THAT BLACK DOG

(March 22, 2021) Trevor Pugh shares his testimony…

Thank you, Connecting with You contributors Pastor Charles Schwab, Dr Jim McClure, Geraldine Brandt, and Dr Robert and Maureen McQuillan for your articles this month (Links below*).

I appreciate you all sharing this journey, especially Pastor Charles’ very open candidness.

That constant companion
DepressionThe Black Dog – has been a constant companion, biting away at me since l was young – unloved, uncared for, and hurting so much inside.

It was while being ‘bitten yet again’ at age 40 that I thought I had the final solution to such ‘bites’… suicide!

That dark night l held a rifle under my chin and was pressing on the trigger, when l suddenly stopped and decided to go outside and call into the night sky.

‘Why?’ I wondered as I stood there outside, making a lot of noise and shouting inanely.

My shouting woke my wife, Jan, and she rushed out to see what was going on, who or what I was yelling at.  With her help I sensed God speaking to my heart and l quieted down. I ended up going back to bed, although secretly thinking, ‘Anyway, I can suicide tomorrow.’

But praise God in the morning, l felt different! I had called out to God and he had heard me!

Inner prison
I realised that I was in a prison of my own making, in bondage to my coping methods of drugs and alcohol and now almost committing suicide.

But a door had opened! And shortly afterwards someone told me about Jesus and l asked the Saviour to help me. I’d called out to God and now I accepted Jesus into my life. I was now able to overcome!

Now, l know the word ‘journey’ can be overused – but for me the detours of my ongoing journey can still attempt to change my course. While l still have challenges l know I’m not alone.

Thankfully, l no longer need medication (I had even cancelled my disability pension, ever though people thought me crazy!)… but beyond this I know that I know it is Jesus Christ who has changed me and my life!

Easy? No way!

While the ‘Black Dog’ still has teeth… now it’s only his bark that echoes in my mind! Stronger than l was? Yes!

Need help?
That’s my story in brief, one l happily share with those God places along my path who too may have similar issues.

If you’re in the same place as l was in 1996, I encourage you to call out to God… give him a chance to assist you as he did me.

No, I’m not being ‘religious’ and it doesn’t mean you have to go to church… but, after all, this is a biblical instruction eg ‘Do not forsake the assembling of yourselves together’ (Hebrews 10:25).  And why should one who has experienced the grace, presence and encouragement of God not be willing to assemble with others to sing his praises? 

I’m particularity asking you to call out to Jesus! God will lead you to a neighbourly, Bible-believing church. It’s the relationship, not ‘religion’ that makes the difference!

With Jesus’ help you too can cope
God has given me the strength to fend off the attacks, the ‘bites.’ l know that l am no longer alone. You can know this too: you too can find release from ‘the coping methods’ that have held you a prisoner in bondage, and you can experience release!


Oh l still get bitten occasionally. Now l can cope with Jesus’ inner help. The past can always haunt us… but while l found a way to accept the past, it doesn’t mean l can forget it. But with Jesus’ help I overcome!

My encouragement to you is… don’t let the ‘real’ mongrel, Satan, win. If you’d like to chat (write me), my link is c/- OnlinerConnect@gmail.com
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Trevor Pugh is an assistant pastor Living Word (CRC), Macclesfield, SA and shares his story wherever he finds opportunity, believing that through Jesus others can gain the overcoming victory he found. (Links – * Charles Schwab’s That-Dreaded-D-Word-Depression / Dr Jim McClure’s Mental-Illness-Realites / Geraldine Brandt’s The-Too-Hard-Basket / Dr Robert and Maureen’s McQuillan’s Dark-Nights-of-the-Soul).
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