About Me

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I think the greatest thing I could say about myself is that I am a child of God. For many years I never understood what that actually meant. Despite growing up as a Pastors child, being surrounded by Christianity, I never really understood God’s love, grace and mercy. I understood the rules, the do’s and don’ts of Christianity, but not how to actually achieve them. I looked good on the outside. I followed the rules, read my bible extensively and was heavily involved in church ministry. On the inside I was crippled. Crippled with many thoughts and voices, a lot of them conflicting and damaging.  I struggled with addiction, suicidal thoughts and depression. I loved God and wanted to please Him, however, I thought that meant that I had to prove I was worthy of His love. I thought I knew who He was simply cause I knew the bible and all of the ‘rules’. Truthfully I had no idea!

At the age of 30 I fell into incredibly deep depression. It was not the first time I had suffered with depression. I had struggled with this wretched sickness since I was a teenager. In the past I found a way to ‘overcome’ and ‘beat’ it. This time, however, I could not. I was a mother of two, my second child about 17 months and I felt like I was failing. I was in a dark fog. The emotional pain I felt was horrendous and my thoughts were very dark. One day when I was out with my family I went to walk in front of a car. My husband sensing something was wrong grabbed my hand. I remember him whispering in my ear, “You may want to die, but I give you three good reasons to live”. What he didn’t understand was that I was so sick that I thought those “three good reasons” would be better off without me. What a lie! I am so blessed to be here today with my family; now a family of five. I believe it was God prompting my husband to grab my hand that day. I am forever grateful.

My story is a story of falling into the depths of despair and being carried out of it in the loving arms of God. It’s a story of discovering mental illness and the shame that accompanies that label. After seeking help from a counsellor, it became obvious that I was a person that carried many conversations in my head. Conversations with very real people; split-off versions of me. Up until now (August 2015) I have hidden this part of my story; I guess I never felt ready to talk about it. I was diagnosed with what is medically known as Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID). As a child I would go to the ‘back’ of my mind and an alternate person would come to the ‘front’ and face my pain for me. It sounds strange and scary and at the time of diagnosis it was. But having gone on the journey to the end, I now see it as a beautiful way of providing the protection I needed as a child. There came a time when I needed to face this pain, and that time for me started when I was 30. Healing came, but it came slowly and painfully. Today I am fully integrated. This blog talks about things I discovered on my journey to integration and continue to discover since. God has remained faithfully with me every step of the way. It was in the midst of the pain that I discovered God in new way – His love, mercy and grace. I gained a better understanding of His character and the beauty of being His precious, deeply loved child. 

My discovery of God and who I truly am hasn’t stopped. The beauty about God is that the more I get to know Him, the more I discover who I am – the God-made me. 

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9 Responses to About Me

  1. Thank you so much for following us! Mom and I pray that you be blessed by the words of our testimony and encouragement, please keep us in you prayers as we keep you in ours.

    Blessings,
    Rebecca (and Ma Chris)

  2. Hi Cheryl! Thank you for following my blog; http://www.beautifulcourageousyou.wordpress.com I am very inspired by your photography and even more by your faith. I look forward to doing this journey with you. Bless ya X

  3. melwild says:

    I wanted you to know that nominated your blog for the Liebster Award! To find out more about that, you can see my upcoming post (11.1.13) when it gets published. You don’t have to accept it, but either way, I wanted to bless you and that, by doing so, more people will see what you have to say. 🙂
    Mel

  4. Andy Oldham says:

    Thank you for following my blog! You are greatly appreciated 🙂

  5. Tony Casson says:

    You are an inspiration to all who take the time to truly appreciate the personal cost of transparency. I am glad that God used your husband’s hand to reach out and stop you when you thought the ones who loved you would be better off without you.

    May God protect you, and may He continue to bless you and your family.

    • Tony thank you for your comment. Yes there is a cost in transparency, but there is also a hope that by being transparent many will see the love of God alive in me. Society teaches us to cover ourselves up – cover our shame with lies and deceit. That only leads down a path of darkness. God is not like the world, He can handle us as we are – raw and messy. He teaches us to go to Him uncovered so that He can renew us in His love. The Christian Faith isn’t about not being broken. It isn’t about looking perfect. To me the Christian Faith is about being aware of your brokenness and allowing that brokenness to reveal your need of God. It is about listening to your broken hearts cry for God and responding to it by running to God for healing and wholeness. In doing this I have discovered a God who is incredibly approachable and just aching to show His mercy and love. The beauty about this approach is that God transforms me in such a way that there is no longer a need to cover my shame. I guess that is why I can be so transparent, although I will admit I often feel incredibly vulnerable. To me the realisation of my brokenness drives me to continually stay in a place of dependence of God.

      Tony I had a look at both of the blogs concerning your own personal journey. I am acutely aware you know the cost of transparency. The risk you have taken in society is enormous. I pray that you would continue to find God in the midst of your brokenness, I also pray that many would find God through your transparency. Blessings

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