Tag Archives: Depression Quotes

“I’ve never seen so clearly since going blind” 20 Years Of Sight-loss!

Me playing my Taylor K22ce at church and in front of a cross on the wall

Hi friends. As it is 20 years to the day since i went blind…I thought i’d share one of my older posts(yet updated) from 4 years ago when i was asked to share a little of what i went through when i lost my sight at 24.

I really hope that you’ll have the time to read it, and that it blesses you in some small way?! 

Here Goes…

I was asked by our Minister Nik if i would share my Testimony in the parade service. The theme was ‘Faith through Adversity’, Nik said “i can ask you some straight forward questions, it will only take about 5 minutes(or so we thought)” “Yeah, ok, if you think it will help?”.

Sunday 8th May 2016…

Walking into the church building Sunday morning, it was quite full, as it was parade service, the scouts and other uniformed groups were there, but Nik found us seats at the front, then showed me up the steps and where i’d stand to speak, after testing the microphone i remembered the steps and sat back down. 

As i’m blind, i can’t use any notes, so i spent a little time trying to etch some answer headings into my mind, hoping i’d not veer too far off track. I then prayed that i’d use this time to Glorify Him, as i talked about the Truth that sets us free, and how i’m not ashamed of the Gospel, it’s the power of God unto Salvation to all who believe…please make it real(be careful praying this, lol).

It;s time…

Steve, we are looking at people who have showed faith in difficult circumstances and I have asked you to share some of your story with us.

Many people here, even those who have seen you around at various church events may not know that you are blind.

My Testimony…

Nik stood next to me at the microphone and started with the first 2 questions:

Have you always been blind? How and when did you loose your sight?

I explained i’d been fully sighted until i was 24, and after 2 brain haemorrhages(March – July 2000) that burst my optic nerve, i’m now registered blind and have Severe Hypertensive Retinopathy.

“How did that change your life?”

I said “I can only scratch the surface this morning, but if ever you see me walking around here or in town, please ask me anything. But now i’ll try and sketch you a quick picture and give you a flavour of what happened…”

“I went to the gym 6-7 days a week, played football most evenings and was quite violent, acting the tough guy.  I wasn’t a Christian, i hadn’t been born again, or even been inside a church building…so…As i stepped out of the eye consultants office after being told i’d be blind for the rest of my life, it was out of character but i collapsed on the floor sobbingg my eyes out. And as my crying out got a little too loud they pulled me into a small empty room….And this was the easy bit”.

“Following this was pure isolation… all my football mates left me, i lost my job, my car and ability to do anything…i lost everything, i was completely broken, and on top of that i was left to my acusing thoughts “Nobody wants you, you’re useless now, unwanted, rejected, unloved and unlovable!!”

Suddenly, as i was telling my story…

My mouth was silenced, an image of Jesus in Glory(Revelation 1) filled my mind, it was so clear(not blurred by my blindness) I could see His flaming eyes of judgment…then…the image changed, it was Jesus on the cross, now His eyes were filled with Mercy, Compassion & Grace, and while looking down straight at me he said “I did this for you, so that you can live. I…LOVE…YOU!!!

I started sobbing uncontrollably, and it took a couple of minutes for me to try and start talking again….but more sobbing…i was completely undone. But these tears were different!

I already knew He’d given His life so i could live. He’d come down so far to save me it is immeasurable. His blood washed me clean, white as snow. He’s forgiven me all my sins, past, present and future, and there is no more condemnation for me, it is finished!

I’d been  praying for so long for God to “Break my heart for what broke His” and sang the songs many times, but rarely had i caught a glimpse of the true cost of His Love, and His free gift of Grace to those who Repent and Believe in Him. I knew He wanted me to share the True Gospel to people listening(and now reading), as it alone is the only Hope. It is the Power of God unto Salvation for anyone that believes.

Still sobbing, i continued…

My every word was a different pitch but i said “My pit was so dark, my accusing thoughts were too heavy, and this led to a daily cycle of waking up and trying to kill myself…failing, which made me feel worse…then drinking so much i could drown them out for the rest of the day, until i woke the next day, then it started again. 

I didn’t have the strength to kill myself, and i didn’t have the strength to live…i was without God, and without Hope!

Nik, who’s hand was rested on my shoulder asked question 4 “I know you were deeply unhappy at the time, what changed that?”

The world followed it’s pattern and sent me to Counselling, then Psychotherapy & finally Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, they didn’t work, they all had no answer for me, they couldn’t reach far enough down to pull me out. I needed a Saviour, I needed the light of the Gospel! 

The Good News & Lovely Sarah

Meeting Sarah changed my life! I have no idea how she’s put up with me. She’s  been so patient and long suffering as i tried attacking her Faith and this Jesus! But she kept on loving me. Sarah always seemed to have a rock to stand on no matter how bad things got for her, and i was being dragged deeper into the sinking sand. She always had this Blessed Hope that i didn’t,

Jesus worked through Sarah to shine the light of the Gospel, the Good News i was dying for. 

