“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” John 10:10

There are some dark and painful places in my life that I have walked that hurt to revisit, but even in the midst of those difficult times, God has a way of challenging me with that. He has given me the courage to open up and share some of the struggles that I have faced in my life in order to give hope to those going through the very same thing. Satan wants to make us feel as if we are the only ones going through our tough seasons. That is a lie! Someone else has experienced the same pain that you have walked through. It’s just that most people feel ashamed or embarrassed to talk openly about it. I have decided I don’t want to be that person. There is hope because I have personally experienced it, and I want to share it with you.

One of my dark seasons that I experienced was the demon of depression. Why do I call it a demon, you ask? Well, if you’ve ever experienced it, then you will understand. It’s a place of hopelessness and despair. You can’t ever see your life getting better. You feel so alone, worthless, and beyond help. It’s a pit that you don’t ever feel like you will be able to climb out of. You think that your life is over.

Depression can be experienced for all different reasons. Mine was circumstantial. As my marriage began to fall apart and unravel before my eyes, it pushed me into this awful place. My marriage was on life support and eventually the plug was pulled, thus the death of something that I had invested everything into for over 21 years. That hurt! All that I had ever known was no more. I was at the lowest place I had ever been in my whole life!

I am ever so thankful that God led me to something to help me during this painful season, and that is Christian counseling. I actually started in counseling several months before my world fell apart. I don’t even want to think about what would have happened to me if I hadn’t been open to letting people walk with me through this difficult time. I had to let people into my pain. That was tough for me to do because I thought me and God could fix it all. I had to learn to be vulnerable and let people into my broken world. He showed me that I needed some outside help and that there was nothing wrong with this.

Week after week (and sometimes several times a week), I continued on with my counseling. I worked diligently on myself during this time. I stayed plugged into The Word and let others speak truth into my life. Sometimes the truth was hard for me to hear, but I listened. I realized that they spoke truth to me because they truly loved me and wanted the very best for me. It was an intense season, but one that forced me to deal with myself and overcome many issues that I never knew existed or didn’t want to deal with.

Now I give all praise to God that He has set me free and delivered me from this ugly demon of depression! I am a different person today. I am not the same Natalie that people have known before. I know who I am in Christ, and nothing is going to ever change that. I know that I can be myself and who God created me to be and flourish in that. God has given me beauty from the ashes of a being a broken and beat-down person. Yes, marriage problems, separation, and divorce have a way of doing that to you! Now I am a woman who knows that she is loved, honored, cherished, and adored by The Man that gave His all for me. I am of worth, value, and priceless. I am His beloved!

So here I am launching forward into my future. I don’t have a clue what that looks like, but God does. One thing I do know: I am Natalie, and I am ready for my comeback – and it’s going to be better than ever!

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