MENTAL ILLNESS, ADDICTION, AND MY CHRISTIAN LIFE

Before I became a Christian at age 22, I had it easy. I had never truly experienced pain and suffering. After a fun and fulfilling childhood and then a parent-funded Bachelor degree, I was ready to embark on the journey called Adult Life.

Life wasn’t perfect, but BOY, had I been sheltered! I just had no way to fathom what the next three decades would bring my way. A life where sadness, neglect, emotional abuse, mental illness, drug addiction and suicide attempts would enter my life’s path. Basically . . .

“Your Worst Life Now” could become my anti-Joel-Osteen bestselling book.

Do I regret anything that has transpired? Do I wish I had taken a different path? Do I raise my fists in anger to God?

No Way!

Dang, I’m GLAD for the emotional muscles that God has built in me. I am thankful for the tribulations . . . really, in all honesty.

It’s not fun to go through difficult times, but it sure is worthwhile. And the reason is because Jesus has been there with me through it all. I had nowhere else to turn, so He literally became my ROCK.

Interviewing for a teaching position at a large homeschool co-op in 2014, I was extremely nervous that I did not possess the desired credentials. But this was a Christian ministry with their head on straight; the first question the panel asked me was, “What does Jesus mean to you?”

Are you serious!?

I immediately started bawling my head off!

Now THAT was a credential I possessed in excess. I began to tell the ladies how Jesus meant EVERYTHING to me; how He had held my hand through many difficult trials, and how I had learned to depend on and rely on Him alone.

Teaching at that co-op for the next five years, was fruitful and successful . . . in a spiritual way. To this day, I still get together with some of my ex-students, high school age, for coffee, chatting and a Bible Study (heavy on the chatting!)

My heart rejoices in the Lord! I am writing this post to testify that He gives us JOY in the midst of pain. It’s a heart-filling, overwhelming sense of peace, safety, security, love and acceptance. NOTHING is better than that.

Yes, my life is still difficult. We had another huge, terrible family emergency just four days ago; an event that could have been devastating . . . but that God had His hand in nonetheless: He works all things together for good.

Christian brother or sister, hang in there! Cry if you need to! Pray and yell and fret all you want to our Father God, He can handle it. Pour out your heart to Him at all times. Cast your cares upon Him.

For He cares for you. ❤️

Photo by RF._.studio on Pexels.com

Christian Dream Interpretation — Lauren Daigle saw visions of her future career — Part 2 of 3

Lauren Daigle's 'You Say' Breaks Billboard Record, Becomes Biggest ...

Lauren Daigle was diagnosed with cytomegalovirus when she was 15 years old.  The infection necessitated a two-year absence from her high school.  During the two years of recovery at home, God gave Lauren dreams and visions of her future.

“He started imparting vision to me during that time. It was amazing because I was laying on the bed, wasn’t able to do anything and I would get visions of touring, and tour buses and being on and off stages, and venues, and interviews, and charts. I mean He showed me literally so much of it, and I would lay in bed and say God is this just me dreaming? Am I getting cabin fever, or is this really what you’re calling me to?

It was beautiful because not only in that time did He awaken a dream in me, but He also didn’t allow me to fall under to what the enemy wanted to create in that time – loneliness & depression. God let me see the next season.”

( “Lauren Daigle’s unexpected path to purpose.”   www.life1025.com

In the midst of suffering, God encouraged Lauren Daigle with hope.  Seeing into the future, He decided to share some of His knowledge with her which, of course, proved to be spot-on accurate. (Check out her breathtaking 😅 tour schedule here! )

I’ve experienced – on a MUCH smaller scale – two occasions of God showing me future events through dreams.  Two simple, short dreams that made a lasting impression, and that I later saw unfold before me with my waking eyes.

It’s pretty cool to have that happen, but I don’t think that is God’s main desire for us:  that we see future events in our night visions.  I believe His main goal in our lives is to show us how much He loves us, how much He accepts us, and how He wants to truly be our “life.”

