Road to recovery…and beyond   8 comments

“Lord, don’t let him die. Give him the will to live, for you.”

This was my prayer as I stood by my husband’s bedside in the hospital that night. I was in shock. Why, Lord? Why did he do this to himself? Why did he think he had no other way? Where was his faith that you would help him overcome the illness of deep depression and anxiety he suffered with? Didn’t he believe we would find answers, get some help? But, his condition only grew worse with little hope of ever getting the help needed.

There comes a time in our lives when a personal crisis hits us so hard that the sudden impact knocks us off our track, and a dark force comes against us rearing its ugly head and we feel backed into a corner.

My husband suffers with anxiety and depression that manifested itself this last summer. Whether or not there were clues we could have seen coming in time to ward off two suicide attempts on his life within two months it was not apparent until almost too late. There was little comfort that in both attempts he was unsuccessful, the first from an overdose of medications and the second one when he cut his wrists. He lived through each because of the power of prayer from our friends and family, and because God was not letting him go.  This kind of crisis was something new, foreign to us both. We sought the help from doctors and professionals, made appointments, ran tests and did everything to find the cause or answers to why he suffered from something he’d never experienced before. I watched him helplessly spiral down into despair and hopelessness as I cried out to God with desperation and help for him to have the will to live, and to overcome the horrible, inflicting disease of mental illness.

Throughout his time spent in three different hospitals he was on a 24 hour round the clock watch and care through August, and into Sept., 2017. When he was discharged from a second psychiatric facility we had numerous follow-up appointments and more tests to set up, and he was put on several medications to help ward off the anxiety and depression, improve his sleep deprivation problem, and stabilize his blood pressure.

As we have worked to get back to a ‘new normal’ we take one step at a time, one day at a time. What we are most thankful for is the grace and mercy of a forgiving, loving God who understands our hurts, our pain, cries with us, and watches over us 24/7 each day and night. We’ve been on a journey I never expected to take, but we are taking it together.

His father and grandparents also suffered with mental illness, which has made this harder to bear as studies have shown it to be an inherited disease. But, no matter what brought this all on God allowed it to use for His glory, that we would believe in the impossible as we sought a miracle. God gives us life. and every day is a gift, another opportunity to make it better than the day before. We choose to not waste them on worry or being anxious over things we have no control because we know who holds our tomorrows.

As God’s children, we hold that promise of hope, the power of Christ’s shed blood and redemption for our sins. And, by the virtue and power granted us through the Holy Spirit, we are a new creature in Him. Each day is a new day. And today belongs to us now.

In I Peter 5:7 & 10, it says, “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Vs. 10, “And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.”


Joyce E. Johnson (2017)

Posted October 4, 2017 by Joyce in Faith, My Writings

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8 responses to “Road to recovery…and beyond

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  1. God bless both of you

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Joyce, I weep for you and your family. Your faith inspires and strengthens me. There is so much evil all around us, but God is almighty and His people are here, too, with their strength, prayers, and helping hands. I have seen it with my own eyes throughout the disaster that hit Houston.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Dee for reading and commenting on my post. And for sharing this with me. I know you all down in Houston have so much yet to do to rebuild, restore, etc. as does Florida and P. R. So many people’s lives affected. But, God is faithful to us all, and never leaves us. Blessings.


  3. Dear Joyce,

    It seems that as Christians we shouldn’t suffer from anxiety and depression, doesn’t it? Many who do suffer from it wouldn’t admit it because of the stigma it causes. I went through this several years back, along with anorexia nervosa. My worst and harshest critics were ‘friends’ at church. “You just need to have more faith.” “Are you trying to get attention?” Or my all time favorite, “Just eat.” And the list of unthinking comments could go on and on. Not to mention the rattling off of scriptures in place of empathy and just being there. A person who’s sinking in the mire of depression needs the Bible wrapped in skin.
    I’ll admit to shock that Wayne is going through this. But no way will I judge. Know that I’m praying for both of you. I know it was tough for Jan…and being a man, it was frustrating because he couldn’t just fix me. There. I’ll stop blabbering now.



    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Rochelle for reading and commenting. And thanks for sharing your story, too. I can relate and understand your frustration with the ways people responded. It is hard for ones (Christian or not) to know what to say to one experiencing it. In all of our 51 married yrs. together we have never gone through such pain as this as Wayne has never shown such symptoms and issues till this last couple years. After all the tests and analyzing on his case it was just determined to be an inherited mental disease and more of a generational curse. The prayer and support we’ve received from our Christian friends, our church ‘family’ and our extended family have helped Wayne, I and the family through the experience. I knew about your story as it was shared with me once through the Lindstroms, and am so happy you got through yours as well. God is so faithful.


  4. Joyce, I had no idea you and your family were going through these trying times. I have just recently experienced similar events with my mother-in-law and am learning more about mental health. I also have a cousin and goid friend whom took their life in May. I’ll keep you guys in my prayers. God has a plan and you trust and fairh in Him is beyond amazing. God is so good. Hugs.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you so much Tonya for reading and commenting on this post. My prayers, thoughts and love go out to you and your loved ones as you and they try to cope with theirs also. Your mother would be so very proud of you, Tonya of the woman and mother you have become. God bless you. Love and hugs to you too.


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