Out Of The Darkness

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A strange light glinted off the knife I held in my hands

as I peered into it. The words had come out of my mouth before I fully realized what I was saying. I am going to kill myself…I want to die…My 12-year-old sister stared at me with horror. Her eyes were pleading with me. “What are you doing? Stop!” she cried. Her child-like body then lunged forward and reached for the knife. Defeated, I handed it over to her. Then, I stood motionless and tried to wrap my head around what I had just done…

That was me eight years ago. It is hard to believe it now. I don’t remember much of what transpired in my younger years, but if there is anything that I have taken away from my past experiences, it is that God is merciful. That day, I heard the Lord Himself speaking to me through my sister; all throughout the years, I would come to see that He wanted me to live. He had been fighting for my life.

On a Downward Spiral

You may wonder how it got to the point that I was contemplating suicide. It is hard for me to understand myself. Growing up as a kid, everything had always seemed just right. I had two Christian parents who instilled in me moral values. As a result, I developed an appreciation for going to church, taking part in all of the youth activities and fellow-shipping with friends. At the end of a long day, I would even beg my parents to allow me to stay at church longer. We had worship as a family every morning and evening. I was a happy, obedient child, and hardly had a rebellious streak. Yes, everything seemed just perfect in my life.

Then in middle school, I became a target for taunts and jests from other kids. This was severely damaging to my already sensitive soul. People would call me all sorts of names, none of which were pleasant. I was an awkward, skinny, reserved, dark-skinned girl with a buck-tooth smile, and apparently that was reason enough for the abuse.

By the time I started high school, my insecurities had maximized; I had become my own worst enemy. The emotional pain I was experiencing would often unleash itself on some unsuspecting stranger, which in turn would make them extremely uncomfortable. As a result, no one would stick around for long; friends would come and go.

In my third year of high school, my parents were on the verge of getting a divorce, so I continued on a downward spiral. I started to express the pain I was feeling through dark poetry. I told strangers online intimate information about my life. I was lonely and was seeking anyone and anything to fill the gaps in my heart. Life no longer had any meaning for me, so I began making threats to kill myself. At this point, I had finally managed to establish a friendship with a close group of girls. When I announced these venomous words to these girls whom I considered my friends, I did it more for attention than anything else. I was crying out for someone to help me.

Because of this, the friendship ended poorly. Sadly, losing the only friends I had ever really known was detrimental for my psychological health. Further along the line as I seeped more into my depressed state, people everywhere responded with coldness and indifference; this set me over the edge.

Crying Out

After I recognized that I was truly all alone, I would sometimes run away from school and visit a park somewhere off the school grounds. I would not return home until late in the evening. My mother would be worried sick.
At the age of 17, I was standing in the kitchen in tears as feelings of hopelessness washed over me. With my little sister looking on, I took the sharpest knife I could find and uttered those dreadful words. I don’t think I had ever planned on actually going through with anything that day either, because I hated everything that had to do with pain. Yet, I wanted to end it somehow and not only that, I wanted the world to see how much pain I was going through as well. Still, nothing I tried seemed to be working. Somehow I stumbled my way through high school and ended up graduating with honours. Now in my 20s, I was in my final years of an intensive journalism program, and the pressure of the program added to the mounting hopeless feelings. I considered myself the underdog, and would tell myself that I was worthless and would never amount to anything.

In my last year, I fought the urge to drop out. At one point that year, I ended up leaving one of my elective classes in hyperventilation mode. I was gasping for breath, and the tears just didn’t seem to want to stop. I knew there was something wrong with me, and I desperately wanted to be better. I would make frequent visits to numerous counsellors, none of whom seemed able to help me. I remember one of them even agreeing with me once about how grievous my life was. I read Dr. Phil and Joel Osteen self-help books, yet I would only find as the years went by that I was retreating more and more into myself.

Touch of Faith

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In 2010, I attended a Christian youth conference, more out of curiosity than anything else. I did not realize there were actually youth out there who were sincerely following Christ. I had considered myself a Christian all the while, and had always heard many beautiful truths about God’s love, yet for some reason it had not taken root in my heart.  I would still come home crying every night, truly believing that no one loved or cared for me.
I didn’t actually think that attending the conference would make any difference in my life, but I thought I would check it out anyway. Although I did not get much out of the divine service nor the plenaries, I remember the Sabbath School session like it was yesterday, because this is what helped transform my life.

