Experiencing God's Grace

    There are so many thoughts running through my mind, so many horrible memories and yet, I can look back and see the Lord's mercy and grace inter-wound amidst it all.

    On October 29th 1995, I was diagnosed at Marquette General Hospital with Bipolar Disorder. Bipolar disorder, is a mixed form of severe depression, combined with self seeking highs. The symptoms are, very low self-esteem, self hate, sloth, fear, daily suicidal tendencies and physical pain, mixed with the drive to have more possessions and less commitments. I was trying to do what ever it took to somehow satisfy an un-satisfiable urge of the mind and the flesh. (Romans 8:6) The concern of the flesh is death, but the concern of the spirit is life and peace. I accumulated things in the hope of some lasting satisfaction and excommunicated myself from the people and responsibilities in my life.

    It was an unbearable time of life for my wife, children, parents, family members, friends, employees, my business and myself. I was continually crushed as each hospitalization, (4 total) each medication, (20 some different medications) and each new counselor, therapist, priest or shrink seemed to offer no lasting cure. I tried everything I could possibly think of to bring peace in my life. I tried more sleep and less sleep, more work and less work, more medication and less medication, I even went as far as leaving every one and every thing behind, to start a new life, in a new place, only to later realize, that I could not run away from myself. It wasn't until I was totally at the end of my rope, (no pun intended) that I finally realized that I couldn't bring about, or cause my own healing. (Romans 9:16) "So it depends not upon a person's will or effort, but upon God, who shows mercy." The I needed to be put aside and I needed to totally trust in the great "I AM" (John 14:6) Jesus said to him, "I am the way and the truth and the life."

    It wasn't until I was humbled enough to surrender everything, (I Peter 5:6) "So humble yourself under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time" trusting in the Lords strength and power and not my own vain efforts, that the 5 or more years of my bipolar rampage was wiped away, never to return, with out any medication at all. I've been totally and completely freed of bipolar and all it's symptoms since June 29th 1998. On that date, I began meeting with a man named Basil Frasure, who using only Gods word, allowed me to see, that Christ had already won the battle over sin and disease on a cross almost 2000 years ago. He showed me that if I believed and trusted in God's word and surrendered my entire self to the Lord, that the Lord could heal and forgive my past hurts, sins, failures and take away my present pride along with my attempt to control the future. (Matthew 6:34) "Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself." It was only at that point, which the Lord could begin his healing, which many others and I had been praying for. (Luke 11:9) "And I tell you, ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you." I realized that it was my pride that would not allow Him complete control over my life. I believe the Lord wanted to answer my prayer, but my own self-will stood in the way. Basil reveled to me the spiritual principle, clearly written in God's word, setting a foundation, which allowed the Lord to work a miracle in my life.

    I now have a totally different view of my life and God's plan for me. I no longer need to believe God's word, because now I know His words are true. I went from a believer to a knower and what a difference it has been to know God is what He said He is. - All loving, all powerful, all knowing, all merciful and all forgiving. It was through God's mercy that I was able to received God's HEALING GRACE. (Ephesians 2:8-9) "For by grace you have been saved by faith, and this is not from your efforts; it is the gift of God; it is not from works, so no one may boast."

Amazing grace! How sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost, but now am found, was blind but now I see.
'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear, and grace my fears relieved;
How precious did that grace appear, the hour I first believed.
Through many dangers, toils and snares, I have already come;
'Tis grace has brought me safe thus far, and grace will lead me home.
The Lord has promised good to me, His word my hope secures;
He will my shield and portion be, as long as life endures

     The Lord performed another miracle that week that we were in Texas. Holly and I conceived a child to be born 9 months later. A beautiful daughter appropriately named Grace.

 Matt Marenger

Counselor's Note: Matt's wife affirms this testimony.

Links: Counseling Appointments