Sunday, April 27, 2008

I AM Healed

Yep...that's right...I'm healed. "Healed of what?" you might ask. Healed of my approval addiction. Healed of my people pleasing. Healed of my histrionics disorder.

My journey with the Lord has been an interesting one. I grew up with the Jehovah's Witnesses. At age 11, I moved from Minnesota to Arizona and began my descent into depression. I left the Jehovah's Witnesses my senior year of high school. At 22, I married my best friend, and we moved to Colorado. I accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior when I was 23. I went for a solo backpacking trip when I was 28 with the full intention of taking my life up in the mountains. Instead, I had a mountaintop encounter with God who told me that I DID in fact take my life up into the mountains and that it no longer belonged to me. It belonged to Him. I entered youth ministry when I was 29 and had some unbelievable experiences. God used me, imperfect as I was to share with others that He loves and forgives them. I saw lives transformed. Then when I was 33, He told me to go. Specifically He said to me:

Then the Lord said to Jacob, "Return to the land of your fathers and to your relatives, and I will be with you." - Genesis 31:3

Yeah, that's pretty specific, and it's the main reason I now go by Jake instead of Jamie. Sara and I moved, and we lived happily ever after. Except we didn't. Nope. In fact, I sank deeper and deeper into depression until finally, on April 16th, 2007, I had a nervous breakdown.

For any of you romanticizing the notion of having a nervous breakdown, let me pop your bubbles of illusion. It is painful...not just to you but to all the ones you love. It leaves a wake of destruction and broken relationships. However, you get an interesting perspective of the world from your knees. This time of brokenness taught me that as much as I had talked about God's love and forgiveness, I never truly believed it applied to me. This would cause me to seek approval and affirmation from the people around me. It wore them out, and it never came close to filling the hole inside of me. That's because the job of God is a big one, and the only one equipped to fill that role is...well...God.

So through a lot of therapy, a lot of prayer, and a healthy dose of drugs, I finally came to the point where I made the decision that, yes, I did in fact want to be healed leading to more therapy and more prayer. And this time instead of trying the "fake it 'til you feel it" method, I started to proclaim the truth until I believed it. The truth that God is enough. The truth that I am a child of Christ. The truth that God is faithful to complete the good work that He began in me. The truth that I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. Funny how for so many years I had preached these very things to so many people and yet never accepted in my heart that it was true for me.

Finally, on March 2nd, 2008, I prayed with a couple of overseers for deliverance from my demons of depression and histrionics, and anxiety, and just all that junk. The prayer session lasted a long time, and at the end I felt as though I had just finished a 12 hour day of moving lumber. I was also healed. Since then, I have had no panic attacks, no more obsessive thoughts of suicide, and no more obsessive fantasies of my funeral.

Now, just because I was healed didn't mean that the battle was over. It was more like having a cast removed and beginning the process of physical therapy. I have over 25 years of bad habits and adaptations to overcome. I need to learn new ways of thinking and reacting to the world around me. I need to be comfortable with the idea that God is my source of strength, not anyone else.

A man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he had already been a long time in that condition, He said to him, "Do you wish to get well?" - John 5:5,6

On March 2nd, 2008, at the age of 38, my answer was, "Yes," and His answer was, "So be it."

No comments:

Post a Comment