Much of what led me to finally understand that I needed Christ to take away my sin was multiple suicide attempts, and severe clinical depression and self harming habits. I was about to be a senior in high school and I was so overwhelmed with guilt, and depression over things that were not my fault that I couldn’t even stand to live anymore and would have preferred an eternity in hell than another day on earth. I was actually at summer camp done by HDC when something finally clicked.
My life up until then was chaotic and frustrating. I had no peace, just ranging from overwhelming anxiety, to deep sadness, to empty apathy. I kept trying to control my world and everything in it to the point of compulsion, and all it led me to was failure.
It is actually very difficult for me to remember exactly what happened. Because of the severity of my depression, my memory went from being very good to being mediocre at best. What I do remember is being at summer camp, and I used to go just to get away from my family for a week – it was an escape. One of the last days of camp in the summer of 2003, I remember thinking to myself that I could just walk off, slit my wrists and no one would notice for a while. But I went to the area where everyone was going to hear the speaker, and something about, not really what he was saying, but how it was being said, and looking around the room at the band, and the counselors, and everyone else just had this look of contented peace. I thought that maybe, maybe that could help, maybe that would make life just a little more bearable. I went up to the youth pastor of HDC, and I cannot remember his name now, I simply handed him the bag of razor blades that I had brought with me. He looked at the bag and when he realized what it was I saw tears in his eyes. He pulled me to the side and he and his wife spoke at great length with me. I remember praying with her to accept Christ as Savior, and to forgive the sin in my life. I wish that I could say that it was a magical moment where I finally felt peace, and the demons that haunted me were laid to rest. That wasn’t so – the battle with mental illness is never quite so easy. However, what I did find was a well of inner strength that suddenly sprang up.
The biggest difference from the before to the after is realizing that I don’t have to fight all those inner battles alone, and the peace that comes with knowing that there is hope, and that you do have a Savior that is the champion over death itself.
I know that Jesus will bring to life that well of inner strength and peace, and the waters of life that can make the difference between simply existing and finally living.