Jesus said to his disciples:
“Amen, amen, I say to you, you will weep and mourn,
while the world rejoices;
you will grieve, but your grief will become joy.
When a woman is in labor, she is in anguish because her hour has arrived;
but when she has given birth to a child,
she no longer remembers the pain because of her joy
that a child has been born into the world.
So you also are now in anguish.
But I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice,
and no one will take your joy away from you.
On that day you will not question me about anything.
Amen, amen, I say to you,
whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you.” Jn 16:20-23
This is today’s Gospel message. As with all things that God has given us, it is a very simple message, yet so powerful at the same time. I know that men put this on paper, but it was through the Holy Spirit that it came to fruition, and is still being read by many today. I think that today’s message is relevant in so many ways, not just in my personal story, but in the lives of many.
For me, it is so true. My pain has turned into Joy. All of the tiresome trials that have brought me to this point have been more than worth it. Every single event in my life that has brought any sort of horror have lead me to right now, this point, this very moment, writing this very story. Sure, in the moment, it hurt like no other hurt. The lonely feelings, the pain within my mind, which cut deep into my heart, the people and the places that have left me empty and feeling worthless, all of that, every single bit of it… brought me forward, and today, I am happier than I have ever been. Yes, this broken individual with a past that would make Wes Craven say, wow, that is too much for me, me, the man with depression and a history of pain, is happy. Yes, I am confessing to Almighty God, and to all my brothers and sisters that read this today, I am a changed and truly happy man. That doesn’t mean I don’t have bad days where that happiness doesn’t come easy, not at all, but genuinely, through and through, happy.
Again, this has taken a very long time to get to this point in my life. For the most part, I have tried to make this venture on my own. It wasn’t until I started actually sharing my experiences (via this blog and other means) that I actually started to understand the messages, and actually started hearing them. In order for that to happen, I had to actually be humble enough to say that I can not walk this journey to God alone. I need help. Again, not something that I am very equipped to say at any time. You can ask my family, and anyone who knows me, I do not like to ask for help. Well, that is starting to change. With that change comes a certain level of freedom, which sounds counterintuitive, but it really is. I am learning that I don’t have to be alone, I don’t have to do things all by myself, and that yes, in fact, I can have support and still be a very independent person on this Earth
There is only one explanation, Jesus. Giving my life up to God, that has made the biggest difference in the world. Now, that whole giving my life up part has taken a while. As a matter of fact, I am still learning that part. Everyday I learn something new. The biggest jump start to it was learning to listen more. I am not talking about the traditional sense. People listen and hear what they want all the time, and I know I still find myself doing that, but no, I am talking really just listening. I am starting to hear God in everyone around me… in conversations that don’t even revolve around religion. Odd you say, well, it is true, and I know it is the work of the Holy Spirit. It started with prayer. I have been trying to listen for the answers to my prayers. Oh, how impatient I am with waiting for answers to this. Patience is something that I have with a few people, but never have had with myself, and that reciprocates into not being patient with God. I can not explain the difference this has made though, it really was the turning point, hearing the words from others, letting them hit me, and knowing that I can find some pathway to God through them. Praying at night has now gone from, Father this is what I need, to more of Father, thank you for the gifts in my day today, and help me to understand all the messages you were trying to send to me. I know that I can still ask for anything, and He will answer, but honestly, as long as I keep continuing to trust in Him, and know that tomorrow will be even better than right now, I have no wants to ask of Him.
So, there it is. I am living proof that God can take a broken depressed man, and turn him back into a happy man. I am still a work in progress, but I am in so much of a better place now. I pray that everyone will be able to find the happiness that I have found in my savior Jesus.