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New Blog Post By Emily Braun – April 3, 2018

Be Patient and Have Faith

Be patient and have faith. It’s hard, I know, but change will come. The battle has already been won and knowing that was my ultimate ticket to recovery. My conqueror, my savior in the moments I felt the darkness close in on my body and agonizing mental and physical pain shut off my grasp of reality was the Lord and will continue to be. This is not me forcing religion on you, but a testimony to have faith in something because if you don’t, no wonder you don’t feel like moving on. I do encourage you readers, however, to meet Jesus Christ and find your faith in Him. This is the depth of my story and what ultimately saved my life. Luckily, I never had a note or a plan, but the voice in my head saying, “it’s not worth it,” “what’s the point,” “I don’t want this life anymore,” was enough to send my mind to hell before my body was in the grave. In the summer of 2017, I felt like I had already died because I had given up on the one that will always be ALIVE, Jesus. When destruction of the mind consumes your life it’s so easy to give up on all things. I grew up in a church, knowing to pray when things got tough and trusting God as my creator and guide for life. “God, where are you,” I asked. “God, save me,” I begged. “Are you even real,” I yelled. I came to realize that God never lost me, but during my downward spiral, my faith got blown away. I wasn’t myself and that became clear to me when I was taken to the Western Psychiatric Unit of Pittsburgh to possibly be admitted. Walking through metal detectors and being starred at like I was dangerous or crazy made me feel nauseous. I knew I didn’t belong there; I knew I could try harder. I was embarrassed to feel and seem so low and was determined not to stay. My last ounces of power and courage spilled in my tears as I became angry at myself for giving up in the weeks leading up to this. I believe that a drastic change in antidepressants set me over the edge and into a chemical imbalance triggering some over my worst emotional episodes, but I was also at fault for losing hope. It’s so easy to do when all you come to know is darkness. That day, I got to leave the hospital with my family, and the upcoming Sunday I made plans to attend The Experience Church in Bridgeport, Ohio with a friend. The church was in their first week of the series “Jesus is…” I’ll be honest my heart wasn’t super touched at the time because I guess I was craving and feeling a need for a deeper message. The series started with “Jesus is a Servant.” Now, I look back to see that I was meant to be there that day because my reconnection to The Lord was to serve him and to trust that he was there, to start being a better Christian, and believe that He will save me. The next week I went back to church, learning that “Jesus is a Leader.” I was hooked on the track that he was going to guide me back to the light. When people say, “there’s a light at the end of the tunnel,” it’s His light! The next week “Jesus is a Friend.” I learned how to talk to him, how to praise and pray. And week four showed me that “Jesus is a Second Chance.” On August 26, my life changed forever. Everything I had been experiencing over the past year and a half—from an eating disorder, to four concussions, to chronic pain, depression, and PTSD poured out of me and into my act of worship as we sang our battle cries to our Lord and Savior. During that service, I cried and cried, pouring my heart and sin into his glory as he picked up my sorrows and renewed my life. It was the first time I felt the presence of the Holy Spirit. Pastor Tim asked us to bow our heads and in a very personal moment between us and God to raise our hand and give ourselves to Him if we felt ready. I was more willing than ever to throw the devil of my life’s turmoil off my back. It was a promise that I’ve kept, showing up at church weekly and experiencing new beginnings and connections with the Lord to fuel my recovery further. I’m not going to say I’m perfect. I’ll always be a sinner and experience trial; however, if I didn’t, I wouldn’t need my Savior. My faith has only grown as I study the bible, talk, and write about it enthusiastically, encouraging others to look to Him in everything they do. He gave me a true purpose and showed me the goodness of life because His Word is so good and righteous. I’m excited to keep going since I was blessed with a second chance at life. My favorite Christian song verse is “but if it’s true, you use broken things then here I am lord I’m all yours.” I aspire to use the broken chapters of my life story to help others in their times of struggle, especially mental illness struggles in adolescents. Don’t let your brokenness consume who you are. Find hope. You can feel whole again. It’s hard to believe when you can’t see, but if you look close enough, God will always be there. He saves people. I am proof. Enter his realm, be patient, and have faith. The best is yet to come!

Again, this is not to force religion on anyone, but an encouragement to open your heart and find something to believe in when you feel lost. I found Him, will you?

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