Grace Upon Grace
by Brittany Carlton
About nine months ago, my life took a completely different turn than I had never expected.
I was newly married at the time, and I honestly thought I was in a normal, healthy relationship. But as time went on, my mental health had taken a hard downfall. I became severely depressed, and anxious with anything and everything.
Towards the last eight months of my marriage, I started to experience panic attacks every single morning. Throughout all of these issues I was having, my husband was telling me that arguments and issues were caused by me and my mental health. I was told that if I didn’t fix myself and get better, then everything was over and we were done.
I can tell you now that this marriage for me wasn't love, it became an obsession. Everything I did, said, planned for, hoped for, dreamed of, was a choice based off of this person. I had put him above anything and everything. My family, my health, my clothing choice, my appearance and my job.
I woke up every morning striving and working hard to make sure everything he had and wanted he received. Physically and mentally. But throughout all of this, I was continuously reminded through backhanded insults that I wasn’t enough, my body wasn’t enough and that leaving me was an “at any moment” type of thing.
I was told I was crazy and insane, and I accepted the fact that everything was caused through me, and I eventually started anti-depressants hoping it would fix everything. After finding out a couple of times that there was infidelity in my marriage, the blindfold was finally taken off. I had come to the point where I had no ounce of love left for him, or myself, or really anyone or anything for that matter.
The day the blindfold came off was the day I left.
I checked myself into a mental facility so that I could recuperate my mind and body. The first night at the facility was the best sleep I had received in what felt like months. The meal I had the next morning was the first meal I had really eaten in about three days. From that day on, I just continued to get better and better.
I had lots of friends that helped me and pointed me in the right direction which was the church. I hadn’t been to church in about two years, maybe more. My mindset of church at the time was that I felt like I was unworthy, too broken or too much to handle. Little did I know, that was the exact reason why I absolutely belonged there.
My first Sunday at Cornerstone Church of San Diego was welcoming and loving. I never felt that I wasn’t welcome. The Holy Spirit was absolutely present in all areas of the church. Through many months of digging into the Word on my own and with friends, constant prayer, and switching worldly music for worship music, I got better.
My first month away from my husband I filed for divorce and got my own apartment with my dog Loki. After three months of searching for love in all the wrong places, God spoke to me through a dream and said that I needed to start living a pure life, mentally, physically and sexually until my next marriage, so that day I decided I would listen and do so.
After five months of just attending a few church events a week, I began serving almost every day. I took life classes, fellowshipped with others, and worked with the kids. At this point, I had been on my anti-depressants for about seven months. God spoke to me and said that I didn’t need them, that I could cast all my issues (regardless of how bad they seemed or how hurt I was) unto him. So I did, and now, five months later after stopping them, I still do not need them.
I am sitting here today, nine months from the time I left my abusive marriage, healed of all my pain. I was divorced and officially free from my marriage in January. I have forgiven my ex-husband. I continuously pray to God that he might change and surrender his life to God. I have gained all the weight back that I had lost through my anxiety, and still gaining. I serve at my church almost every single day of the week in the children’s ministry. And the even crazier part of this whole story! God has brought a wonderful, patient and caring man of God into my life that’s 100% willing to wait alongside me for sex until marriage.
I can truly tell you from the bottom of my heart, that the true cure for all of my mental issues was God. He healed me from the inside out. Not only do I feel joy and happiness like never before on the inside, but it shows on the outside. God truly is a miracle worker in so many beautiful ways.
For any women out there who are questioning their faith, their life, their purpose - your purpose lies within the Lord! Your life will become free of pain with the Lord! I am living proof that God heals all different types of pains and yes, even mental illness! He is the all time healer and redeemer. God loves the broken, tattered souls. I was once a broken and tattered soul, with so many cuts that felt so deep, but he has made me anew.
If all else fails, remember: if God can make the heavens and the earth with all the details it entails within six days(!) He can surely heal you of any and all problems. No limits. No questions. Just faith and surrender.
About the author
Hello everyone! My name is Brittany Carlton. I am 23 years old, currently stationed in San Diego, CA in the United States Navy with a few months left on my 4-year contract. I have a 2 year old German Shepherd named Loki, who is basically my child! I enjoy the outdoors, singing, working with kids and listening to music.
You can follow me on Instagram at @brittany_fayec.