I had a dream once that taught me about God’s acceptance; it literally changed my life, changed the way I relate to God, and changed the way I understood how He relates to me.  I call it The Black Crows dream.  This is how it went…

I was looking up into the sky at a large white sail that was being carried in the air by half a dozen crows.  As I continued to watch them fly away, I realized that it was not a sail, but a cloak, a robe.  My own white robe . . . and the crows were taking it away from me!  I looked on, bothered by this fact, and meanwhile I was chewing a piece of raw meat.  I just stood there, watching and chewing.  I was not able to swallow the meat; I found it to be inedible.

You are probably familiar with the idea of a “robe of righteousness”:

I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, My soul shall be joyful in my God; For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. (Isaiah 61:10)

So when I woke in the morning after the Black Crows dream, I thought, “Okay, God.  I get it.  I hear You.  My sin is making me unrighteous, and that is why the crows were taking away my white ‘robe of righteousness.’”

Was my dream interpretation correct???  Heck no!

. . . Please click here for Part 3.😆

Christian Dream Interpretation — God shares the Gospel with a gay waiter — Part 1 of 3

Fort Lauderdale Hotel & Marina Commands $163M

Darren and Darryl were two gay guys that I once worked with at Café 66, the intracoastal restaurant located on the property of Pier 66, a 4-star-hotel and resort in Ft. Lauderdale, FL.  They were both waiters. Darren was my best friend at that job, but Darryl didn’t like me at all.

Darren accepted me because he too was a Christian, but Darryl gave me these intense, scowling stares during our staff meetings in the kitchen.  Other than the creepy looks, Darryl avoided me.  Except for the day of his dream.

Disturbed by a dream he had the previous night, Darryl went from employee to employee asking their opinion.  Finally, he approached me.  He told me the dream and then asked if I had any idea what it meant.  I was honest and said no.

I worked as the Administrative Assistant to the restaurant’s Executive Director, Steve Silverman.  A highly polished and manicured Jewish man who had a legendary reputation for having his secretaries quit on him.  After I got hired, I heard this phrase numerous times from employees all over the resort, “Oh, you are Steve’s new secretary?  He’s awful to work for!  You’re not gonna last long.”

However, I lasted a year and a half; I seem to have a knack for getting along with difficult people.  I did quit, but it was to pursue my Biblical education in another state.

My office was down in the basement, but on the day of Darryl’s dream, I was up in Café 66 filling in for an absent hostess.  After I told him I had no idea what his dream meant, I went back to my station at the hostess stand . . . and prayed.

I said hesitatingly, “God, if you want to give me the interpretation of his dream, you know, that would be cool.”

And then suddenly, with an almost physical sensation of something being dropped on my head, the meaning of the dream was downloaded into my brain.  It was clear.  And it was cool!  God was preaching the gospel to Darryl!

So, I sheepishly walk over to Darryl.  “Umm, this has never happened to me before, but like, God gave me the interpretation of your dream.”

In his dream, Darryl was driving a car.  In the passenger seat was a toilet bowl filled with poop; it was raining out, and the steering wheel was shuddering. There were other details that I don’t remember (this happened almost 30 years ago), but the basic message was this:  “Darryl, you have sin in your life, and you are trying to control your life with your own effort, but you are headed for destruction and therefore God wants to save you, and be the One who ‘drives’ your life.”

Darryl was thoughtful, but unsure.  He said “okay, thanks,” and then I walked back to my station.

About an hour later, he excitedly came up to me and said, “I finally figured it out!  I ate pizza late last night, and the pizza is what gave me the weird dream!”

“Oh.  Okay, thanks,” I said.  But, of course, I didn’t believe that for a minute; I knew that God had preached the good news to him through that dream, hoping to save him.  Hoping to give Daryl new life and to begin a relationship with him.

I believe God occasionally speaks to us through our dreams.  And I believe that God Himself gives the interpretation.  I was thankful to be used by God to give Darryl this message about sin and salvation, about death and life.  It is now 30 years later, and who knows, maybe by the time of this writing, Darryl has surrendered to God, and been reborn with the life of Jesus Christ.

To be continued . . . Part 2 here.