Refusing to Give Up the Chains of Control: Where I Would Be Without Jesus

Compassionate Love: Displaying compassion for those who struggle with mental illness   (c) 2017 Nancy Virden, Always The Fight Ministries 

Someone recently said, “I do not know where I’d be without Jesus.” Well, I do.

I would be dead.

God only knows what would have killed me and at what age, because deep anger controlled my choices. Uninhibited by rules of conduct or good character, screaming at strangers and defying authority seemed right.

I felt little concern for life’s outcomes.  Before I paid attention to Jesus’ insistence on a change of heart, I was on a path to becoming a felon and practicing alcoholic.  I  held a mocking disdain of all things God-related, and believed myself smarter than people of faith.  Future children might have been aborted.

Jesus found me at fifteen years old.  He took this terrified, enraged, traumatized, bitter, brain-washed, humanity and self-hating girl, and gently spoke with love. Initially I fought him, refusing to give up the chains of control. Even after I surrendered and chose to honor him with my life,  not everything changed. God’s salvation does not turn us on a dime.

Mine was a sometimes on and often off friendship with God. I cheated on him with other “gods,” most often turning to food and other people for relief from emotional pain. Throughout every poor choice, the Holy Spirit pointed me back to the source of life, who is Jesus.

False core beliefs about my lack of value and place in the world helped to create some of the confusion and fear of change.  Years passed while God chiseled at my heart of stone. He used his Holy Word the Bible, our conversations in prayer, my awkward obedience, wise counsel, and suffering, to slowly bring to the forefront his original design.

God stopped death from claiming me several times.  At 49, I came to a crashing end of me. All those temporal and lesser “gods” had failed.  God saved my life once more, and by doing so forced me to consider placing all my reason for being and hope on his shoulders.

Where would I be without Jesus?  Without his interference I would be dead.  He alone knows the details of the might-have-beens.

What matters is that Jesus never left, and loved me too much to leave me the same.

Today’s Helpful Word

Ezekiel 36:26  (NLT)

And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart.” 


NOTE:  I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences with and observations of mental illness. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental health care.

If you are struggling emotionally today or feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Hope and help is yours.


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