Betty, 21, Massachusetts, USA
[as told to Then God Moved editor Adira Polite]
Towards the end of 2018, I started struggling with depression. I was overwhelmed with life — schoolwork, the sins and evils of the world, and my own spiritual brokenness. I felt purposeless. I hated waking up every morning. Sometimes, I even prayed for death before going to bed at night.
So when I found out that my respiratory condition had returned, I lost it — it was just sorrow upon sorrow. I was in such a dark place. I’d say I pretty much gave up all hope, but somehow, I didn’t lose my faith. And as promised, God showed up. A few weeks ago, He appeared out of nowhere and pulled me out.
The breakthrough happened through my study of the Word, specifically through my reading of the story of David and Bathsheba. In summary, King David [the man who slew Goliath and grew to become the third king of Israel and Judah] impregnates a married woman named Bathsheba.
As a cover-up, King David orders that Bathsheba’s husband, who is away at war, be killed in battle. God punishes David and Bathsheba through the death of their child. The couple then has a second child. I’d read the story before, but I’d never picked up on the fact that this second child Solomon, is a historical forefather of Jesus!
How awesome is it that God chose to bring Jesus, the Savior of the world, out of a extra-marital affair that resulted in bloodshed? He brought good out of total evil! Evil, borne out of sin, is all around us today. It’s everywhere. Because of sin, there’s destruction and suffering and illness and death. But, I now see that God can and will use evil and pain for His purposes. He brings goodness out of nothingness. He’s proven that He can redeem anything and anyone.
This awareness of God’s goodness has changed everything for me. On the one hand, I can now see how God is using my illness to shape my future. I knew about America’s health and income disparities, but I didn’t understand the extent until I lived it myself. I was previously pursuing a career in education, but God has since revealed my true purpose — to address America’s health, labor, and housing crises through the creation of a Christian outreach center.
It’s my hope that this organization will reflect the love of God, because that love and that compassion are who He is. When you read the gospels, you see that Jesus was preaching, but you also see that he was meeting physical needs. He was and is always working to alleviate suffering.
In addition to my sense of purpose, I have so much joy now! I may still be sick, but with every passing day, I gain more and more joy. This joy isn’t rooted in my circumstances — it’s based solely on the knowledge of God’s existence, power, and love for me.
I may be breathing at seventy-eight percent capacity, but Scripture says “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord” (Psalm 150:6). So, even if I only have one percent, I will use it to praise Him! I can honestly say that I love God more now than I did before the depression and the return of my illness. We’re a fallen world — there’s evil and there’s sickness. But, the Lord has my back. He truly works for the good of those who love Him.
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose.”
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