My Mental Illness Recovery Story, Chapter 19

In Recovery Today

During my entire life, I have been a dreamer. Dreams of freedom: trying to overcome my former strongholds of abuse, OCD, and manic depression. Throughout the majority of my life, I desperately wanted to be love, competent, safe, accepted, successful, and unafraid. I am glad to say today, generally speaking, these dreams have come true.

Rick Warren once said, “Fear is a self-imposed prison that keeps you from becoming the person God wants you to be “. Even though OCD makes me fearful a lot, my mental illness normally doesn’t control me. It is no longer a daily “self-imposed prison” that tyrannizes me, preventing me from being and doing what God desires of me. Yes, in the game of life, I will lose many, many battles; but with God on my side, I know that I will win the war. And I also know where I’m headed after this life is over: heaven.

When I abide in Christ, I experience overabundant joy, peace, and happiness from the Holy Spirit. “If I patiently endure testing and temptation, I will someday in heaven receive the crown of life, promised by God to those who love Him” (see James 1:12). I know there will be times of great struggles and heartaches, but because of my relationship with Christ, I have both an eternal and a living hope that will never let me down! Jesus told his disciples, in John 16:33, ““I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”

Read Psalms 23: “The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need. He lets me rest in green meadows; He leads me beside peaceful streams. He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me. You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. You honor me by anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings. Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house forever.”

Because of Christ, I have countless reasons for hope and inspiration when life gets rough. Even though there will be times when things seem hopeless, I can find strength from God’s promises as well as other encouraging Christians. That is the theme of  my personal web site, In Pursuit of Freedom Ministries: to inspire and guide other people, who face similar life struggles, toward the path of freedom (which comes from following and trusting in the Trinity). was my personal web page that I personally created from 2007 to 2008. On this site, is personally-written Christian articles, my testimony, inspirational quotes and bible verses, and links to helpful sites for others who have faced similar trials (including OCD, bipolar, and abuse) that I have. Remembering all my past hurts, as well as witnessing the life struggles of other, including those I met in psychiatric hospitals (to treat my bipolar disorder), I decided to create the web site to inspire and encourage others not to give the hope of freedom. I want my past life struggles to become a benefit for a greater purpose – to help others, to “pay it forward” to what people like Dobbert once did for me.

In addition, to managing my web site, I have also written several articles on places like After this chapter, I have included a few of my publications, to help and encourage you in your journey toward freedom. I hope they become an inspiration to you. I also write threads on, for the same purposes. I often read the recovery-section threads, and try to respond to those who are seeking comfort. I also like to publish daily devotionals on the site. Or I just write a thread that will hopefully be something that people would want to read.

Also, in my spare time, I am on the leadership team of the Metro Jackson program, a Christian singles outreach ministry in Jackson, Michigan. One of my functions there is to coordinate activities between our organization and also the Jackson Interfaith Shelter, which is a place where homeless people stay. On a monthly basis, Metro Jackson members visit the Jackson Interfaith Shelter to instill Christ’s love to these homeless individuals. Metro Jackson hopes to reach more and more of the Jackson community, to help those in need and to help them realize their need for Christ.

I used to act in funny videos for kids in our church to watch. My character was Dr. Lee Scoots. I tried to use humor and comedy to brighten their days as Scoots was a bumbling fool who did hilarious things.

Finally, in addition, to once creating a Christian you tube video out of Windows Live Movie Maker, I also produced PowerPoint /Windows Live Movie Maker videos for our church’s youth leader’s class, as I did research on an assigned subject, and then prepared a video to be an aide in his teachings to his students. For example, I once gathered information on the subject of sexual purity, and then created a PowerPoint video, in which our youth pastor used to help teach his class.

My life in retrospect

Looking at my life in hindsight, I see now that God had everything planned perfectly for a greater purpose, something that I didn’t understand then, but do now. God also has a perfect plan for you, you just need the courage and faith to believe in Him, and in it.

God gave me an illness to show the world His greatness. Just like how an ordinary shepherd boy David shocked Israel by defeating His giant, Goliath, God wants to use disabled people like you and me to show God’s greatness to a world that desperately needs Him. As God said in 2 Corinthians 12:9a: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness”.

In a weird but true sense, God is actually both complimenting and blessing us by giving us a disability or great trial. You see, God never gives us trials that we cannot overcome through Him (see 1 Corinthians 10:13). So by giving us a disability or huge trial in our life, He is in a way demonstrating trust in our capacity to be strong enough to continue the fight, as we rely upon the deliverance of the Deliverer.  “With man this is impossible,; but with God, all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26)

Listen to this inspirational song, related to the theme of this chapter:

Austin French – Jesus Can (Official Lyric Video)

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