All of us have periods in life where we just feel like we are stuck in a valley; And that our life is just in a rut. Being completely transparent, I encountered a season like this during my early twenties.
Growing up I’d always been very introverted. While other kids were roaming the neighborhood playing basketball and other outdoors games, I was perfectly content being in the house, playing with my GI Joe, Transformers, and He-Man action figures. As I grew into my teenage years, I never fell into any kliqs, that sprang up from middle school and high school. I was always friendly towards my other classmates, and had a few kids that I considered friends, but no one really close. Maybe some of this was contributed to me having an eye condition, called Retinitis Pigmentosa; And occasionally being picked on by ignorant kids, because of my visual problems.
After completing my college degree was where I found myself in this valley of depression. For the first time, I was unsure of what the future held for me.
“Where am I going to work? How long is it going to take me to get a job? Will I be treated fairly during the hiring process, because of my disability? Man, I’ve never even had a girlfriend. Will I ever find a female who will love me? I sure do wish I was cool and smooth like [insert person here][.”
Yes, I had accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior at age eleven; And He had proven Himself faithful to me throughout my teenage years, but now at age twenty-two, I was bombarded with depression. I spent many days in my room, sulking over my situation.
My parents, grandmother, and church family would always pray with and for me, and offer me words of encouragement like, “Trust God. God hasn’t brought you this far to forsake you now. God has placed you on this earth for a purpose, and eventually in God’s timing He will make that purpose known to you.”
I was always grateful for their words of encouragement, and had a great appreciation that God had blessed me to be around people who cared about me, and who poured God’s Word into me, but the depression continued to return.
For a full year, I put in applications, and went on various interviews. Rejection after Rejection. Even in the midst of my depression, I came across two scriptures that gave me hope:
5 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
I came to realize that the devil was filling my head with these thoughts of uncertainty, in order to keep me in a state of defeat and to distract me from remembering all of the things that God had previously brought me through. With the coaching of the Holy Spirit, I decided that the two scriptures would be the ammunition I would use against the evil one, whenever he began to attack my mind with negative thoughts. The Lord helped me adopt a new mindset of gratitude for what I did have, and ultimately placed an organization in my path that assists people with disabilities in gaining employment.
God did bless me with a job at a Call Center, that I served at for fourteen years. During my time there, the Lord gave me favor with: inbound callers, my fellow coworkers, and with senior management. Other coworkers sought me out, during breaks and lunch periods, for Godly counsel on various issues they were facing in their life. God blessed me with several job promotions into positions where I was able to assist in making decisions which helped the business to run more efficiently and be more profitable. Each morning, I would ask God to be glorified and honored in everything I did.
After fourteen years, as with many businesses there were budget cuts, and I was laid off. This time, even with the uncertainty of what I’d do next, I’d learned from what had happened to me earlier in life.
The devil did show up to attack me with uncertainty, but I’d built up a protective barrier of faith. I didn’t know what the next chapter of my life would bring, but I knew that God had a plan…And I was determined to trust Him.
In the last few years, God led me to start this Blog to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the lost, and to encourage other believers. In my role as a Christian Life Coach, The Lord has also provided me with opportunities to share my life experiences with young adults, who are stuck in the valley of uncertainty, and tell them that if God can bring me out, He is faithful to do the same for them.
I pray that my testimony has encouraged you, the reader. My depression was a result of feelings of uncertainty, however I know there are those out there who battle depression on a daily basis. Regardless of where your depression stems from, I want to let you know that there is hope. Please don’t suffer in silence. Talk to somebody; And for other people, if somebody tells you that they are depressed, please take the time to listen to them and offer them words of encouragement.
God loves all of us. Jesus tells us that we will experience tribulation in this world, but He has died and risen again, so that His Holy Spirit is available to come into the heart of any person who chooses to receive the gift of salvation, and give that person hope and encouragement.
I invite any person who does not know Jesus Christ as their Savior, to pray to Him in your own words, or you can pray and truly believe in your heart the prayer below:
PRAYER OF SALVATION:
God, I come to you, confessing that I am a sinner.
I Repent of all my wrongdoings, and I ask for your forgiveness.
I now confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, died for my sins, and rose again for my justification.
I invite Jesus to; come into my heart, clean up my life, and guide my decisions from this day forward.
Thank You, Jesus for saving me!
If you prayed this prayer, and meant it from your heart, then you are now a part of God’s family. Your name has been written in the Book of Life, and therefore when your mortal life ends you will live forever with Jesus Christ.
Begin studying God’s Word. A great place to start is to read the Gospel of John, then Matthew, then Romans, then Acts. This will give you a foundation of the teachings of Jesus and how He desires that we successfully navigate this mortal life.
I will encourage you to also find a good church home, where the true Word of God is being preached. Always remember that your salvation is not based on politicking with church leaders, how well you dress, how well you sing, how much money you put in the offering pan, etc… Your salvation is built upon your acceptance of Jesus as your personal Savior, and your commitment to growing to know Him more and more each day, through prayer, studying the Bible, and interacting with other “born again” Christians, who sincerely encourage you to grow spiritually.
God Bless You, and if we don’t meet in this mortal life, I pray we will meet in heaven.