Tag: Blogging

Am I really battling suicidal thoughts again? How can that be after all God has done for me?

Tough subject to write about, but I need to share what I have been walking around with lately. I haven’t written anything for well over a month now. I honestly started to think my blogging days were over (although I’m not much of a blogger with only 48 posts in 15 months). I felt like I had completely lost the passion for sharing my heart so openly. I guess that really isn’t the case. I just needed less time on the laptop and extra time with my Lord so I could keep my focus completely on Him while He brings me through some difficult challenges—amazing challenges that He’s using to prepare me to lead a recovery ministry at my church. That’s another miracle of His in the making somewhere down the road. I figured that if God wanted me to share something worth sharing, He’d put the desire back on my heart and give me the words. Well, it seems that’s exactly what He’s doing right now, so here we go…here is post #49 for Matters of the Heart (A Reason to Live).

It’s good for me to share that I’ve been struggling…a lot…this past month or so. I believe there’s gotta be people out there feeling the same. We need to pray for each other. As I continue to grow leaps and bounds in the Lord, my spiritual journey with Him is getting more and more challenging. I became overwhelmed to the point to where I have been battling some thoughts that have surprised me, especially after all the amazing things and miracles that the Lord has been doing in my life over the last few years. I was feeling like I was battling a bit of depression once again. Thoughts of not wanting to go forward any longer on this journey because it just gets too hard at times, made me think that I was feeling suicidal again. I didn’t want to just throw in the towel and tell God to find someone else while I start doing my own thing. I believe that quitting my walk with the Lord means quitting life altogether. That’s because I remember so well what it was like living in darkness, in the devil’s chains all of those years of drinking trying to kill the pain. That was a slow and painful death. If I don’t keep walking with the Lord, to me, that surely means death is the only other choice. This life is hard, but how can I choose death over life with Jesus?? I can’t. I was there and I can’t go back to it. I am choosing life, trusting the Lord one step at a time—that’s about all I can handle and He knows it and His power in me blows me away.

So am I really battling suicidal thoughts? Maybe not. My so-called suicidal thoughts are nothing like what they used to be back in the days that I had suffered from severe depression trying to drink the pain away. I didn’t know Jesus at that time. There was no hope for me back then. Today, I DO have hope in Jesus. Yet, these thoughts and emotions over the last few weeks had me thinking very unhealthy thoughts and I couldn’t stop thinking of Pastor Rick Warren’s son who committed suicide just a few months ago. This young man was blessed with good godly parents and he couldn’t hang on. He knew the Lord, why did he do it? I’ll never understand. That really tore me up when I heard the sad news. My heart felt so broken. I cried as if I had lost a close friend or family member. He was in the family of God, so I suppose I really did. My heart breaks for people that can’t hold on. I’ll never understand how I survived all of those dark years without the Lord. Maybe I’m not supposed to understand. I wish I could have met Matthew Warren before he died. I would have really liked to try to understand what he was going through in his heart and mind. When I was struggling recently, I was thinking about how nice it would be to never cry again, to never get my heart broken again, to never see people I care deeply for, suffer. It’s been so hard for me today seeing someone I love, who has had such an important part in my spiritual journey of sobriety, battle a serious illness.

Leaving earth and going to heaven sounds so good, I was wondering if it would be so bad if that happened for me sooner than later? I was starting to think strongly that because I’m not married and don’t have children, that there’s really nothing here for me anyway. Everyone else has their lives to live and their own families, nobody would notice that I’m gone. You know what? The devil has been working overtime trying to get me to believe those lies. He’d really like to see  me leave so God wouldn’t be able to use my heart to reach others for Him the way He has been. The devil doesn’t want God to save more lives. I guess this is the only time where my stubbornness pays off because I can’t let the devil win. Through my time with the Lord and praying about all of this, I’m discovering that I am not really battling suicidal thoughts. It turns out that I’m just longing to be with my Lord Jesus in Heaven. He’s shown me that I’m not really suicidal, I’m  just extremely Homesick and He wants me to keep trusting Him and keep holding on! So, I will!

I love what the Apostle Paul wrote to the Philippians, it’s so how I feel in my heart: “…I desire to depart and be with Christ which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body.” (Phil. 1:23,24)

I am not trying to compare myself to Paul. I  am not great like he was. But I have been given a mission in life and that’s to do all I can to keep growing strong in the Lord, to become a leader in His recovery ministry, and to keep sharing from the heart—a wonderful gift the Lord has given me (so I’m told) so that He can reach hearts through mine. Bottom line is I need to keep living my life for the Lord. Like Paul said, “For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better.” (Phil. 1:21) When the Lord is finished with me on this earth, I will finally get to go Home and be with Him and with those who have gone before me. I will get my great reward. The Lord sure does make this life with Him worth holding on for.

