Out of the woods


“I cannot, but Lord you can.”

I found the end of myself. My hands felt the walls that told me I could no longer continue. My feet traipsed with Defeat, and I wondered how I would make it. I did not know. I came to the end of myself; I had nothing else to give. Yesterday my roommate and I talk about the 2 a.m. moment when life is falling apart and you feel alone and scared. You wonder if you’ll make it. That was me all the time.

I do not say this to be dramatic or to draw attention to myself. The Lord has done a good work in me, and now I cannot keep it within me. I must share.

Anxiety consumed me and it felt like depression resided in my whole body. I completed tasks because my routine had always been to get things done. That’s all I knew. I appeared, or so I thought, to be fine.

But I wasn’t at all. I had a glimmer of hope at the beginning of the year; some part of me believed the Lord would make things better eventually, but if not I was okay with being miserable. I thought I could handle it. I knew no way to change it. It felt out of my control. As time went on, I did not think I could handle the world on my shoulders. I did not know how long I could keep running my life if I was always defeated and exhausted with little interest in anything.

My first week back at school, I fell apart. I was in bed with the lights out by nine, praying for someone to call me. I was begging God to show up. My mom called me at nine-thirty. I could not keep myself together. She listened.

She mentioned transferring, but that felt wrong. I knew I was meant to be here, and I still believe that fully. She mentioned dropping a class that brought me quite a load of anxiety, but that felt wrong as well. (It turns out that I ended up meeting one of my best friends in that class. God does beautiful things.)

My mother asked me the last time I truly remembered being content, besides a mission trip one summer, I legitimately could not remember. Of course there were times of happiness and such, but overall I remembered the random pain and fear that had always seemed to be my shadow not to mention the grief that I had experienced.

My mom told me she was convinced that I would get better. She was not worried at all. She reminded me of my beautiful watercolored comforter, kindly telling me to focus on the good things. She also reminded me of the wooden board on my wall that she gave me. It reads “Not to spoil the ending, but everything is going to be ok.”

It was perfect. She’s always been a prayer warrior and I knew she spent time on her knees for me. During our conversation, she also mentioned that maybe I should only listen to christian music.

Before I came to school for the spring semester, I met with an iridologist who loves the Lord. She looked into my eyes and saw things that no one else could. She saw through my walls; she saw plainly the extent of my suffering and how my body was being affected. She put me on supplements to help my body get working again, told me to journal, and said that if I wasn’t reading my Bible everyday the program didn’t matter.

It took time, but I began reading my Bible again everyday and journaling. I found scriptures that I could cling to and I declared them as my anthem. For the month of February and on, I decided to only listen to christian music. It has been the best thing. For Lent, I allow myself one Netflix show a week and that is it.

A week after I called my mom and fell apart, my church had a Body Life Sunday, where we ask the Spirit to lead, and anyone who feels led may go to the pulpit and speak. Person after person stood up and spoke of deep anxiety and depression. One of our prayer leaders stepped forward and asked for all who struggle with anxiety and depression to come to the table.

I knew I had to walk forward. There was no way I could deny that anxiety was a part of my struggle and my story. Being prayed over was one of the most beautiful things I have experienced. It was painful and uncomfortable, but it was needed. They spoke scripture after scripture over us, declared that our disorder was not our name. I took the bread and drank the cup. For the Lord said, it is finished.

It took time, but February 16th I noticed. I felt different. I had energy for the first time in forever. I can’t tell you why, but I can tell you that I knew it was from the Lord. That day I ended up asking myself and the Lord for forgiveness in areas where I had screwed up. That night I was in bed with the lights out at seven-thirty. My whole world was spinning and I expected to throw up at any moment.

I can think of one of two reasons for this. First, it may have been a spiritual attack. Second, it is possible that my anxiety literally couldn’t handle peace and calm therefore it made something happen in my body.

The intense vertigo and nausea continued for about a day and I still experience it off and on, but I am determined that it will not take the joy and peace that the Lord has brought me. A couple days later I was laying in bed and I could not believe the lightness in my chest. There was no weight and it was incredible.

I didn’t know that I could come out of the woods.

Every day is still a fight and a struggle to remember that the Lord is victorious. He has brought me freedom. Tears still come to my eyes as I write this story. I am beyond grateful for what the Lord has done in my life. Because of the Lord “my greatest pain has become my greatest gift.”

My God found me when I had no strength and no fight. He gave me both. I know he can do the same for you.



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