While sitting in the dark corner of her room, Noreen Dela Cruz kept on thinking why she couldn’t get out of the black pit of depression and hopelessness.
Noreen harbored pain and sadness inside her heart while growing up and seeing her parents constantly fight against each other.
She found temporary solace in the arms of her grandfather, but when the latter died, her life became even darker.
Grief overpowered the young and naïve Noreen. This is when she started looking for love in all the wrong places –partying all night, drugs, same-sex relationships, and casual sex.
“I would end my days drinking. I also tried drugs, but sexual encounters are what gave me fulfillment. Sex became my favorite drug. I thought it was the fulfillment of getting the attention I needed. My life became a cycle – a meaningless cycle,” Noreen recalled.
Noreen continued to seek comfort, affection, and validation from other people. She would take any love she could get.
Her rebellion and vices continued until she entered into a romantic relationship while believing that with a man beside her, she would never feel empty anymore.
“I thought he was the one for me, because he accepted me for who I was. We talked about spending the rest of our lives together. But, I found out that he was cheating,” Noreen lamented.
Despite trying so hard to find herself and what could make her happy, it seemed like nothing – and no one – could ever fill the growing void in her heart.
“That really broke me. At that point, I couldn’t take it any longer. Nothing satisfied me and that’s when I started contemplating on killing myself,” Noreen recalled. For the first time, she cried out to God in utter desperation, “I talked to God to prove to me that He is real and that my life would still be worth living.”
That night, sitting in the dark corner of her room, Noreen shed every tear she could. But those weren’t tears of hopelessness anymore. Those were tears of surrender to Jesus.
She never thought that God was already answering her prayers when she got invited to an outreach program and later on, a retreat. As she began to know more about Jesus, all the wounds she carry started to heal.
“After hearing about the cross and what Jesus went through, I cannot reconcile how a God like that – holy and righteous – would sacrifice Himself for someone like me. That’s when I came to my senses. I thought this isn’t the way I’m supposed to be living my life! God created me for so much more than what I was running for,” she said.
Noreen accepted Jesus as her God and Savior and got baptized the next day. God also restored Noreen’s relationship with her parents and continued to use her in sharing His Word and His love to the hurting.
“The heaviness in my heart was taken out. There is so much hope. There is so much joy – the joy that I’ve been looking for so long, the joy that doesn’t go away because Christ is the foundation.”
Like Noreen, do you want to break free from all the chains of your painful past?
Are you tired of looking for love, acceptance, and validation from the people around you?
Are you wondering if your life still has meaning and purpose?
Are you thinking of ending your life?
This World Mental Health Day, know that no matter how you feel right now, your life is worth living.
There is a mighty God who loves you perfectly. If you’re on a rollercoaster of emotions, He is willing to give you comfort, joy, and peace. He has already set you free from all the bondage of your past, the weight of your current situation, and the worries you may have for your future.
“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:36 ESV)
Receive your freedom today.