Thank you for listening to my heart, it’s never easy for me. But when you listen to me, I believe you’re really listening to the Lord. God bless you all. And for those who think there’s nothing to live for, I want you to know it’s not true—don’t let the devil win. He is such a liar. There is always a reason to live…live for Jesus. He died a horrific death so that you may have life and have it abundantly. He can save others through you too and that is an awesome reason to live! I hope you’ll follow me in following Him, and CHOOSE LIFE! I promise you, you will not regret it. Jesus will make sure of that. ♥

If my plans for suicide were successful, I would have missed out on the most amazing love of my life…

I have said this before and I will keep saying it…there is nothing greater than the love of the Lord God Almighty. It’s a love I have never known before. People can search in others and in things of the earth all they want, and they will never be able to find it because only God can give it. I pray more people will finally catch on to that truth so they can start to really discover His love like I have. It’s a wonderful discovery!

To think of all the years I had missed out on knowing God’s love, I am so grateful that those days are over. As another year comes to an end, I am looking back in such awe of what God has done in this past year alone. It has been a year filled with growing pains, but also a year filled with the most incredible blessings that I didn’t know could be possible. I believe I was tested like never before and I also believe I passed the test with flying colors. This testing has made my relationship and connection with the Lord, as well as my faith, stronger than ever. The blessings always outweigh the tough times. My hope and dreams for the future continue to build. God has given me the dreams and I know that none of them will be possible without Him. What an amazing thing that is to realize. I know that I am nothing without Him in my life. I am nothing without His power working in and through me. It is so awesome to actually be a witness of what all He can do with a willing heart. A willing heart…that’s all we need! I have learned to trust Him with everything on this journey and He is making everything fall into place. I am truly looking forward to whatever He has for me in the near future and in the coming years. I know this New Year is going to be another tough one, probably more so than this last one, but I am ready for it. The Lord has been preparing me for it over the last few years. Boy, has He been preparing me for it!  I truly love my life. I love it because it is SO not about me. I learned that the hard way, but it has been one of the greatest lessons of my life.

Imagine that just a few years ago, the pain I lived with for so many years from walking around with an empty and broken heart almost killed me. I almost completely gave up on life. This precious life that is such a wonderful gift from God that should never be taken for granted. But I was hurting more than anyone who has never been there can ever imagine. When we hurt that badly and we do not know the Lord’s love, there’s really only one way we can think of stopping the pain. Some of us weren’t able to hang in there and that breaks my heart for them and for their loved ones. Only God knows why I am still here. I have learned to accept that it’s not for me to know. That helps me to move forward.

I always think that if I would have just had one person share about Jesus and His love with me back then, maybe I would not have become so severly depressed. Maybe I would not have turned to alcohol to numb the pain. (That is why I am writing this. I want to share His love with others, I want to share what I went through and where I am today. Maybe someone will find hope.) I was just remembering that I started mixing dangerous medication with it because I was hoping that I would just die in my sleep one night. I thought that would be the most peaceful way to go. I am so very thankful that my plan to die didn’t work. Even though this journey with God is tough and there’s still pain that comes with it, it’s a different kind of pain when you’re always walking in the Light of Jesus. It’s a pain worth enduring because everything I do is all for His glory. And for me to say today that I love my life, considering where I was not too long ago, well that’s just another amazing miracle that I am eternally grateful for.

There are so many broken hearts around me. I can’t possibly know who you all are, but I can feel your pain. I’ve been trying to write a new blog post for about a month, but was having a hard time with it. Now I know why. God wanted me to write these words that you’re reading now instead. I’m glad that I’m learning to listen to Him, even though it might take some time for me to catch on. I am thankful for the gift that the Lord has given me to be able to share my heart the way I do. Writing this today has made me cry. I have tears from remembering the pain I lived with for so long and for knowing that pain that people are going through right now. But thankfully the tears turned into tears of Joy from the Lord because I know how great He is and I am so grateful for what He has done with my broken heart. I am grateful for my sobriety.

God is pouring His love through me to reach broken hearts. I know your pain and I know you want it to stop. I pray you will turn your eyes upon Jesus. He is just a whisper…a prayer away. I admit that there are times that I struggle to feel His presence. When that happens I start talking to Him whenever and wherever I am. I’ll just say something simple like “Jesus, make me aware of you” or “Jesus, I need you…” and I start to feel His love, presence and amazing peace inside of me. He helps me through every single day because I open my heart to Him and ask Him to guide me through it. He will do the same for anybody who asks.

