Posts Categorized: faith

cloak of hope

Cloak of Hope Resurrected

Cloak of Hope

Form of a condemned caterpillar, known by a Creator who
loves the despised.
Chosen to shed the itchy filth and red rags of hopelessness
And emerge into a purple cloak of hope–You delight in me!

Turning My Page: My Cloak of Hope

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

2 Corinthians 5;17 ESV

Sometimes, I don’t want to change. I want to stay secure in my chrysalis and avoid life. I’ve experienced a lot of trials, right? I deserve to check out of my troubles for a while. Let others fulfill Christ’s purpose. Metamorphosis isn’t the climax, it is the tomb. The resurrection of a caterpillar to a butterfly is what makes the butterfly so spectacular. I can’t remain in the chrysalis, I must trust God, use my wings, and fulfill the purpose God has for me.

Jesus spelled out my purpose from the moment I accepted him as my Savior. I am to proclaim the good news, but don’t always feel like I capture the depth of God’s transformation in my life. Before I met Jesus, I used the words worthless, failure, and mistake. I searched for meaning in every place but a relationship with God. Then Jesus pursued me with great fervor and delight and convinced me of his love. Now, I love God’s truth and desire life, not death. God custom made a new wardrobe for my attitude.

Too often I catch myself looking through the old closet of thoughts and actions. Colossians 3:10-12 says that God has given me a new cloak of hope as a believer and follower of him. The chrysalis feels safer, but it is like living in a grave while your heart still beats. I am a transformed butterfly, meant to glorify God by sharing the reason for the hope I have, and fear does not have the final say.

A believer in Christ should truly look different.

When God removes our filthy garments of sin, and despair, and places his love and attitude on us, it should be noticeable. Not perfect. God immediately took away my suicidal ideations and desire for alcohol, but many other areas took, stretching, sacrifice, and growth.

In scripture, we see examples of immediate physical changes and in others a turning from sin when Christ entered the room. Immediately, the disciples dropped what they were doing to follow Jesus, but the transformation of their spirit and attitude did not begin until the resurrection. They were in the chrysalis of transformation. I don’t want to end the story, still caught in the in-between of faith. The cloak of faith in Jesus’ revealed that I am a butterfly. Oh, the joy to display his spender!

Cloak of Hope

Turning Your Page

Custom Fitted Cloak of Hope

Now you’re dressed in a new wardrobe. Every item of your new way of life is custom-made by the Creator, with his label on it. All the old fashions are now obsolete. Words like Jewish and non-Jewish, religious and irreligious, insider and outsider, uncivilized and uncouth, slave and free, mean nothing. From now on everyone is defined by Christ, everyone is included in Christ. So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. 

Colossians 3:10-12 MSG

What garment do you wear? Are your words, your heart, your thinking transformed by God’s love for you? When we wear new garments of salvation and belief, there is a heavenly glow. Just as Moses radiated in the Old Testament because he spent time meeting with God, so too, will you as you sit at the feet and apply the love God has for you.

  • If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, describe how has spending time in scripture, fellowshipping with other believers, and loving your neighbor as yourself changed your garments? If you do not yet know this Jesus I talk about, describe your current garments? How would you like others to perceive you? What current attitudes are you struggling with?
  • Snap a picture of a butterfly and post it to my Facebook Page. What do you know about how a butterfly is transformed? How would you describe a transforming moment in your life?

Lord, bring me out, place on me the full cloak of your glory. Amen

Do you feel like a broken butterfly? God has purposed you to fly no matter what you have experienced. Broken Butterflies: Emerging Through Grief is a collection of poems that illustrated in vivid details that the blow I received would not stop me from flying to God’s glory.

Healing Among Tombs

Healing Among Tombs

Healing among the Tombs emerged from time studying the demon-possessed man described in Mark 5. I wrestled with and even hesitate to post anything in this arena. I have edited this intro repeatedly, but a wise friend suggested, “If you could tell your audience anything, without hindrance, what would it be?”