Words failed me as i was trying to describe how much i love Sarah, so when my mind filled with thoughts of how far we’ve grown together in love…i broke down again. 

The sobbing was still making me pause every few words, but mentioned Jesus doesn’t want to see anyone perish, but he pursues you, He has come to seek and save that which is lost. He loves you and no matter how bad or hopeless you think you are, He’ll keep coming with His free gift of Salvation!

Nik asked Question 5 “some people would say that your life must be worse now, would you agree with them?”

I’d gone way over my time slot, and i was almost pulled away from the mic as i was so overwhelmed…BUT i knew these tears were not about me, or my losses. I had 1 focus and that was to share the Truth that sets us free. I had no feeling of sorrow or pain. I knew it must have seemed like this to the congregation, and i thought they’d stick me in a counselling room when i’d finished!

The Holy Spirit was filling me like never before, and made the Power of the Gospel so real to me i almost exploded.

I continued “I wouldn’t agree with anyone who thinks(or measures) life by how good our circumstances are. I’d lead them to 2 Corinthians 4 & 5 where it talks about living by Faith, not by Sight, and now that we are born again in the Spirit, we should walk by the Spirit. Not living for things that are seen which are temporary(like my sight loss), but living for the unseen which is Eternal”

“I used to hate this song, but now i’d play it every service if i could…have you heard Amazing Grace, the Chris Tomlin version? If you pass me in the street you’ll normally hear me singing or humming these words:”

“Amazing grace how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now I’m found, was blind, but now I see. My chains are gone I’ve been set free. My God, my Saviour has ransomed me. And like a flood His mercy reigns. Unending love, amazing grace”.

“I’ve never seen so clearly since going blind” This is one of my fave sayings. 😀 

Nik then walked me back to my seat next to Sarah. The church was completely silent, it had been silent since i first started sobbing. I could feel Sarah was upset as she didn’t react for a while, then she said “People kept on running up and passing me tissues”. Nik sat down next to Sarah, and Sarah said “You’re not borrowing him again to speak”. 

After the service people came over and said they really connected with the things i said, although i think everyone thinks i’m back in dark depression again, lol.

He showed me the reality and Power of transformation in His Gospel, and how vital it is to share it, as Jesus is the  Way, the Truth and the Life and no-one gets to  the Father but by Him. He’s the forgiver of Sins, breaker of chains, and the only Salvation for Eternal Life in Heaven.

John 3:14-21 New King James Version (NKJV)

14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in Him should not perish but[a] have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. 21 But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.”

I felt i needed to share this post to try and explain a little more of what was happening to me, and maybe reach out to someone who is struggling with the creeping death called Depression,or who is just simply lost and without God, and without Hope.

Related Post: My Full Testimony 

You Guide Me

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Psalm 73:23-26 (ESV)

23 Nevertheless, I am continually with you;
you hold my right hand.

24 You guide me with your counsel,
and afterward you will receive me to glory.

25 Whom have I in heaven but you?
And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.

26 My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength[a] of my heart and my portion forever.

🙏🏻 We Come Together!

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We come on our own, we come together. We come with our excitement and with our lack of expectation. 
We come with our lamps burning brightly and with our lamps hidden. 
We come with our longing and with our pride. 
We come with our words and with our silence. 
We come with our music and with our resentments.
We come to you, God of truth, with our hands open 
and ask that you reach out to us afresh.

Lord forgive our hardness of heart

Forgive us for those times when we think we can do it without you

Forgive us for our coldness towards you and others

Melt the ice of our coldness and breathe your new life into us

Generous God,
we thank you that a small amount of salt 
can season a whole meal;
a small candle can light a whole room,
a small act of kindness inspire a whole life,
a small community transform a whole city,
a small prayer bring near a whole kingdom.
We thank you, Lord, we thank you.

Please show me the areas of my life which have become flavourless?!

Show me in what ways can I be salt in my world?

We pray, gracious God, for your Church throughout the world, for your Church in this nation, in this place, that we would be light bearers and truth bearers. May we shed the light of encouragement where there is disappointment; the light of integrity where there is corruption; the light of clarity where there is uncertainty; the light of challenge where there is complacency; the light of acceptance where there is rejection. And may we always walk and pray and serve in the light of humility and in the strength of your name, that others may see you in us and give you the glory.

We pray in Jesus’ name.
Amen.

May you be as salt where there is staleness;
light where there is darkness; 
truth where there is unbelief 
and love where there is great need. 
And may you know the blessing of God the Father,
Son and Holy Spirit, 
close to you each moment and each day.

The one indispensable book!

Grace logo

The one indispensable book!

(Daniel March, 1870)

The Bible is the oldest–and the newest of books.

The Bible surveys the whole field of time–and it looks farthest into the infinite depths of eternity

The Bible lends the most vivid and absorbing interest to the scenes and events of the past–and it keeps us in the most active sympathy with the time in which we live. 

The Bible gives us the most reliable record of what has been–and it affords us our only means of knowing what is yet to be. 

The Bible is holy enough to denounce the very shadow and semblance of sin–and it is merciful enough to save the chief of sinners. 