The Lord heals the broken hearted. He brings full restoration. I am only one example of many. I pray that you will reach up to Him today. I know He’s waiting for you. He will save you. I am so glad I didn’t give up and that I didn’t let the enemy win. The enemy seeks to steal, kill and destroy. Don’t let him. In Luke 19:10 Jesus said “For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.” Thank You, Jesus.

I’m still a young Christian. I have learned many things in a short period of time, but I know I will be learning until my last breath on this earth. I have much to learn. What I do know for sure though, is that Jesus loves us so much that He laid down His life for me and for you and there is no greater love than that, dear friends. Will you accept His love and forgiveness and start living your life for Him and Him alone, today? I pray you will. If you do, you are in for a challenging, but exciting and rewarding journey as you travel with Him on this incredible highway to Heaven.  May God bless you richly. ♥

God healed me, but then He used it to do something even greater than that…

I am still so in awe of what took place in the hospital on November 15th. I’m sure there are some who aren’t as confident as I am about my healing and that’s okay. It’s not up to me to convince others. All I know and believe is by His stripes I am healed! I am claiming my healing and I will keep sharing about the great things the Lord has done!

************************************************************************************ If you haven’t read my previous post, I hope you will take a couple of minutes to do so: https://dblives.wordpress.com/2012/11/16/a-true-story-of-healing-i-prayed-with-faith-that-god-would-heal-me-and-heres-what-happened/. I think this new post might make more sense if you do. More than that though, it’s just a great story about how wonderful God is and I think it’s worth reading! ************************************************************************************

The greatest thing that came from this experience (in addition to my actual healing of course) was seeing my mom’s faith in God, her belief in His healing power, increase significantly. What an incredible blessing for me that the Lord used my circumstance to do this!

After the procedure, when I was in the recovery room, she wasn’t able to see like I do through spiritual eyes. She was puzzled, like I’m sure some others were, when the surgeon found absolutely nothing wrong with my heart. He didn’t find the abnormal extra nerves that just a couple of weeks prior he was convinced were there. I honestly don’t believe he would have scheduled this procedure otherwise. The symptoms I had been having on and off for the last couple of years convinced him I still had a problem. I was convinced as well because I suffered those identical symptoms for 17 years of my young adult life before they did the first procedure. I was very familiar with what was happening inside of my heart. When my mom was wondering why the surgeon didn’t find anything, the first thing that I said to her was: “Mom, there was nothing there because the Lord healed me! What happened is exactly what I had prayed for! His power is real, please believe!” I told my mom how this time around I had so many people praying for me and that I had specifically asked the Lord to heal me and have the surgeon confirm that there was nothing there. Immediately, I saw the puzzled look in her face fade away. She looked at me, her eyes opened up a little wider and she started to cry and she started to praise the Lord with me in that room! The Lord keeps blessing me with such special moments like this one. We hugged and cried tears of joy together. I will never ever forget that entire day, especially that moment with my dear mom.

The Lord’s healing is another miracle to me and I am so grateful. But I am even more grateful that He took that healing a step further and increased my mom’s faith with it. If the Lord allowed me to go through all of this just to reach one person’s heart, which happened to be my mom, then all of it was beyond worth it!! I will never regret praying for the Lord to use my life…just look at what He’s doing! Wow!!

I was told to never to give up praying for those we love and I will never give up. Until now, I don’t think my mom was able to truly comprehend how powerful the Lord has been in my life. She was thrilled to see my life change so drastically and I know she loves the Lord. But because she hadn’t learned yet to give Him every area of her life, I know it was hard for her to understand what has been happening these last couple of years. I was transformed before her very eyes. Watching someone go through transformation is one thing, but I think unless someone experiences the power of God in their own life, it is difficult to understand how real He is. I believe November 15th is the day that the Lord opened my mom’s spiritual eyes. She is sharing about His miracles now! I pray that she will soon start to experience His power in her own life. I know He has a wonderful plan. It’s His will, His way, His time…and I am EXCITED!

Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. His power is available to all who believe…I BELIEVE! I pray many more will believe in Him too.

Thank You, Jesus!! ♥

A true story of healing: I prayed with faith that God would heal me and here’s what happened…

This story is long, but I believe every bit of it is worth sharing because it’s a wonderful testimony of how awesome God is. I pray people will read it and be encouraged by it. What God did for me, He can do for anybody—if only more people would believe it and pray with such faith. I want the world to know how great He is. Ever since I opened my heart to Him and gave Him my life, incredible miracles like in this story have taken place. I hope it blesses someone.

