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Changing My Future by Neely Dison

As I sat down to write this, I pulled out an old journal and looked back at the words I had written. I realized I had always sought to become a better person and grow in the Lord all my life. This desire included diving into scripture, asking the Lord to search my heart and make me aware of the things I needed to change, and yet in seeking him, I still had hurt and disappointment. I still had places that needed to heal. I still needed to mature to a place where I could receive that healing.

I recognized some disappointments and changes that weren't what I thought they would be. Then many griefs started happening and weren't stopping, including the passing of people I loved dearly. The hardest was the sudden passing of my dad.

With a build-up of old disappointments, griefs and sorrows-I was depressed. I was told I had lost my joy and needed to find it quickly to stay in my position at work. I was emotionally crippled for a season. Everything that had been neatly packed away, really just stuffed away, was starting to bust out. I didn't know how to process being told my joy wasn't showing, which affected how people saw me. How do you show joy in a season of sorrow? My emotions were crippling me.

With the chaos of 2020, losing my job, Miika's job being downsized, Philip graduating, finishing my ministry degree, feeling emotionally and spiritually depleted, physically overweight, and deteriorating health, I hit a wall. I thought I was having a heart attack and spent the weekend in the hospital. Let's add the stress of the pending medical bills on top of everything else. I was faced with a lifetime of stuffing, not completely processing old traumas. I had many breakthroughs, but I never allowed myself to get to the source of the hurt. So, for years these hurts built upon each other until finally, I found myself sitting in the hospital room attached to monitors crying out to God.

Where have You been? How could You let me get into this state? How could I let myself get into this state of brokenness? It was a cycle of blame and control.

I heard the Holy Spirit say, "Baby Girl, you've taught for years on Body, Soul, and Spirit. And You grieved me in 2010 when you joked, my soul and spirit are in great shape, and one of these days, I'll work on this body." So you can not neglect one area of your being and function as a whole. I've called you to more, and you have to care for all of you to do what you were meant to do.

I asked the Lord to direct me. He did, but I got worse before I got better. Finally, he allowed me to hit bottom and feel the source of my brokenness.

After leaving the hospital with a heart monitor attached to me, I had a major meltdown. I called my family doctor and told her I had to see her immediately. I didn't want to be here anymore. She quickly started me on medication for anxiety and depression, and I started seeing a counselor and taking some classes at Transformation Ministries to deal with my unhealed traumas. Then, I reached out to a friend who had taken her health back.

I was still in a gloomy place when I reached out. I had so many negative thoughts. I gave my friend all my excuses. Between the Holy Spirit prompting me to go all in and my husband saying, "please do it, I need you," I gave my friend's plan 30 days.

I didn't expect it would work. I had failed at every other diet. But this wasn't a diet; it was so much more. There was a book that helped me work on my mindset and turn those negative thoughts into positive ones. The Lord used all the pieces of the health journey, including counseling and classes. First, he allowed me to drop the emotional and mental weight, and then the physical weight came off.

Before long, all my symptoms of high blood pressure, dizziness, fainting, inflammation, and depression left me feeling back to myself. I had lost 80 lbs in 8.5 months. I was eager to share the journey I had been on to help others find wholeness in body, soul, and spirit. I've had the privilege to coach many through this program and will continue as long as the Lord allows. I find it interesting how nothing is ever truly lost when we walk with the Lord. God can use all our pain, tears, lessons, and changes to help others through their season of pain if we choose to be vulnerable and transparent. I was taught at a young age to cover the pain, tie it up with a pretty little bow, and mask it. Living this way crippled me when the pain was too much. You need to vent before you blow. Share your pain with a safe person, then share your healing with anyone who needs it.

We're so much better together.

I know to keep myself from buffering and sliding back into depression, I have to make choices for my health. The way I eat, think, and the things I watch and listen to, read, or scroll. I will drift from time to time, and I have to be able to rally.

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