Mental Health Restored: Miracle 1

By Nancy Virden (c)2023 The Miracles series

Figuratively following life’s path next to what seemed like an infinitely long dirty window, for many years I believed that was all there was to see. The path, dusty and brown, was narrow and lined with jungle on one side and dark gray glass on the other. I traveled the road laid out before me, most of the time unaware of the glass and only occasionally glancing up to see in the faintest light a reflection of myself. There is no hope when one is looking at her misery.

I was a follower of Jesus, and very interested in caring for others. Still, there was a sense of being trapped in a world where no one loved or fully accepted me. Depression came and went, suicidal thinking came and went, hope came and went, and nothing except faith seemed certain.

Yet my interpretation of God’s love was that he had painted himself into a corner and had to love me because he promised in his Word that he would. But he was loving me with an impatient sigh, a constant act of mercy that he would rather not offer. I disappointed him with my imperfection, or so I believed.

In short, I had great faith in God my Father and in Jesus my Savior. The filters through which I understood them were given to me by poor examples of significant people. Of course, every follower of Christ is imperfect and will fail, however in my stringent style of thinking faith was an either-or prospect. Either you had it perfectly or you were a spiritual failure.

I cried to a pastor in 2005 that I had failed at a community party where I was “supposed” to share the gospel and didn’t. I said, “I fear God will never be able to trust me again.”

The young pastor, wise beyond his years said, “God has never been able to trust you. He doesn’t trust us- that is why there is grace. I pray that one day you will understand you are his beloved.”

Well, dear pastor, if you are reading this, I do know now that I am God’s beloved. God has no interest in sighing over me or throwing me away. His grace encompasses all my mistakes and sins because he loves me with an amazing, unending love that far surpasses the love of parents and spouses.

The negative, false beliefs could not have been articulated before they surfaced in 2011. The dirty glass began to be washed when after a suicide attempt I entered intensive therapy. Finally, I saw the end of myself- all my efforts, power, reasons, and rationalizing had miserably failed to make me whole. I could no longer deny that the way I was doing life was not working. This forced me to seek truth beyond what I believed possible. Could I actually be loved?

It was not quick work. Within a few years, the glass was clear and I had begun to hope that life as I knew it could be successfully maneuvered. Then came the day when the glass ended. The path I was following continued, but it no longer held me. I could peer around the corner of the window and breathe the air on the other side. Tentatively I stepped into a world that was not a washed version of the old one, but a bright and airy existence previously unknown. It is in this spiritual reality that I trust in, know, and feel the love of God. I am free.

Does this sound at all familiar to you? Are you aware of the darkened glass or the reality beyond what you know today? Do you understand that Jesus died to set us free, that God’s love is personal and infinite? To give one’s life to Jesus is to have the Holy Spirit who will explain things to you if you ask.


Today’s Helpful Word

Ephesians 3:14-19nlt

When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.  And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is.  May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.

The Miracles series

If you are feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, in the U.S. call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988, or for a list of international suicide hotlines, go here.

If you are suicidal with a plan, immediately call 911 in the U.S. or go to your nearest emergency room. In the EU call 112. (For other international emergency numbers, go here ). Hope and help are yours!

Always the Fight Ministries (ATFM) has been displaying compassion for those fighting mental illness, addiction, or abuse since 2012. Nancy is the founder and voice of ATFM and openly shares her emotional resurrection from despair. NOTE: Nancy is not a doctor or a mental health professional, and speaks only from personal experience and observations. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.


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