This past Thursday, I was scheduled for an out-patient surgery. A while back (I’ve shared about it in an ealier post), I was diagnosed with a heart condition called Supraventricular Tachycardia (SVT). Lately, I have been having a reoccurring problem so I was scheduled to have an SVT Ablation to correct the problem (second time in seven years). In layman’s terms, the cardiologist punctures a hole in the groin to enter veins that lead into the heart with a catheter. He is looking to cauterize abnormal extra nerves that cause the heart to beat rapidly. That’s a short version and the easiest and best way I know to describe it.

I am so amazed at how God moved this time, He started the moment I arrived at the hospital. A medical assistant greeted me and took me inside to a nurse “Cathy” who started to prep me for the surgery room. I honestly was dreading going through this procedure once again because it was such a horrible experience the first time around. What I didn’t think about at first was that I didn’t have God in my life back then. I didn’t know Him. I didn’t pray to Him, I didn’t thank Him for getting me through it. I was so lost, depressed, alone, an alcoholic, suicidal, and filled with fear. I am so grateful to God for changing all of that—I am so not who I used to be!

Cathy was so kind. I saw something special about her, but I wasn’t sure what it was until I started speaking with her. It turned out that she had Jesus shining brightly through her, it didn’t take me long to figure that out. She took such good care of me. She kept bringing me warm blankets because she knew I was so cold. She knew I’d rather be somewhere else. Every single time I have had to be in the hospital and have needed an IV, it never failed that I would become a human pin cushion. I have veins that roll and it is always so painful. I would end up with many painful bruises from failed attempts. It never mattered when I told them that they would have a hard time. But, this time was different. Cathy thanked me for the “heads up” and placed a warm blanket on my arm. And, like it was nothing, she immediately found a good vein and the only pain I felt was the initial pinch. That was amazing! That never happened before, and I was so thankful!

I had asked Cathy about the recovery time from the procedure. I told her that all I cared about is that I don’t miss church on Sunday because I sing with the praise team and choir. She responded with: “Oh, you won’t miss church. In fact I highly suggest that you don’t miss it!” I loved hearing that! That just opened doors for both of us to open our hearts and share. It was like we were close friends already. She asked what church I attended, I told her all about my wonderful new church (Hope Center of Christ) and how we came about. She was familiar with our pastor and had heard about our church and as we were speaking, she said she was getting the “Holy goose bumps.” She was so happy to hear all that the Lord is doing. That was such a special moment for me. The more we spoke about how great God is, our eyes kept tearing up. I have been in the hospital more than I have ever wanted to be and I have never experienced that with anyone before. Cathy told me that every person in that room was a believer—many born again Christians. They all blessed me so much that morning. There was so much love in that room. I felt like I was with my own church family. I immediately felt that God’s hand was in that. I believe that being surrounded by loving Christians for the first time in that kind of setting was no coincidence. God made that happen. It felt as though He sent His angels there to take special care of me. He gave me His amazing peace. Cathy’s job with me was finished and as I was being rolled off into the surgery room, she stopped them and gave me a big sisterly hug. That was the last I saw of her…I will never forget her.

Being in that extremely cold surgery room was unnerving. Five to six people were all preparing me for the ablation. They were sticking all kinds of cold pads all over me with cables sticking out that were going to be hooked up to monitors. It was all happening so fast. I was having flashbacks from the first time seven years ago. They kept me awake for the procedure at that time which I believe is sadistic! This time, the cardiologist told me I would be put to sleep and wouldn’t feel a thing. Thank You, God! There I was lying on this table, shaking from being so cold, and then they put an oxygen mask on me. It felt like the soft gel type and someone was pressing too hard on it, I felt like I was suffocating. I had to move their hand from my face. I was starting to feel a little fearful. I remember that the anesthesiologist told me he was starting and that I might feel a slight sting in my IV, but I never felt it. I remember trying to breathe and trying not to be scared. I remember the last words that I was able to speak into that mask and they were “Jesus, I need You…” That’s the last thing I remember. Suddenly I was asleep. Minutes later, well more like an hour and a half later, I was waking up. I overheard someone talking about my procedure. They said that the ablation wasn’t done. “What????” I was thinking to myself.  I was wondering if I had heard correctly since I was still kind of out of it. They said it ended up being an Electrophysiology Study. The reason why it became a study and not an ablation is because there were no abnormal nerves to cauterize!  I was still waking up, but I found myself crying tears of joy when I realized that God had answered prayers for healing! I am so grateful for the prayer warriors who had been praying for me and I specifically asked the Lord to heal my heart and to have the cardiologist confirm the healing. I prayed and believed that when the procedure was done that he would find nothing there and that’s exactly what happened! God is so good!

