"In that moment, I chose to give my anger and sadness to Jesus, and to forgive the people who had violated me."
Editor's Note: Names have been changed for anonymity.
When I was 16, I got into a relationship.
In the beginning, he was sweet to me, and I thought that he loved me. But one day, he brought me to the middle of a park and forced himself on me.
I later found out that he was seeing other girls behind my back. I found his personal blog in which he spoke about all the other girls he was manipulating. In that blog, he said that “I'm only with Lynn because she is easy.” He also compared my looks with other girls, rating me a B3 and other girls an A1. This relationship ripped my self-esteem apart. I felt unwanted and ashamed. I remember crying everyday, and I lost a lot of weight. I would even hit myself. I would constantly think, “I’m never good enough for anybody”. When I was 19, my cousin molested me. At that point, it felt like my body didn’t belong to me anymore. I blamed myself. It was my fault; I froze. I didn’t fight back, and I didn’t dare to tell anyone about it.
I had lost all will to live. Everyday I would battle thoughts of wanting to die. I would sleep the day away just to avoid the pain. I started to do horribly in school. In my first year of university, I failed half of all my modules and ultimately, the school decided to dismiss me.
I had truly hit rock bottom. I lived recklessly, walking into moving vehicles hoping they would hit me. I sat on ledges entertaining thoughts of taking my own life. But in front of everyone else, I faked a smile. At that time, I was dating someone who gave me a copy of the Bible.
I started reading it, and I started to believe that there was a God who created me. And I wondered if perhaps God had a purpose for my life? I wasn’t sure if this whole Jesus thing was real, but I kept reading the Bible anyway. I remember this one night when I broke down in my room.
It was 3am and pitch black. I didn’t know who I could turn to, and in desperation I cried out, “Jesus, if you’re who you say you are, then show me.” I didn’t expect an answer, but a really bright light appeared, and a person in white called my name. He said, “Lynn.” I knew instantly that this was Jesus speaking to me, and I was overwhelmed with His love. He sat on my bed and embraced me. I cried like a baby until I didn’t need to cry anymore.
It was then that I knew that Jesus was real.
I began to seek help from my university counsellors, who helped me cope with depression and appealed for me to return to school. Some time later, a girl who stayed opposite me in university hall invited me to Impact Life Church, so I started going to church.
Being in a godly community showed me God's love for me. The more I opened up to my lifegroup members, the more they could support and care for me. They stood by me patiently even in the difficult seasons.
By God’s grace, I was accepted back into the course that I was in. My grades improved each semester and I managed to graduate university within 4 years. Thank God!
Still the battle against thoughts like, “I can’t get out of this darkness. There’s no way out. It’s too deep, there’s no one around. I’ve tried and I’m tired. I can’t breathe anymore,” plagued me late at night.
I remember reading Psalms 139, and there’s a part that says:
“Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I say, ‘Surely the darkness shall cover me’...but even the darkness is not dark to you. The night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you.”
This verse spoke to me because depression is a dark place, and it often drowns out all hope. But God’s presence is like sunlight, cutting through every darkness.
Slowly, God peeled the layers of pain buried deep in my heart.
Over time, God restored the traumatic memories I had blocked out. During a prayer ministry session with a counselor, I surrendered this area of my life to God. As I prayed, I remember seeing a vision of Jesus standing over me when I was weeping on the floor the day after I was raped. I was unclean and damaged, but Jesus was filled with so much grief and love as He clothed me in a white cloth.
In that moment, I chose to give my anger and sadness to Jesus, and to forgive the people who had violated me.
I also forgave myself for constantly blaming and rejecting myself. God took away my shame. I immediately knew that I was set free and filled with this joy.
While I had encountered God like this, I also had to learn to be responsible for my thoughts and emotions, and to take care of my body by eating and sleeping well. Though the process wasn’t easy, God also taught me to repent and turn away from my sins.
I came to understand that God is a loving Father to me and I am a daughter of the most high King.
Meditating on the Word of God became my weapon against negative thoughts and self-condemnation. As God took care of my unmet needs and unresolved pains, that’s when depression could no longer have a hold over me!
But God didn’t stop there. For 10 years, I struggled with abnormally heavy bleeding.
Last year, I started feeling constantly fatigued. I decided to see a gynae who performed a biopsy on me and diagnosed me with pre-cancer of the womb (this means that if it's left alone, it will turn cancerous).
Upon hearing that, I was crushed. It means that I may have lost my chance at ever having children. But this time, I didn't lose hope. I knew that God would take care of me.
Our hope in God is not circumstantial - it doesn't change according to what happens in our lives. We can experience God's joy in the most difficult situations.
Throughout the treatment process, God provided me with what I needed.
All my medical bills were covered by insurance. Miraculously, when the second biopsy came back, there were no more signs of abnormal cells. Our God is interested in our complete healing - mental, emotional and physical.
I just want to tell anyone who is struggling that nothing can separate you from the love of God - not the deepest shame, and not excruciating pain.
There is no brokenness that is beyond repair for God.
God can heal your depression. It takes a lot of courage to seek help and it's not always an easy road to walk; sometimes it feels like there is no end. But there is hope in Christ! No matter where you are, you can call on Jesus. He has never forsaken you, and He loves you very much.