This creeping depression just started coming upon me, more and more and more. My name's Neil, and this is my story. My life was going well, everything seemed to be going happy. And I can remember I was working one night shift and I just felt this over-whelming panic. Felt like I was about to have a heart attack and I just felt I needed to run-away somewhere. I thought I needed to go to the doctor, to see what the problem is. So he diagnosed depression - so I had to take time of work. During that time I came across, accidentally, the alpha course which was being shown live at the time. And it was something that intrigued me, and I thought - there's something in this. So I went on the internet and discovered the local church was just doing an alpha course. What attracted me was they said you could meet new people, you become friends with them, you become family and you share food and drink. And I thought that sounds really exciting and really attractive, I'll have a go at that. So I went out of the front door, started walking down the road and this fear, this voice said to me - 'Neil what are you doing this for, this is just stupid, just go back home'. I'd never come from a Christian background of faith. So I turned around and started walking back home. And then I thought, Neil get a grip man! Do something for yourself for a change. So I turned around and carried on down again. So I went in the front door, so it was you know come and sit down, have a meal have a cup of tea, sit at a table and just chat with people. And the beauty of it is, its Christianity explored and there's no stupid questions - that's one thing I liked about it. With my engineering hat on I started thinking this makes sense. So the penny started dropping, that there is somebody that loves me, and there was somebody that paid the price. Two-thirds of the way through most alpha courses, there's what they call the Holy Spirit away day, where the person of the Holy Spirit is explained and you're given the opportunity to give your life to Jesus, which I did. It was just transforming. The sense of peace I had was something I'd never, ever exeprienced in my life at all. I say to people it was like having a huge warm duvet of love wrapped around me. My head was clear, the sky was brighter, life seemed better. I couldn't care if world war three went off, because I was at peace. It truly has transformed my life. I don't fear death, I don't fear hardly anything now. I just believe God got me at that point, maybe even took me through that course of depression and I believe He had to break me to get my attention. And then have to rediscover what life was about. He used me discovering the alpha course, while I was of in that dark, deep pit of depression to then discover about Him. So that was the beginning of my journey of my faith with Jesus.
Neil’s story was produced by the Evangelical Alliance with the support of
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