“Trust His Heart”
Melissa's Testimony of
Overcoming Depression

I want to ask you a question: Have you ever felt like giving up?

All of us, one way or another, have experienced trials, sadness, and pain once in awhile.

However, at times the grief and hurt runs so deep and feels so overwhelming that we feel like giving up.

Let me share a Bible verse with you: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding . In all your ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5,6

During the days of my deepest despair, I cried out to the Lord and He answered me. I trusted Him and He directed my path.

I want to share with you how I got “off the path,” how the Lord found me and how He directed my path back to His heart.

I was born and raised in Toronto, Canada.

I was born as a Christian, 4th generation SDA. I went to church as a child, , I remember going to VBS with my cousins, I even went to an Adventist academy for a few years.

I remember as a child when people asked me “what do you want to be when you grow up?” I would say “a dentist”.

So throughout my school life, my education was directed towards a career as a dentist.

As a teenager I began to “wander” away from God’s path.

I stopped going to church as did my immediate family, I entered into the public school system, I got involved in fashion shows within the Filipino community, I began to go night clubbing, bars and parties. I started to socially drink alcohol and smoke because it was “cool”.

God tried to bring me back to His path.
When I was in Grade 13, a friend of mine in public school was an SDA. She influenced me to apply to Andrews Adventist University. By the grace of God, I attended Andrew and graduated with a BS in Medical Technology.

Though I did not have a relationship with Jesus, I praise Him for a Christian education And now my social activities were centered around Christ and I had Christ-like friends. However, after I graduated, I wandered off the path again. But this time it was worse.

I moved to Boston and picked up where I left off as a teenager: bars, night clubs, drinking, sometimes marijuana and now I was up to smoking a pack a day.

I worked as a Lab supervisor. The plan was to work in Boston for a year, then go to dental school at Loma Linda.

After a year and a half in Boston, I moved back to Toronto.

I continued my life in Toronto without God, in fact I got to a point where I questioned whether God was real and soon concluded He didn’t exist. I became an atheist.

I rarely went to bars and night clubs then but I continued the alcohol and smoking.

It was in Toronto that I realized that being a dentist was not my “path”, but I was trying to follow my parent’s “path” for my life.

For about five years I searched for my “path” in life. I tried all kinds of jobs and careers.

Then finally I thought I found MY “path” for my life: it was a career in financial services.

Being in financial services fulfilled a great desire I had: traveling! I traveled all over the world. I earned great commissions. I owned a condominium.

Looking from the outside, it seemed like I was on THE “perfect, successful path”, the “right path”.

My life was great without God, so I thought.

But during all of those years, all of these things: the parties, the fashion shows, the drinking, the smoking, the night clubbing, money, condo, career, traveling the world—- only gave me temporary happiness, I was still left with a hole in my heart, an emptiness that was never filled with these things.

Then one day in December of 2000, my life fell apart. My long term relationship with my boyfriend ended.

My life became very, very dark.

I felt like my life was over. I felt like giving up.

I thought about killing myself, but never had the guts to do it.

But I did have a “death wish”, sometimes I wished a car would hit me or that I would get in an accident while driving.

I cried, I cried a lot, sometimes all day and all night.

I felt a deep pain in my heart.

I felt very, very alone. Sometimes I felt like being with people but then when I was with them, I just wanted to be alone, I was very confused.

I felt like a really bad person, I felt ugly, I felt like a nobody.

My thoughts would race and race, I couldn’t get a break from my mind, I use to think I wished it was possible to take my head off and put it on a shelf for awhile just to get quietness.

I had problems sleeping at night and I would end up sleeping all day. I was always tired.

Just waking up in the morning was very difficult for me.

I had no energy to go walking for exercise.

I became very moody, short tempered and angry with my family.

I suffered from panic attacks-this is when you have difficulty breathing, your heart beats very quickly due to some danger that is only created in your mind.

My business suffered, my relationships with my family and friends suffered as well.

A caring, close friend of mine kept telling me that I had clinical depression.

I didn’t want to accept it because I felt if I said I was in depression I would be saying to myself and people that I was “crazy”.

But finally I admitted to myself that I was in depression.

My family didn’t understand because they were not experiencing it.

My nights were dark, so were my days.

My past was dark, my present was dark and so was my future. I had no reason to live anymore. I felt like giving up.

I didn’t know what to do anymore.

Then one afternoon in April of 2001, I was at home alone in a deep despair and I looked up and cried out at the top of my lungs “GOD, PLEASE HELP ME!”

After I cried out that prayer, God answered and carried me, but this time on His path.

I felt a peace in my life that had I never experienced before.

When I shouted that prayer, I invited God back into my life. I didn’t know it at the time.

All this time He was waiting patiently to be invited in and finally I opened the door.

