Have you ever fought for your very life leaning purely on your faith? I have.
“Whoever Brings Blessing Will be Enriched” Proverbs 11:25
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I fought a long-lasting suicidal depression without any drugs, on my knees, with a prayer.
And I’m still here writing this devotional right now to encourage you to be faith-filled.
MY SUICIDAL DEPRESSION
In 2016, I became severely depressed and suicidal. It happened after my Christian husband of four months filed for a divorce saying that all he wanted was to be an IronMan and complete in Kona.
He was a seminary graduate wedding-officiating Gospel-proclaimer who practiced narcissistic abuse on me behind closed doors.
I felt disoriented and devastated by the mental cruelty I was facing at home.
I felt inadequate and worthless when on a sunny day in Decatur, GA he walked me to his car where his bicycle was attached to the back. He said: “And here’s my bicycle – my other wife I cheat on you with!”
My heart was shuttered, and its microscopic bleeding pieces seemed like they would never heal and be whole again…
I remember one early morning in our marital residence. Michel and I were still in bed. We were waking up.
When we were in premarital counseling discussing sex with our mentors, Michel expressed verbally and in writing that his hope was for me to pursue him sexually after our wedding.
That’s what I did that morning.
What happened next was heartbreaking.
Michel pushed me away, jumped off the bed, and screamed at me: “I don’t want none of this, I need to save myself for my IronMan training!”
I felt devastated. I felt ugly. I felt stupid. I felt deceived. I felt cheated on. I felt betrayed. I felt traded in for an IronMan bicycle. I felt sad. I felt sorrow. I felt hopeless.
I lost my sanity after Michel told me that his bicycle was his wife and that he needed to save his sexuality for his IronMan bicycle.
I wrote spoken word poetry to express my feelings and thoughts and to process my pain.
depression poem here
MY SUICIDAL THOUGHTS
After that, I was getting more and more hopeless, my brain became depleted, my cognitive abilities declined, I was fatigued, unfocused, and mostly stayed in bed.
My suicidal thoughts were obsessive and severe. They were becoming more real. I started envisioning how wonderful it would be not to be participating in this life anymore.
My life seemed so miserable. I remember writing in my journal: “My life sucks and it sucks to be me.”
I captured all my suicidal thoughts in a spoken word poem where it was suddenly revealed to me that I needed to do something about suicidal thoughts.
suicidal thoughts poem here
DWELLING ON SELF-PITY
I was constantly thinking why Michel chose me for this huge deception. I was wondering how I was unable to discern his narcissistic behaviors before we got married. I was regretting marrying him and wishing I never said yes to his marriage proposal.
I was dwelling on how terrible my marriage situation was and how much I hated living in the same house with Michel. I was sad that I gave up my identity and accepted Michel’s last name. I was regretting moving to a countryside away from the city that I loved so much and enduring a 5-hour daily commute to work. I was sorrowed by how Michel mistreated me.
My heart was broken and I felt like there wasn’t anything I wanted or desired, except to stop being alive.
I didn’t want to think about the future where Michel was still there. I was afraid of another day with him.
Mark 4:40 says this:
“He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?””
My fear was bigger than my faith.
I wanted my life to just end so that my broken heart would stop aching so much.
I wrote a spoken word poem about depression and hopelessness. Initially, I called it “No aspirations. No motivation.” After watching the video below, I renamed the poem to be called “Dwelling on self-pity.”
dwelling on self-pity poem here
MY FAITH AND PRAYERS
Most of my marriage with Michel, I was under a care of a trauma counselor who was experienced working with victims of narcissistic abuse.
I also worked with a Biblical counselor. We met every Wednesday at 5 pm. She was the one who led me to studying Spiritual Warfare. She also taught me to focus on my identity as a Child of God instead of Michel’s wife.
2 Chronicles 20:20 says this:
“Have faith in the Lord your God and you will be upheld.””
The more I learned about who God says I am, the less was my internal conflict between Anna Stevens (who I was before I married Michel) and Anna Szabo (who I became after I said “I do” to Michel).
>>>Anna Stevens vs Anna Szabo video
I realized by then that Satan came at me looking Saint. He lured me into his premeditated deception so eloquently. I was trapped while he enjoyed the pleasure of watching me fade.
I was in a Warfare with Satan.
My Biblical counselor begun teaching me about the Armor of God needed to successfully fight the Spiritual Warfare.
It was essential for me to understand Satan and his ways of attacks. I needed to know his strategies and tactics. I needed to figure him out.
Everything I learned about Satan and his evil doing I poured into this Biblical poem below describing Spiritual Warfare and how to fight it.
video when Satan comes at you looking saint
A part of the Armor of God is prayer.
After that Spiritual Warfare work with my Biblical Counselor, I did the Armor of God study by Precilla Shirer with my small group at church.
Every week, the homework included writing a strategic prayer based on the part of the Armor we studied that week.
I wrote detailed and strategic prayers. And I decided not to keep them to myself but to share them with anyone who’s enduring a Spiritual Warfare and needs help.
These prayers helped me every time and I still refer to them often. You can bookmark these prayers or add them to a playlist if you’d like a quick and easy access to them whenever you feel attacked.
all spiritual warfare prayers here
One more thing. Knowing who God says I am, understanding Spiritual Warfare, practicing Armor of God and prayer – these were all the key to my recovery from the suicidal depression. But the very reason why I even held on to life was God’s promises.
My Biblical counselor taught me to search for God’s promises in the Bible. She encouraged me to understand how the promises of God apply to my life situation. She led me to standing confidently on those promises.
That work helped my faith grow and gave me strength to hold on to life.
