Have you ever had such bad anxiety or depression that you wondered if you could keep going? Have you ever experienced the humiliation of people you care about seeing you at your lowest point? Have you ever felt like you would do anything in the world to change how you are or the way you feel? Have you ever wanted to just disappear or felt like the people you care about would be better without you?
If you or someone you care about has ever felt anything like this, you are the reason I am writing this book. That’s where I was. This book is about my journey from that place to where I am today.
I’m not writing from a place of perfection. I’m not writing to you from an ivory tower, saying I am completely 100 percent free from all anxiety and worry. And I’m certainly not writing to tell you I know the simple fix, the key to unlocking complete peace and joy with a few simple steps. In fact, I would question anyone who promises you that. We are all broken people, living in a bro ken world, and we won’t experience absolute perfection until we get to heaven.
I still experience anxiety and depression. I still battle. I’m still on a journey, and some days are better than others. But I can promise you this: I may not be where I want to be, but I am certainly not where I used to be.
I am writing to you today as someone who is healthier, stronger, and better than I was that day on the side of the road. I may know the depths of despair, but I also know the joy of true transformation. I have experienced the miraculous power of God working in my life in ways that I can’t even comprehend. Today, I am experiencing peace, joy, confidence, and freedom at levels I thought were impossible for me. And I believe the same is possible for you right now.
I want you to know, right up top, that I believe you can experi ence freedom from anxiety and depression. You may have given up hope, but I believe you or your loved one can find levels of peace, joy, confidence, and freedom that will blow you away. Anxiety and depression can take us to a place of absolute hopelessness, convincing us this will never end, never get better, and no one will ever understand. They try to convince us that this is our new reality and we just have to learn to deal with it. But I’m here to tell you that is a lie. You are not stuck like this. Trust me, this is not how your story ends!
Ephesians 3:20 tells us that God “is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.” We have a God who does things that we never even thought possible. I am believing Ephesians 3:20 for you and your loved ones as you read this book.
In fact, if I could be so bold, I would like to challenge you to begin expecting God to show up for you in this way. Expect that God actually meant it when he said he was ready to do things in your life that you never dreamed possible. God wants to bring healing and restoration to your body, mind, and soul today.
The truth is, anxiety and depression are going to attack, but we can attack back! In this book, I’m going to talk to you about everything I’ve learned in my own battle with anxiety, depression, hopelessness, and even suicidal thoughts. If that sounds exhausting, remember the solution is not to pull yourself up by your bootstraps and force your way through this with your own strength. According to Ephesians 3:20, it is his power at work within us. If you (or a loved one) are at the end of your rope today, take heart; this book is about learning to let the God of the uni verse do the heavy lifting as he transforms your life.
Through this journey, God has done things that I could never do in my own strength. I am beginning to experience a level of freedom I never thought possible, and I’m telling you, this freedom is available to you as well. I want to show you what I’ve learned about standing firm and allowing the power of Christ to work in and through you. God created you to live free, and he is ready to heal you in ways you never thought possible.
Shawn Johnson serves as lead pastor of Red Rocks Church in Denver, Colorado, a community he and a small group of people started in 2005 that has grown to include six different campuses. Red Rocks Church has been listed on both Outreach Magazine’s Fastest Growing Churches list and Largest Churches list many times, most recently listed as the 14th largest church in America. Shawn has spoken at a variety of conferences, events, ministries, and other churches, including Leadership Network, Right Now Media, Experience Conference, C3 Conference, and many others. Shawn and his wife, Jill, have three active sons, Ethan, Austin, and Ashton, so when they’re not at church, they’re usually watching or playing sports.