Sitting in the psychiatrist’s office, I felt as if my pounding heart were going to burst out of my chest.
I had been admitted to the Northern Virginia Doctors Hospital the previous evening and was staying in the psychiatric wing. I have struggled with depression for a good part of my life. I have never called it that, though. I just thought I had a melancholy personality and sadness was simply woven into my DNA. But after months of feeling as if I were disappearing a little bit more every day, I had finally reached out to a friend for help, and this was where that journey had taken me.
“Who are you?” the doctor asked.
I thought it was a stupid question. I could see my name on the top of his yellow legal pad.
“I’m Sheila Walsh,” I said.
“I know your name, Sheila,” he responded kindly, “but who are you?”
A trick question! I thought. “I’m the co-host of The 700 Club.”
“I didn’t ask what you do, Sheila. I asked who you are.”
That stumped me. “I don’t know,” I whispered.
“Well,” he said. “That’s why you’re here.”
My greatest nightmare growing up was that I would end up in a psych ward. My father was thirty-four when he escaped from the hospital where he was being held and took his own life. As I look back now, more than twenty years later, I can say with confidence that God’s mercy led me to that psych ward.
When we are forced to face our greatest fears, we discover that Jesus is right there with us. I wrote in my journal that first night, “I never knew You lived so close to the floor.” For a month I worked through the painful process of peeling back the layers I had created to protect myself. The opportunity to do so was a gift.
On the day I left, my doctor called out of his office window, “Sheila, who are you?”
I responded with everything in me, “I am Sheila Walsh, daughter of the King of kings!”
IN THE WORD:
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. (Deuteronomy 31:6, NIV)
For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39, ESV)
Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. (John 1:12-13, NIV)
Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. (Ephesians 2:9-10, NLT)
It is God who enables us, along with you, to stand firm for Christ. He has commissioned us, and he has identified us as his own by placing the Holy Spirit in our hearts as the first installment that guarantees everything he has promised us. (2 Corinthians 1:21-22, NLT)
REMEMBER: YOU ARE A DAUGHTER OF THE KING OF KINGS.