My story is one of an abundant life of faith, hope and love.
From a child I had suffered extremely violent nightmares and had trouble sleeping as I counted repetitively in my head trying to solve unsolvable number patterns.
Despite these symptoms I had a personal desire to follow God. In my early teens I was baptised and received God’s promised Holy Spirit.
I had many friends and did well at school with no apparent symptoms of any mental health problems.
After some trauma at 15 I suffered severe depression. I had no energy for everyday tasks, no desire to participate in life and lacked direction. I experienced extreme paranoia and my thoughts were towards suicide and self-loathing. I couldn’t control or structure my thoughts, yet I did not think of myself as mentally unwell.
I chose to separate myself from God and ceased attending Church. After some time I missed feeling close to Him and was concerned with my suicidal thoughts.
I don’t think anyone around me knew what to do or how to help me. I cried out to God, crying and singing to Him in praise asking for His help.
God responded powerfully. He gave me hope and a knowledge that I had a purpose in this life with God. It was a transformative experience that led me to be able to enroll in studies and function again.
Not long afterwards I started attending The Revival Fellowship, praying and attending regular fellowship. God sustained me to be able to study, work and marry.
In the early years of our marriage Doctors suggested that I may be mentally unwell but I thought them silly. I believe I felt great shame regarding my depression and anxiety and did not want to accept that I was unwell.
I was shown a scripture where Jesus said that He came so that we could have life more abundantly. I did not understand that God wanted me to have an abundant life, nor what this really was.
When having my first child my mental health symptoms worsened and I felt the weight of them as they now impacted not just myself but also my family.
When pregnant with my second child I was diagnosed with severe depression and anxiety and was placed on medication and was placed under the care of a psychiatrist. The Doctor helped me a lot however I was still suicidal.
When my husband discovered my suicidal state he called out to God. Through scripture, God revealed that we needed to be open with those around us and ask them to pray with us.
We gathered family together, explained our situation and asked them to lay hands on me and pray for me to be healed. After they prayed I felt instantly healed of my condition, my mind went very calm.
After this time I observed many changes that were miraculous and can only have come from God. The violent nightmares, suicidal thoughts and repetitive counting ceased. I was now able to clearly structure my thoughts.
The most powerful aspect of my healing is my newfound ability to connect with people, something I struggled with during my years of depression. It truly has been an astounding experience to accept and understand the Love that all of these people had for me, and the patience to stay with me when I was so unwell.
I pray that we are all able to accept the love of God and live the abundant life God has called us to.
Katy (Central Coast)