Fourteen years ago, I was unraveling. Unable to eat, talk or sleep, I found myself in a deep, debilitating depression. At eighteen I signed papers over stating that I was a danger to myself.
The word depression wasn’t in my vocabulary yet and the fact that nothing in my life was wrong made it worse. I had great parents who loved me, a fabulous college on the East Coast waiting for me, and friends who cared for me. A world of opportunity was before me and all I wanted was to disappear — to cease existing.
Word had spread to our family and friends that something was seriously wrong with me — that I had had some sort of mental breakdown. My parents began bringing in cards and letters. Slowly, I started to see things with a little more clearly.
My mom’s coworker, a man of deep faith heard bits of what had happened and wrote a prayer he shared with my family. My mom brought it in to share with me once the depression began to lift.
I took the printed piece of paper and read his words:
September 6, 2001
I come to you often during my day to discuss circumstances you already have knowledge of. You know Allie. You knew her long ago. You know what lies ahead. We on the other hand, must trust that even this painful moment will have your blessing attached to it. You know how hard that is for us. We need your spiritual eyes to see and your mind to understand. Because of how you created us, we need assurance and some sign that you’re alive. Give Allie’s family what they need today. Be present to them in ways that surprise them. Send your angels in disguise to be with Allie. Doctors are limited in their ability to perform healing. You are not. Reach into the depths of Allie’s mind and mend what other’s cant’ see. I know you can do that. While others look to the heavens for your answer I look to where you really are; with Allie. We are all fighting on the same spiritual battlefield to advance your kingdom so show us how we can best protect Allie and her family. Replace confusion with clarity; any anger with peace; any darkness with your light. Crush the enemy that presses in for full control. I stand against all evil and rebuke any strongholds on Allie’s life. These tears I cry are not out of despair, but rather out of a confidence in how much you love us. I pray all this in love in the name of your precious son, Jesus.
I set the prayer on my hospital bed and took a long deep breath.
Would I ever make it out from under these ashes?
Would I ever be normal again?
It was this simple prayer, written down and given to me as a gift that changed my life. For the first time in my brokenness I began to seek God. I am beyond thankful for the gift this man gave me because without it I fear I would be without hope.
Who in your life is hurting? I challenge you to write a prayer for someone in your life – it just might be the prayer that changes their life.