Personal Experience with God
Author: Karen Yan
My name is Karen Yan, and I am in 10th grade. I go to Lambert High School.
In 2021, I was most grateful for my friends and family being used by God. They have been there for me when they didn’t even know what was going on with me. My Christian friends and their families would plan fun activities for me in the summer. I was not suicidal, but I was diagnosed with a psychotic disorder in May. This disorder developed from not sleeping for about eight days. I couldn’t sleep because of stress. I was trying to make a Christian club, and on top of that, it was the last few days of virtual school.
These days without sleep caused my brain to be damaged, but it wasn’t fully damaged. I still had some sense of reality. Every day I would sleep for maybe a few hours or 30 minutes, and I would wake up thinking. To kill the time when I wasn’t sleeping, I would just think about what would happen the next day. Or the next month. Or the next few months. Or the next year. Until it got worse. I started to think that I didn’t need sleep.
One night, Pastor Chi’s wife, my friend, her mom, and an elder came to my house to pray for me. After we talked for a bit, I was taken to the emergency room to get a shot that would make me sleep. During the hospital visit, I started to remember Pastor Chi’s daughter, Stephanie. I tried to look her up on Instagram, but I didn’t find her. I was desperate to get out of quarantine and just see people.
The next day, I woke up. I opened my eyes, and I saw a different perspective of my house. I went downstairs to my study room, and suddenly, I started seeing words and hearing things. I concluded that Stephanie was living in my room. I decided that someone that I haven’t seen in a long time existed in my house. Starting on this day, I started to have more delusions, and I would write down random stuff, thinking that Stephanie was being nice and communicating with me on the other side.
A few more days passed, I started to realize that I had a disorder. I also realized that I needed to rely on God in this situation. I noticed that He is the One who made this event happen. My first instinct was that my dad wasn’t Christian yet, and this is why I was experiencing this crisis. My parents and I would try singing worship songs every day to make my illness go away. We would pray every day and every night. This is how desperate we were. Especially my dad — he was facing a lot of confusion. He would think, “Should I become a Christian? Is there a God? Is He real?” These questions gave me hope. I came to understand that I was living with the Living Hope. This is the name of my Christian club now. Though we might change the name later, my club was created because I was inspired by the situation I was in.
Thankfully, all is well now. After searching for mental health doctors, therapists, and medication, we finally found the correct prescription for me. Today, I am still on medication, but it is the minimum dosage. I no longer have any episodes of psychosis, and my mental health has gotten much better now. Symptoms may come back one day, but I am okay now. I believe that God made all this happen, and I am grateful that He saved my life through this experience.
During my mental illness, my dad finally surrendered to God, and several months later, he got baptized outside. During the baptism, the audience sang a song. My dad was the only one being baptized that day. It was a very special day for him and our family. The wind was blowing behind my back, and it felt like an evil spirit finally flew away.
Thank you so much for reading this, and I hope it encouraged you in some way. I wouldn’t be able to recover this soon without my church and God’s grace. Thank you to those who were a part of my journey to recovery. Thank you, Elizabeth Tian and Jocelyn Zeng, for always being there for me and for coming to my house to accompany me. Thank you, Estelle Shen and Yuchen (Nancy) Wang, for making fun activities for me. And thank you to all of the aunts and uncles in this church who prayed for me along the way. I don’t know what I’d do without my friends, my family, the church, and especially Jesus. He was always there with me. Thank you, Jesus, for this miracle.
Author: Karen Yan