1995 was a year of Spiritual searching I tried walking with a Guru for about 1 year and then began a brief walk with Buddha but my life had not improved to any degree. In fact, I had some Personal Conflicts and was fired from a $20,000 a year job and thought that somehow this was what was “supposed” to happen. I was unable to find work for about 3 years. I felt abandoned by those Spiritual Walks. However, I had been walking with a 12 Step Program for about 4 years or more and believed in a Higher Power which at that time I did not know that it was Jesus Christ, My Lord and Savior. I was living in Philadelphia, PA at this time.
I tried to commit suicide on February 28, 1995. I had 5 years of sobriety but inside I was dead. I knew only one thing at the time and that was that I had made a promise to God that no matter what I wouldn’t drink. I didn’t realize at that time I may have already committed my life to Jesus Christ, My Lord and Savior. I was living on Welfare and looking for work and had gone out on about 4 job interviews and one day I woke up and my mind was a complete blank. I forgot what skills I had for 13 years and not long after that I developed physical symptoms of shaking, dizziness, sweats, stiffness, and slept entire days away! Finally, I was diagnosed with Manic depression. For the first time in my life I was told that I couldn’t work! I was like this for about 3 months and was prescribed Lithium and Doxepin. I would spend hours in front of my computer either playing solitaire or when there was Work, I did some typing for a person in my apartment building to keep my skills up. I stayed sober during all of this and I kicked and screamed at God for giving me this disease but somehow; I eventually was able to see a positive aspect to even this Nervousness Breakdown and I know that once again, a Power greater than myself was giving me the courage and wisdom needed to get me on the other side of this mountain.
One evening when the symptoms were really strong through all of this “noise” I believe the Lord spoke to me. I had been sitting in front of my computer and everything in the apartment grew very still, there wasn’t much light in the apartment and I was feeling more frustrated and angrier than usual. I put my head down and I’m still unsure whether I was sleeping or whether God had stilled me but when I came to, I was given the word Phoenix that was somewhere in the week of August 6, 1995. I began to think about the definition of the word. I realized that I was already as low in the pit as I could possibly be.
I am not a person who cannot work and I am not a person who can take from the System even though I had put into it for 13 years. I believe the Lord gave me this word and now it was up to me to find out how to apply it. The only Phoenix I know of was in Arizona so I told my Landlady that I needed to try my fortune and journey to Arizona. She was skeptical but gave me 90 days to see if I could establish myself out here. I still was not quite aware of how much God was ordering my steps. I began to make several phone calls to the Chamber of Commerce and to an employment service who stated that with my skill I should have no trouble finding work. Based on that knowledge, on August 21, 1995 I was on a Greyhound bus to Phoenix, AZ. 2 ½ days on the bus and God put people in my path who assisted me with my luggage and provided conversation during the trip. The Lord has always provided for me and I turned the entire journey over to Him. I arrived in Phoenix and was holding on to the hope that there would be a room for me at the Downtown “Y” because I only had $1500 left to my name and this money had to stretch in incredible ways and this would only be through His Grace. As in the walk of Faith, I had gotten the last room at the “Y” and I rushed to the place by cab and was settled in with plenty of time to spare before my interview that was scheduled on August 28, 1995. Armed with my resume and a lot of faith the interview did not go very well but I didn’t give up! I went job hunting out of the Sunday Arizona Republic and even though I didn’t know anything about this State, I took the bus for a solid month sometimes 3 and 4 times per week looking for work. I was determined that God did not give me this word for me to fail. Money was running short and I met a man at the “Y” who talked about the Lord and he invited me to his church. The first couple of times I heard the Pastor and I liked what I heard and after two weeks of attending Valley Cathedral I went up to the Pastor and told him my situation and he prayed for me to find work and I did! (Right within walking distance from the “Y”) I thought I had looked over the Sunday Want Ads thoroughly when as if out of nowhere this tiny Ad appeared. Remember, when the Lord is on the move it is swift! The next day I walked in and interviewed and it all happened so fast that the only thing I could piece together was when they showed me the time clock and told me to report for work the next day.
The job was within walking distance from the “Y”! What a Miracle! No more Phoenix Transit! Two weeks on the job another miracle occurred, my employer showed me his apartment and within 2 more weeks I was out of the “Y” and into my own place. The reason I am telling my story is two-fold. First, because I want to tell people who suffer from depression that it can be turned around but only by God’s Grace have I been able to stop taking the medication that was prescribed to me and Second, that if you have the faith of only a mustard seed and everything must be proven to you that the Lord can and will do just that because I am a person who is very determined but also blocked God’s path more than I had let Him in. So, He has to give me large and dramatic moments in order for me to stand clear and allow Him to do His job.
If there are 3 words that sum up my walk with God they are: Surrender, Trust and Follow!!! I trust that the Holy Spirit whom I follow everyday will take care of all of my Needs. Fast forward to the Present and I am still doing these same 3 words in my daily walk. I had Breast cancer but did not need Radiation or Chemo-therapy and have continued to remain cancer free since May 27, 2016.
A Faithful Follower of Christ!