It was here that I would hear words of hope that I hungered for. In the lady’s presentation, she brought to life the story of the woman with the issue of blood. Instantly, I recognized this woman within myself. I had been pursuing so many different things in search of healing but had never found it. Tears sprang to my eyes. I wanted faith like this woman. I wanted to reach out my hand to Jesus and be healed.

Ever since that day, I slowly started on the road to recovery. During this period, God revealed to me ugly things about myself that I could never see before, because I had been blinded. But He didn’t leave me hopeless; He promised to restore me… And He did.

Today I can honestly say that I am not the same person. I still have my struggles, because it isn’t easy to forget the negativity of my past. The difference is I know who to turn to now. It is not about having a head full of knowledge, but about allowing Jesus to change your heart. I am thankful that Jesus cared enough about me to do just that.

For anyone battling an illness of their own, I want to encourage you not to give up. Hope is not lost. Reach out to Him in healing and He will give you the victory. He did it for me and He can do the same for you.

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“And when I passed by thee, and saw thee polluted in thine own blood, I said unto thee when thou wast in thy blood, Live; yea, I said unto thee when thou wast in thy blood, Live.” (Ezekiel 16:6)

“But now thus saith the Lord that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. For I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee. Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life.” (Isaiah 43:1-4)

“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.” (1 Peter 2:9)

“And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any, came behind him, and touched the border of his garment: and immediately her issue of blood stanched. And Jesus said, Who touched me? When all denied, Peter and they that were with him said, Master, the multitude throng thee and press thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me? And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me. And when the woman saw that she was not hid, she came trembling, and falling down before him, she declared unto him before all the people for what cause she had touched him, and how she was healed immediately. And he said unto her, Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace. (Luke 8:43-48)

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Glory Be To God

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Alexandra Chelse
Alexandra Chelse

Alexandra Chelse is the founder and lead storyteller of Speak The Words Communications. As a child, she could always be found with a book. Now as a young adult, her love for storytelling has only deepened. She is a diversity issues blogger, mental health advocate, visionary, and woman of faith. Aside from writing, she also facilitates storytelling workshops for children, youth and adults in the community. She is seeking daily to be transformed by God's grace.

17 Comments
  1. You are a very, very courageous and beautiful young woman. I can only hope to be as candid and transparent on where God has brought me out like you did. I pray you will continue doing work for His ministry in building our faith and tearing down strongholds!!

    1. Thanks so much for your kind words, Rishae. The same is true for you. And yes I do believe you have been by His grace 🙂 Was equally encouraged by your testimony. I look forward to posting it. God Bless!

  2. I have recently lost by best friend to depression. She litterly died of a broken heart. I tried to help her. I am left wondering why? What is the point? My sadness and depression are becoming overwhelming. I don’t know how to move forward. Everything reminds me of her. She was one of those people that you look at and see the fruits of the spirit. One day it changed and it became torturous. I’m not sure why this happened. I wish I could have protected her. I know she is at piece now. I however am afraid of the darkness creeping around me. I’m am so blessed as a wife and mother of four. What do I do? Please pray four me.

