Open Your Heart
God moves in mysterious ways! This saying is particularly appropriate to me, as I literally saw the light. It changed my life so radically that I can honestly say I am now a born-again Christian.
I have always been a ‘believer,’ although, at the time of this amazing experience, I do not think my faith was particularly strong. I was spending so many hours at work, that I was too tired to think about anything else. Even then, I can remember incidents when I had asked the Lord for help, and I had received it.
Anyway, it all started in the early 1990’s when, despite having an excellent family, I became depressed. My wife Karen and I already had two beautiful daughters, Sarah who was five and Katie who was just twenty months. Then our third daughter, Gemma came along to complete our family.
It seems incredible now that, having such an extraordinary family, I could get depressed. I always felt such a lucky man. My job was going well (or so I thought), I didn’t have any problems apart from financial ones, but then with a young family to support, who doesn't? Anyway, we coped, and as time went on, we bonded into a nice family unit.
Then this terrible disease hit me from nowhere. Suddenly nothing seemed to matter anymore; I just stopped caring. Worst of all, I couldn’t even be bothered with the children. A strange numb feeling was gripping me from inside as if everything was in some haze and so surreal.
On the outside you try to put on some show, so away from the family, no one knows what's happening to you. Anyone who has ever been there will know it is a helpless, disgusting feeling.
It came to a head one day at work. I had to go up to the fourth floor to check some components at the engineering company, where I worked at that time. I remember for a while just standing there, staring out of an open window.
Then I leaned out of the window and looked down; there was about a thirty-foot drop to the ground… Though I didn’t climb out onto the sill, it didn’t matter, the mere fact that I had even thought about jumping was enough. What on earth was happening to me?
Something had to be done about it, and quickly. Firstly, I told Karen. She knew something had been wrong, but didn’t know exactly what. Anyway, she was sympathetic and supportive. Depression though is something that somewhere along the line has to be dealt with by yourself; it made me feel so alone, but I had to get my head right.
So, I came up with a little plan to combat the problem. Things like booking a holiday, (we hadn’t been away for two years), drastically cutting down my overtime at work where possible, cutting down on stressful situations and putting in place anything to look forward to; finally, after a great deal of soul-searching, I even changed my job.
To a certain extent it worked. Some days I almost felt normal again. However, I soon felt myself falling back into the grasp of depression. It didn’t help when my father died; in fact, it hit me hard. Even then, I kept on fighting the disease, but it was becoming increasingly apparent to me, that the battle was being lost.
Then one day while driving home from work, the journey took me past the beautiful Solihull Methodist Church on the opposite side of the road subconsciously asking for help, I was almost in desperation.
I found myself drawn to the cross on the front of the building. It was getting dark, and the cross was already lit up and became so bright; it was blinding. The light seemed to flow out of the cross and fill my eyes, and best of all though, my heart was filled with love. It was a magical moment; I could feel the presence of God speaking to me. “Trust in me; I will help you.”
I did, opening my heart and letting the Lord into my life. It was as if He was looking down on me, showing me how to come out of the depression slowly and cautiously and growing stronger every day. My faith became strong; even when my mother died, it remained strong.
Now I feel that God shows me the way whenever I need help. Though depression still raises its ugly head now and then, I know how to spot it and nip it in the bud. My faith sees me through.
The answer to my problem was to open your heart to God. I can recommend it to anyone.