I would tell you:

  • There is hope, no matter the reasons for your mental health struggles.
  • We have an enemy called Satan who seeks to separate us from the love of God in any way he can.
  • As Mark 5 shows, nothing will ever hinder Jesus, not even a legion of (approximately 6,000) demons.
  • We need to be as equipped by the Holy Spirit with discernment of the needs of those around us.
  • We fight the spiritual battle with scripture, allies, prayer, fasting, and by knowing whose authority we speak.

Many are terrorized by despair right now and I can’t just advocate for the physical fight. 

The people of the town had tried everything to subdue the man. Nothing in this world could save or relieve him of his torture.

He made his home among the tombs and was so violent that he broke through chains repeatedly. It seems that no one could possibly help this man. Had they given up? How did he come to be possessed? Did others bring him food? Did he have a family? Who chained him? What was the man’s family feeling? They may have even been the ones who chained him so that he would stop his self-harm.

The bottom line.

It took a divine encounter with Jesus to free him.

It took a divine encounter with Jesus to stop my self-harm and place me on a different path.

We have an enemy seeking to destroy us all and it is a spiritual battle as well as a physical one. I have witnessed spiritual attacks firsthand. I can’t pretend the problem will be only solved with physical solutions. 

This man needed Jesus. I need Jesus to stand against a spirit of despair that has led to over 48,000 suicides in the US. He will turn the tide, and my prayer is that you and I can be a spark of hope.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can make your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this world’s darkness, and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

Ephesians 6:10-12

Turning My Page: Among the Tombs

Forgotten, I greeted you from the remembrances. My home is hollowed from wealth, ready to entertain kings and demons. You crossed the unclean threshold of my grave, your royal robes billowing in the sea sworn breeze.

 

A crown, only seen by our eyes, testifies to us who you are. Naked, we claw with rocks at our putrid vulnerable flesh, mutilating your earthly jewel. We’ll make you unrecognizable too. Rip the flesh off God.

My God, why have you forsaken me?

 

 

I screamed for release from day and night horror. While they cried out to remain fast. I was a scarred lamb within, and a roaring lion without.

 

Mighty Samson would not tame we beating beasts.

 

But You, the Son of God, entered my tomb and knocked the breath out of me. What man chained you commanded freed. Clothed in righteousness, I now cling to you.

I am a demoniac commissioned to share the truth of your love for mankind.

Only God raises the dead.

 

Turning Your Page

You may have a loved one wrestling with mental illness. Whether demonic in nature, physical, or spiritual is not for us to determine. Only God can do so. Yet, God gives authority and discernment for man to cast out demons. Jesus used scripture to fight Satan; we can do the same.

  • Start with prayer. Ask God to equip you with His Holy Spirit’s guidance. 
  • Begin listing out scriptures that speak about the spiritual battle we fight.
    • Ephesians 6
    • 2 Corinthians 10:3-5
    • James 4:7
    • Mark 9:29

Lord, I acknowledge that I feel ill-equipped to catch glimpses of the heavenly battle, yet you have chosen to open my eyes to the unseen attacks of Satan. Father, train me from head to toe to trust your will and shut the mighty lion’s mouth that seeks to devour our world! Amen

 

 

Freedom Starts Hope

Freedom Starts With Hope

Freedom starts with hope. Realizing the power of trust, belief, and faith, inherent in the word has kept me reaching out and allowing others to reach in no matter what crisis comes my way. I have been struggling lately. Sometimes I forget to keep my hope in Jesus and start looking to others or my own ways of self-medicating. These are moments. Despair has an end and knowing that I can turn from sin and embrace the truth of God’s promises, come what may.

For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.

Romans 8:20-21 ESV

 

Turning My Page: Freedom Starts With Hope

Hope.

I have struggled to write for months, and the excuses have piled up.

  • My house is a mess
  • I’m not sleeping
  • My physical health is deteriorating
  • Grieving my grandmother
  • I am a burden to others

This week, the Holy Spirit interrupted my unconscious mantra and reminded me that I have a vast vocabulary–start with one word. Moving beyond writer’s block, depression, or any other block in my life starts with HOPE.

I may not see the fruits of my hope right away, but the seeds exist. I write one word, and then another, and another and before long I am looking back at the obstacle rather than having it firmly planted in front of me.

