(Please see About for the purpose of this blog)
PS: For new visitors, I encourage you to read from my first post as my posts are usually continuations. First post here: https://godvsdepression.wordpress.com/2015/09/02/depression-really/
Some details of my life over the past year before I begin, I shan’t go into details, just a gist of it. I had an amazing job as a Speech and Drama teacher; I studied really hard for it despite having a tumulus soul-sucking relationship with my then boyfriend who kept cheating on me (and I foolishly kept staying on) and did my exam performance piece in a room alone with the Director of the Royal Shakespeare company. I passed with distinctions and I know I would never have been able to accomplish it without God. He allowed my coagulated feelings from the vicious cycle of toxic emotions and lack of sleep due to the HOURLY quarrels I had daily with my boyfriend to explode while I was performing. I partied even harder, getting wasted with booze and cigarettes while still serving in a church ministry. Over the next few years, I met a great guy, JS (name changed for privacy), grew closer with the friends in my church ministry while still partying. Life was getting better, easier. I guess. Then last year I had an accident and it induced a really crippling and debilitating chronic vertigo which I still suffer from right now. Within months, I lost my health, job, friends and the most devastating of all was when JS, who took great care of me and whom I loved so dearly, decided to leave me. At the peak of my vertigo. My health deteriorated even further and my then friends all left me. I didn’t even need a phone for months because no one contacted me. I have a few friends now, but not those whom I was very close to before. I will share more further on.
Today I will share about why God allowed all this to happen and draw parallels with the story of Jonah.
God asks Jonah to go to the city of Nineveh and cry out against their wickedness but Jonah tries to flee from God’s sight and went aboard a ship to hide away from God. However, the Lord “hurled a great wind upon the sea, and such a mighty storm came upon the sea that the ship threatened to break up” – Jonah 1:4
After the mariners and sailors gave up praying to their own gods for help, they find out that it was because of Jonah fleeing from his God.
My dwelling in the secular lifestyle and not fully giving myself to God caused hurt to others in many ways. This first chapter of Jonah is about responding to God’s call in our lives and changing our ways, which I failed just like Jonah. Also, I was always a righteous person, yet my anger always blinded me from being righteous in God’s eyes and took matters into my own hands causing hurt to many around me. With my (only recent discovery) Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) accompanied with depression, it was very difficult for people to be around me. Some traits of BPD:
- Depressed mood
- Close relationships are unstable, intense
- Anger, physical violence
- Life lacks meaning and purpose
- Harmful impulsiveness, emotional instability, suicidal behavior
- Unstable chaotic social life
Then Jonah, realising the chaos he has caused, willingly sacrificed himself to jump into the sea. Immediately the storm stopped. “.. the Lord provided a large fish to swallow up Jonah…” – Jonah 1:17
Whatever that has happened to me, and the illness I’m still battling with is my ‘fish’.
“.. and Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.” – Jonah 1:17
This vertigo has caused me to be in solitude for over a year now. Just like how Jonah was in the belly of the fish. Alone. No help, no one. In chapter two, what does he do? Reflect and repent. Some of the verses of Jonah’s prayer while he was in the belly:
” You cast me into the deep, into the heart of the seas, and the flood surrounded me”
” The waters closed in over me; the deep surrounded me”
” I went down to the land whose bars closed upon me forever”
– Jonah 2
Yes I was really depressed, I wanted to end my life. Suicide came onto my plate countless times. There were days where I felt a force inside me pulling me toward the window. That kind of fear is immense. Frightening. No control. I grabbed my rosary on those occasions and prayed for my dear life. Deep inside me I knew I cannot die just yet. There is good out of every suffering, a reason.
What was the significance of three days and three nights? The number 3 represents Resurrection and Revelation which is what the Lord graced upon me just like how he did with Jonah. He has been revealing many things that is impossible to know with mere human wisdom and knowledge.
Once Jonah repented, the Lord made the fish spit him out and he set off on his way to Nineveh as planned. However, when Jonah warned them about God coming to destroy their city because of their ways they repented and God changed his mind and spared them. (Jonah 3)
After JS left me, a great betrayal happened. He and our good friend started to date. Our good friend who came to my house and watched me cry in complete darkness in my room when He and I ended things. Our good friend who saw how much I was hurting, how unbearable it was. I saw their intimacy first hand. Like I said, I won’t go into details but they are still dating up to now. It saddens me beyond words. What’s worse is they don’t see the disastrous emotional scarring they have caused as a consequence of their actions. I was so angry. How could something like that happen to me? Doesn’t this only happen in movies? “For your anger does not produce God’s righteousness” – James 1:20
Somehow this was very displeasing to Jonah and he became so angry that he went out of the city and sat there in anger. God appointed a bush to give him shade but the next day it withered. Jonah cried out saying: “It is better for me to die than to live” – Jonah 4:8
God gave me a few ‘bushes’ along the way with friends who were there for me during different periods, but somehow they all still left me in the end. I felt this way so strongly. I really really wanted to die. Where was God’s justice? Where was his righteousness? He was watching me suffer so cruelly. Up till today, no justice has been done. For me, this story of Jonah and the people of Nineveh has a similar meaning to Joseph in Genesis, where his own brothers sold him off as a slave, but Joseph was very forgiving and said to his brothers:
“Even though you intended to do harm to me, God intended it for good, in order to preserve a numerous people” – Genesis 50:20
All I’m saying is whatever you are going through now, betrayal, sickness, loneliness, suicidal thoughts etc.. Why has it been allowed to happen? There is a purpose for EVERYTHING on this earth. We just got to hold on and wait to be ‘spat out of the fish’ like Jonah was. :) When the Lord decides to heal us of all our infirmities and afflictions, we will be humbled enough to do his work: unconditional love.
“We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed” – 2 Cor 4: 8-9
Depression is such a self-centred disease of the mind, but if you turn it around and look at it positively; It is God allowing us to completely die to ourselves to conform entirely to His will. His plan for us. Praise God for his ways. Praise God the most when you feel you can’t go on anymore. Praise Him, for the praise will not be enough on the day he lifts you up. Keep going my friends, you are almost there. Be still. :)
“Death is at work in us, but life in you.” – 2 Cor 4:12
Be kind to one another,
Tweet me @Godvsdepression