A year ago Mary was in the depths of despair, with no hope and seemingly no one to turn to for help. She was struggling with severe depression, overwhelmed by spiritual attacks and consumed by deeply rooted lies.
Yet the Father knew her struggles and led her to my doorstep. So I shared the love of Jesus with her and took her to the hospital to get the medication she needed.
Since then, Mary has continued to learn about herself and how to trust our heavenly Father in every part of her life. Together with another sister, we meet every week to share about how we are doing, to read the Word and to see what the Father has to teach us.
A couple of months ago, another sister struggling in her marriage started joining us after hearing about our little group. It really is precious and humbling to hear these women’s stories, to pray with them and to encourage them to hold onto our Father’s promises. He truly enables us to persevere and overcome our daily battles.
Today, Mary is like a completely different person; the transformation in her really is 180 degrees! She has been working as a cashier in a local supermarket and has a sense of humour I never could have imagined.
She continues to face a lot of the same difficult circumstances. But she is able to embrace and fight them with the confidence and assurance that she is deeply loved and accepted by God.
Another friend, also struggling with depression, has witnessed Mary’s transformation this past year. So she asked her, “What medicine are you taking? I need some too.”
Mary tells her how it really is Jesus who lifted her out of the depths and changed her into a new person.
The last time Mary went to the hospital to get her medicine, the doctor on duty was truly impressed by her improvement. So she began to tell him what – and who – has helped her.
Another doctor said to me, “I need to know what you’re doing with Mary. The medicine only helps her about 20%. The other 80% of her recovery is altogether something else.”
I simply but passionately told her how our powerful God truly heals and saves and transforms. Just look at Mary: no one can miss or deny the power at work in her.
Mary’s son had his sixth birthday last weekend. This time last year, she was so sick she had to leave her son with her parents to look after. This year she (with a bit of help) organised a whole party for a bunch of highly energetic six-year-old boys.
She talks to her son about Jesus when possible. But one of the challenges is that her husband has been strongly against her faith and blamed it for her illness. Please pray for wisdom for Mary to witness to her family, and that they too would come to know Jesus.
Mary knows who to run to in her struggles. She knows that her heavenly Father will give her strength to face each day and walk her through every trial.
And because she is a forgiven sinner, a daughter of God redeemed by his grace, she has a new identity that helps her overcome the fears and lies that used to bind her.
The Lord has truly become her Rock and Refuge.
Cheryl is a Partner in Asia.