My hope in all things is found in Jesus Christ, so yesterday and today, I confessed my depressed state and tuned my heart to my Savior’s voice through scripture.

  • Worked on memorizing Romans 8
  • Prayed for my family who is grieving the loss of our grandmother
  • Acknowledged I am substituting food and mindless activities for the comfort of Christ in my grief
  • Went to bed and trusted that God would give me the needed rest
  • Set healthy boundaries with my children
  • Chose a few small ways to attack the mess of my home
  • Rested
  • Fasted

One of the first things the Spirit of Despair attacks is the healthy habits I form.

Notice my list above. I stopped having time in scripture. The house was a deep hole of undone chores, so why try. I avoided grief through food and TV. While these things give me temporary relief, they will never give me lasting help or draw me from the pit of hopelessness because I will always need more and more of those things and accomplish nothing by escaping through them. They do not feed me, mind, body, and spirit.

I know this because at age twenty I almost succeeded in taking my own life. That moment was the cumulation of all my attempts to deal with life’s hardships and pain by burying it and not pressing into hope. At that moment I recognized, rightly, that nothing in this world would make me feel better, but did not press into hope in Christ until the following year.

Only then did my life begin to look more hopeful. I started recognizing Christ died for all of the hardships I experienced and He would faithfully take all experiences and use them to lead others, and offer hope when others can’t yet see the potential. Placing hope in Jesus Christ meant my ultimate failure was not an option. No more throwing in the towel. I do not do this perfectly, but when my footing slips I gain it back more quickly and easily because hope has become the pattern of my life rather than the exception.

Turning Your Page

Freedom starts with hope.

That hope does not disappoint. You may not yet see the fruits of pushing back against the doubts or feel anything will change. Hope is powerful! It gives you space and opportunity to discover resources, mankind to reach in and help, and develops muscles of trust. We will get to the other side of our experiences because nothing separates us from the love of Jesus (Romans 8:28). Nothing and no one will ever be able to steal that freedom from you.

  • What are some of your favorite promises in scripture?
  • Look at the definition of the root word of depression and compare it to the definition for hope.
    • Journal about the difference and similarities between the two.
    • What are some antonyms of each?
  • Pick an antonym of “depress”, such as rejoice, and begin practicing daily.

Lord, I want to cease spiraling into despair. Help me to look up from the pit and see that all things are possible through you. I’ll hold on until they happen as you promised. Amen

Lean in to hope

Lean in to Hope

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” (1 Peter 1:3 ESV).

Turning My Page: Lean In To Hope

Nativity displays beneath the canvas of night.
Where a mother sings, and chosen father dreams.
A candle, lit by God, twinkles in the heavens and
announces salvation has arrived.
And hope, swaddled in tender flesh,
sucks his thumb.

The shepherd
and the wise lean in, to wonder, are
you my king?

And I, an offspring of His coming,
testify 2,000 years later, He is
Emmanuel. God With Us, leaning
in to shape my spirit.

 

Turning Your Page

Have you ever contemplated the vast effect of those first moments with Jesus? Many lives have been changed over the centuries because one baby was born. Two thousand years later, men and women are still willing to lay down their lives for this child gifted by God to redeem us. Read Luke 1-2:40.

  • Take about ten minutes to contemplate the sights and sounds of the nativity.
    • Which person do you identify with most?
    • Do you have questions for Jesus?
    • What images and pictures of His arrival catch your attention?
    • Try to use your senses to write a description or poem interacting with aspects of the nativity.
  • How has your life been changed by the birth of Jesus?
    • Leave a link to your poem in the comments or pingback to this post: Lean In To Hope

Jesus, I am in awe of your birth. You are a God I often want to make distant, and yet you took on my struggles. I too can endure sorrow upon sorrow because you love me and are with me and I find joy in this life because my hope firmly placed in you. Amen

Dream Bigger

Dream Bigger

This is God’s Word on the subject: “As soon as Babylon’s seventy years are up and not a day before, I’ll show up and take care of you as I promised and bring you back home. I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for” (Jeremiah 29:11 MSG)

Turning My Page on Dreams

Christmas came early for Turning the Page on Suicide and I am excited to unwrap it with you!