The Bible is full of God–and must therefore be read with a pure heart, or its true glory will not be seen. 
The Bible is full of man–and must therefore always be interesting and instructive to all who would know themselves.

The Bible is the plainest of books–and yet it has depths of wisdom which no created mind can fathom. 

The Bible is set up as a beacon to show all wanderers the safe way–and yet its light shines forth from thick clouds of mystery, and from abysses of infinite darkness. 

The Bible describes all conditions of life–and it gives utterance to all desires and emotions of the soul. 

The Bible has a song of triumph for the overcomer–and a wail of defeat for the overcome

The Bible . . .
  sparkles with the fervor and gladness of youth,
  celebrates the strength and glory of manhood,
  bewails the sorrows and infirmities of old age

The Bible . . .
  exults in the mighty deeds of kings and conquerors, 
  sympathizes with the poor and lowly, 
  lifts up the fallen, 
  delivers the oppressed, and 
  breathes the blessing of peace upon the quiet homes of domestic life. 

The Bible describes with startling clearness . . .
  the seductions of temptation,
  the conflicts of doubt and
  the miseries of skepticism

The Bible . . .
  searches the secret chambers of the heart
  brings to light its purest love and its darkest hate, 
  reveals its highest joy and its deepest grief. 

The Bible compasses the utmost range of thought and feeling and desire–and it sounds the utmost depth of motive and characterand passion.

Thus in the Bible, 
  God and man,
  earth and heaven,
  time and eternity–
speak with one voice and teach the same truth. 

The Bible sets forth the most spiritual and heavenly truths–in the lights and shadows of earthly scenes and human characters. 

Thus the Bible is the one indispensable book . . .
  for all ages–and all nations,
  for all classes of men–and all states of society,
  for all capacities of intellect–and all necessities of the soul!

Get Calm In A Psalm!

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Psalm 46: 1-7 (ESV)

God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah
4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy habitation of the Most High.
5 God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved;
God will help her when morning dawns.
6 The nations rage, the kingdoms totter;
he utters his voice, the earth melts.
7 The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah

Friends…Stay safe and well, and please keep commenting anything that will inspire, edify and encourage us all in this fantastic community! 😀🎶♥️🎤🙏🏻

The Complaint!

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The Complaint!

(James Smith, 1864)

“O my God, my soul is cast down within me!” Psalm 42:6 

And why are you cast down? 

“My heart is burdened with a sense of my short-comings. 
 Every holy duty I perform is so imperfect. 
 Every good purpose I form is so soon frustrated. 
 Every hope of seeing better days is so soon beclouded.
 My heart is so fearfully depraved.
 My life is so unlike the life of Jesus.
 My affections are so unholy.
 My prayers are so brief and heartless.
 My praises are so feeble and fitful.
 I do so little good.
 I live to so little purpose.
 My evidences are so dim. 
 My prospects are so overcast. 
 I am harassed sometimes with the fear of death
 I cannot grasp the glories of Heaven
 I am dissatisfied with the world–and yet glued to it! 
 I hate sin–and yet fall into it! 
 I am a riddle, a mystery, a mass of inconsistency! 
 Is it, then, any wonder that I am cast down?” 

No, if you look at yourself, and pore over the things you have named–then it is no wonder that you are cast down! They are enough to cast anyone down! But if you carry them to the throne of grace, if you there confess them before God, if you look to the mercy of Jesus–then, in spite of them, you will not long be cast down. 

I know it is difficult to do this. There is a natural proneness to pore over such things. One feels at times a secret liking to indulge in self-pity. 

But we must look away from self–for if we do not, we shall become anxious, doubting and downcast! We must run the race–not looking at our imperfections, short-comings, and failures–but looking unto Jesus. He knows what we are. He knew what we wouldbe–before He called us by His grace; yes, before He shed His sin-atoning blood for us! 
He loved us, as sinners. 
He died for us, as sinners. 
He called us, as sinners. 
He saves us, as sinners. 
He will have great glory by saving such great sinners. We cannot do anything to repay Him for His wondrous love. Salvation is by free grace–from first to last! Believe this, and it will raise up your drooping mind!

The life-boat of free grace has put you on board the vessel of salvation, and that will convey you safely to the port of glory! Do not look at your spiritual destitution, or feebleness, or incapacity, or imperfections–but trust in your Pilot, rely on your Captain, and expect His mercy and merit to land you safely in Heaven at last! 

Regardless of any amount of spiritual progress, your dying prayer will still be, “God be merciful unto me–a sinner!”

Hope in God!
His mercy is great unto the Heavens, 
His grace is as free as the air, 
His love is as changeless as His nature,
His promise is as immutable as His love. 

He will save you for His own sake, and present you before assembled worlds as a monument of His mercy, and a trophy of His grace!

“Why are you cast down, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me?
 
Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and  my God!” Psalm 42:5


Spurgeon’s Morning & Evening

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Take care of your HEART for ALL our issues flow from it

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Faith

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The Dynamic Force

Moving through the darkness into the Light

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