Photo by Erin E. Photography
It’s about two in the morning. I’m sound asleep, and my phone rings. Tired and confused, I look at my phone and see that my older brother is calling me. I pick up the phone and he frantically says, “I need you to go check on Dad; I don’t think he’s okay.” So I spring out of bed and run downstairs to find that the door to my dad’s workshop is locked with hard rock music blasting from the inside. I bang on the door, preparing to knock it down, when he opens it and is intoxicated to the point he can’t stand by himself or hold a conversation. I immediately rush my dad to the hospital, where I sit with him for six hours as he cries and begs the doctors to let him die. They were able to save him and kept him for an extra two days to ensure he wouldn’t try it again.
In the wake of this disaster, I was left depressed, confused, filled with anxiety, and unable to sleep—for every time I closed my eyes, all I could hear was my father crying. I tried drowning my problems with food, with counseling, and even with staying so busy I had no time to think. Not even blasting music through my headphones at night helped me to escape. The worst part of all of it is that I couldn’t drive past my parents’ neighborhood, let alone hug my own mother, without having a panic attack. I also blamed myself for all the madness my little brother had to witness, because I was no longer there to shelter him from it.
After months of depression, I started to forget who I was and what my purpose in life was, and I found myself sitting in my car late at night, questioning whether or not anyone would notice if I was gone, and thinking to myself about how easy it would be to simply leave the car on, fall asleep, and never wake up. Instead of deciding to go through with it, I called one of my friends, Keith, who offered to let me stay on his couch for a few days to help me get past it. He helped me to get over my depression and taught me how to rely on God more than I ever thought I could. He taught me how to give my depression over to Him.
But no matter how hard I tried, the anxiety that came from seeing or talking to my parents just wouldn’t go away. I was so torn. I tried giving my parents more and more tries by spending time with them, hopefully convincing them that their drinking was a problem, but they would only get offended and continue drinking. The worst part of it was that I still felt anxious being around them, so I felt guilty for not wanting to help or see them. My other option was to just avoid them entirely and pray for them, but this seemed to only do harm because they would constantly call me to tell me they were angry at me for avoiding them.
For months I went back and forth between these two options, only to discover that neither would work. I eventually had a conversation with my mentor who told me that a lot of my anxiety was coming from the fact that I was not fully trusting in the power of the Gospel to move in my parents’ lives and that I was taking their salvation in my own hands, not realizing that all I can do is preach the Gospel to them when they are willing to listen, knowing that salvation rests in God’s hands. He also told me that I was being the parent, when God is calling me to be the child. I prayed to God, asking for forgiveness for trying to take His job from Him, and I asked Him to take it back. I prayed that God would work a miracle in my family and that He would bring us together again.
I got a call from my dad not too long afterwards, telling me that he and my mother were waking up early every morning to read the Bible together, and that he threw all of the alcohol out of his house to get over his addiction. Finally, I no longer get anxious at the sight or thought of my parents, and I no longer daydream about what it would be like to no longer be alive. God has healed my family and He has healed me.
A Million God Stories is a Christ-centered ministry which offers a platform for Christians from all streams of Christian faith to give praise for how God has worked in their lives. Christ heals in infinitely creative ways and we acknowledge that His way of helping may differ from person to person.