God asked me to dream bigger this year and this website is a part of His vision of hope. To dream bigger took steps of obedience, and with every movement deeper into trusting God’s plan, I saw new possibilities unfold before me. From color pallets to establishing a clearer mission, every aspect I found myself catching my breath with awe and joy. A joy that keeps appearing as a result of finding Christ faithful in hardships. I continue to get to know He is trustworthy, no matter where my journey takes me.

poem of hope

Jesus helps us shed despair

The imperfect family pose on my landing page reflects intense wrestling with life and the joy we experience in the midst. I had a “perfect” family pose loaded, but God asked me to use this one instead. My husband was suffering from severe vertigo and headaches. My son Daniel, who we believe suffers from the same disease that attacked Jonathan’s mind, body, and spirit, had frequent bouts of pain and intense emotional outbursts.

That same summer, my joy-filled daughter began a severe spiral downward in stomach pain to the point she struggled to eat, and I was overwhelmed with fear at losing them. All of us struggled to smile. Yet, at that moment, my son turned his head to blow raspberries at his dad and we broke into laughter. That picture serves as a reminder to me, as well as to you that God does not expect perfection. He expects us to show up as we are and take the next step before us.

And in those moments, in those places, we don’t feel like smiling. Joy appears.

May this website serve as a constant reminder to come as you are, yes there is sorrow here, but there is also joy. God is rewriting what the enemy meant for evil in my family and revealing treasures through pain and suffering. God has the power to rewrite your story. I testify hope still exists in darkness, in places that feel void of dreams. God is dreaming bigger for me, and I am so grateful he is inviting me in to witness his plan come to fruition.

Many thanks to the Blogging Bistro Team for bringing the mental health resource vision to life.

Turning Your Page to Dream Bigger

Is God asking you to dream bigger? Part of our ability to dream bigger is to know the dream giver. Joseph of the Old Testament was given dreams, even the ability to interpret dreams, and yet he did not interpret his own dreams correctly. As he got to know the character of God through his suffering, felt God’s provision even though years passed before the dreams came true, he came to give God glory, come what may. Only when the dream came true could he tell his brothers, who had sold him into slavery,”

And God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant on earth, and to keep alive for you many survivors. So it was not you who sent me here, but God. He has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house and ruler over all the land of Egypt” (Genesis 45:7-8 ESV).

  • What are the current ways you feel that you are suffering?
  • What do you already know about God’s character and purpose for suffering?
    • Philippians 2:5-11
    • 1 Peter 3:14
    • 2 Corinthians 4:17
  • Do you have a person in your life who appears to be suffering well? What characteristics do you see in them? How are they dreaming bigger in their suffering?

Lord, may I get to know your character so well, that I trust where you lead and open my mind, heart, and actions to your bigger dreams for me. Amen

Holiday Depression Survival Kit

No one plans on unwrapping depression during the holidays.

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1 KJV)

Depression is a gift not easily returned to a store. I say gift because, as I work through despair I also discover my capacity to fight it.

Twenty-two years ago depression became a training ground for my faith. I hoped for what I could not yet see. I stretched weak, underdeveloped spiritual muscles. And survived attacks from the enemy. Beauty emerged from the ashes of my life.


We don’t have to have it all together to survive Christmas. But, we do have to have certain habits in place that are not optional.  I am conditioning to be fearless and embrace discipline, compassion, and determination. Like a drill sergeant encouraging failure, depression stirs instead, my will to live.

Despair

Grief doesn’t take a hiatus, and physical pain may have no relief. The strain is constant, but we also experience joy.  We can hope, remain open to new possibilities, step outside of our own thoughts, and engage the world. Not based upon feeling, but upon the basic way, humans were created. We were built for relationship. Based on that understanding, isolation is not an option.

Below is a Depression Survival Kit that I use on a regular basis. These habits help me to get through and even gain new ground through holidays.

Feel free to comment on anything that helps you to get through the holidays.

