My name is Marcey Stevens and I feel called to love ministry for my Lord. I was born in 1974 in Ohio. Both my parents believed in God and did their best to instill that belief in me. My mother especially took the time and invested her energy in teaching me what she knew about God.
My Struggles with Severe Clinical Depression and PTSD
Growing up, I did not fit in anywhere. I had low self-esteem and began abusing alcohol and experimenting with drugs at a young age. Alcohol gave me a false sense of courage and made me feel good. I experienced some things in childhood that I was told caused the PTSD. I found out that I had developed anxiety and clinical depression at twelve. Because of all this, I was miserable and lonely until I finally surrendered all to God.
I made my first real attempt to give my life to the Lord and was baptized in 1996. But I held some stuff back. I did not understand the concept of surrender or having a real relationship with Jesus Christ. I had a total misunderstanding of God’s grace and what it means to be a true Christian at that time. I did, however, have God’s grace which is the only thing that saved my life from the fate and consequences of my decision to marry someone I barely knew instead of waiting on God to send the right person to me. My ex-husband seemed very kind and sweet and we appeared to be a cute little family. Underneath the surface and behind the pretty picture, our home was a war zone. Or, rather, a one-sided kick-boxing ring. I put up with the regular weekly beatings for about three months and then I had a dream which I believe to be from God. The dreams warned me to leave if I wanted to live, and so I carefully planned an escape for my child and me.
Embracing God as My Savior
God performed many miracles for my child and me. When I left my ex, I had no money or job. We stayed at a shelter while we waited on a list for an apartment to be available. We were placed so fast that the people at the agency said it must be a miracle from God! God was clearly looking out for us.
It did not take me long after we were settled to become restless and turn away from God again. I began to do things my own way driven by selfishness and pride. I was having a difficult time managing the bills and expenses so I started working a lot more hours. I worked so many hours that I lost custody of my daughter to her father. I was full of self-pity and excuses. I blamed everyone else in my life for my poor choices that led to me losing custody of my child. I went back to drinking a lot which only escalated the depression and desire to end my life.
When I was in my thirties, I finally hit bottom with my drinking. That too was a total “God thing” and even though my deliverance from alcoholism was not an instant thing, it was definitely God’s power that set me free. I became honest and accountable for my choices. I was set free from the addiction and obsession with alcohol and He taught me how to deal with my thoughts and feelings in a healthier way. It was only God’s amazing grace that saved me and taught me to love ministry!
God My Father
He did not completely deliver me from the depression or anxiety. I am learning through a deep study of God’s Word how to break strongholds by renewing my mind. He is revealing to me the beauty and perfection of all that He is and the passionate love for me He has. Perfection… I believe no other word is able to better describe Almighty God. I fall deeper and deeper in love with my God every day and I love ministry and serving Him. So many times at the beginning of the process of healing, Jesus would comfort me by saying how much He loves me. And it was as if I climbed up into my heavenly Father God’s lap and He held me close to His bosom while I wept.
I could probably write a novel just on how God has helped me with the depression itself. Depression is so much more than sadness. It makes you feel like you are somehow disconnected from life and those around you. When it gets high, it zaps you of all that assures you that you are in fact, alive. And at its peak, you find yourself face to face with the demon of suicide.
Joy and Peace
Galatians 5:22-23 “But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace…(NIV) God showed me that I have these already. I need to believe it by “renewing my mind” ( Romans 12:2 ) and holding on to many other such scriptures that have given me joy and peace.
God, My Master
I now believe that my past and this depression as the” thorn in my flesh” keep me grounded in faith. The experience has enabled me to have true empathy for the people God sends to me to minister to and to love ministry. Thanks to Christian Leaders Institute, the staff, and the supporters, that I am now able to receive the much needed educational training I need to help prepare me for God’s call on my life. I cannot pay for this education now, but I have prayed and stand in faith that one day I will be blessed to give back to CLI. I will be praying for this organization to be all God wants it to be.
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