    1. Hello Whitney,
      Thank you for opening up and sharing about this; I know that could not have been easy. First let me begin by saying that I am truly sorry to hear of your loss. 🙁 From how you describe her, your friend sounded like she was a wonderful person. I can’t even begin to imagine what you may have gone through. One wonderful attribute about our Heavenly Father is His unfailing love and compassion. He cries when we cry and He feels our pain intimately. In Psalm 34:18, it says: “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Be comforted to know that the Lord feels our hurts, as if He Himself was suffering. For reasons that we may never fully understand, we undergo many hardships but still the Lord has promised never to leave us comfortless. (John 14:18) I don’t know why things had to happen the way they did for your friend, but I do know that we serve a merciful Father. No one understands your friend more than He does. I know the Lord knows her heart and her destiny rests in his hands. I pray that the Lord will give you the peace you need in order to leave it there. You sound like a good friend. I know it must have hurt you to see her the way you did, and I’m sure you would have done all you thought possible to help her. Yet, please don’t be so hard on yourself. You are only human. I’m sure the Lord saw all of what you did for her and He will honour that. It may have seemed as if your efforts to reach her were in vain, but we cannot ever know how the results of our work here on this earth. But the Lord who sees and knows all, will reward you in due time. I’m so sorry to hear of the hurts you are now experiencing. Although your friend’s life ended on such a sad note, ask the Lord to reveal to you the beauty in your life right now, and celebrate that. By God’s grace I pray that He will help you move forward from the pain of your past into a glorious future. Celebrate the beautiful moments that you were able to have with your friend while she was living, and the beautiful moments you can have with your family now. At a time when everything seems to be so dim, this is the perfect time to ask the Lord to show you things on a deeper level. You can entrust your situation to Him, because He specializes in creating beautiful things out of brokenness. He restores, uplifts and gives hope to the hopeless. Ask the Lord to reveal to you His love now more than ever before. My prayer for you is that the light of His love will completely dispel the darkness that you say is creeping around you. I know from experience that it is in the weakest moments, that the Lord provides for you the strength you need to see every new day. This is prime time for the Lord to show you things on a whole new level. I’m sure it may be hard to understand why you are going through this right now, but there is a purpose behind every storm. I know once He has helped you overcome the pain of your past, you will have a powerful testimony to share that will encourage someone else. Remember you have people that love and support you and want the best for you. I’m your sister in Christ, who will be lifting you up in prayer by God’s grace 🙂 Please don’t give up. Jesus will give you the power you need to sustain you during this difficult time. He will bear you up in His arms. (Deut 33:27) Feel free to send me a message anytime you want to talk. Blessings to you and your family. 🙂

  3. Your faith truly inspires me. Thank you so much for your beautifully honest and real story. Bless you heaps 🙂

    1. Amen! Thanks for Demelza. I appreciate your encouragement. May the Lord bless you and your family as well!

  4. I cried the whole time I read your story. I am still waiting on my breakthrough. Or really if I could only feel God’s love deep in my soul where the hurt pain all the ulgy stuff is. That is what I so want

    1. Hello Kathy,
      Thanks so much for your comment. There is a lot of ugliness in the world that we will never understand. But the love of God is greater than all of the ugly pain and hurt you feel. When you think Him absent, trust and know that He is always there. His love reveals itself to you in ways that will blow your mind. I know it isn’t easy waiting on the Lord’s purposes to be revealed in your life, but it will happen! Please don’t give up hope. The Lord sees your tears and hears your prayers, and He will answer. I am certain. Even though we are a distance away from each other, you have a sister here on this side of the globe. I will lift up prayers for you. May you be forever blessed. Feel free to stop by anytime. 🙂 Take Care

  5. Thank you for sharing your very personal story for our encouragement. God is so good to have brought you through to the place where you host this very attractive web-site where others can share in the ongoing stories of grace. I’m asking God to bless you and keep you, to make his face to shine upon you and be gracious unto, to lift up his countenance upon you and give you His peace.

  6. Thank you for speaking to the issue of depression in the faith community. So many attempt to conceal their pain because it sometimes makes others uncomfortable. But there is help, and there is healing when we press into the Great Physician.

    Healing can come in a variety of ways, however! In 2 Corinthians 14 it lists the various spiritual gifts. All of them are spoken of in the singular; on the Gifts of Healing is plural.

    Seeking help is an act of strength. Whether the answer is through prayer, the laying on of hands, nutrition, meditating on His Word – or a combination of modalities – healing is worth striving for. Sometimes it is instantaneous; other times it is a process.

    Regardless, your story is encouraging. Keep pressing in to The One Who can heal down to the cellular level. And please continue to share your journey. Many will no doubt find strength in your candor.

    1. Hello McDonna,
      Yes you share some beautiful insights. It is the Great Physician that offers true healing.
      I am so blessed by your words. Thanks for reading and for taking the time to share this with me.

      Take Care and God Bless!

    1. Thanks for stopping by Mercy! Yes there is a God who loves and cares for us! Amen 🙂

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