I was not immediately cured from depression, in fact though I was now good friends with my ex boyfriend, I still suffered from depression for three years.

But in all of my darkness, there was now a tiny little ray of light, a glimmer of hope.

Slowly God made His way into my life and my life began to change.

I wanted to know more about prayer, so I called my aunt who was a Christian.

I asked her “How do you pray, I don’t know how to pray to God?”

She answered “ Oh, you just talk to God like you talk to a friend, you can tell him anything and everything!” “Really?” I said.

One of my friends said that I could also ask God to teach me how to pray. I said “Really?”

Then one day I had this feeling like I wanted to start reading the Bible.

We had just moved into a new house when I asked my mother “Where’s the Bible?” and she said “Oh, it’s in the small room in one of those boxes.”

I went into the room and saw there were so many boxes, I thought to myself there was no way I can find it.

I began to leave the room but I turned around and went back into the room. I opened the first box and right at the top sat the Bible, I was amazed.

I had a hunger for the Bible, I read it everyday, especially the book of Psalms, it was about a King named David who was also in depression but he loved God and trusted Him, I was able to relate to him.

The book of Psalms gave me so much comfort and hope.

Then one day I thought to myself “maybe I should go to church.” I began going to church, once a month, then once every two weeks and eventually every week.

As a result my lifestyle started to change, I stopped drinking alcohol easily, however I struggled to quit smoking. But the Lord miraculously took smoking away from me!! Next time I will share with you how He took it away.

Slowly, that hole, that emptiness in my heart was finally filled with the true peace and happiness that can only come from God.

During my depression, I now had God to help me through it, I no longer had to rely on my own strength but totally depended on Him for everything and as a result I became closer and closer to Him.

The glimmer of light became brighter and brighter,

God rescued me from all of my darkness, and there in His light I began to trust Him with all of my heart.

I began to ask God a different question: “ God what is YOUR path for my life?”

My mother, having the motherly wisdom she has, said to me a few times “Well Melissa, you love to travel and you love the Lord, be a missionary!” I would reply, “yah, yah ,yah I will pray about it” but it wasn’t on my top 10 list, actually it was nowhere on any of my lists.

Until one summer day in 2002, I heard a Japanese lady telling her stories when she was a missionary in South Africa. She spoke of how the Lord delivered her and gave her many victories from life and death situations. And I said to myself, “that’s what I want” I wanted to experience God’s hand in my life the way she did.

One year and a half later I had the opportunity to go to Korea.

I prayed to God “If you really want me to serve You in Korea, you will have to heal me completely and you have two months to do it!”

And He did. I went to Korea on Dec. 30th, 2003 till the end of April 2005, I was there for 16 months.

Then the Lord sent me to North America recruiting missionaries for Korea for six months.

Then the Lord sent me to India for an evangelism crusade, twice, Nov. 2005 and Nov. 2006.

Then the Lord sent me to Palau from Jan. 2006 - April 2006, as a Chaplain, teaching English and Bible.

Then the Lord sent me back home to Canada to be a missionary to my father, who had stage 4 brain cancer. He rested in Christ Aug. 2006. I would like to share his testimony with you one day.

Then the Lord sent me to India in Nov. 2006.

Then the Lord sent me here to Ubon, Thailand in March of this year!

If you are feeling like you have no hope and you want to give up, If you are feeling lonely and no one understands or loves you, If you feel like you can’t see your future or you don’t know which path to take,

I tell you just trust His heart.

If you want to feel true happiness,
If you want to feel like there is hope for your life, If you want to feel true peace and true love,

I tell you trust His heart, only God can give you these things and He wants to give it to you,

He is waiting for you to trust Him with all your heart,

If God has helped me, He will help you,

Giving up is not an option!
Never, never give up, because He will never give up on you!

Invite Him into your life, cry out a prayer to Him today, He will answer you,
He will help you,
Trust His heart,
He will direct you,
because God has promised in this Bible verse:

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5,6

Trust His Heart

All things work for our good
Though sometimes we can’t see how they could
Struggles that break our hearts in two

Sometimes blind us to the truth
Our Father knows what’s best for us
His ways our not our own
So when your pathways grow dim
And you just can’t see him
Remember you’re never alone

God is too wise to be mistaken
God is too good to be unkind
So when you don’t understand
When you don’t see His plan
When you can’t trace His hand
Trust His heart

He sees the master plan
He holds our future in His hands
So don’t live as those who have no hope
All our hope is found in Him
We see the present clearly
But He sees the first and the last
And like a tapestry,
He’s weaving you and me
To someday be just like Him

God is too wise to be mistaken
God is too good to be unkind
So when you don’t understand
When you don’t see His plan
When you can’t trace His hand
Trust His heart

He alone is faithful and true
He alone knows what is best for you

When you don’t understand
When you don’t see His plan
When you can’t trace His hand
Trust His heart