This week we have the immense honour of hearing the story of one of our students, Nicola. Check out what God has done!
For great is your love towards me; you have delivered me from the depths,
from the realm of the dead. (Ps 86:13)
I don’t think words could ever communicate how much pain I was in – I felt completely dead and from the minute I woke up all I could think of was how to kill myself, so much I could have written a book. I tried everything the secular world had to offer to relieve the anguish: medication, endless hours of intensive therapy, buddhist meditation, new age treatments. Nothing took away the despair I was in. This went on for nearly 20 years; looking back, I don’t know how I survived.
Then God rescued me and brought me back into His church and I started the slow process of healing under God’s loving direction. A major part of this process has been attending TSM. The most important part of the teaching for me has been around identity, that is, who God is, who I am to God and who I am in Christ.
I had grown up believing that God hated me and was punishing me every time I got something wrong. I have learnt that God is a loving Father, who actively reaches out to His children. The knowledge of this helped to break the feelings of abandonment I struggled with. It helped to ease the anger and hatred that I felt inside. I learnt that I could trust God even when things are difficult.
I have spent my whole life trying to change myself to fit into the world. I know now that God intended me to be unique, fearfully and wonderfully made and that I have a purpose in the world that only I can fulfil. This has meant that my fears about how I come across to others have significantly eased, because I know that God loves me so much.
The hopelessness and suicidal thoughts started to disappear as I leant that God had a plan for my life and that He would use all the pain from my past for His glory and today I have hope. As a perfectionist I have discovered that God’s grace and mercy is unending, and that I no longer need to be constantly worrying about getting things wrong as God has covered me with His wings. This revelation means that I can at times feel joy starting to bubble up to the surface.
There are still days when my mind is flooded with negative thoughts but I have learnt to use the truths that I have learnt to block these thoughts. And it works! Because there is no one else who can make you feel whole, no one else can really make you believe and love yourself – only God can. His opinion of you is the only one worth having and spending time getting rid of all the lies you have digested over the years from both within and outside of church is the best thing you can ever do. I will not die but live, and will proclaim what the LORD has done. (Ps 118:17)