I am in awe of how God moved that day. Everything…every little detail ran so smoothly. It couldn’t have gone any better. I couldn’t have been more blessed. The Lord’s presence was so strong. Even my recovery this time around has been wonderful. No complications. Soon, I’ll be back to normal. And you can be sure that I will be singing His praises in church this Sunday! I believe that everything that happened in the hospital was only possible with God. I didn’t have Him seven years ago, but I have Him now and I will never let Him go. I am grateful to know that He will never let me go either.

In this past year alone, I have learned to pray powerfully and I have learned to pray with the faith that God can do anything. I pray in the name of Jesus and I believe that when I pray for healing that it will be done. I have been healed physically more than once this year. God is the God of miracles! I believe that with all my being. I am so grateful that I didn’t give up on God. I hope more people will be encouraged to pray with this kind of faith. Imagine all that God can do with that!

No matter what, I will always pray with the faith and belief that God will heal. Even if the healing doesn’t come, I won’t give up. I turn every challenge into an opportunity to grow closer to Him. My faith is so strong. I pray for His will to be done. I will always believe in His miracles. He has been so powerful in my life in this short time I’ve been walking with Him and I want more people to experience His power like I have. I pray He uses my life to help people learn to grow closer to Him. I know that once He reaches them, they will never want to go back to the way they were and that is so exciting to think about.

Thanks for taking the time to read this story. I hope you will think it’s worth sharing with someone who may need some hope and encouragement to never give up on God and to pray with faith and the belief that He can do anything…because He can. My life is proof of that!

To God be the glory. Amen. ♥

How will they know what they have never heard?

A fourteen year old gang member was shot and killed by a rival gang member. The newspaper stated there was a gun found near his body. He was obviously out to kill or be killed, and unfortunately, that’s exactly what happened. I saw a photo of him that I believe was from a couple of years prior. He had such a baby face. Even though he was living a life of crime, my heart grew heavy knowing that another young life had been lost to violence. Someone nearby called him a loser and said his mother was a loser. That was hard for me to hear. It is not my place to judge this mother for where and how she was raising her son. I know nothing about her situation. I can’t help but wonder…does this young mother know Jesus? Did anyone ever tell her about the good news of Jesus Christ? Did her son ever hear about Him? Would he have made the choice to stay out of a gang if someone took the time to share Jesus’ love with him? Questions I will never know the answers to.

I heard about a 72 year old woman who tearfully said that her life is a mess. She said that her children are tired of her and that she is even tired of herself. My eyes filled with tears when I heard that she said there is no reason for her life anymore. Like that fourteen year old, my heart also breaks for this woman. I know what it feels like to think there’s no reason to be alive anymore. The devil is such a good liar. Once again I wonder if anyone has ever shared Jesus’ love with her. Does she have any idea how much He loves her and how He wants her to have an abundant life? Nobody is too young or too old to start living that life with Him! Does she know that??

I am a follower of Jesus and I am glad that I don’t need to know all the answers. I have learned that preaching is not only for pastors and ministers. The word “preaching” used to intimidate me. It doesn’t anymore since I realized that it just means that I, as a believer, should be sharing the good news of Jesus Christ to the lost. I can do that!! I simply start out by sharing the wonderful testimony that He has given me. The Lord opens doors for me to do this and He puts the people that He wants to touch through me in my path. It takes time to learn to listen to Him.  But if I can do this, anybody can!

How many more souls like the fourteen year old will be lost if we don’t do our part? How many more people like the 72 year old woman will give up on life because they don’t know the Lord’s love? I don’t want to stand by and hope that someone else will do it. Our part is easy, we just need to open our mouths. We need to live our lives the way God’s Word tells us to and leave the rest up to God. I don’t want to be someone who is full of words and no action. I want to be a doer of God’s Word. I’m praying for more willing hearts to join me.

So think about it. How will people know what they have never heard? Can you think of someone who needs to hear about Jesus? This might be your last chance to tell them about Him and how much He loves them. I pray that you won’t let that chance slip away.

Father, in the name of Jesus, I pray that we, Your sons and daughters, speak the words of life with Your fire in our eyes to those who are lost—to those who desperately need to know that Jesus has come to set the captive free. Lord, we need the perfect words. Words that they will hear so they are drawn to You. I pray Father, that we bring glory to Your name in everything we do. Amen.