- Morning Joy - Written by Dot McGinnis
- Morning Joy -
The true testimony of Dot McGinnis
I can't help but remember one of most trying experiences of my life--my bout with severe mental depression. I once heard a woman on a Christian talk show describe her experience with mental illness by saying, "I've walked streets of hell." I can find no better words to express what I've experienced than these. My hell began in 1971, when my father died. I was nineteen years old at time. It was first time death had ever touched our family, and we were all devastated. I didn't realize then exactly how devastated I really was; or that this was to be just beginning of what was to become a horrible nightmare for me. Four years after my father's death, I experienced a near nervous breakdown. The doctors said that I just wasn't accepting fact that he was really gone. To add to my sorrow, my fiancé, a man I'd been dating since I was 17, decided that he was unable to cope with my illness; so, he broke our engagement and within a year married someone else. I was crushed. I remember thinking, "Oh God, how much more can I possibly stand?" A few months later, my grandmother died and within six weeks of her death my grandfather followed. (They said that he died of a broken heart.) My fiancé's leaving and my grandparents death sent me even deeper into depression. To add to my misery, one by one, I watched as all my friends deserted me. They just couldn't stand to see me way I was. They found themselves unable to cope with my inability to cope. My spirit sank even lower still. Within a four year time period, I had lost my father, almost had a complete breakdown, lost man I was planning to marry, lost both of my grandparents and all of my friends. My world had come to an end. Reality--sanity--seemed just beyond my reach. I had to see a psychiatrist three times a week and was unable to work for nearly two years. Some of memory of all that happened to me has been erased from my mind and for that I am grateful. But periodically it comes back, and I remember. I remember how I would sit and stare for hours, or would sit and cry. My mind was ruled by tormenting thoughts; unrealistic fears took control of me. All I wanted to do was die. I remember that my family had to hide all of knives and scissors from me because they feared that I'd try to commit suicide. My psychiatrist kept threatening to send me to Somerset State Hospital because I was so preoccupied with death. But even though death would have been a welcomed relief for me, I just didn't have nerve to do it. I used to pray and ask God to please let me die. There were so many people who wanted to live but were sick and dying. I used to ask Him to let their sickness fall on me so that I could die in their place. Still, death escaped me. I can relate to many of sentiments Job expressed when walking through his valley of despair. "Why is light given to those in misery and life to bitter of soul, to those who long for death that does not come, who search for it more than for hidden treasure ... Oh that I might have my request, that God would grant what I hope for, that God will be willing to crush me, to let loose his hand and cut me off!" (Job 3:20-22; 6:8-9). There just didn't seem to be any light at end of tunnel for me-- at least, none that I could see. I had no hope--only a constant tormented feeling and a sickening dreadful fear that it would never ever end.
Unsurrendered Love Lives ...Written by Dot McGinnis
Unsurrendered Love Lives ...
In I Peter 3:15, we are admonished to live a surrendered life; one that will “set apart Christ", as Lord in our hearts. This means we’re to allow Him to exercise His Lordship over every area of our life. Perhaps one of hardest things for an unmarried Christian to yield, to Lord, is their love life. Scripture abounds with examples of men who were unwilling to surrender themselves, completely, to Lord, in this area, and how they suffered because of it. Romans 15:4 says, “Everything that was written in past was written to teach us …” Let’s look into lives of Solomon, David, Samson, and Jacob (men, with unsurrendered love lives) and see what God would have us to learn from their experience. Moreover, let’s examine our own lives as well, to discover whether or not we have truly surrendered our all. First of all, consider Solomon. God gave Solomon a discerning heart that enabled him to distinguish between right and wrong. To this, He added great insight and a breath of understanding as measureless as sand of shore. The Bible says there never was nor will there ever be a man with wisdom of Solomon. (I Kings 3:9-12; 4:29-31). Though he was wisest of men, he was still very foolish. For, he allowed his involvement with heathen women to take precedence over what he knew to be right. God tried to warn him. But, he wouldn’t listen. He chose, instead, to love women who led him astray, turning his heart away from God. Solomon reaped a bitter harvest because of rebellion he sowed. The affect of his transgression was felt not only by Solomon, but also by his son; an innocent victim of his father’s sin. Read about it in I Kings 11:1-13. Next, we have David. David was a man with a heart toward God. He shared a relationship with Him that was unique. They had a closeness and an intimacy we should all strive to attain. God was pleased with David, calling him a “man after His own heart.” David, however, when it came to affairs of heart, never even considered that God may desire right to exercise His Lordship even there. He had an adulterous affair with Bath-sheba, arranged to have her husband killed, and paid for it all with death of his son (II Samuel 11:1-27 12:7-23). How his heart must have broke when Nathan prophet confronted him with his sin, giving him this prophetic message from God: 'I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from hand of Saul. 8 I gave your master's house to you, and your master's wives into your arms. I gave you house of Israel and Judah. And if all this had been too little, I would have given you even more. 9 Why did you despise word of LORD by doing what is evil in his eyes?” (II Samuel 7b-9a). Then, we have Samson. Samson also teaches us about unsurrendered love. Samson had been separated unto Lord since birth. He was a man God appointed to judge His nation, Israel. The Spirit of God came upon him in power; empowering him with an unusual amount of strength. He was strong and yet weak, at least whenever Delilah was concerned. Because of his attraction to her, Samson paid a price. Her love caused him to suffer physically, emotionally, and spiritually. He suffered physically because he lost sight of both of his eyes. He suffered emotionally because he was betrayed by woman he cherished most. He suffered spiritually because he lost his relationship with Lord. Samson’s unsurrendered love life cost him in every area of his life (Judges 16:4-21). Finally, there was Jacob. Jacob had a deep appreciation for spiritual things. He longed to gain possession of birthright, blessing, and all that went with them. They were so important to him that he schemed and connived, deceiving even those closest to him, just so he could have them as his own. (Genesis 25:29-34; 27:1-40).