Healing Grace - Testimony

 What I don't tell people up front, is that I struggle with a mental illness.   I have received so much of a negative reaction in the past that only select few have known.  

     I have had 3 mental breakdowns since I was 22 years old. I have been in and out of  hospitals on various occasions. 

     In 2002 I was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, after such a severe breakdown that left my marriage of twelve years in shambles.  That was very awakening and sobering day when I realized that I had a malady that could be treated.  

     I went without a diagnosis and medicine for many years.  It never occurred to me or anyone else around me, for me to get outside help from a doctor and take medicine for it.   Besides the point I had associated half my life in a denomination that believed you have to look for demons behind every corner...

     I can not spend my life afraid of the devil, God has given me a sound mind by me "taking my medicine" to combat and overcome all that the enemy can throw at me. 

     There is no sense for me to go into all of the details and try to pick apart those period of times when I had each breakdown.   What I can tell you is that I experienced excruciating mental anguish hearing audible voices yelling inside my mind and outside of my brain.  

    You might ask if I heard from God in all of that?  I want to say I did. I want to say I heard from angels during a very intensified moments in my life.  He led me in a different direction for a reason, to a treatment and counseling center, and I have been going to a doctor since then.

     He also lead me to get involved in a mental health support group that I have been attending since 2011.

     I have some to realize that I am not defined because of my illness. I haven't thrown in the towel so to speak, and given up on my life or who and whose I am. On the contrary, I am a child of the most highest Jehovah God. The same God of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob!    I believe Jesus did save my soul in 1982 and that one day I will cross over into heaven. I havent a shadow of a doubt there.

     I am now 52 years old, and there are still periods of time that I struggle with secluding myself and pulling away from relationships in the body of Christ.  I have days riddled with bouts of depression and anxiety, unable to cope with stress. In so many ways, I still live a sheltered existence, but I am doing better than I have in my younger years.  

     My Lord Jesus has brought so much peace and contentment into my mind and soul. He has helped me to get remarried since 2010 to a wonderful women who really understands my ups and downs because she is a nurse and ha seen my days of stuggle with this illness. 

     He has also set me into a great body of believers...I still have a great desire to be used by God to minister the grace that He has lavished on me and fulfill the calling on my life.  

    Many churches I have attempted to be apart of during those very trying years were not prepared to minister to me. Some have asked me to leave, others just was not equipped to handle people with a mental illness. Schizophrenia, for me has been a very silent killer, because I have such a difficult time with holding things in and not talking about what is going on inside of my mind..

     I do know that some of my sisters and brothers in Christ mean well when they ask me casual questions about "where I work."   I had to retire from the workforce world in 2002.  I  really have to reconstruct and watch what I say to avoid the stigma of getting shunned by the body of Christ.  I have been shunned, judged and rejected by church leaders and even members in the past. That is why I am so reluctant to share this testimony in church. It is part of my calling of the Lord to share my story though, not hid it. So for now the people who read my blog on the internet. I can only hope it will be received with support, and love and grace.

     The desire of my heart is to lead a quiet and serene life. I also desire to be used to serve and minister to those in the church body.  

     God's peace has soothed my heart and given me relief and tranquility from my illness by regularly staying persistent on a good treatment plan as well as staying diligent on taking my medicine. Plus the fact it gives me the space to work on my relationship with God, and to be soothed by His grace and peace.

     My prayer is that this makes you more aware of who I am and where I am at in this journey called my life, that you see the glorious and wonderful testimony of the healing hand of the Father's heart of grace!!

     My prayer is that you experience all that God has for you. Maybe you suffer mentally. You may be overcome by depression and anxiety.  You may be secluded. God desires to change all that. Come to Him and have true healing peace that surpasses all understanding!!

Maranatha,
Richard

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