Image for Jesus frees trader from depression

Jesus frees trader from depression

Repent/ Testimonies
K lived a life of debauchery, all in the search for acceptance and peace. Here is his testimony of repenting, turning his heart to God and experiencing his Heavenly Father’s deep love in very real ways. Praise God!

I grew up in a dysfunctional family.

My parents fought all the time from as young as I could remember, and I never felt love or security at home. Instead, the endless quarreling left me with a constant feeling of chaos. I closed my heart towards my dad from a young age and he became a sort of anti-idol to me over the years.

When I was about ten years old, my mum eventually had enough and moved to England with me where I attended a boys’ school in a small town. During university, I became overly-dependent on romantic relationships just to feel loved because of the lack of love at home and being the only child growing up. (I now realise all this in hindsight.) However, due to my insecurities and brokenness, none of those romantic relationships worked out.

In 2010, I returned to Hong Kong with my girlfriend after living together in London for a few years and started my first job, which was in banking. I worked long hours and weekends. 

I dealt with the work stress by going out and drinking heavily almost every weekend.

Eventually, my relationship with my girlfriend also ended. In spite of appearing as a young man who had it all together outwardly, I felt really empty inside. I was filled with negative emotions and suffered from mild depression. 

Contrary to the fact that I was always out hanging out with people, I actually needed a lot of alone time. I found socialising draining, but partying and debauchery was the only way I knew how to deal with my loneliness. I appeared normal at dinners and social outings but inside, I really only felt comfortable when I was alone.  

Things didn’t improve, the way I lived got worse. During that season in my life, I had short-term relationships but I knew they wouldn’t lead to anything because of my issues. Eventually, my self-fulfilling, self-condemning beliefs led to the repeat of past patterns and my emptiness and loneliness continued. I was close to giving up and prepared to live a life in solitude.

I felt the only thing I gained from that lifestyle was more brokenheartedness and more regrets. 

Then something changed on Mother’s Day 2018. I had spent the afternoon with my mum and was planning to take her out to dinner. At around 6:30pm, she told me she made dinner plans with a friend. I was surprised that she preferred to celebrate Mother’s Day with someone else instead of her only son.

So I went home by myself that evening. Suddenly, the loneliness and depression overwhelmed me. As I sat on my couch, I had to make a conscious effort just to breathe.

The pain inside me felt immense but still, I couldn’t cry.

I probably hadn’t cried since my childhood. I couldn’t deal with the suffering anymore but I knew I had to do something different. In the past, I would seek out friends, go to the gym, or turn to debauchery, but I realised those were just temporary band-aids. I was sick of the depression. 

I had been to Christian schools and had started attending church for a few months, so I knew a little bit about God and the Bible. So I got down on my knees and earnestly prayed for the first time in my life, from the bottom of my heart, and cried out to God for help. I asked God for signs and direction.

I promised God that if He took this pain away, I would surrender myself and follow Him and trust Him unconditionally. 

Soon after the prayer, I fell asleep on my sofa while my friend was still trying to comfort me over the phone. During the weeks prior, I only slept around four hours each night and would constantly wake up around 3:00am for no reason.

But that night after my prayer, I could sleep. I also had four dreams telling me the same thing that night – answering me when I asked for signs during my prayer earlier. 

That was the first time I experienced God’s supernatural peace and rest.

The peace, however, was short-lived so I decided I needed to go for a renewal prayer. After filling in the form on my life history, I turned up for the prayer session with an open heart. Within the first 10 minutes, one of the prayer counselors said something inspired by the Holy Spirit that touched my heart. 

The counsellor said, “God is not interested in your sins, He is interested in your heart.”

Immediately, I felt God’s overwhelming love and started crying. I had lived a life completely ignorant of Him and yet God was faithful and said to me exactly what I needed to hear. Our Father’s timing is always perfect.

Praying at first was difficult. The prayer counsellors were prompted by the Holy Spirit to name the different spirits that were oppressing me and taught me how to cast them out, but there seemed to be a mental block. I couldn’t remember the names or say the words. 

I’m not superstitious but my eyes were opened that day. The spiritual realm is real.

Thankfully, the Holy Spirit prompted me to confess their names and repent of my sins, including a few that surprised me.

I used to deejay part-time at some of the biggest clubs in London and Hong Kong, playing music that was quite bad; hip-hop, R&B, rap. The lyrics literally worshipped debauchery; s*x, women, d**gs, and violence.  

I hadn’t realised that I had been a “worship leader” of ungodly music.

I also had to repent for my years of gambling. I used to play poker quite often in Macau and would fly all over the world to play. I was never in Hong Kong during my annual leave. However, that day, my eyes were open to the evil spirits in casinos that follow us once we get involved with them. To find rest and peace, I used to turn to a lot of self-relying solutions in the past, including yoga, new age meditation, and excessive exercising.

During the renewal prayer, I spent five hours confessing and repenting of all my sins, and felt lighter and lighter as the hours passed. At the end, my prayer counselors and I were quite drained and tired. 

The next day, everything was very different. I woke up to an unfamiliar calm, peace and silence.

I looked in the mirror and the sad and weary eyes that I used to see first thing in the morning were replaced by an unfamiliar twinkle.  As the day went on, I was surprised I had no depressing thoughts running through my head after ten hours into my day. There was no heaviness in my chest. 

I used to play music first thing in the morning and first thing when I went home in the evenings in order to numb and limit depressive thoughts that would randomly enter into my mind. This time, I was able to be silent on my own at home. The loneliness and emptiness were gone. 

I felt peace and joy from the inside.

As I write this, it has been seven weeks since my renewal prayer. I am starting to get used to this new life, but I will never forget how Jesus helped me during those tough times and the power of His name during my renewal prayer. 

I used to turn to Christianity for help. I would play worship songs, pray, attend church on Sundays, listen to online sermons, go for fellowship meetings, so that I could find rest and be able to sleep. These things are good and indeed necessary for our walk with Christ, but I don’t need to rely on external help or stimulants anymore. I can sleep sufficiently and wake up feeling rested and peaceful. 

Before the renewal prayer, I tried to be good on my own efforts and come clean before God in order to earn points. I saw God as a manager who can give or take things away. I now understand that God wants a relationship with me, not a transaction.

I can pray to God as my one true Parent!

My heart towards my own parents has changed. Like me, my parents are very also broken people. I am now a lot more understanding towards them. I was in no position to judge them in the first place. My bitterness had become a type of poison that blocked me from experiencing God’s unconditional love.

Unforgiveness is one of the worst things we could do to ourselves.

What’s more, I no longer need to numb myself or need so much time to recharge in solitude or be hesitant before I say something.

I used to think that it was just a personality thing, that I was different, insecure about my upbringing and so I found being with people draining. Now, I don’t find it draining anymore. Now, for example, I can wish my colleagues “Good morning” or “Happy Friday” and mean it from my heart. I seldom fear saying the wrong things, so I don’t need to delay my responses. 

I am more alert and alive than I have ever been, because my mind is no longer foggy, but healthy and open. 

To me, it is fine if evil spirits are cunning and subtle, because I know that the name of Jesus is powerful to defeat them. Jesus loves us and we will be victorious as long as we live under His authority. 

 

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