I Hated God, But God Loved Me...
I was about 6 or 7 years old when most of my depression and hate toward God started.
I remember feeling bullied by some of my classmates and some of my teachers, and I felt out of place.
One day in my elementary school classroom I thought in my mind, “You know what? God only likes popular kids and people who have their life together. He probably just felt bad for me and wanted me to suffer by letting me continue to live in this world.”
I felt alone growing up. I lived with a hard working single-mother who would work constantly, a hard-working aunt, and I sometimes stayed alone with my bed bound grandmother who would constantly scream in pain due to her illness, day and night.
One day I was bored and got hold of an asthma inhaler. My mom would hide them, but I knew where she hid them. So, instead of taking 2 puffs I would take about 20 puffs, I don’t remember if more. I got sick, I wanted to throw up, I was shaking. Luckily, on that day one of my other aunties came to look after me and one of my uncles came to visit. I didn’t tell them that I was playing with my asthma inhaler. But what shocked me most was when my uncle came to my room and asked if He could pray for me.
I kept my feelings behind closed doors.
My mother and aunt would talk about God and His greatness, but the world seemed to tell me something different. I couldn’t understand why hearing about God made me feel so cold, so betrayed. As I fell deeper into my depression I became lost in humanly things like virtual games that took over most of my days, music that I didn’t even understand and had evil meanings behind them. I was building hate, anger, resentment. I would sometimes even lash out on people and hurt people’s feelings. I was mad at God; why is He allowing all this to happen to me?
One day when I was eleven years old I laid on my mother’s lap on the sofa and watched the daily news. They spoke about murder and crimes and that’s when I got my first intrusive thought. I had thoughts about how I hated God and that God didn’t love me, meanwhile I was trying to convince myself not to think that way. The intrusive thoughts and arguments in my head were non-stop and I was being attacked constantly. My mind repeated the simplest things and attacked me with negative thoughts about heavenly things.
I felt as if I was going crazy. I couldn’t concentrate at school and I had severe anxiety and fear. I had constant nightmares of demons and evil things trying to attack me and take me. I was so scared and my surroundings seemed so dark and demonic.
Through the eyes of many, it looked like I had it all together, but inside I was screaming.
I had thoughts like, “I’m so nice, because I want you to be my friend and I need someone to talk to about this!” and “I don’t have this under control!” That’s when I started creating what I call “safety words.” I had this belief that if I were to repeat the word, “Chicken” three times the thoughts would go away temporarily. This only lasted temporarily until I realized that I was giving in to my illness.
I went to doctors and counselors who said that what I was going through was normal, that the picking at my skin so I don’t feel pain and the voices I was combatting were not out of the ordinary. I knew then that doctors and counselors were not going to save me. So, I went to the person who everyone said is the Great I AM.
When I prayed, the thoughts didn’t go away but there was a new motivation in me to continue to pray and read my Bible even though I didn’t even understand what the Bible was telling me. I would write a letter to God EVERY DAY and put them in a box where my Bible was. The letters filled my box because I read and prayed and wrote to God EVERY DAY, year by year, but the battle kept continuing.
The devil had made himself a home in my mind and my battle against him left me tired and weary everyday. But I knew inside of me that God was giving me energy and strength every day to fight this. My depression got worse and I felt like dying when I was 19. At age 19, I had taken a few antidepressants. One night, I was left paralyzed in my bed. I was sweating. I was awake but asleep also, but my body was frozen. Then I felt something under my blankets move, something tried to grab me and said, “Keila, lets make a deal.” That’s when I said, “I rebuke you satan in the mighty name of Jesus Christ, I am the daughter of God. You have no control over me.”
That’s when I woke up.
The next morning, I went to church and went to the altar. Someone bent down and prayed. When I left church, I left in shock. For the first time in about 8 or 9 years, I heard silence in my mind. I was so uncomfortable, what was this peace? I could think about something and the thought wouldn’t repeat! I would touch a wall and the urge to touch it again was not there. I could think more positively! When I went to a doctors appointment it didn’t take them long to figure out that what I had been dealing with was OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder).
When I realized that God saved me, I fell to my knees and actually thanked God for allowing me to suffer. Without this suffering I would have never learned how to listen or lend a shoulder to people who are in difficult situations. My empathy had grown. I was more attentive to small details and learned not to judge people by their appearance or actions. I learned more about love and about patience and perseverance. I learned about forgiveness and hope. But most importantly, I grew to love God and I learned that He actually loved me.
“But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” - Romans 5:8
Jesus stood next to me even in the moments that were painful and confusing and walked me to His arms, towards peace, and towards joy. On the days where I still struggle with self-doubt and anxiety, I remember that God has something in store for me once again. He is a good Father.
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