For the past 10 years, I have been struggling with depression and feelings of hopelessness. I believe it started after I married my husband strictly out of trying to obey the Lord.
My husband and I were living together and not married. We were invited to visit a church close to our work with a fellow coworker. Once we were in, the Holy Spirit did His thing and started working on our hearts. We quickly began changing our ways and becoming more involved with the church. The last thing that remained was us living out of wedlock together. So on a whim we decided that we needed to get married, like next week! Everything came together and we were married.
No sooner than we returned from our honeymoon did the feelings of regret start to kick in. I had married a man out of guilt, trying to do the right thing by the Lord, rather than making sure I was marriying the man of my dreams. I started feeling like I had made a huge mistake and now I was trapped. I felt like I had married someone that I had nothing in common with–we grew up differently, we had different values, we weren’t friends.
One very positive thing about my relationship with my husband is our ability to openly and honestly communicate. I never held back my feelings towards him and even though I loved him, I didn’t like him and he wasn’t my best friend. I could tell him that and his response was, “I’m sorry you feel that way. I wish you didn’t.” Our marriage was nothing like I had dreamt about.
Over the years, we became more involved in our church and matured in our walk, but I still couldn’t find true happiness and joy. I would get so depressed and angry that I would rebel against my husband’s suggestions to read my Bible and pray more. I didn’t want to hear that anymore. My friends would tell me the same thing–that I needed to honor my husband and be more involved with my church and pray more and yada yada yada.
I was really starting to question my faith and my God, but He would always give me something to hang onto to let me know He was there. He would do things in my life that I had no reason but to believe it had to be the Lord. But even still, I didn’t understand why I didn’t have true joy in my heart. I felt like I was getting further away. I had given up any hope that I would ever be happy in my life.
Recently, I took my daughter to the bookstore. I don’t typically have time to sit down and read a book, so I had picked up a couple magazines and was just walking around the store. I came across a book with a sale tag on it that caught my eye: “Change your Thinking Change your Life” by Brian Tracy. It had a tagline on the back that read, “Live a happier and more satisfying life.” Well, for $7.98 it was worth a try! I cracked that book open one morning, and I haven’t been the same ever since.
I had not only been dealing with depression, but skin disorders, digestive issues, mood swings, inferiority and so on. I read a few lines that read, “Your thoughts can make you happy or sad, sometimes in an instance. Your thoughts, and the actions that they trigger, determine your whole life. And the best news of all is that they are completely under your own control.”
Something in my brain clicked. I had control over how I felt about my husband, my children, my life and everything. I put the book down and took my son to school and on my way home the sun was rising, the clouds were beautiful, the water was glistening in a way I never saw it before. I just started praisig the Lord and thanking him for all that He made, where He placed me in this world, who He placed me with and all the abundance of blessings in my life.
That morning I came home and saw my husband through new eyes. I felt like a weight had been lifted off of me and I was made new. I looked at my kids and saw them for who I had never seen before. They were these little people that had grown up before my eyes, but I felt like I hadn’t really been there to see it. Now, I am present, I am happy, I am thankful.
One of my best moments was my husband looking at me and saying he had never seen me look so happy. He said God answered his prayer! We will have just celebrated our 10 year anniversary and now I can wholeheartedly say I love my husband and my best friend more than ever. God blessed our obedience and restored our marriage.
“My lips shall shout for joy when I sing praises to You, and my inner being, which You have redeemed.”
– Psalm 71:23 (AMP)
“God, thank You for all that You have given me! I’m so aware of Your blessings and bounty in my life. Let me always be aware of the grace, mercy and favor that you pour onto me and my life daily, including…”
Island Personal Trainer