  • 1-2 scriptures to read on a regular basis, call to mind when thoughts spiral
  • List of safe people (of the same sex) that I can call in case of an emergency
  • 1-2 old traditions I will do (not based on feeling)
  • 1-2 new traditions I will create with family, friends, strangers
  • Emergency exit
    • Go to Christmas events
    • Shorten stay
    • Signal designated departure friend to aid in a smoother exit
    • I don’t have to do all events
  • Stay engaged with the community (not an option)
    • Volunteer to help others
    • Encourage someone else who is struggling
    • Allow 1 or 2 people to take you out of your comfort zone
    • Laughter is good medicine (welcome humor)
  • Be intentional 
    • Set goals and take steps to be as healthy as you can
    • Extend grace to yourself and others

My prayers are with you as you find joy this Christmas.

Jesus Chose to Praise Rather than Curse God

COVID-19, Praise, or Curse God?

During the many shifts, changes, and difficult challenges caused by COVID-19, we can either choose to praise or curse God. As a result of your circumstances, what will you choose?


Relent, do not be unjust; reconsider, for my integrity is at stake.

Job 6:29 NIV

Turning My Page: My Response to Covid-19 is to Praise or Curse

I slammed my Bible shut. After spending a month with Job’s friends, I couldn’t take one more sentence of their arrogant presumptions about Job and God. “I can’t wait for you to speak,” I complained out loud to God.

God in his infinite wisdom answered back, “Oh really?” So, today, I listened to the first words God spoke to Job and his friends, and also heard him say to me, “How often do you lean on your own understanding, trying to explain why I allow suffering in your life? How often do you presume to know my ways and what I will or will not do in the lives of your children?”

God’s rebuke was not harsh,

but it cut through my self-righteous judgment of Job’s friends and placed me squarely in the storm of his answers to Job.

Reading through Job, you and I have the benefit of Chapter 1. This causes us to question God’s goodness because we know God calls Job, ” blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil”. God made it clear Job does not deserve what is happening to him. Take the first chapter out and we are just as blindsided as Job when his favored life turns hard.

Witnessing such great suffering I would have asked:

  • Is God punishing Job because he sinned?
  • Has God withdrawn his love?
  • Job was wealthy, therefore, is it a sin to accumulate possessions?
  • Is God allowing Job to suffer as an example of what happens when man thinks they are better than God?

Too often I presume to know why God allows suffering

in our lives rather than knowing and finding security that he is good and that I am part of God’s larger story for mankind. He does not answer to me, nor does he have to explain himself to me.

I pray that one day I can say, “Satan meant Jonathan, my oldest son’s, death for evil, but oh Lord you meant it for the salvation of many.” Suffering has a greater purpose, just as God had a divine purpose when he allowed Jesus’ death on the cross. I choose to praise you, Lord, just as Job chose to praise you even when he didn’t understand your full design.

Lord, you created the heavens, earth, and all that resides in it.

I don’t have the first clue of your purposes. But I do know you are good. I praise you for creating my life, giving me breath. You gifted my first child and transformed motherhood for me. As Jonathan was placed in my arms, I began to recognize your love for me as a parent. Therefore, I praise you in my suffering now after the loss of Jonathan. because I know you didn’t stop loving me. Again and again, you extend grace to me. You gave me a husband who not only committed his life to love me but knelt down and said vows to the seven-year-old son who looked up him with eager and nervous expectation. You blessed me with Brian, Jonathan, Daniel, and Natalie and even if the worst comes true in my life, you are still a good God.

Lord, you gave me your passion and creative spirit. I am in awe of scripture, you don’t leave me guessing. You tell me the beginning, middle, and end of your story. I know all I experience is temporary. Leave your mark on the world through me.

Turning Your Page

What are your current judgment of God during this pandemic, world suffering, and personal trials? Do you find yourself saying, I must have done something wrong, or what kind of god allows pain? Are his actions in your life measuring up to your beliefs and expectations of how a good God should act? God does not ever give Job a reason for his suffering, but he does establish authority in Job’s life, the lives of his friends, and over their circumstances. Is that a God you can live with? Job determined that yes, he could still worship a God that both took away and gave him good things. What do you say to the creator of the universe in your suffering?

