Remember how I told you about my dream? My promise to God that I would never forget Him? God’s warning that life would be difficult and how I just could not understand it?
Well I would understand things very soon after that! Things only became worse after that dream. I didn’t have friends, and the bullying took to another level. Now it weren’t classmates and church-people making fun at me, intimidating me and making me feel worthless, it were adult who made my life a living hell.
After high school I went to study health-care. It was forever my dream to take care of people and make them feel better and the job fit the bill perfectly. Everything was going well except for the internships. The people who were suppose to guide me through the internship, often turned against me. During one internship I was just plainly ignored and left to fend for myself, in two different internships (these were all at different nursing homes!) I was made fun of, bullied and excluded, everything to make me feel like I would never fit in and I failed multiple internships because of things like this. My study lasted longer than expected and I felt more and more worthless by the day. I locked myself up in my personal little world where people could not reach me. On top of all this, I got to hear that I have fybromyalgia and working in healthcare was no longer an option. My life changed dramatically.
A few months before my 20th birthday I became depressed and my mother send me to therapy. When I was 21 years old things seemed to go better. I had graduated and I got a job at a nursing home where I had done my final internship. I had made plans to go back to school after the summer to become a social worker and I felt happier. But then things took a turn for the worst. One single person at work yelled at me for basically no reason. She could have told me with a calm attitude and there would have been no issues but due to her own stress, she yelled at me. That day I had a short shift and as I was driving home I cried endlessly. I felt misunderstood and hurt. I felt as if no one loved me and I felt that the world would be better off without me. When I left the bus, I had to walk across a small bridge and I knew exactly what to do. I wanted to go somewhere, where I was loved. Since God was the only one who loved me and made me feel loved, I wanted to go to Him. My mind was made up, I would jump down and commit suicide. In that moment I completely forgot my promise to God. God had promised that He would be with me but in that moment I didn’t think about that.
As I entered the railing of this small bridge, the contours of a man doomed up in front of me and I heard a voice. The same voice I had heard in that dream at age 14. The voice of the Father Himself. He said, “Gineke, what are you doing? You know that this isn’t the answer to your problems. Think about your brothers! Doing this will kill them. Besides, if you jump down I will make sure you break every bone in your body but you will most certainly not die. So get of that bridge right now”! To say that I had screwed up is a high understatement. Right there and then I felt like the apostle Peter who had betrayed Jesus. I knew I had made the biggest mistake in my entire life. At home I confessed everything to my parents, who immediately took me in a warm embrace and supported me all the way.
However God had left me. God was angry and I felt it in every fiber of my being. When one commits suicide, one actually says that there is nobody or nothing in the entire universe that can help them out. But that is simply not true! God can help! All you have to do is ask! I didn’t ask. Instead I forgot all about God and His loving promise to me. It took me five months and many prayers on my knees, and pleading for mercy, before God came back. As I was sitting in church, somewhere in the back with only my brother next to me and not a soul behind me, I felt a hand on my shoulder as the pastor was reading Isaiah 54. The same voice said to me, “This one is for you”. It was Isaiah 54: 7-8 which says, ‘For a brief moment I abandoned you, but with deep compassion I will bring you back. In a surge of anger I hid my face from you for a moment, but with everlasting kindness I will have compassion on you, says the Lord your Redeemer.’
God was back in my life. I cannot tell you how happy that made me. The grace of forgiveness is a powerful one that you feel in every inch of your body and soul. Yes I made a mistake and broke my promise but God is a forgiving God. A God of intense love! Just as God forgave me when I least deserved it. Just like God forgave Peter when he least deserved it. So God wants to forgive you, even if you feel like you don’t deserve it. God loves you and just like the father from the parable about the prodigal son, He is waiting for you to come home! All you have to do is pray and tell God that you are sorry. He is not a God of anger but one of love. Yes, God is very able to get angry when we make mistakes. Best is ,of course, not to make mistakes in the first place, but God is not One who stays angry forever. There is always a way back, no matter how big your mistakes are. Never forget that! God loves you! He really really does!