“’But I will restore you to health and heal your wounds,’ declares the Lord,”
Jeremiah 30:17a (NIV)
Last time we were together I shared about how God healed me from the fear of winter driving and how it wasn’t even on my radar to specifically ask for healing.
However, there was another area in my life that I prayed earnestly for healing from for over four years … and that was healing from depression. Approximately five years ago, God called us out of our former church and into the church we now call home. Within the first month of sermons we heard, our pastor gave a testimony about how God healed him supernaturally from depression which had plagued him his entire life. He spoke about the warmth he felt travel throughout his body as the depression left and how he felt God’s healing power. I left that day knowing I wanted what he had.
And I began praying for God to release me from the depression that had a grip on my spirit as well. I never knew when it was going to show up but always knew when it arrived because it felt like a big, heavy blanket had settled over my shoulders. One I couldn’t shake off. For many years I attributed it to a reaction from the circumstances our family was dealing with but that didn’t account for it settling during what should have been my happiest moments – on the weekends when I was surrounded by family, while on vacation, etc. And, the longer I prayed for God to heal me, the more it seemed to intensify.
However, that didn’t stop me from praying and believing in a miracle. If my pastor could be set free from depression, I believed God could heal me too. It was in February of 2016 when God chose to heal me from my fear of winter driving. Then, beginning in January 2017, God invited me into an even closer relationship with Him. My prayer time grew deeper, my worship time was stronger and I overall started hearing God speak in more ways that I had previously. It was also at that time I started praying with a prayer partner on a regular basis.
In May 2017, I felt God nudge me to begin praying every day for a month for complete healing from depression. I told my prayer partner what God had said and asked her if she would be willing to pray with me. She readily agreed and so during our prayer time, I asked God for complete healing amid the other conversation we had with Him. The second day of praying that way … God healed me. I was expecting a warmth to spread over my body, tingling, some sort of supernatural “feeling” to let me know that it had occurred, but instead all I got was … peace. Sweet, gentle peace. I knew that I knew that I knew the depression was gone, the heavy blanket was gone… and God had replaced it with His peace.
It stayed gone throughout the summer. However, after Thanksgiving I wondered if it was coming back. I started to feel as though I was sinking down again under a heavy blanket. However, God showed me that the depression itself was gone, but I needed to fight and reclaim my joy for the holidays – a gift the enemy had stolen 11 years prior when our miscarriage occurred two weeks before Christmas.
This time, instead of praying for healing from depression, I got quiet before God and reminded myself of His attributes – His faithfulness, His love, His provision, His promises, and the heavy feeling left. It was then I knew His joy for Christmas was back for good.
2017 was the first Christmas I’ve completely enjoyed the embrace of God’s joy and peace since 2005, the year before the enemy chose to snatch our baby early from our family. I have the hope of meeting our child in Heaven and now can say as well that God has restored my peace and joy, completely burning the blanket of depression that held on for far too long.
While my healing looked far different from my pastor’s healing, both are permanent, both are gifts from God because He loves His children and doesn’t want us to live in bondage.
Come back next time as I share about one more layer, one more modern day miracle God chose to give me, not because I deserve it but because of His great love.
© Cheri Swalwell 2018