Nearly Destroyed Me
By Gina Fitch
was 14 years old when my mother packed
her bags, said goodbye to my dad, my younger
brother and sister and me, and left with
another man to start a new life. The last
thing she said to me when she walked out
the door was, "Don't cry or you'll
make me stay." Two months later her
new relationship ended, and Mom moved
to England. Over the next eight years,
I saw my mother twice.
day my mother left in 1976, my childhood came to an abrupt
end as I was thrust into the role of mother. I cooked dinners;
I took the clothes to the Laundromat, I bought Christmas
gifts for everyone - including myself. Dad moved us twice
over the next two years, which also meant changing schools
twice. I hated the moves for I didn't know anyone. To make
matters worse, in 1978 my brother and sister decided to
move to England and live with our mother.
was not the kind of person who easily expressed emotion.
He found it very difficult to say, "I love you"
or to show affection in other ways. He also worked as a
TV repairman, which meant he was out most nights.
for Love in the Wrong Places
to my mother's rejection, my siblings' departure and my
sense of alienation from my dad by getting involved with
an older crowd, which led to drinking, drugs and sex. Over
time, disillusioned with this lifestyle, I became reclusive.
Eventually, I no longer had any friends.
to food for comfort. I also tried going to church - I longed
to feel loved and to have a sense of belonging. I started
going to church by myself, but found it extremely difficult
to fit in. I would see the other girls in their pretty dresses
laughing with their friends; I would look at myself with
my overweight body and old jeans and conclude, "I don't
belong here." Eventually I stopped going to church.
I was 18 years old I met Greg, who had responded to my father's
advertisement to rent out a spare bedroom in our house.
Five weeks after he moved in, Greg and I decided we were
going to get married. We moved into our own apartment and
seven months later we married. For the first time in my
life I felt like someone wanted me. I convinced myself that
I was happy and that my life finally had a purpose. I was
too blinded by my emotional wounds to see how dysfunctional
our relationship was.
I married Greg I was aware of his drinking problem, but
I convinced myself that I would "fix" him. Like
many women, I deluded myself into believing that my husband
would change after we were married. Two years later, on
November 8th, 1982, my daughter Fay was born. By now the
marriage was severely strained from Greg's drinking, and
the extra responsibility of caring for a child added more
stress to an already fragile relationship. Soon Greg was
drinking excessively every day. Most nights, I cried myself
to sleep. In 1983, our marriage ended.
again, I was alone. My dad had moved to Bermuda two years
earlier, and I had no one to turn to. At 22 I found myself
alone in a large city, living on welfare in a basement apartment
with my daughter, and without a family or even one friend.
during this dark and lonely time that I turned to God. I
realized that I had made a mess of my life, and that I needed
His help. I turned my problems over to Him.
I longed for a husband and a real family. One day, while
praying, I asked God to provide me with a family. I promised
that I would only marry the man that He chose for me.
one week after that prayer, I met Bob, a wonderful Christian
man. God had answered my prayer! We were married in September
like to say that we lived happily ever after, but the wounds
of my past were too deep and as yet unhealed. Shortly after
Bob and I were married, I began to suffer from depression.
Everything was perfect on the outside - I was married to
a wonderful man, I had a beautiful family and I knew Jesus
as my Lord and Saviour - but on the inside, I was falling
everything I could think of to conquer my depression. I
prayed more. I read Christian self-help books, I confessed
every sin I could think of, I sought prayer from others,
I fasted, I saw counsellors. I tried changing my diet and
started on medication. Everything helped a little, though
nothing gave me the breakthrough I longed for. Many times
I felt like I was going one step forward and two steps back.
I wondered why a loving God would allow me to suffer this
have ever suffered from depression, you will understand
just how all encompassing it can be. I lived in constant
fear, guilt and depression because I couldn't seem to gain
control over the emotional torment and negative thoughts
that attacked my mind.
Path to Victory
in the midst of all the pain, on many occasions I felt the
peace of Jesus fill my soul. This gave me hope - and the
motivation to keep going. When I felt like I couldn't go
on, and when I cried out to God with all my heart, He encouraged
me to keep going. Little by little, victories started to
come in my life. Truth started to fill my heart and expose
the lies that were formed through the rejection and pain
of my childhood.
the first time, I also began to understand the meaning of
sin. I realized that I was trying so hard to "prove"
to God that I was good - I couldn't see the pride and self-righteousness
that filled my heart.
verse described me-I was depending on my own righteousness
instead of trusting in Jesus. One day, when I was feeling
so guilty and ashamed that no matter how hard I tried, I
kept walking in defeat, the Holy Spirit brought to my mind
a scripture in Philippians 3:9, "
not having a
righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that
which is through faith in Christ - the righteousness that
comes from God and is by faith."
though I had been a Christian for a number of years, I realized
that I was still depending on my own righteousness and my
own strength. I finally came to the point of acknowledging
that I couldn't fix myself. I couldn't make myself righteous.
My only hope was in Jesus. As I humbled myself before God,
I felt a peace come over me like I had never experienced
began to truly embrace God's love for me, I was also able
to love myself. In turn, I found it easier to give and receive
love in my marriage. There are still times when I battle
depression, but at those times, I just continue to praise
Jesus and thank him for His promises. I have learned that
it is by faith that we are set free. We can't experience
fear and faith at the same time. We either believe God's
Word or we don't. It's our choice.
As God has been healing me and setting me free,
He has also birthed in me a passion to help
other hurting women - women who have no hope
and who live in so much pain and oppression
that at times suicide may seem like the only
solution. I desire that God uses my life to
help these women see that God is not punishing
them, that Jesus really is the answer, and
that there truly is healing and freedom in
you know God personally? Read:
Peace with God