How does someone live 27 years without ever knowing how to give or receive love? How do you live as a "good" Christian for 20+ years, working to try to please God and failing because you never really knew how to tap into the power that would make that work possible? How does one go from being a satisfied Christian to being sure they are bound for hell, hopeless of any rescue & with nothing they can do about it? Then... how do you get out of that? This is the story.
In 2009, I was 20 weeks pregnant with a child I thought would never come. We were so excited. 24-7 nausea & hot flashes were nothing compared to the symptoms I was about to experience. The hormones caused depression & paranoia to set in, but I had nothing to attach these symptoms to, so I was able to blow them off. Until one Friday night. Maybe it was a demonic attack; I'm not sure.
I was suddenly reminded of a conversation I had with God about a year before. After months of trying, I found out, once again, that we had failed to conceive. I was more angry than I remember being about anything else in my entire life. I told God I was done with Him, done with Christianity. I remember saying, "If this is how you treat your children, then I don't need it." I recanted the statement later that day, and the next day, did some serious repenting & praying. Things had been fine ever since. But that Friday night, I remembered what I had done & a passage in the Bible came to my mind:
"It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, 5who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age, 6if they fall away, to be brought back to repentance, because to their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace." Hebrews 6:4-6
I was sure this applied to me & what I had done a year prior. No one could convince me otherwise. I started shaking violently, hyperventilating, and crying. I was hysterical. I couldn't eat. I couldn't work. I couldn't think. I could sleep because for some reason (I now believe was the grace of God) it would get better at night. My body & mind were so exhausted, I would collapse on the couch & fall asleep to the Golden Girls. It was the only thing that calmed me. But every morning I would awake shaking, even before I had a thought. Every 4-10 seconds the whole day, I would have terrifying thoughts of Hell. Hell was all I could think about all day long. Would I spend an eternity there, with no hope of rescue, in infinite suffering forever & ever & ever & ever.... I can't even explain the mental battle that went on & how utterly exhausting it was. People with OCD have thoughts maybe several times a day that they have to fight with. I was having them every single minute. I could think of nothing else unless it absolutely had to get done. The talent women have of being able to do one thing while thinking about another became a curse.
My mom had to come stay with me. She prayed w/ me as did my husband. We analyzed the Scriptures together. I just argued with them. Every free moment I got when my students were out of the room, I was online reading commentaries on the passage, listening to sermons. There were many different explanations, but none of them said it would apply to someone like me. I still was never convinced. I thought that I had committed the unforgivable sin. I went to a counselor at church, asked friends about it, went to my OB & tried anti-depressants. (Those didn't work out bc of the side effects.)
I don't know if you've ever dealt with fear of any kind, but I now know that fear of going to hell without hope of rescue is the worst fear anyone can ever have. Period. There is nothing worse. I was at the bottom of the bottom.