From Depression to Joyous Hope
Be encouraged by this true story of a grandmother’s faith and hope reborn. While witnessing God‘s faithfulness throughout her daughter’s difficult pregnancy, Jenny reclaims the joy she once knew years ago.
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Jen’s Joy – From Depression to Joyous Hope
I am a 47-year-old wife, mother and grandmother. I was raised primarily Baptist in doctrine, however, I attended Pentecostal churches on occasion with my grandmother.
My parents were both musically inclined and decided to form a family gospel group. I think I was 8-years-old at the time. Many of my Saturday afternoons were spent in front of a piano learning my “part,” as Mom put it. I didn’t realize at that young age how much church and music would impact my life.
I received Christ as my Savior at the age of 15 in a small Baptist church in Georgia. It was during this time that a few of us formed a gospel quartet and began singing in local churches. Within in a few years we were traveling around the southeast singing in churches, civic centers and other venues. I remember that although we had a good time in fellowship with others in the Lord, our ministry in song was most important to us and we took this ministry seriously.
We always closed church concerts with an invitational song, and as the spirit moved, many people came to receive salvation during this time. I know the Lord’s Spirit works in many ways. Matthew 18 says, “Where two or three are gathered together, there He is in the midst.”
Our quartet lasted for about 8 years, but eventually we drifted apart as some members got married and started families. It is hard to travel with a baby. I continued attending church faithfully with my husband. It was during my 20’s, as a new wife and Mom that I started feeling stress and found that I had trouble coping with some of life’s situations. My faith became weak.
I started drifting slowly away from God. Marital problems finally led to a divorce. I was away from God’s will for about 20 years, living a life of sin. Over time I fell into a deep depressionand began to feel that hope was gone. I did things that Christians should not do, and I was in a backslidden condition. God never left me, I left God. He convicted my heart at times, but I didn’t heed His call. I leaned to my own understanding and my own will.
Last year, my oldest daughter was pregnant and experiencing complications. She couldn’t eat due to stress and spasms of the esophagus. She drank nutritional shakes and took vitamins, but we were on pins and needles as she lost a total of 37 pounds. During this time of concern for my daughter, I began to reflect on my past. I realized that life is short and that we are not in control of everything that happens in our lives.
The baby wasn’t expected to make it past the 8th month, according to her obstetrician. But miraculously, he made it full-term. I was with my daughter in the operating room as they performed the cesarean section. The doctors delivered a precious little healthy baby boy. From that day on my faith in God began to grow. There was no doubt in my mind that God let this baby be born healthy, even when the situation looked bleak. I know medical science has an explanation, but all of my praise went to God, and my thanks to the doctors for their expertise in caring for my daughter.
This past January, my daughter was having thyroid problems along with other personal problems. I started to pray to God for help. It was at that moment that He filled me with a deep sense of warmth, joy and peace that I could not express in words. I believe this was the filling of His Holy Spirit. My burdens left me and I placed my daughter’s situation in God’s hands.
I continued to pray and ask God for forgiveness for being away from His will for so long. Ever since that time, I have been filled with a sense of peace, and now I have a keen desire to praise Him, to worship Him and to let others know about Him. I have had a problem with depression on a daily basis in the past, but now I start each day in prayer and in God’s Word. He fills me with hope for the days ahead. I know I will face troubles, illness and other adversities, but I don’t plan to let go of God’s hand ever again, no matter what comes my way.
It is my prayer that all who are hurt, or lost, and don’t know where to turn in life, will turn to God and find their purpose in life. I believe we all have a purpose and that we are divinely and uniquely created by God. I believe it begins by faith when we receive salvation through Jesus Christ.
I hope to start back in the music ministry soon. Until then, I am doing things for a needy family in my local town, helping take care of my grand baby, and trying to focus on God’s will for my life.