GOD’S PROMISES IN THE BIBLE
As my Biblical counselor and I were focusing on God’s promises, I searched the Bible for all promises of God… but there was no end!
There are 3573 promises in the Bible.
My faith has increased with each promise I found and analyses: I saw from experience that God never failed me and He always delivered on His promises.
Isaiah 43:1-3 says this:“…I have summoned you by name; you are mine.When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.For I am the Lord your God…”
I had surely been passing through the rivers and walking though the fire since I said “I do” to Michel on May 14th of 2016.
But the Lord my God bevel left me. He called me by my name. He protected me from drowning and burning.
I wrote a spoken word poem about God’s promises and concluded for myself that my feelings and emotions were not a reliable source of information but the promises of God are a solid ground for me to stand on in life.
>>God’s promises poem video here
“Standing on God’s Promises” 9/12/2017
Life is a series of seasons,With moments of sorrow followed by happy moments.To question God we have many reasons,Especially when facing some devastating disappointments.
Sometimes we question God’s very existence,Or just His presence in our lives.We may confront the idea of God’s goodness with resistance,Especially when grief our daily emotions drives.
Our emotions are not a very reliable source of information.How we feel changes often too randomly.That’s why to confidently walk toward our destination,We need to immerse ourselves in truth extendedly.
We need to understand and believe God’s faithfulness.We need to embrace His eternal promises.We don’t need to make them up or guess -Reading His word is what confidence encompasses.
In the Bible, there are 3573 promises,The word “promise” itself occurs 50 times.End of suffering, protection, and forgiveness,Peace and joy are guaranteed to us always and not just sometimes.
God’s promises are the only solid ground to stand on.Everything else is unstable and temporary.His word is the truth for us to lean on,So that our lives can be for His glory and extraordinary.
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HEALING MY DEPRESSION
My suicidal depression was a result of hopelessness, helplessness, and hostility I was experiencing at home.
I realized that God’s promises to me and who God says I am outweighed all the adversity of my marriage with Michel.
I decided that I wanted to live and I wanted to live alive!
Romans 9:6-8 says this:“It is not as though God’s word had failed… it is not the children by physical descent who are God’s children, but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as Abraham’s offspring.”
If I wanted to be regarded as a child of God, I needed to live out my identity as His special, chosen, healed, loved, accepted, and royal daughter.
I had to let go of any other identities.
how to not be depressed video here
THE JOY OF THE LORD
I have been applying my knowledge of God’s promises and my identity in Christ every day. I have been standing firmly on His 3573 promises. I have been practicing my faith proactively through my prayers and lifestyle.
My suicidal depression was transformed by God into deep joy.
Mark 5:34 says this:
“He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.””
I was healed from my suffering because of faith. The joy of the Lord is now guarding my mind and heart.
I choose joy on a daily basis and reap its benefits of mental and physical health. My spiritual strength has been increasing since I now draw it from Christ and His word instead of walking in my own power. And all that improved my resilience to Satan’s clever attacks on my mind.
I told you about the faith tools that helped me stay alive and survive the suicidal depression.
The one tool that helps me have the joy of the Lord is gratitude. Every day, I thank God for all His goodness in my life.
I even wrote a poem about blessings.
Blessings are those special people, things, or events to be grateful for.Some blessings help us get to a place that’s better than where we were before.
Some blessings are even unnoticeable, like unlimited clean drinking water.Others are very obvious because to us personally they truly matter.
There are also blessings that, at first sight, appear to be a curse.Those are hard to recognize and wholeheartedly appreciate, of course.
That’s where faith comes into play: in wonderful blessings we must believe!If we train our mind to see more blessings, a joyful life we can live.
Blessings are everywhere – all you need is to intentionally look.Finding blessings in everything is not a skill taught at school from a book.
Finding blessings on purpose has to be your own habit every day.It will become easier with time, the more attention to blessings you pay.
Count your blessings, appreciate how unique they are!Feel grateful, and you’ll undoubtedly reach for that special star.
You know what?
I realized that my suicidal depression was that unnoticeable blessing for which at first I wasn’t able to express gratitude.
Now, I see how my depression was a blessing and helped me grow in faith, as well as become stronger spiritually.
Everything I learned about gratitude for visible and invisible blessings I captured in my poem called “Gratitude.”
Life is an incredible journey of growth and learning.Having realized it, I begin with gratitude every morning.
Giving thanks for all my blessings is very healing.This one habit changed completely the way I’m feeling.
The fear I used to experience was replaced with calmness.The anger I used to feel was replaced with warmness.
The depression I was suffering from was replaced with joyAs my mind to its full capacity I’ve learned to deploy.
When my mind is filled with gratitude, I can’t feel fear.Thoughts of gratitude prevent anxiety and keep my mind clear.
Dwelling on my blessings leads me to experiencing genuine joy.Practicing gratitude every day, I can finally my life enjoy.
gratitude poem video here from Instagram
What are you going through in life right now? What is your current suffering?
“But Scripture has locked up everything under the control of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe.”
Do you believe in the promises of God? Do you have faith that can be a solid ground for your everyday walk through life?
If you said yes, memorize the Biblical affirmation below and practice it often to remain faith-filled no matter what life throws at you.
I am faithful
I have faith in God, my Father.I have faith in His great plan.I have faith that He will honorAll His promises in my lifespan.product offering here
How do you plan to proactively apply your faith in your current life circumstances?
Share with me in the comments below so I can cheer you on.
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Anna Szabo is the founder of Online Discipleship For Women, a Christian ministry committed to alleviating suicide among women globally by sharing hope in Christ. Anna teaches how to create a joyful life by embracing God’s word based on her own journey of faith and fortitude.