His light that drives out every ounce of darkness. God wants to turn your misery into a miracle too. Will you open up the way for Him? I pray you will. God bless you this Christmas and every single day. Keep pressing on, your miracle is on the way…
Now, if you will excuse me, Christmastime is here and I need to go tell it on another mountain!
Jesus is the Light of the world — “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (John 1:5)