The TRUTH will set you free! I’m sure you’ve heard this all throughout your life…or at least I have. Yet there is soooo much more to this than you could ever begin to imagine!
You see when I was in the beginning stages of trying to get well after my last hospitalization in 2002 for all the suicide attempts and ending the ECTs that weren’t working anyway, God took me in a direction, a direction I never knew would actually circle back around at this time in life. A time when my everyday life has proved doctors wrong time and time again, in spite of the chronic pain and health problems I endure. A time when I’ve been obedient to His calling to share my horrific experience, embarrassing story among not just anyone, but among other Christians, here God brings me back to where He took me well over 15 years ago! Ok…enough thinking back, are you ready for me to get on with the story? Okay, okay…but I am just beyond words! I’m just so completely overwhelmed at His amazing goodness, His amazing grace, His love and joy unspeakable…and all in spite of me and my efforts to end it all, to refuse to trust Him, to choose, even today, everything except Him!
Hold on friend – here we go!
God blessed me with a pastor, mentor and friend that I never fully appreciated as much as I have these past few years, Rev. Don Winn. He never failed to come and visit me in the hospital during that long, drawn out year…though I turned him a way time and time again, though I repeatedly tried to take my own life. Bro. Don was always there, always pointing me back to God and His love and forgiveness. I am beyond grateful for people just like him that God has brought into my life, and at the most critical times in my life!
You see Bro. Don introduced me to Bill and Anabelle Gillham through Lifetime Guarantee which opened me up to the life changing truths that I had never fully grasped all my life, truths that I never grasped even though I was raised in the church — everyday those doors were open! Now, whether that is because of me, my stubbornness, God’s timing, I don’t know and at this point I’m just beyond thankful for God’s grace to finally get it to stick – in my heart… not just my head! I highly urge you to check out their ministry…and especially the book – it was the beginning of the transforming of amanda, and the journey is continuing on even now! Lifetime Guarantee
Bro. Don took us through The Life study Bill and Anabelle Gillham have, The Life DVD Series FREE on YouTube. I highly recommend this series, though it was just the beginning for this journey in my life, I pray you aren’t as stubborn as I. At HOPE I like to take on a more positive view of myself, determined, rather than stubborn!
Once finished with that study, I had many a talk with Bro. Don and all the therapy sessions with professionals in Nashville, both Christian and non-Christian, medications, etc. — yet that hopelessness still loomed over me. But my hunger for God was more alive every day, so I asked Bro. Don if there was a better Christian counseling I could go to, and he pointed me in the direction of Grace Life in Brentwood. I remember it was a most unusual and surreal environment…yet similar to every counseling office I had ever been in before. This is where I was introduced to something so amazing, life-changing…Transformation Prayer Ministry. This method of counseling took me to a place I never knew existed, a place where things I held deep within my heart, and in the recesses of my mind would come to the forefront, a place where God would reveal His truth about the things I had come to believe that were not true at all. I had no idea the potential this type of prayer could do in my life until God has brought this back around, now 15 years later!
When we listen to God, that still, small voice, we never know what we are in for until we obey! And last week was one of those occasions as I was cleaning up the countless emails, delete, delete, spam, trash, etc. But there was one, one God clearly, but ever so quietly said, ‘Open’. I hesitated for a few seconds then went back to it and opened it. A free seminar by the author and his son on the revisions they had made to the original counseling model, Transformation Prayer Ministry. I hit the link, sought out the nearest location to me, and wouldn’t ya know they had recently added a Bowling Green, Kentucky, seminar! So in obedience, I signed up!
I was nervous, jittery, and restless the closer it came time for me to go to this seminar. I even found every excuse in the book, in my mind, ultimately in my heart to not go. But in all of that, I continued to pray for God to help me do exactly what He had called me to do at this time in life…regardless of the doors it opened up from the unknown lies within my mind and the fear plaguing my entire being.
You see last year I went through Boundaries by Cloud and Townsend. If you’ve never read this book, as every counselor, therapist I have ever had had instructed me to don since I was 13, I highly recommend you pick it up and read it, study it with a group and put the practices of this book into your every day life…but that’s a story for another day. I told my friend that I didn’t need to go through this as my boundaries were all good, but there again God spoke up and said “take it” so I did…thinking now with a new season in life with adult children and them beginning to get married, I’m sure I could learn some new boundaries! And toward the end of that study, that’s when it all opened up…worse than the mystery container in the refrigerator that has been pushed to the back far too many times– stinking, rotting, and oh so painful…but more than any of that – fear – yeah fear rose up in me at the very thought of there being something hidden deep within the recesses of my mind, my heart that needed yet to still be worked on, that needed still yet God’s truth applied – more than any band-aid has ever been needed…this was an outright cancerous growth that had to be dealt with once and for all!
Gosh! I got mad, irritated, and the suicidal thoughts returned out of nowhere! I hadn’t had any of those in soooooo long! But now, here, at this specific time, here they came…even more clearly and plaguing moment by moment than the past 15 years! I prayed asking God where in the world these were coming from, recognizing they were not of me, my sound mind I had come to learn and live by and now teach to others week after week, for over 3 years now! “Untruths that needed His truth applied,” God said. And then I remembered back to my time in counseling, the transforming prayers that had replaced the lies within my mind, with truths from God Himself! I was so afraid! I was afraid of whatever was in my past that still remained, that even after it all was said and done and I had come so far, yet still lingered within the recesses of my mind and held my heart hostage like no other! I prayed God would help me come to grips with it…that He would give me the courage to allow Him to do what only God can do! Weeks later, I finally gave up, I surrendered to God Almighty and said, “Ok – I’m ready Lord…let’s do this.”
A year later…yeah remember our time is never God’s time! And He is such a Gentleman! He never forces us into anything we aren’t truly ready for! So He gave me a full year my friend before the journey back to it all!
He is still revealing piece by piece, day by day, lie with truth…and I’m sure He’ll continue to do so til the day I meet Him face to face…but I trust Him and with His help I will remain in His will as He continues to transform me ever so gently! Though I’m sure, like you, I wish He’d hurry up and get it over with…but then I have no idea what lies are to be dealt with — He knows…and guess what? HE knows exactly how much I can handle through His Helper and in just the perfect timing!
Friend, I pray you will Join Me on this journey! You see God doesn’t want this kept a secret! He wants this healing, this truth revealed, shared with every person that is held in bondage to their past, bondage to their pain, bondage to the lies they have come to believe and live by…as this is the only way they will ever begin to live in the hope of healing only He can bring!
Piece by piece, lie by lie, He will heal every one with His healing truth!
Join Us Each Thursday Evening at 6:30pm CST. We meet in the House of HOPE Building at Hilldale Baptist Church located at 113 Maxwell Drive in Clarksville Tennessee. Together we can fight the battle against depression!
If you would like more information regarding the HOPE Depression Support Group please fill out the requested information below.