Welcome to my story. I’m so glad you’re here! There are 13 posts in this series, and I will update the links as I post them:
- Memories of Divine Light
- Remembering: El Shaddai
- Descent into Darkness
- Brush with Death
- Visions of Glory and Bliss
- Miraculous Healings
- Chasing Supernatural Experiences
- When my World Caved In
- Understanding: It’s All About Love
- Rebirth Into Divine Love
- You Are Eternally Loved
I invite you to come along with me as I share my memories of brilliant light and unbelievable love, my descent into darkness and depression, and my reconnection and rebirth into Glorious Love. Mine is a story of supernatural experience intermingled with beautiful and broken humanity, the story of a spiritual awakening, of finding and reconnecting with a love I forgot existed, the story of an explosive, incomprehensible light that fills, awakens, heals, connects, animates, empowers, and spills out of every crevice of your being. This is part 10 of my story.
After living with Ryan’s parents for almost two-and-a-half years, we were finally financially stable enough to move out. Ryan was making good money and was set for a significant raise in a few months time. We were talking about trying for another baby and making plans to buy a house within a year.
Two short months into our new adventure, everything went wrong. Ryan lost his job unexpectedly, through no fault of his own. He then slipped on ice and fell, breaking his leg and putting himself on bedrest for six months, which made it impossible for him to look for work. I found out I was pregnant, and while that is wonderful news no matter the circumstances, we had been hoping for a stable life to bring our next little one into the world. I became very sick in my first trimester with constant nausea, vomiting, and exhaustion. I pushed myself every day caring for Ryan and the kids. I felt many days that I just did not have the strength, but I pushed harder because I had to.
I tried to sleep-train 2-year-old Wiliam (who was up every couple of hours during the night) so I could get some rest, but he screamed and disturbed our neighbors. We received a call from our landlord to inform us that if we got any more complaints we would be evicted. And so I stayed up, night after night with William to keep him quiet, terrified of losing our apartment while Ryan was unemployed.
There were days Ryan and I went hungry. Our kids lived on bananas and bread with peanut butter as we struggled to figure things out, unable to keep food on the table. Then family sent money for rent and utilities. We asked the church for help. We applied for and were approved for food stamps. We waited and waited for unemployment to kick in, thinking if we could just hang on until then we could keep our apartment.
Then, on the worst night of my life, we finally heard from unemployment and our landlord in the same evening. First, we found out our unemployment checks were going to be half of what Ryan had been making. There was no way we could afford our bills. With two kids and a pregnant wife to provide for, Ryan crumbled under the news.
Later that same evening, we received an eviction notice from our landlords. Our neighbors had complained again. All those sleepless nights to keep the baby quiet, all the money others had given us to pay our rent, all of it for nothing. I felt my entire world crash down around me as I realized we would have to move back in with family. Don’t get me wrong, I was incredibly thankful to have family who loved us enough to take us in so that our kids would not be just another hungry and homeless statistic. I had loved living with family before. But in the face of all our crushed hopes and dreams for our future, I was devastated.
Ryan and I felt like our lives were going nowhere. We felt like failures as parents, unable to provide the life we wanted to for our kids. Our marriage deteriorated under the pressure. The fighting was terrible and scary. My heart broke that the kids had to hear it but I felt powerless to stop it. We were both so lost and angry. I felt like I didn’t know my husband anymore and I’m sure he felt the same about me.
Sick and exhausted with pregnancy, and with Ryan on bedrest, I packed up the entire house by myself while caring for Ryan and managing the kids. I don’t think I have ever pushed myself as hard as I did during that time.
I held onto my faith in God like a lifeline. I went to church every Sunday, laid everything down in worship, cried, humbled myself, and came home to make the best of my life. I was determined to learn every lesson I could possibly learn so that I could grow. But I was so bound up in negative thought patterns, fears, and insecurities, that my good intentions were swallowed up in discouragement, impatience and emotional meltdowns.
About a month and a half after moving back in with family, we were approved for low-income housing. And while we were thankful to have a roof over our head and a place to call our own, our lives still felt very bleak. We really had no plan or hope for our future other than to make it through each weak with food on the table. I felt humiliated that we were living completely off of the government. I hid my food stamps card whenever I went to the store, all the while fervently thanking God inside my heart for the means to buy healthy food for my kids.
As Ryan’s leg healed, he began applying for jobs. For the next year he took any job he could find, and none of them were ideal or paid enough to support our family. The fighting between us continued, brought on by our personal issues that had never been fully worked through, compounded by the financial stress.
After moving into our own place, I became very lonely. I was exhausted from the stress and hardships of life, and in my weakness I began to struggle with all of my old issues. The desperation to feel loved, the guilt and shame and self-hatred attacked with a vengeance I had not experienced in years. The insecurities and fears of a lifetime of loneliness showed their colors in full force. Ghosts of my past took on flesh once again. Shortly after the birth of our second son, August, I was blindsided by depression for the first time since my miraculous healing.
I spiraled into negative thought patterns and became suicidal in a matter of months. Never in a million years would I have tried anything because of my kids, but I convinced myself that the world and all my loved ones would be better off without me.
I now know that all of this – the unemployment and hunger, despair and devastation, loneliness and depression, was allowed to happen to me for a perfect reason – to force me to finally find the answers I had been looking for since I was five years old. All of this happened to finally get me to rise up and say “enough,” and take authority over my mind, heart, and life.
Because there are two things that happened next, or sort of simultaneously, that finally set me free. I found the reason for my memories – an answer that satisfied me. And then I experienced a spiritual rebirth the like of which I had never imagined was possible.