Robyn and I have met so many wonderful people. This is what happens when you are fulfilling the ministry that God has given you. We have met many of them via the Internet and email correspondence. Some attend our church or another church in the Palm Beach County area. They share their own suffering and tell us of the help they have received through the ministry of Heartfelt. All of them have a story. I try to bring to my readers, testimonials of those who have walked (or crawled) through one of the darkest valleys of human experience and have come out of those dark times. Here is a letter from a person who knows depression: the terror of it, the depths of sorrow and the hopelessness.
Hi Steve, Thank you for the newsletter. It is always nice to hear from you. When I was reading answers to "what depression feels like," I could not help but weep in my heart. Only of those, who have experienced this disease, can express ourselves in this way.
Clinical depression is much more than just "feeling down." To me it is "hovering on the brink of insanity."I don't even like to think about it because it frightens me to even talk about it. "Silent shrieking, disconnectedness and black agony also define the way I feel.
People don't realize just how close they are, to becoming mentally ill. Just one little chemical goes awry and you can fall into a dark hole with only the voices of your mind screaming at you, telling you as you sink deeper and deeper that God is not listening and that He has abandoned you. You are only left with terrifying thoughts and the one thing that brings you any pleasure at all, is the fact that one day you will die and finally be set free. Oh the sweetness of death... my friend. There are times when I would gladly exchange my mental illness for a physical illness. At least when it's something that people can see, they will come along side and help you but when it's invisible like depression, you suffer alone. You can't tell others of your suffering because they don't understand.
I am in remission right now but it lurks in the shadows. I see it with my peripheral vision. It is waiting, always waiting to pull me into the darkness. I feel its breath on my neck especially at night, and I know it would destroy me in a breath, if it were not for the grace of God. It is an entity that only lives to steal my mind and toss me away into a dark hole. But..praise be to my God and Savior. His ways are perfect. He has given me the gift of suffering because of His great love towards me. He has allowed the demon of depression to buffet me but yet, His strength is made perfect in my weakness. The demon in the shadows keeps me close to my Beloved. It keeps me on my knees and it keeps me focused only on Him. I have no pleasures but Him. He is my hope.
The gift of suffering has kept me clinging to the cross with white knuckles and for that I am thankful. Without my mental illness, I would never be as close to my Lord Jesus Christ as I am now. He has taught me to never let go of His hand. But if I do, I know He holds mine in His hand of omnipotence I need Him too, desperately for survival. If it takes the demon of depression to keep my heart on Christ, then blessed be the evil that God has turned into good.
I am so sorry to bend your ear Steve. I just had to vent. I don't have ANYONE to tell this to but you and Robyn. I pray for you every day I am going to increase my giving to Heartfelt Ministries. I was so touched when I read about you and Robyn going door to door and collecting cans. I wish I could be there with you. What a blessing you both are. I know God will continue to bless your ministry. I have said enough. Keep up the good work, my dear brother in Christ, and please tell Robyn hello for me.
In the Beloved,
Have you read our book Broken Minds? It is published by Kregel Publications of Grand Rapids, Michigan. It sells all over the world and it comes in paperback, Kindle and other electronic means . For how to order a book please go to http://heartfeltmin.org/author-page.html and also learn about our ministry, please go to http://heartfeltmin.org/.
Robyn and I are thinking about having a seminar in the West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Florida area.Would you be interesting in attending this seminar? It would be in February of 2016.