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Ellie's Story: A Journey of Finding Rest in Mental Health

October 27, 2019
5 min read
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Being restless can mean being in a constant state of search. We get frustrated, depressed, and anxious when no matter what we do, fulfillment is nowhere to be found. Today we’re sharing Ellie Cubas’ journey of finding rest in Jesus after a long road. Please make sure to share this story, you never know who may need it!

Ellie Cubas' Story

I don’t need anyone. I’ll be fine on my own.That was my refrain. At 11 years old, I convinced myself that life would be better if I were thin. In my dysfunctional home, where fighting with my mother about my weight was constant, I thought that if I were thin, I'd be beautiful and good enough. I’d be worthy of my mothers’ love and attention, my defensive father would suddenly become vulnerable, and my popularity in school would soar.So, I created rules to feel secure in a world where I had no control and went from chubby to thin. Praise from my peers and mom were there, but I still was not happy. I could not find rest. Anxiety hounded me. By 17 years old I had attempted suicide three times. Then, I became a teen mom. I decided to try to get well for my son and be a better mom than my mom was to me. But when he was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome a few years later, my anxiety came back. I felt extremely under-qualified as a parent. Doubtful thoughts like, Maybe I should’ve given him up for adoption and I can't provide him with a stable life, consumed me. The overwhelming negativity had me succumbing to my old ways, going days without eating only to then jump on an eating binge until I felt sick. I got stuck in this cycle but refused to ask for help.In 2016, a Christian coworker told me about VOUS Church and promised that I would leave the place believing in God. Even though I agreed to go, I didn’t think it was possible. At the time, the whole idea seemed crazy to me. How could so many people believe there was "someone up there" who cared about them?Eventually, I did go to VOUS but didn’t really open my heart to Jesus. However, the seed had been planted. It wasn't until an experience two years later that I would feel God's love coming to transform my life. On December 19th, 2018 at 5 AM, I woke up to a text that my best friend died by suicide. She left without saying goodbye. Losing her that way was one of the worst pains I’ve ever experienced but it triggered something. Could my mental struggles be leading me down the same path? I remember curling up on my bathroom floor, crying uncontrollably. I screamed out, “God! Please, I don’t want to die!” And right there it hit me. I had been running from God my whole life but found myself screaming out to him at my weakest point. At that exact moment, I knew where I needed to be.Four days later, I went to VOUS Church. I knew it was time to seek help and find community. And never before had my son and I experienced such warmth, such welcome. That Sunday at VOUS my life completely changed. I surrendered my life to Jesus. The validation and love I had spent over a decade searching for, I had finally found. I realized God was helping me despite my mistakes. Jesus calls us to share our testimonies for a reason. Up until I came to VOUS, I thought I was the only one struggling with deep shame and self-hatred. I finally understood that it’s OK to not be OK, it’s just not OK to stay that way. We’re not meant to face trials alone. There's something special about having people lifting you up in prayer and doing life with you. We need friends to keep us accountable and speak life over us. With my VOUS family behind me, I began to lean into Jesus. I started reading the Bible. At one point, I wrote out every single line I had convinced myself was true and found verses that counteracted each one. Slowly but surely, the chains began to break. By being in Jesus’ presence I started to find rest. Today, some days are harder than others. There are moments when I want to give up and go into isolation, days when I miss my best friend so much it’s hard to breathe. However, I know now I’m not alone. I will continue to look to Jesus. He saved me and there's no going back.

A Conversation on Mental Illness and Suicide with DawnCheré Wilkerson and Kayla Stoecklein

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