But you will receive power when the Ruach HaKodesh [Holy Spirit] comes upon you; you will be my witnesses both in Yerushalayim [Jerusalem] and in all Y’hudah [Judah] and Shomron [Samaria], indeed to the ends of the earth!Acts 1:8 (CJB )
And how can people proclaim him unless God sends them? — as the Tanakh puts it, “How beautiful are the feet of those announcing good news about good things!”Romans 10:15 (CJB)
When I was little, I attended church sporadically with my aunt and cousin. However, I got mixed signals. They were Christians, but my aunt would accuse me of lying about things or trying to pull one over on my mother. I lived with her for about three months, and then she decided she couldn't handle my "behaviors" anymore, so she took me back to my abusive mother's house. She was also an alcoholic and had a history of getting involved in abusive relationships with men. But she was a Christian? Of course, now I know that she is just another person struggling through this life to the best of her ability. When I was about fourteen, I was listening to some program on the radio--I can't remember which one--and I learned about how to accept Jesus as my Savior. (You'll learn more about that later as you read this page. I was a baby Christian, and my dad would ask me questions to which I didn't know the answers. I was new to the Bible, and I had no idea how to answer questions like:
Or don’t you know that your body is a temple for the Ruach HaKodesh [Holy Spirit] who lives inside you, whom you received from God? The fact is, you don’t belong to yourselves; for you were bought at a price. So use your bodies to glorify God.1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (CJB) I realized that I was destroying the temple of the Holy Spirit every time I would self-injure or attempt suicide. So I prayed and asked God to forgive me, but I still felt guilty. Then, one day I realized that Jesus the Messiah will have His scars for all time so that mine will go away…forever! Hallelujah!
When I have relapses of my mental illness, I tend to feel unworthy of a relationship with God, withdraw from my communication with Jesus, stop praying and reading my Bible, question everything I think I know about my faith. This leads to further problems with my mental illness, and it often takes me down the road to self-injurious behaviors or suicidal thoughts or actions. As I get stabalized in the psychiatric hospital or with the help of my support team (psychiatrist, psychiatric nurse, case manager), I return to God and ask forgiveness for letting go of my spiritual lifeline. Sometimes when I'm in a mental illness relapse, all I can do is cling to God's grace; it's all I have to hold on to in the moment. So as I seek God to help me heal, I often go to the story of the "Lost Son" in Luke 15:
Again Yeshua said, “A man had two sons. The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of the estate that will be mine.’ So the father divided the property between them. As soon as he could convert his share into cash, the younger son left home and went off to a distant country, where he squandered his money in reckless living. But after he had spent it all, a severe famine arose throughout that country, and he began to feel the pinch. “So he went and attached himself to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed pigs. He longed to fill his stomach with the carob pods the pigs were eating, but no one gave him any. “At last he came to his senses and said, ‘Any number of my father’s hired workers have food to spare; and here I am, starving to death! I’m going to get up and go back to my father and say to him, “Father, I have sinned against Heaven and against you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me like one of your hired workers.” ’ So he got up and started back to his father. “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was moved with pity. He ran and threw his arms around him and kissed him warmly. His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against Heaven and against you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son — ’ but his father said to his slaves, ‘Quick, bring out a robe, the best one, and put it on him; and put a ring on his finger and shoes on his feet; and bring the calf that has been fattened up, and kill it. Let’s eat and have a celebration! For this son of mine was dead, but now he’s alive again! He was lost, but now he has been found!’ And they began celebrating. “Now his older son was in the field. As he came close to the house, he heard music and dancing. So he called one of the servants and asked, ‘What’s going on?’ The servant told him, ‘Your brother has come back, and your father has slaughtered the calf that was fattened up, because he has gotten him back safe and sound.’ But the older son became angry and refused to go inside. “So his father came out and pleaded with him. ‘Look,’ the son answered, ‘I have worked for you all these years, and I have never disobeyed your orders. But you have never even given me a young goat, so that I could celebrate with my friends. Yet this son of yours comes, who squandered your property with prostitutes, and for him you slaughter the fattened calf!’ ‘Son, you are always with me,’ said the father, ‘and everything I have is yours. We had to celebrate and rejoice, because this brother of yours was dead but has come back to life — he was lost but has been found.’”Luke15:11-32 (CJB)
I love this Scripture passage, because it reminds me that Jesus will accept me with all of my flaws and remove my overwhelming sense of guilt and shame. Those are both very common with depression. Sometimes I get lost spiritually when I have mental illness relapses, but God is always waiting for me to return to Him. Jesus, the Sar Shalom [Prince of Peace] is always there in the chaos of my mixed up mind, but sometimes I forget that He's just waiting to bring peace to me.
If you read my stories about my background and watched the videos, you know that I have a troubled history and a lot of health complications. However, I can reflect Christ and still experience joy and have hope in the midst of trials. That's because of who Jesus is and what He has done for me. I know that, one day, all of the suffering (both physical difficulties and mental anguish) will be over when I enter into eternity with God. Would you like to have this eternal hope in the midst of your trials? Read on to find out how you can have a relationship with Jesus Christ!
Let's face it: we live in a very dark world. It's turbulent and unpredictable, violent and sometimes grotessque. Is there really a safe place we can go to find hope and peace? The answer is a resounding YES! And the great news is: It's eternal peace and hope, and it provides salvation! The answer is Jesus Christ! But before we can talk about Jesus, we have to go back to the very beginning.
"Dear God, I know I’m a sinner, and I ask for your forgiveness. I believe Jesus Christ is Your Son. I believe that He died for my sin and that you raised Him to life. I want to trust Him as my Savior and follow Him as Lord, from this day forward. Guide my life and help me to do your will. I pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen."If you prayed the prayer or if you have a question, feel free to email me. I would love to connect with you to encourage you in your faith or help answer your questions.