  • What are your beliefs about God? How did they form? (example: I was raised in a Christian home, but also learned a lot about God through nature and reading on my own.)
  • How are your friends, family, and coworkers responding to God during COVID-19?
  • List the ways God is providing for and being active in your life. Spend time writing down praise for who God is.
  • How can you develop a COVID-19 praise over curse response?

Today I choose to say, “You give and take away, but still, I will praise your name.” Amen

Kathy is an Author, Speaker, Lay Counselor
Kathy Collard Miller

Interview August 25th at 7pm EST

My guest, Kathy Collard Miller. She is a lay counselor, author, speaker, and a person who struggled with anger and depression. Next week, we will discuss how God transformed and shaped her brokenness. and therefore he can shape us as well. Just like Job, we don’t always know why we suffer. Kathy’s testimony is an opportunity to see that our emotions are not beyond redemption. Be encouraged by this sweet and Holy Spirit-led woman. She has a catalog of resources to help you on your journey. Check out her ministry at Heart Change: Thirsting for God’s Living Spring

She will be offering giveaways of her two most recent books:

“God’s Intriguing Questions: 40 Old Testament Devotions Revealing Jesus’s Nature”
“God’s Intriguing Questions: 60 New Testament Devotions Revealing Jesus’s Nature”

Poetry posts this Thursday at 7 pm.

Open the door to truth

Prophetic Inspiration: Words to Embrace

And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

2 Peter 1:19-21 ESV

Turning My Page: Apply Prophetic Inspiration

In the last two years, I experienced prophetic inspirations spoken over me. Faithful men and women have spoken God’s truth which again and again was reinforced by scripture in various circumstances.”I see an image of a yellow rose, preparing to bloom.” “You are a mother who will lead children to wholeness.” “Mom, read Ephesians 4:8.” “You are Esther.” Some knew me, others were complete strangers. I feel uncomfortable with my futures actions being foretold. It feels like having a bright light shining into my soul after remaining in darkness.

Prophetic Inspiration are words spoken over our spirit that point to God's love and purpose for our lives
Speaking Life Through Prophecy
Image by Gerd Altmann

What if I fail?

I have spoken words over myself for 42 (I’ll give my three-year-old self a break) years. You are ugly. You will fail. No one will love you. Stupid. You can’t do anything right. You will always be in pain. Why are you here? God couldn’t possibly use you for good. If a prophecy is simply an inspired utterance when you and I speak depression and darkness over ourselves, where is the inspiration coming from?

Losing Jonathan took a toll on what I thought about motherhood. The lie I accepted was, to invest in my child, love God, teach him to love God and everything turns out okay. When believers buy into the lie that accepting Christ leads to success and a trouble-free life Satan is setting us up for failure. Nowhere in scripture does it say this. Instead, Jesus says, “Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world” (John 16:33b NLT). Troubles do not negate the task God has given me to do. I am to “share the reason for the hope I have.” Read more on my Suicide Story.

Here are truths I now acknowledge since meeting Jesus twenty-four years ago:

While I recognize the above truths, I have struggled to embrace and apply them without wavering. I apologize that I have wasted a single second denying the words spoken over me and into me. God, you have been gently nudging me with these prophecies and revealing how uncomfortable I am with your truth and comfortable I am with my own brand of truth.

I embrace the inspiration God gives through the many experiences, scripture, and voices that encourage my spirit. Wholeheartedly I repent of the above lies I have consistently repeated. They do not align themselves with who Christ says I am. It is high time I with the full force of faith, hope, and love, accept what God keeps speaking over me.

Turning Your Page

This is your starting point. Will you embrace a new prophetic inspiration spoken over you? Depression no longer has the last word in your life. With God’s help, you will conquer the lie that this life is impossible to live and turn the page to find hope, faith, and love in each of your next days.

