|Frank Hunting on the left and Harold Long, my 2 pastors in my formative Christian years|
Some years ago, when I was about 20,I am now nearly 70, I had what amounted to be a "nervous breakdown".
That was the terminology used then.
They would say in today's terminology probably depression or an acute anxiety state.
Either way I was a mess.
This was something that happened very suddenly, out of the blue and was very frightening.
I didn't know what was happening or why although I was suspicious as to the why.
I thought it was because of "sin" but I didn't believe I had "sinned" as such.
I was not a Bible believing Christian although I had been to Church or Sunday School in my pre teen years.
I rebelled when I was about 13 and did not want to go anymore.
Well I had very severe physical symptons but not that someone watching me could have known about.
I was working in a good job at the time, was doing well in sport and hoping to go on to bigger and better things in the sporting world.
I had a girlfriend.
I had everything going for me but I was a total mess.
I had several Doctor's appointments and after tests my Doctor concluded that I had a Psychological problem and he would make an appointment for me to see a Psychiatrist .
An appointment was made but my Dad strongly counselled against keeping the appointment.
He said if you start on that "merry go round" you'll never get off it" or words to that effect.
I tried to live life normally in spite of the symptoms but everything was caving in.
I talked to people close to me and all were supportive but had no answers.
I went to Church one night but came out feeling worse that when I went in.
No one else knew about my problem.
I tried reading self help books and used various mind games to overcome my symptoms.
My condition was there with me all day until I went to sleep and the first thing that greeted me on waking up.
My sporting prowess and working effectiveness were diminishing rapidly.
I was shifted out of the job I was doing as I was becoming totally non effective.
Over a period of some 3 years I started to function reasonably ok again.
By using all sorts of positive thinking ruses.
Eventually we got married.
We spent the first 6 months of our marriage in Darwin where I at least gained back a lot of my sporting prowess.
Work was another question.
I was making a mess of that.
I started attending Church in Darwin with my wife.
I did not become a Christian but was enjoying the company of Christians and was hearing some good preaching.
I started marvelling at the wonderful scenery of the Northern Territory and God used this to draw me closer to Him.
I started capturing the beauty of nature on film for the first time.
We returned to Adelaide after what was effectively a 6 month working honey moon.
I promised my wife I would go to Church with her in Adelaide but would not get "hooked in."
After 3 years of sitting in a pew listening to the Word of God being expounded I ran out of reasons not to make a big leap of faith and become a Christian.
I was a new person.
Everything seemed new and fresh and exciting.
For a while.
I became a youth leader at Church.
We started our family.
Then at the age of about 33 I had a sudden relapse and return of my symptoms from when I was 20.
I knew what caused it , what triggered it off, but did not know how to handle it.
I have since learnt a lot about "emotional triggers".
I went to our associate Pastor, Frank Hunting, for counselling.
He sat me down and just asked me in effect to start at the beginning.
He asked if he could take a few notes.
I told him a fair bit of my life story thus far.
I had walked into this counselling session still with debillitating symptoms.
After a while he said "ok, that's enough" and then told me some things that I found staggering.
He explained as he went why he had drawn these conclusions.
He told me I was suffering from feelings of Insecurity,Inferiority and Rejection.
He told me in effect I had been "programmed" to fail.
I had shared with him my various failures along the way amongst other things.
He then said "I don't want you to pray about this, I will pray for you."
This staggered me a bit.
He then showed me a passage in the Bible and he said he wanted me to take this passage and move forward in the strength and power of that statement.
Just rest in that teaching and continually refer back to it.
You might read it and think that's not world shattering but in effect it was for me.
I walked out of that meeting completely free of symptoms.
The passage is from Ephesians.
Ephesians 1:6New King James Version (NKJV)"6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved."
I was loved and accepted by God because of His Grace.
It was nothing I had to earn.
There was the antidote for all I was believing about myself and life had programmed me to believe.
I have had a further "breakdown" a few years back now and I think loosely connected somehow to my previous life experiences.
I did see a couple of Pyschiatrists then but I was confident I would return to normal.
I did not have more than one visit with each of them.
One of them told me he didn't think I needed ongoing help as I had a good grasp of what to do and why I was in the predicament.
I did return to normal as I put back into practice the things I have learned along the way.
Frank Hunting has long passed on to his Saviour.
I have posted much of his teachings and recordings on my blogs and youtube channel.
His sermon on Inner peace or inner freedom I would recommend.
I don't have all the answers to any problems that you might have as you read this but I know Jesus does.
I don't say that glibly.
This testimony just skims the surface of the topics mentioned.
I hope this is helpful to any who may read it.
Maybe you have had a life of failure.
Even programmed to fail.
Take some steps today to find out more how God can change you at the core for the better.