“I thought about death 24 hours a day”

Depression stole Maria Josivânia Santana’s joy. She did everything to change, but she only found a new meaning in life when she met God.

Apathy, isolation and sadness are some of the symptoms of depression. Despite being more common among adults, this condition can manifest itself in childhood, as happened to Maria Josivânia de Medeiros Santana, aged 37. “I was born in Pernambuco, into a very poor family. When I was 7 years old, I went to live in a couple’s house, where I worked as a nanny. I didn’t understand why I didn’t live with my parents, I thought they didn’t love me and that created a deep sadness in me,” she recalls.

Even hiding her pain, she grew up depressed, as if she didn’t see color in life. “As time went on, the depression got worse and every area of my life was affected. I was very insecure and thought no one liked me, which messed up all my relationships. Furthermore, to fill the emptiness I carried, I threw myself into drinking, prostitution and everything that could make me forget the pain I carried inside me,” she says.

She made three suicide attempts, until she decided to move to São Paulo in search of a better life, but experienced another disappointment. “I had a heartbreak that took me to rock bottom. I could no longer sleep and thought about death 24 hours a day. But, as I had already tried to kill myself before, I thought I wasn’t even good for that.”

No matter how great her effort to be happy, depression was her main companion, until one day a light appeared at the end of the tunnel: “I received an invitation to participate in a meeting at Universal Church and on the first day I understood that everything I did would never make me happy, because what I needed to give meaning to my life was the Lord Jesus.”

This understanding was the first step towards inner healing and life transformation. She highlights that, thanks to perseverance, she managed to rewrite her story. “It was a struggle for me to understand and start practicing my faith. However, by obeying the Word of God, I freed myself, got baptised, had my encounter with God and received the Holy Spirit,” she says.

From that moment on, the woman who was depressed, traumatized and full of doubts became certain that she would never be alone again. “My character was transformed. Today, I have peace and true happiness. I achieved a blessed marriage, I work as a freelancer in the beauty sector and my life reflects the power of God”, she concludes.