My Letter to God

I finally decided it was time to watch The Passion of the Christ. I watched with much sadness for Jesus and the pain he had to live through during those final days. These are the words that flowed out of my heart early this morning as I sat outside drinking my coffee. This is my Letter to God…

Sitting by peaceful waters, Streams of life flowing freely

The smell of Lilac flowers fill the air, The sound of God’s creatures all around me.

I sit silently , early this morning,

I think of the torture and pain that Jesus had to endure

His final days filled with agony,

I think of the reason He suffered through it

He did it, for all of us, for our wrong doings, for all our sin

So we may have life, so we may have peace so we may experience true love.Image

Through Him there is paradise, everlasting life and joy

Oh Lord I’m sorry for my sin, I’m sorry it’s the reason for the lashing you took

I repent of my sin and ask for your forgiveness

I want to sit with you in the afterlife. I want to walk with you and dance with you

I want to hear those words from the Father – Well done my faithful Son

No more pain, no more suffering,  when I take my place in Heaven

Lord I welcome you now, with open arms

Fill me, teach me, mold me

Create a new person in me, one that pleases you

Lord give me the strength to resist, all that Satan with throw my way

It is now that he will try to convince me

To walk down his wicked path.

Give me the power to crush his temptations, from now on, from this day forward

Oh Lord thank you for Blessing me, thank you for taking my hand

Now watch me grow. Watch as I blossom into a Godly man

Thank you Father for sending your Son, so I may one day live in eternity with You

Amen

 

 

 

 

Sought and Saved

This is a continuation of my last two blog entries.

Part One

https://ihigallery.wordpress.com/2013/05/13/god-are-you-with-me/

Part Two

https://ihigallery.wordpress.com/2013/05/14/treatment-begins/

Part Three – Sought and Saved

The mood of the last two entries has been pretty heavy. A bit of a downer. Well it’s time to lift some spirits.

I’ve been talking about God throughout the past two entries,  well it’s time to focus on Him.

My walk with the Lord hasn’t been the best and I wonder now,  if deep down inside I’ve been blaming Him for my problems. Lets just say its been a bad relationship…..

Fast forward to March 25 2013, Palm Sunday.

Jo-Anne wasn’t going to Church as she had to teach that day so what do I do? Well NORMALLY when she doesn’t go, neither do I,  because the ONLY reason I went was to epees her…..keep the wife happy.  This particular Sunday though I woke up and had this powerful desire to go? Instead of fighting it I went and boy am I glad I did.

Pastor Matt spoke a message that changed my life. He spoke of Sozo ( Healing, Salvation, Deliverance)  and he spoke of the fact that God CRAVES you. He spoke of Zacchaeus and the full Sozo encounter Jesus wanted to have with him.

My life, at that service,  took a drastic turn in direction. A transformation had started. At the end Pastor Matt asked for those that wanted to get their life right with Jesus to raise your hand. I knew I wanted to, I knew I had to.

I was one of the 5 that crossed from death to life that morning and I have been floating on air ever since.

I am feeling a change in my heart. It’s grown soft. I’m crying over everything……Okay, okay….Stop laughing at me….lol. Jo-Anne finds it a little humorous.

My values are changing. Some things I saw as right are now viewed with a different set of eyes. I’m being convicted of things that I never really thought of before. I’ve grown more caring. I view life differently BUT… I still have my sarcastic sense of humor though, (I think He likes that about me…HA!!)

BUT WAIT, The best,  has been the incredible Sozo Experience at Lakemount Worship Center

I went into it being very afraid of God. After all,  about the only passage of the Bible that this young believer knows is where it talks of God sitting on top of a white horse. “With justice he judges and wages war” Revelation 19 verse 11

To me, God was someone to be feared. BOY was I WRONG. The leaders on the Sozo team helped me to see God for what He really is and that’s a caring, loving father. They helped me to forgive people I didn’t even know I had to forgive and the introduced me to the Holy Spirit. The visions I had during the Sozo were crystal clear and powerful. I went in feeling very afraid of God to sitting on His lap and dancing with Jesus while God smiled and laughed.

