Welcome to the last installment of the series! I am glad you are here! I am sharing a series about my experience with depression and anxiety. Feel free to catch up with the first six parts of the series:
Oh what a beautiful site it was to roll up into Susan's driveway into her amazing holler'! (If you don't know what that is, you must ask Susan to describe it!) It had been a long 2 days of driving to North Carolina from Illinois.
Ya'll, the Susan you know online is a sweetheart, but no where near as good as the real thing!! She so very graciously invited me into her home and made me feel like I was part of the family. (except for Sam....thedog.....he wasn't so sure about me!) I arrived just before dinner, and we began visiting right away over preparing dinner for the two of us. Susan's way is straightford and right to the point, and oh how I love that about her! She knew I was there for some serious heart and soul work with the Lord. We talked well into the night, and it was awesome!
Each morning I got up and headed to this little corner of the couch. I had packed a bag full of books, notebooks, my bible, notecards, and music. I was ready.....and God did not disappoint.
My plan had been to visit several parks nearby, do some sightseeing while toting my bag of books and bible. I figured I could pray and enjoy the beauty of North Carolina at the same time. This ladies, is how God works. God knew how far I had traveled to get some quality, uninterrupted time with him, so in his sovereignty it rained...
Now I say that to be funny, but I am dead serious at the same time! And because it rained, I stayed right there on that couch and prayed my little heart out. My heart was laid bare before him, with all of those things that had made the list, and many more. I read my bible, I prayed, I worshipped, I cried, and I prayed some more. I'd take a break and have lunch with Susan, and then do it all over again in the afternoon. Throughout the week I replaced my list of strongholds with a list of prayers. I gave each item to God and turned it into a supplication for Jesus to attend to. I asked him to release me from each stronghold and replace those negatives with holy spirit led power over them.
What a gift.
Persevering prayer, built on a foundation of faith, crushes the power of Satan. ~Charles Stanley
In between rain showers, I took the opportunity to enjoy the beauty that surrounded me.
This little creek is right across the road from Susan's front porch and the sound of the moving water was music to my soul.
Oh the birds at Susan's house!! She is a bird lover and I enjoyed every single visitor!
Before I knew it, my time at Susan's had come to an end. I missed my family and had so much to share with them, but it was hard to leave. Susan's house had become the perfect refuge, and her hospitality and friendship meant the world to me. She had shared her home, her friends, her pastor, and her wisdom with me. It was an absolutely amazing week that I could never put into earthly words, so I won't even try. I guess that's when you know that you have encountered Jesus face to face....when you just can't describe it, but you know your heart and soul have been changed in ways that are only possible through the loving grace of Jesus Christ.
And I haven't looked back since!!
Remember in Part 4 of this series the long list of illnesses that were listed at my doctor's office? GONE!
Since being prayed over on Mother's Day of 2016, I have not had another anxiety attack. My sensory issues have all but disappeared. I've had no more problems with attention deficit or memory problems, and I have had little depression issues. I went back to work in August at the high school and have been doing great.
I AM FREE
CHRIST HAS SET ME FREE
Not long after returning home from my trip to Susan's, I was once again worshipping in my kitchen, standing in the sunshine. I was singing along with the song "No Longer Slaves". I've sung it a hundred times over the last year, but this time was different and the tears were streaming down my face in joy. The chorus started, and I sang as loud as I could the following words:
"You split the sea so I could walk right through it,
you drown my fears in perfect love,
you rescued me so I could stand and sing - I am a child of God."
You see, that opening line had been a plea from me for months on end, asking God when He would split the seas for me, when would my suffering end, when would I get to the other side.
I was finally on the other side! He rescued me. Praise Jesus, He rescued me.
"I waited patiently for the Lord: he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God."
"He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters."
All praise and honor and glory belong to Christ alone.
I can't thank you all enough for traveling along this journey with me. My hope is if you are suffering through depression and anxiety, that you know you are not alone and help is out there. But most importantly, I want you to know that Jesus Christ is waiting for you to call upon him to rescue you. He is willing and able to carry you through this season. I don't know why I had to go through all of this, but I am confident that Jesus had his purpose, and I accept this plan for me. I pray you will reach out to him as well, snuggle up tight next to him, pour your heart out to him and allow him room to heal your heart and soul.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you SUSAN! Love you girlfriend!! Can't wait to visit again!!