The Kingdom of God: Testimony and Introduction
I would like to welcome everyone to the video recording for Refreshing Hope Ministries especially those who are battling Anxiety and Depression. My name is Jim Jarrell and over the next few weeks I hope to show everyone how God has revealed to me how to put Anxiety and Depression behind me. I have spoken live at different churches over the last few years. I even did a radio show over the internet for close to 5 years, but this video thing is very new to me.
I would like to thank Dion and Sylvia for inviting me to speak here. I have known Dion and Sylvia for over ten years now. We first met at a church we attended together. I did attend Seminary at the same place that Dion did, but God had other plans for me. When God first said to me that He wanted to teach me Himself, that was not very popular as you can imagine. It did not bother me so much because God had brought me this far, I could not imagine Him not finishing what He had started. I remember when Dion first started talking about starting Refreshing Hope Ministry; I think he was as nervous as I am about this internet ministry. Our pastor used to say; “Your words are a slave to you until you speak them, then you become a slave to them. When you put them out on the internet, they are there for everyone to see.
This subject of Anxiety and Depression are very dear to me, I know what it is like to not want to leave a room for days. I know what is like to be so depressed that seeing or talking to others is almost impossible. I know what it is like to use drugs to cover up how you are feeling so that you do think you can interact with others. That never turned out like I thought it would, everyone knew I was using drugs. I just thought I had it covered up. You see, this was my life for years and years. It was not until I overdosed on the drugs I was using, that God decided it was time to intervene in my life.
In August of 1989, after taking more cocaine than my body could handle, God sent an Angel to me to ask me if I wanted to die, or would I like to live. I remember just lying there looking at this Angel and wondering why God would send Him to someone like me. After a few minutes of thinking about my life and knowing this Angel was from God, I told Him that I would like to live. He said to me; “It is time to change your life.” I do not know what else He did that night, but when I woke up the next day, I knew that it was time to change.
Two days later, I checked myself into a Drug Rehab Center in Atlanta Georgia. About fifteen days later, one of the counselors there said to me; “You have had some kind of a miracle, I have never seen anyone with the amount of drugs you had in your system, not have any kind of withdrawal symptoms.” I , to this day wonder if that Angel laid His hands on me somehow, but I did not have any kind of withdrawal symptoms. After 28 days, they told me it was time to leave the Hospital. They had introduced me to the 12 step program of Narcotics Anonymous. They had told me how important it would be to attend at least one meeting a day and that I needed to change the people who were in my life. I do not think they understood that no one wanted to be a part of my life. I had alienated everyone who had ever even seemed to care about me in one way or another.
They especially stressed the first three steps of the program and developing a daily prayer life at the rehab center. The daily prayer life became a way of life for me, working the steps was a little harder. Those steps are; 1) We admit we are powerless over our addiction, and our lives had become unmanageable. 2) Came to understand that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. 3) We made a conscience decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him. I did not tell anyone there about having a visitation from an Angel, I somehow knew that no one would believe me anyway. Having been raised in the church when I was young, and having been saved and baptized at fourteen, these steps were very easy for me. I did not know how, but I knew that anything would be better than my life had been so far. I had no idea of the adventure God was taking me on.
After leaving the Hospital, I moved into a halfway house and attended 12 step meetings sometimes three times a day. They told me that how I pursued using drugs should be how I needed to go after my recovery. That is exactly what I did. After 6 months, I started to see my life changing but the anxiety and the depression were very much a part of my life. I had messed up my life so badly that I really did not talk about it; I just tried to get clean. I worked the steps the best one can and not be very honest about their self. I continued to go to Narcotics Anonymous and the Hospital’s after care meetings for another year. One day at a Hospital meeting they had a speaker from Alcohol Anonymous speaking.
He talked about seeing people’s lives changed through the 12 steps and he said things that I for some reason had never heard before. The following week, I went to the meeting he recommended, about two weeks later I asked him to be my sponsor. He turned out to be someone I could trust and be honest with. He truly understood anonymity better than anyone I had ever met. Over the next two years, he led me through all 12 steps of the program of Alcoholics Anonymous and boy did I see my life change. I recommend those steps to everyone; believe it or not they turn out to be directly from the Bible. God was restoring my life right before my very eyes.
During that time, I tried different churches. It seems that as soon as they found out who I was and that I was in the recovery program, they wanted nothing to do with me. Most church people do not realize that just because you accept God as your savior through Jesus His son, there is so much of your life that needs to be changed. They seem to think that you should be changed; my life was not that way. There was just too much of the world in my life. I just continued on with the program and I could see my life changing.
In the winter of 1993, I was offered a job back in Virginia working on golf course equipment. I had about a 45 minute ride to work each day. My father gave me a set of 25 cassette tapes produced by a Pastor from Texas called “THE PROTOCOL OF GOD”. One of those tapes talked about the “Kingdom of God” and how it worked through the Holy Spirit. That one tape changed my thinking and my life more than all the steps of Alcohol Anonymous ever could. I knew that God had saved me, but I was so unfamiliar with the Holy Spirit. I so clearly remember that day! I started praying to God, and asking Him about His Holy Spirit. I really did not get an answer that day, but it was the beginning of something so new to me. That is what I intend to teach as my life continues.Read more at: www.refreshinghope.org