I also finally dealt with some sin that I had buried in me. Sin that has been pestering me for years. It is now dealt with and locked behind a closed door, sealed by the blood of Jesus. WOW how great that feels.

I found out why I’m a perfectionist and I learned that I no longer need to seek the approval from people, That I’m fine as I am. That from now on I live out my life to an audience of one!

I learned SO much through that Sozo session. So much.

I know some of my friends may look at me like I’m crazy and hey, I may even lose a few do to my life changing transformation, but you know what? I don’t care. Remember, the doctors have already told me I’m a little crazy, so that’s nothing new to me.

I also know that some of my friends will tell me there is no God but let me tell you something. I’d rather live my life as an honest caring person, living for God and find out in the end that He doesn’t exist,  than to live my life full of sin, anger and bitterness only to find out that there is a God……just sayin.

So I’m continuing to grow and see changes. Key people are being placed on my path and I’m excited to see where this is going to lead to.

My desire is to return to school to take an Addictions and Community Worker course and to become a full time counselor. We shall see if it’s also in Gods plans for me. Finances are a big issue at the moment for this course. Please pray that if this is what God wants for me He will make it all work out.

Are you seeking?

I encourage you to listen to the podcast of  Pastor Matt’s powerful message titled SEEK AND SAVE.

https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/seek-and-save/id263493550?i=139469662&mt=2

Treatment begins

The medication wasn’t working,  God wasn’t working, life wasn’t working. Suicide sounded good.

But suicide was not the answer.

I have a loving, Godly wife and two wonderful children. Many friends and a whole life ahead of me. Suicide was NOT the option I wanted to take.

The doctors asked me if I would consider ECT or Shock Therapy as it’s commonly referred to. I said no as I didn’t like the sound of the possible side effects. He then told me there was another treatment…rTMS or Rapid Trans cranial Magnetic Stimulation. Its non intrusive, the side effects are minimal…..why not. I decided to give it a go.

I wrote about it earlier on. I also delve more into my situation and the development of my eldest daughters ever increasing problem. Click the link to read it but don’t forget to comeback to finish this blog entry.

https://ihigallery.wordpress.com/2012/06/21/thoughts-of-madness-and-beyond/

So in short the rTMS pulled me out of the suicidal thinking and depression. It was a success but not 100%. I still had to go every few weeks for a maintenance treatment. Life was better but God still really wasn’t there. I was just flirting with Him.

Then when the situation with my daughter got worse my anxiety and depression increased to a dangerous point. I could no longer handle a stress at work that I had been dealing with for a couple years. Everything just crashed on me. Paranoia set in, agitation, anger, and that Damn suicidal depression returned. I left work and went on disability and the depression deepened. Driving home from a trip up north I decided to end it. I undid my seat belt, accelerated and rolled the windows down. In my mind, rolling the car in hopes that I would be ejected onto the highway was the best solution for me. It was done. The end………..

Well through the tears that flowed out of me, I glanced over and saw a hospital sign, next exit…I thought of my kids, my wife, and my friends. Through strength probably only possible from God, instead of cranking the wheel I wiped my tears and headed to the next exit.

I went to emerg and checked myself in. I spent the mandatory 72 hours in lock down on the psych floor and I vowed never EVER to try that again.

Life went on for several months with no real improvement. The doctor convinced me at that point that Shock Therapy was the next step to recovery. I desperately wanted to break free from the bondage of depression so I agreed.

12 treatments, 2 a week progress progress progress…and like the rTMS, the Shock Therapy was a success. It pulled me out of the pit. Some things remain,  like the stressful thoughts of returning to work and being robbed. THAT paranoia has not disappeared but the depression seems to have taken a hike.

Side effects? Oh Yes.

