Finding Purpose Through Your Pain
Today we have a guest blog post written by Niques from http://mydailydevotion.online/. Niques was gracious enough to share her life battle with depression. She hopes that it will help and encourage someone else. That they, also, can let go of the shame that comes with the stigma of depression. Her prayer is that God’s Word would bring healing. God loves us where we are. If you are suffering with depression, please do not feel that you are alone.
Niques is a high school teacher by profession, a part-time writer and a full-time Christian woman. At 15 years old, God called her and placed a burning desire in her heart to serve him. She is a trained bible study teacher, a youth ministry leader and she has been writing devotionals ever since 2007. She is passionate about using her talents to spread the good news of the gospel and to encourage others to live a Christ-centered, purposed filled life. You can find her devotions at her blog at http://mydailydevotion.online/
“Finding purpose through your pain.”
“There is a purpose for everything.” They said. Honestly, I was finding that very hard to believe. If there’s a reason for everything, what’s the reason for all of my pain and agony? I just couldn’t see it. Why was God allowing these things to happen to me? I didn’t do anything to deserve it, well nothing I could think of. Was there really a purpose for all of my suffering?
For a long time I didn’t know that I was suffering from depression, but for as long as I can remember I had strange moments of what my mother called ‘melancholy.’ As a teenager I would loop in and out of depressive episodes that lasted from a few hours to a few days. But I would always just shake it off, because well…. I’m an overachiever and I had no time for depression.
As a teen I was always active at church. I became a youth leader at the tender age of 15 and by 18 I was giving Bible studies to new converts. I liked to keep busy. When I began my high school teaching career things became much worse. I didn’t realize it at the time but I was pushing down my pain from depression and masking it by taking up more and more responsibility. I began giving extra classes at work, taking up more positions at church and starting new ministries at the side. I became overworked and the evitable happened; my depressive episodes were becoming worse and worse.
My depression finally caught up with me and I crashed. I had the full mental breakdown. The suicidal thoughts raged, I began running away at random times where no one could find me, having insomnia, screaming and crying at night and ripping clothes off of my body. This went on for weeks; my family didn’t know what to do and I felt like God had abandoned me. I didn’t feel God’s love anymore.
That’s when Michael arrived. Michael was an ex-boyfriend that I quickly broke up with because I realized he had abusive tendencies. During this period of extreme mental distress, Michael returned and offered me something that I believed was missing in my life at the time. He offered me love. He met me at a broken place and I needed to feel comfort, no matter where it came from. Not to bore you with long and extensive details but if you know anything about abusive relationships you would know that it usually begins all happy and romantic only to leave a sour taste in your mouth afterward.
Michael became emotionally and physically abusive towards me. He would tell me that I couldn’t make correct choices; he would become very aggressive and jealous if he saw me with another man and would even shout and throw objects at me when he didn’t get his way. I had no desire to have sex with him, but he took it anyway. It was a whole mess really. When I decided to end the relationship, he came after my family and would show up at my job. I was forced to move from my family’s home, move out on my own and get a restraining order. Through all of that, now I was living on my own, I was depressed, on the brink of suicide and then I found out I was pregnant with Michael’s child.
“Where was God?” I thought. After all of the years of service to Him, why would he allow these things to happen? What was the church going to think? What would my students say? As I sat in that small dirty studio apartment one thought circles through my mind ‘Kill yourself.’ And I was about to slit my wrist when I heard God’s voice calling out to me ‘My child, you are not alone.’ It was so clear, like He was sitting right next to me. I immediately put down the knife and grabbed my Bible. I began looking for verses that spoke about God’s un-forsaking love. I cried that night but I knew then that through this entire situation God was still looking out for me. That night I began writing my book ‘Regaining Consciousness: A Biblical way to combat depression.’
Unfortunately, I had a miscarriage; turns out I was pregnant with twins. The physical pain and mental pain from that miscarriage almost broke me completely. I can honestly say that if it wasn’t for the mercy of Jesus I would not be alive today. God held onto me tight and would not let me go. Through all of the pain, God drew me back into him.
You see before my mental breakdown I was running around trying to serve Christ but I had forgotten to actually spend time with Him. The strong growing relationship I once had with God had become less of my priority when compared to my career and ministry (ironic isn’t it?). Instead of handing him my problems with depression, I became self-sufficient thinking I could just push all of my pain down and everything would be alright.
Through the pain of my mental crash, my abusive relationship and my miscarriage, I was left with my only option; I had to depend on Christ. There was no one else around to help me through the hardship. I am a living testimony to God’s saving power, His grace and His mercy. I understand now, why God allowed my pain, his purpose was to bring me back to Him. I am grateful every day because without Him looking after me I would be dead.
I don’t know what you’re going through right now, but I know that God has not turned his back on you. There is a purpose for your pain and God is still taking care of you. Even if your situation is unexplainable, or you did nothing wrong to deserve this hardship, there is a purpose behind it.
“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:” Ecclesiastes 3:1
Through my pain, I began my blogging ministry and I began helping other Christians who suffer from mental illness. You may not always know God’s plan but know that he always has a plan that will work out for your good.
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28
I’m not going to lie some days are still tough. I still suffer from depression but through daily prayer and devotion things are getting better. I know now that no matter what pain I’m going through I can hold onto Jesus who is my rock and my salvation.
“He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my defense; I shall not be moved.” Psalm 62:6.
~ Niques ~
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