We’ve been in it together, for as long as I can remember.
I’ll do what you call me to and go where you say (as long as it’s not China) was the sentence I’d repeat. Thinking back China’s not so bad – I guess it seemed so far away as an eleven year-old.
Schooling came and went, the usual trials – falling-outs and falling-ins. I thought university. He thought different. And so I went to work, a Youth-worker at first. Funding ran out as it so often does and I wound up working in Education. I’d found my calling. Or so I thought.
I worked hard and got results, two promotions in a school I loved. But still I wanted more. A testimony. People around me had wonderful stories about healing and faith-building and trials and tribulations they had been delivered from. I was jealous.
Ask and ye shall receive?
I had a car accident. Hit by an oil tanker, my car was written off. I had a breakdown. Two hospital stays, a cocktail of medication, suicide attempts and a diagnosis of Schizo-Affective Disorder. Five years of my life spent trying to summon enough energy to get out of bed, only to spend the day being tormented by hallucinations and attempts to hurt myself.
I resigned in the end. My calling was finished – at least in Education. Numerous jobs, numerous resignations.
I held onto the tiny threads of faith that remained. The only hope I had was in Jesus. I so desperately wanted to believe and be healed, but my healing felt distant.
Prayer, waiting, healing?
Hope seemed harder and harder. Only one thread remained. One crimson thread.
Those I love carried hope for me, they stood with me. ‘Shoulder to shoulder’.
One crimson thread. I couldn’t let go, not now. I’d come this far.
New Years Day 2012, I’d set everything up. I called the Samaritans – just a brief chat before the end. Chat concluded, I sat in my room and then it hit me, I had a choice. I could choose life or I could choose death. What I couldn’t do any longer was sit on the fence.
I chose life.
It hasn’t been easy. There was no miraculous healing. The following year I felt able to reduce one of the medications I was on and began to maintain a more stable mental health. The year after I met my husband.
Our story is somewhat of a fairy tale romance that ended in our marriage. I fell pregnant and after a tough pregnancy had our daughter via an extremely scary emergency c-section. She was our first miracle.
Throughout I was still known to mental health services and seen as an outpatient. I had Post-Natal Depression – which later became Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
I held that crimson thread of faith and He brought us through.
Pregnant again, another rough pregnancy. 21 hospital stays due to problems with my pelvis. Our son was born 5 week premature but he was healthy. He was our second miracle.
And now I find myself sat writing all this after having 3 strokes in 5 weeks.
The point is, without God I wouldn’t be here. He alone is my true hope. Yes, my journey has not been easy. There are times I have wished I’d never asked for a testimony. There have been times I’ve wanted to punch the people who have quoted the ‘He never gives us more than we can cope with’ speech. I’ve shouted at God, I’ve tried to run away, I’ve called him names and I’ve tried to ignore Him.
But, He has been there. That crimson thread.
I am far from perfect, my life choices have not always been the best. But He has got my back. In fact He’s got my front, my legs, my arms, head, mind, soul…
I could chose to blame God. But what’s that going to achieve? I could be angry that I still have ongoing mental health issues, and now the small issue of strokes to deal with. I could sit and consider all my woes – and if I’m honest I do, quite a bit, in fact. But it doesn’t change matters.
No matter what that crimson thread is staying.
And that ladies and gentlemen is my testimony.