Deuteronomy 31:8 “It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not be afraid.”

It all started when I was 15 years old. Before that, I had a nice life. I had a few good friends. I had a nice family. I did well in school. I was into softball and soccer. I went to church regularly and had an awesome youth pastor that planted a seed in my heart for God. Things were on track. I thought there was nothing else I needed. But then it happened…like a ton of bricks crashing in and imploding on my perfect life. I became severely depressed. So much so that I ended up in a psychiatric hospital for 2 months. I wanted to die. Or at least escape from my pain somehow. I was so suicidal that I lost interest in everything but planning my death. The darkness was so overwhelming and thick I could hardly breathe or even move. But that is not where it stopped. I soon began to hear voices. They would insult me at the drop of a hat. They would follow me around and comment negatively on everything I did. I became paranoid that others would hear the painful things they were saying to me. That I would be exposed or thought of as crazy. By age 18 after being put on medication and having been involuntarily hospitalized several more times, I had gotten even worse. My doctors said I would never be able to function normally in the real world. My mind was shattered into madness. I was diagnosed with Schizophrenia. In all honesty, I lost my faith in God. It wasn’t until later in my life that I would realize my only strength would be in Him. That mustard seed size faith had been planted, but it had still to mature. And in the meantime, the battle for my soul raged on.

For anyone who has suffered from mental illness. This is a place to come and be open and honest about it. It is something that God can turn into His Glory. He says “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9. Sometimes faith as big as a mustard seed can grow into a beautiful flower. Be patient and remain faithful.