I could not enjoy anything. The anxiety and depression, which had always been a close companion, was overwhelming me and pulling me into places that I didn’t want to go. I had experienced grief before, but never like this. In my past I had gone to psychologists, therapists and counselors, but this time nothing was working. I was getting advice that didn’t feel right. I no longer enjoyed anything, and everything was a huge effort. Despair held me down and pushed me deeper into a chasm that I could never climb out of.
Recently I had lost my mother. Mom and I had a very complicated relationship growing up, but because of God working in and on hearts much of our negative past had fallen away. We were far from perfect, and we were still healing in many ways, but we truly enjoyed spending time together. She lived life with us. She participated in the every day. She was the first person I called with heartaches or praises. The day she passed away, she was supposed to call me after her nap. I am so blessed that my very last memory is telling her I loved her. She never called that day because earth could no longer hold her.
Suddenly, the person who gave me all of my advice, was no longer there when I called. Not only that, but I was suddenly the decision maker. The daughter, sister, granddaughter, mother who needed to make the decisions for those around me. Funerals are definitely for the living, because the extreme busyness of that time is all that kept me putting one foot in front of the other. After the funeral was over, there was still more, and my person was no longer there. Figuring out the ‘after’ of life is so strange. Life put on paper, with dates signifying the beginning and the end, never tells even the beginning of the story.
I found out about New Haven through a friend who was telling me about this class she had signed up for. What does “Biblical Discipleship” even mean? I was intrigued and went online to look it up. I read about the class and signed up instantly. It wasn’t even a decision I made, I was suddenly just hitting enter and I was enrolled. A few days later I received a call confirming and letting me know about the dates and times of the class. I heard that the counseling was different than traditional counseling, and knew God was providing me a safe place. I asked to also be seen for biblical counseling, not really sure what I was getting into, but knowing there was more than the world was telling me there was. I had no idea what this journey was about to bring for me.
I did not ask Jesus into my heart as a child. I was 24 years old before I knew of a loving God. This is so alarming because I had grown up going to church every Sunday. I had prayers, hymns, and bible verses memorized. I knew the stories and heard of the miracles, but I didn’t know my Father. It is amazing because now when I look back, I realize how He was lovingly leading me. I went to, even searched out, and welcomed the darkness. I pushed him away and delved into the exact opposite of what He wants for us. Yet, HE held me. HE protected me, and pulled me to Him, no matter what my rebellion looked like.
While I did welcome him into my heart, I still really relied on myself and others around me to meet my needs. I have so many lies that I have believed in the past, and still do. I relied on myself to work harder, do better, and earn my way out of any problems. Around 6 years ago I had a wakeup call. I realized that life was becoming more than I could handle. I didn’t want to keep going, living was too hard. I was too tired. I was too broken. I began to go to Him, begging for miracles. Not miracles that can be seen but can be felt in your heart. I knew there was more and I started to search. I realized, through scripture and prayer, that I could listen! He was waiting for me to listen!!!
When I attended class, I thought I knew. I knew my Savior, I knew my God, I knew my Father. I already felt very connected and treasured…but there was so much holding me back. There is still so much holding me back, and I still don’t know! I believe we never really know until that day we run into his arms. I do know I am loved. I am unequivocally, totally, intimately, in an all-consuming way loved by my Abba Father.
“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love.” John 15:9
I have so far left to go. More than I can even imagine. New Haven points me in the direction that matters eternally. It is exactly as its name says. It is a NEW HAVEN. A safe place that lets you know more about yourself, more than you even know is possible. It gives you a new perspective, a new outlook and a new hope.