I had suffered from depression for about ten years before I met Jesus.
From my childhood, I was so sensitive that I could hardly go out of my home. Every morning I had to make a big decision to go to kindergarten. I got so nervous that I felt sick to the stomach. It continued every day and every morning until I met the Lord and got healed of depression. Desperate effort was necessary for me to live, so I regarded myself as a useless person.
When I was a freshman in high school, Yumiko Tokuhara, now a staff worker of Kohitsuji no Mure, came to my house as my brother’s English tutor. That was how our family knew the Kohitsuji no Mure Church and my mother began to subscribe to “The Vine” (the monthly periodical of Kohitsuji no Mure).
At that time I did not know God yet, but I began to contemplate on “peace.”
I sincerely hoped for the peace of the world. My hope became tremendously big.
“I want to make everyone in the world happy!” One day, a strong conviction came to me out of the blue sky.
“If you keep hoping, the absolute peace will be done in the world for sure.”
Now I know it was from God, but at that time I had no idea where it came from. Yet, it came into me as such a strong conviction that I thought, “I’ve just found the secret of the world!” I felt some immensely great existence had entrusted peace to me. It became the light of hope for me to live. Looking back on it after ten years now, I realized, “God entrusted peace to me, not because He wanted me to do something, but He just wanted me to live!” I believe that it is God’s hope for the peace entrusted to everyone in the world.
Yet my depression got worse and worse. In the spring of my sophomore year in college, I almost killed myself. I did not mean to commit suicide, but in aguish I took a big amount of epilepsy medicine unconsciously. I fell asleep, and when I woke up, I had an uncontrollable cramp in my whole body. I tried to crawl to the bathroom to throw up, but I bumped my face and head really hard against the floor and the wall. I was seeing a vision of the devil saying to me, “You can’t even make yourself happy. Then how can you bring peace to the world? You are stupid enough to think such a grandiose thing. That’s why this is happening to you.”
I was covered with an empty feeling and thought that maybe I should die . . . Then right at that moment, some tremendous power penetrated my whole body from the soles of my feet to the head. Then I heard a strong voice saying, “Don’t give up living. You can live if you don’t give up.” Hearing this, I felt relieved, so I believed the voice and went to sleep.
The tremendous power which went through my whole body was the power of Jesus. It could even crush Satan’s power. As the Lord told me, I could live.
I went to the hospital to have my body checked. I told the doctor how much and what kind of medication I had taken. Then he gave me a surprised look, saying, “Half a year ago, there was a patient hospitalized by ambulance. She took the same amount of the same medicine as you did and became vegetative. You were really lucky. Never do such a thing again.” Hearing him, I thought, “I was made alive!” My heart was full of gratitude, and tears welled up in my eyes. Now I know that I was made alive because Jesus died on the cross on my behalf.
Until that time, I thought that the depression was part of me. So, while I wanted to be healed, I took hold of my depression because I was afraid that I would be no longer myself if it was healed. But now I clearly found that the depression would kill me, so I firmly made up my mind to get healed of the depression. Nonetheless I was at a loss having no control over it. Then I received two tapes of the Kohitsuji no Mure Church from my mother. They were Pastor Peter’s worship message tapes.
I casually took one of them and listened to it. To my surprise, he clearly said, “I will teach you a short but very effective prayer. ‘Lord, fill me with Your love and light. Say this prayer at least once a day for one or two months, and you will be a totally different person.”
I was trying to change myself on my own to get healed of the depression, but it was different! I was really astonished with this simple message. I thought, “If there is such an amazing prayer, I will say it all day long!” From that day on I kept saying this prayer after waking up in the morning, while getting ready to go out, on my way to college, during classes, anywhere at any time. Whenever a negative thought came up in me, I tried to push it away by saying the prayer earnestly.
A week later, I listened to the second tape. I somehow thought I should hear the second one a week after the first one. It was about a man healed of an incurable illness. He was told by the doctor that his illness was irrecoverable, but believing that God would heal his illness, he read the Bible three times a day as if taking medicine. Then a week later he got healed.
Hearing this story, I thought, “My depression will also be healed!” At that moment, something fell from above, and a great joy flowed out of me like a flood. I kept shouting, “I got it! I finally got it!” Right at that moment, I realized that God of salvation really existed and that to know His existence was the answer for all questions in the world. Until then I had many questions accumulated in my heart, but I got the answer for all of them.
The next morning, I got up, got dressed, went outside and got on a train to go to college. And when the train doors shut, I was flabbergasted! I found myself no longer afraid of going out at all! Usually, as soon as waking up in the morning, I was so scared to go out that I constantly murmured, “I’m scared. I’m scared,” and then finally made up my mind to go outside. But on that day, I found myself going out without being scared at all. “Why?!” I was so amazed. “It took one week for that man to be healed, but have I been already healed?” Amazingly, I was completely healed.
I wanted to know more about God, so every day I read the Bible and “The Vine,” and listened to the worship tapes of Kohitsuji no Mure. One day, when reading “The Vine,” I found the word, “Praise will save the earth,” and I cried in spite of myself, ”This is it!! The way to make peace I have been looking for is the heavenly praise!”
The heavenly praise will reach the end of the world, healing people and the earth, when we sing it alone at home. The resounding tunes of the praise gently waft and spread all over the world. It is the way to save the earth! I was truly amazed. Now I know that God was saying to me all along, “Never give up your hope!” I believe I could hold on to my hope because God was the one who never gave up.
All the ends of the earth have seen the victory of our God. (Psalm 98:3 RSV)
There was the salvation of God and the truth of the cross before my eyes even when I did not know Him. And all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of God. May peace of the Lord, the true peace be done on all the earth.
April 25, 2010