Rachel B.

from MO
Story #214
Before I received eternal life, my life was full of emptiness and constant fear.

My mother had been plagued her entire life with mental illness. She never reached out to anyone for support for fear that they would see her turmoil. Unfortunately, my sisters and I took the brunt of her anger and disappointment with God. In reflecting on what I know about her faith, she knew who God was but never let Him guide her by giving up her control. I never knew why we were being beaten, or 'punished' as she would call it. I remember time and time again running to the bathroom, after she wore herself out, to make sure I wasn't bleeding. This was my life. My purpose was to be my mother's outlet. Her release. She ended her own turmoil when I was 15 years old.

As a child I was told about God but was confused by what love meant and never knew who He was until shortly before my 20th birthday. I had packed a bag and moved to Kansas City to live with a dear family who never gave up on me. I was a complete wreck; full of anxiety, panic, and fear. I always had my defense up and was ready to attack anyone who got too close. This dear family supported me with prayers, room and board, and guidance. I began receiving christian counseling due to my severe depression and anxiety disorders that caused me panic attacks and urges of self-destruction. This family was my first 'face of grace' as I call it. They never treated me like I was crazy or unworthy of their love. I had never known such a feeling of acceptance and peace. I knew no one other than them in that big city. God used that time to separate me from everything except himself. He is a jealous God, after all. Within those next six months, I began to get to know God as my Comforter, Lover, Healer, Redeemer, Savior, Judge, and Lord.

Now, after having to be admitted to the psych ward, scavenging through several treatments and meds, I finally know what it is like to have that constant knot in my stomach and sorrow in my soul removed. I feel beautiful. I feel wanted. I feel like a princess. I am saved and I am desired by the King of Kings. And I am honored.

God has blessed me with an amazingly steadfast and Godly husband and two sweet little boys who I couldn't adore enough. Before God redeemed and began to heal me, I never wanted marriage or children. That meant chaos and danger to my broken spirit. God has certainly showed me otherwise.

Christ has carried me through a life of abuse and chaos and brought me to a place where His grace, mercy, and love surround. He has untied the knot of anxiety and fear and made room for his overflowing love. My life was literally saved. Without eternal life, I had no hope or purpose. God is my hope. God is my purpose. I now feel true peace and understand what a gift God's grace and mercy are to be freely given to a sinner like myself.

I have a passion for God's Word; not in the way that I just enjoy reading it but how it is not an option to go without it. It is God's living word and His never changing instruction to us. I've never in my life had anything that I felt I needed to cling so tightly to just to continue on breathing. That is the joy, peace, and love that God has waiting for us within his mighty Word. Isaiah 60:5 says, "Then you will look and be radiant,your heart will throb and swell with joy; the wealth on the seas will be brought to you, to you the riches of the nations will come." If I am not brought to my knees with overwhelming joy for my Savior, then I know I am not in the right place.

If I am ever going through a season of life where I am not walking closely with Christ, nothing else in my life makes sense. He is my everything and I feel empty and lost without Him.

The lord will fight for you, you need only be still.
Exodus 14:4