God Opens Doors
Guest Writer Today: Kristin Arcilla

It is common in life, to have hopes and dreams for the future. When I was young, I would dream and hope for future desires to be fulfilled. I never would dream of heartache or painful events happening to me. This is what left me unprepared. But because my heart belonged to Jesus, He was prepared for what was to come. He was the rock my house was build on, and no matter how strong the storm that was coming would be, I would not be left alone in my suffering. My house would not shatter completely.

I was 29. I had just given birth to my second daughter. She was healthy and strong. I already had another daughter about to turn two, and she was a joy to me. I had finally found something I was really good at, which was being a mommy. I was married to a wonderful man who loved the Lord, I had a new home, and my husband had a great job. Life was good.

Something unexpected happened. Right after my new baby girl was born, I did not feel right. Noises became louder, I was easily irritated, and I felt empty inside. I kept it to myself at first. I was ashamed. I had everything I ever dreamed and hoped for, but I was miserable and depressed.

I lost weight very quickly, and even more than I had gained in the pregnancy. I started having a “sinking” feeling. Soon after came the suicidal thoughts. I began thinking of ways to sneak away and end my life. I had never felt so ashamed, and surely thought I was losing my mind. The secrecy was key to hide this terrible mess I was in.

Then, one day, I told my husband I was going to go to the gym. As I was driving there, I decided that I was going to drive up to the mountains towards Yosemite, and drive off a cliff. I had planned to make it look like an accident, which made no sense at all, so that my children would never know their mom took her own life. But then, I had a moment of clarity…I needed to ask someone for help.

There was a couple in our Bible Study whose names were Jerry and Robin. They were a very sweet couple, our age, and so easy to talk to and spend time with. They were gentle and kind. I was in their neighborhood and I was led to them. They were the ones I would confess to, that I had this horrible plan and I needed them to take me to the hospital. But, it was before 7 am on a Saturday morning. I told myself to look for a sign that they were awake, so that I would not bother them or wake them. As I got near their home, I saw that their garage door was up and open. I knew they were awake. Their car was there, and I thought they were up for the day and that was my deciding factor in parking and knocking on their door.

As I approached, I felt so scared. But, I knocked anyway. Jerry opened the door, and clearly, I had woken him up! I quickly apologized. I was going to leave, but he told me not to, and called his wife Robin. I also woke up Robin. I felt horrible. Both of them had no idea how the garage door was open, because they did not open it. I was in shock, because that is the only reason I knocked on the door. I told them that I needed someone to take me to the hospital, because I was planning on killing myself that very day.

Jerry told me to come in and sit down while he made some breakfast. Robin then started explaining to me, while Jerry made homemade pancakes, that she thought I had postpartum depression. She went into a gentle conversation with me about symptoms of the illness. While I was talking with Robin, Jerry called my husband to tell him where I was and that I was okay. From this point, I was able to get the help I needed to treat the illness I had. It took about 18 months, monitored by doctors and watched closely by friends and family, before I finally came out of the deep depression.

As a Christian, I felt like I could not tell anyone what was going on because I was ashamed. But that was wrong thinking. Even in my wrong thinking, God still provided a way for me to receive help.

Even when we feel like a failure, or that we must be doing something wrong, God loves us. If we waiver, God does not. He already knows what is going to happen. He continues to love us! When we experience the shattering of broken dreams, and our future seems bleak, like there is no way out, God literally can open doors! He is that powerful, that loving, and that kind! He ALWAYS loves us and He’s always there for us!

I went on to have 6 more children, 4 of whom God took home to Heaven. He has never left me alone in the storms of life. He has been the rock that can never be shaken or moved. Even though I have been very weak at times, He is strong. That is how it is suppose to be! His grace is sufficient. Broken lives are beautiful when love glues them back together. God’s love is an amazing fact in my life! I want to tell anyone that is suffering to never give up, because God keeps His promises. He saved my life!

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord,
plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope
Jeremiah 29:11