This past week held a very significant day in my life. A day that I am proud of and humbled by.
Last Thursday marked a full year of being completely depression free.
If you’ve been around me for any extended period of time or if you’ve read any of my older blog posts, you’ll know that depression was the biggest thing in my life for more than 8 years. As young as 11, I have memories of being so depressed that I didn’t even want to exist anymore. My whole life consisted of trying to get by one day at a time. Everything felt worthless and pointless and dead. I didn’t love myself. I thought I was deserving of nothing good and everything bad.
I tried to fix it on my own for a long time. In the earlier years, my answer was addictions. I would cycle through vices like they were candy. Every few months was something different. My depression was eating a hole into my spirit, and the more I tried to fill it with things of the world the bigger it became. I tried anything and everything I could get my hands on. And while the temporary effects were comforting, I always came back to a place of dissatisfaction.
I would later begin the process of trying what everybody else told me to. I tried medicines. I tried therapy. The medicines did their job of keeping my depressing thoughts out, but in the process also removed my happy ones. I felt nothing. I was numb. I couldn’t feel even if I wanted to and as a result lost several close relationships. Therapy was a good way for me to understand the origins of my depression, but provided no real solution to them. Every answer I was given was devoid of God and completely useless in its effect.
I accepted the philosophic and scientific opinion that there was no cure. I accepted that I was doomed to live the rest of my life with this struggle. I accepted the “reality” that I would never feel worthy or beautiful and my life would be hollow and pointless. There was no hope. There was no future.
But those were all lies.
The very basis of my faith in God is that He IS my hope. He IS my future.
“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord. ‘They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a FUTURE and a HOPE.'”
Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT, emphasis mine)
God did not design me to live defeated. God designed me to live in the victory that was provided by Jesus Christ.
A year ago last Thursday, while serving in Fairbanks, Alaska, I had a night that was among some of the darkest I’ve ever experienced. I remember lying there on my air mattress, completely alone, and feeling like I was about to lose my fight and be lost in the shadows forever. I’d had enough. It needed to end or I wasn’t going to survive. I knew that this disease was supposed to be permanent. I knew there was no cure. So I cried out to the only thing that could have possibly helped me. I had never seen healing with my own eyes, but I had read in the Bible that He was a perfect healer. I had read stories of blind people seeing and deaf people hearing. I didn’t have much faith left in me, but what I did have I gave to him. I asked him for rescue and healing. I asked him to change my brain at its very core. I asked him for the impossible.
The very next moment after crying out, I became aware of everything spiritually happening around me. I became aware of the fact that this depression was not only a physical disease. This depression was accompanied by a literal spirit from Satan’s army, latched onto and pouring into my mind. He was large and powerful, but not powerful enough. I became aware of a second spirit in the room with me. But this was no demon. I came to realize that Jesus had come into the room in the most literal way imaginable. I closed my eyes tight and asked Him to save me and to permanently get this thing off of me. As Jesus fought for me, I felt the chains of depression fall off my shoulders. Not in a metaphorical sense, but in a physical and tangible way. I felt lighter, and I immediately knew that I had been healed. I knew that the fight was over. I opened my eyes to a calm room with no more darkness. The only thing spiritually around me was the glory of God, and I finally understood what Jesus meant on the cross when He declared “It is finished.”
It was done. Not one moment after that night have I ever felt even a sliver of depression. I have felt spirits of depression that have attempted to latch onto me again, but the authority given to me by Christ has given me the opportunity to remain in my healing and not allow those things into my life.
God worked a literal miracle. I hear all the time that the healings in the Bible don’t happen anymore and God no longer works that way, but I am here to tell you that He does. I’m a walking, living, breathing testimony of the fact that He desires to rescue you. No matter what your story is, He wants to heal you and bring you to a place of wholeness in Him. There are countless possibilities when we enter into complete and total surrender.
Don’t believe the lie that miracles are dead. Don’t believe that the circumstances Satan has plagued you with somehow define who you are. Christ defined your worth years ago, and He has deemed you worthy of a miracle.