There are so many details to this journey God has taken, and continues, to take me through which make it difficult to summarise in a few words. I hope to one day write a book on this journey but for now, this is the summary of my process so far.
I was born and raised in a Christian home, I grew up with both my parents and our home was a loving environment. I’m blessed to have siblings to share life with and growing up, we also had many cousins, aunts and uncles around. The church we are a part of also has a very heavy community aspect so we always were around people and never really were alone.
Even with all this, I ended up battling with ill mental health – namely, depression and anxiety. One thing for sure – depression does not care who you are or where you come from, if it wants to strike, it will strike. My problems became prominent early on in my teenage years, though with hindsight, I had probably been struggling with depression a lot longer than that.
Depression is not feeling a bit sad or having a bad day here and there. Depression is when you no longer recognise yourself; it takes over and consumes your whole being. It becomes so toxic and almost poisons everything around you including your relationships. It is one of the worst things to experience but is also heavily misunderstood. Depression is dark, it’s ugly and it is a very lonely space. Coupled with depression, I also had regular bouts of anxiety – neither of these issues are any fun to deal with (or be around) and I often felt extremely disconnected and alone.
My feelings peaked to the point of feeling suicidal. One day, early in 2014, I took an overdose – all I wanted was the noise in my head to stop. I wanted the feeling of heaviness to go. Even though I had no knowledge of this then, God had a greater purpose for my life. He preserved me and is the reason I am still alive. I was in university at the time but dropped out following this and it was during the months I was home, I made the decision to follow Christ and give my all to Him. This was, and still is, the best decision I ever made. I had a new-found hope for the future where previously, all I saw was darkness.
Now, I want to make this extremely clear, from the moment I gave my life to Christ – the immediate difference was hope. I knew that where I was in that moment could change and I could overcome. But for me, overcoming has been a process – hence, this is the Chronicles of My Process.
I can confidently say that the person I am today, is by no means, the same person I was back then. I am Transformed by Abba. To transform is to change completely the appearance or character of something or someone, especially so that that thing or person is improved. This has been, and still is, my testimony. I have been changed completely and that change has come through Abba Father.
Important to note is that, whilst I am transformed by Abba, I am also continually being transformed by Him. We are transformed as we come to Christ – we are made new in Him but we daily undergo transformation to become more and more like him.
“So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.” – 2 Corinthians 3:18
For me, there have been FOUR KEY AREAS to this journey of transformation:
1. Dig Deep
Oftentimes in life, when we have an issue, we deal with it on the surface without digging deep enough to fully uproot it. An illustrative way of looking at this, when there are weeds in the garden – if you just cut them, they will grow back. It in only until you dig and take them out by the root that they go. The same goes for things that we deal with, unless you dig deep enough to remove them at the root, you will continually go round and round dealing with the same thing. You must stop treating the symptoms and cure the disease at its root.
2. Spiritual Weapons
Spiritual Weapons include prayer, reading the word, fasting, communion and many others. One of these in particular I dwell on is the Word of God. It is so important that, as Christians, we don’t neglect the power that we can find in the word of God. It’s so easy to run around being busy with life that we truly miss such a powerful weapon. The fact may be that you’re dealing with an illness, or fear or rejection but the truth is what God says in His word – He has given you victory over the issues of life. For every issue, you must search for what God says about it and speak that truth over your life.
Isolation is the breeding ground for a lot of issues. Community brings fellowship, it brings love and importantly, it brings accountability. When we leave issues in the dark, we empower them to take root and grow in our lives. Once we bring them into the light, they are exposed and lose that power.
I also believe that nobody is self-made, we all need leaders/mentors/guidance. From birth we are taught, primarily by our parents and then we go to school and learn from teachers. We learn from various other people along the way – relatives, music teachers, mentors in specific crafts. One area of guidance that is often controversial is that of spiritual leaders, specifically having a Spiritual Father, I am blessed to have a Spiritual Father who I met early on in this journey. God has used him to bring so much knowledge into my life and he has helped me in this journey of overcoming. I believe that everyone needs guidance, leadership and love of this sort. We are not made to fend for ourselves alone in this life.
Overcoming, I believe, is a journey rather than a destination. I would define process as a period of refinement, pruning and beautification. A journey moving from a current state to the place where God intends for one to be. It is a time where one is built up in order to sustain what God has planned for the future. God wants each and everyone of us to live in freedom and be whole. We must allow Him to take us through the process to get to that point.
These are the four key areas I delve deeper into in my writing and I pray that these will become clearer to you the more you read the words that I share.
Overall, one thing I have learnt is the importance of perseverance. Perseverance is to persist and continue even in the face of adversity or struggle. For me, due to all the various things I struggled with and various things that happened, it has always been easier to give up. But, I have had to push forward when I wanted to stop – even when I had every reason to do so. It has not always been easy, there were periods of time where everything around me was telling me that I would not amount to anything. However, every time I looked toward God, I have been strengthened to continue. Whenever I reached out to those around me, I have been encouraged to keep going. When I reflect on the journey so far, I am reminded of His faithfulness. It has been a daily battle of choosing God above my circumstances, of choosing to believe what He says over what my emotions or circumstances say.
As you journey with me and you read the things God gives me to share, it is my heartfelt prayer that YOU will receive hope and encouragement. I pray that Abba Father will bring healing, restoration and transformation to every dark and painful area of your life. As He shines His light, I pray that you will receive all that is for you in Him. Be encouraged, God is still alive – He is a miracle worker and you are so precious to Him.
“So do not fear, for I am with you;Isaiah 41:10
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”