I did Bi-Lateral ECT, in which they shock both temples. Its more effective than Uni-Lateral ECT ( only one side of your head is shocked) BUT the chance of memory loss is greater…..and so it is.  Forgetting events, people, details, appointments, the past…its all affected but the doctors assure me it will return within about 6 months. Thank goodness because its very frustrating.

So here I am. Recovering from ECT. Depression gone. Work stress still there ( to be dealt with) and now I’m just waiting to tell you about the next leg on my journey but not today………..Stay tuned folks, this is where it get’s exciting……

To be continued………

God, are you with me?

Is God really with me? Why did He do this too me? Am I being punished? Am I not good enough? As someone who lives with Bipolar Disorder, these are questions that I struggle with. Ive always wondered about God but I never did anything about it. In fact it was a Pastor that basically forced my hand – “You must attend Church for 6 months before I’ll read your wedding vows” Now I had to go, I wanted to get married, so I had to go. The church my future wife was attending was pretty charismatic so it was pretty intense for this newbie every Sunday. Finally by brother asked me to check out the Church he and his family were attending.

We did and we stayed there for 13 years. It was there that I decided to get baptized. 2005 was the year. 2005 was the year this emotional and spiritual roller coaster began. Not only did I begin my new Life with Christ it was then that I began to walk away from Him as well. Confused? Let me try to explain.

I began my new life as a Christian but I also started noticing that life wasn’t fun. I should be happy, but I was sad. Sad all the time it seemed. Agitated. Not how a “New Christian” should feel. Off to the doctor I go. “Your suffering with depression” the doctor said and a prescription was written to cover that problem. This went on for a couple years. script after script was written but none of the pills really worked. I fell away from God, leaving my wife to attend Church by herself.

The depression turned into bouts of struggling, then times of great highs where I would spend money like crazy and act like I was a single man around other women. Then when the credit card statements would come in at the end of the month I would see the damage and the crippling depression would start all over again. What a vicious cycle. Where was God? I don’t know. I think He left me. I wasn’t a model Christian at that point. He couldn’t be with me.

This went on for some time. High, low, high, low. The doctor sent me to see someone in the Niagara Mental health system. I’ll leave names out. They had no idea ( in my opinion) what they were doing.

They told me that my whole and ONLY problem was the fact that we were in so much debt. They sent me to a financial planner who told us they would pay off all our debt and we just had to make one easy payment to them each month…Problems solved…We said no and we walked.

More time goes by, months? years? I cant recall. I struggled constantly, both with my mental health and my walk with God.

One day at Church an assistant Pastor suggested I go seek Christian counseling at a nearby center. So I made the appointment.

It was then my life would change. I would finally get some answers. I credit Pastor Darrell Mills ( who by the way never gave up on me but I walked away from him with this depression) for suggesting I seek counseling and I credit counselor Kim Christink for suggesting that I suffer with Bipolar Disorder and for getting the ball rolling to future counseling and care. I guess God was with me by placing these two men in my life although at the time I didn’t see it.

Fast forward several years, here I am today. During that time I resisted God, was angry that He did this to me.

I spent a period of a couple years basically in robot mode…..go to work, come home and spend most of my time in bed. Suicidal thoughts were always on my mind. I had a carefully thought out plan. It was a constant on my mind. God? Ya…forget it.

Life was Hell. God left me, or did I leave God? Regardless, between the depression and very unhealthy leadership at Church, going was the last thing on my mind.

We left that Church and started to attend Lakemount, well OK my wife started to attend I was walking far away from there. I just couldn’t go…after all what sort of Christian was I? I couldn’t read the Bible, my concentration wasn’t there. I couldn’t pray- why? My  concentration wasn’t there and finally ( and this is a big one) the last thing I wanted,  was to be around people. All I wanted was to wallow in my depression. It’s all I could do. It was my familiar place. The meds weren’t working God wasn’t working, life wasn’t working. Suicide sounded good.

To be continued…….