Hello, my name is Joseph Lee. I graduated from the University of California at Berkeley where I major in physics and applied math. After I graduated, I decided to major at U.C.I. as a graduate student in the materials science and engineering department. I play the violin and piano, and I am a Korean-American Christian.
On October 20, 1990, I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. Three days later, I suffered a chemical imbalance in my bloodstream called manic depressive illness, which is a mental disorder. I was hallucinating, and I was extremely sick. When I was acting crazy in church, many leaders at my former church thought that I was demon possessed and actually performed an exorcism on me. As my father, mother and younger brother heard what had happened to me, they blamed the church for my mental illness and they, later on, totally rejected the Bible. When I realized that my whole family was not saved, I tried to preach the Word of God to my family while I was very sick. I argued with my father and mother and I was later hospitalized in a mental institution. My psychiatrists took my Bible away from me and told me not to believe in God. I compromised by not talking about God to the nurses and doctors, and I got even more sick.
I could have cursed God and told Him that I did not believe in Him any longer. Instead, I thanked God for letting me go through the sickness and praised God that He had chosen me the same way He had chosen Joseph, the Prime Minister of Egypt. Joseph and I went through many similar struggles. He was a slave and a prisoner in Egypt and he was faithful to God for 13 long years. Please read Hebrews 11:24-25. Even if my psychiatrists were right (though I believe they are wrong), then I'd rather be sick for the rest of my life as a Christian than to live a comfortable and healthy life as a non-Christian because I really love what the Lord has done for me. If you read Genesis very carefully, Joseph did not bring glory to God just because he became Prime Minister of Egypt. He brought glory to God, because he was able to forgive all of his enemies. That's one of the glories of God.
I can do everything through Him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13
As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" "Neither this man nor his parents sinned," said Jesus, "but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life." John 9:1-3
"How then were your eyes opened?" they (the blind man's neighbors) demanded. He (the blind man) replied, "The man they call Jesus made some mud and put it on my eyes. He told me to go to Siloam and wash. So, I went and washed, and then I could see." John 9:10-11
God can heal the mentally ill, the blind, and the spiritual death of non-believers. If we believe that He can do it, then He will. After I was released from the hospital against all of my psychiatrists' recommendations, I started to read the Bible and I have started to recover and I can really feel the power of Holy Spirit in me. This is proof that God can heal anyone with any diseases and disabilities. I started to talk more comprehensibly and I came back to Berkeley. When my dad, mom, and younger brother noticed a lot of improvements, they finally decided to go to church. I am telling you, people. There exists a God in heaven, and it is a miracle from God that I am still a Christian.
I have some prayer requests for everyone. Please pray that I will be able to glorify God in the same way that Joseph, the prime minister of Egypt, did to the whole world. Please pray that I will be able to reconcile with the leaders at my former church. Please pray that my dad, mom, and brother will develop a personal relationship with God. Also pray that I would be able to please God first and my parents next with my school work.
What is Manic Depressive Illness?
Manic depressive illness is a bipolar mental disease, which fluctuates from mania to depression. For example, I have a happy notion that I can win three Noble Prizes in physics and later on, I will want to die after failing a physics midterm. People with my disease will express tremendously poor judgement and unwarranted optimism. People with this disease will tend to be irritable and disruptive to society. Another symptom of the disease is that the patient will not be able to hide his thoughts from other people. I noticed within myself that I had many severe bitter thoughts and emotions and had no self-control over my verbal and physical actions. I was extremely angry at my dad, professors, pastors, friends, and psychiatrists even though they tried to help me. Some sources say that manic depressive illness is very similar to the symptoms of schizophrenia and cocaine addiction. Patients may also have a sleeping disorder as well.
But most importantly, if you do not have this illness treated with medication like lithium and navane, you can easily endanger your own life. One in a hundred to about one in five people suffer from some form of mental illness, and the church must understand that Christians with my illness in the churches are capable of harming himself even though they are saved. The church must not neglect the problem of mental illness and should love the mentally sick. So, anyone with manic depressive illness or other mental diseases should not be ashamed of having it. It is a medical problem and it should be treated. You also have to find the right psychiatrist as well. Some parts of psychiatry are very anti-God, and we have to be very careful whether the experts really know what they are talking about. Almost every non-Christian psychiatrists do not believe that God can cure your mental illness. In fact, some non-Christian psychiatrists like to blame one's illness on the Bible, and it is important for the patient to find a Christian counselor or psychiatrist for help.
The cause of my disease is unknown. Some psychiatrists say that it is genetic and that environmental factors such as having difficult family relationships with both my mother and father may be a factor in my mental illness. I believe that pressure from school and family to study really hard triggered a hgmail.comormone in my brain, which caused the abnormality in my behavior.
I am not saying that every family should encourage their children to not study and that we should not go to school. What I am trying to say is that we should do our best like the way Joseph, the Prime Minister of Egypt, did when he was a caretaker of his master's home and overseer of the prison, and that we should love one another through the loving kindness of Jesus Christ.
If you need help or know someone, who does, please call 1-800-NEW-LIFE. They can refer you or your friend to a Christian psychiatrist or psychologist. If you do not want their help, then you can call Pastor Jonathan "Yogi" Kang at (714) 857-9425 or at (714) 733-8512.
*The opinions expressed in this testimonial are those of the author, who is solely responsible for content.* Editor, THE EDIFIER