Pointing you in the direction you should go
Sometimes Others See the Path More Clearly

Choosing to embrace truth is bound to stir up resistance. As thoughts of darkness, hopelessness, and condemnation get loud, recognize that their inspiration is from Satan, the father of all lies (John 8:44). He won’t let up. To change this pattern God divinely removes the oppressive spirit or equips you to bear up under the attack. Don’t expect your feelings to always match the truth God is revealing in your life. If emotions matched truth, none of us would struggle with depression.

These truths take practice. As you read, understand the scriptures, and walk in obedience to the truth of God’s love for you, recognizing and applying prophetic inspiration will become easier. Be sure to note when God repeats his message of love from multiple sources. Despair will stop dominating your decision making and hope will help you turn the page on your darker days. God’s love will start prophesying over you and you will discern the truth of his purpose for you.

Action Pages

  • List out some of the things you hear yourself saying about yourself or others.
  • What does God say about the creation of you in scripture? (Genesis 1: 26-31, Matthew 10:29, Matthew 6:26)
  • As a result of what God says about His care for you, write out truths that are consistent with scripture, and begin repeating those daily and whenever the lies surface
  • Know that I am walking this journey with you and praying for you.

Today, I embrace the truth of scripture and your spirit of encouragement through others. I am who you say I am, and I will do exceedingly, abundantly all you call me to do. Amen

The Big Picture of Us: Life after my Father’s Suicide-Guest Blog

That is why waiting does not diminish us, any more than waiting diminishes a pregnant mother. We are enlarged in the waiting. We, of course, don’t see what is enlarging us. But the longer we wait, the larger we become, and the more joyful our expectancy.

Romans 8:24-25 MSG

Turning My Page

I have a suicide story. My loss and pain connect me to others struggling with and hurt by despair. However, it is hope that moves each of our stories beyond the chapters of despair we experience to deeper love, redemption, and joy.

My guest blogger, Christina Rose is the author of My Appeal to Heaven, and just as she chooses to share her life with you I encourage you to share yours. If you have a story of hope like Christina Rose, I would love to share it on my blog. Email me at turningthepageonsuicide@gmail.com You are not alone and there are many of us building a mountain of evidence that this life is worth living, come what may.

Christina’s Story

When I was 21 years old, my father leaped to his death from the top floor of a government building in Washington, DC.  Immediately news reporters swarmed our home. I stood at the front door, holding my weeping mother, while my 12-year old sister looked on in shock.  After a few months of being on the news each day, they forgot about us, but we never forgot about Dad.

Dad was a sensitive, introverted man and compassionately took care of others while not expecting anyone to take care of him.  He kept most of his troubles to himself, not wanting to bother others. He was extremely stressed over mounting bills and kids in college and felt there was no way out. In his mind, we left him to pay the bills and did not appreciate him anymore.

The day after the funeral, Mom left for Greece for three weeks, leaving my sister and me to fend for ourselves. 

She was a travel agent and started taking any trips that offered an escape.  The trauma of dad’s death and my mother’s frequent absences sent us into constant PTSD and anxiety. Thoughts of suicide started haunting me. We were still in the family home with memories of dad. It felt like an ugly vulture was sitting on my shoulder, continually whispering dark, hopeless thoughts into my ears. I had night terrors with visions of dark, hideous beings running up and down the stairs. Instinctively, I would recite the Lord’s prayer, which was the only way I could get them to leave.

Dad loved to camp, and we had many remarkable adventures traveling in our Volkswagen bus.  When my daughters were born, I got my own Volkswagen bus to share my father’s love of camping. I would feel his presence strongly on these trips as I pitched the tent, made campfires, and cooked on the camp stove, just as he had taught me to do.  Sitting by the campfire at night, once the girls were asleep, it was so quiet that sometimes I felt that I could hear Dad speaking to me. He seemed to tell me that while he destroyed his body, his soul was still alive, and he had to go to his own funeral. He had to watch us all suffer because of what he did and no longer had arms to comfort us and a voice to tell us he was there. I felt him say, “If only I’d seen the big picture, there was a beautiful life planned for me after that storm I was in, I wished I’d had hung on and gotten through it for all of you.”

I wish he had hung on.

At the funeral, we learned that two of his friends were starting their own business and wanted Dad to join him. He could have quit the job he hated.  My brother had recently moved to Colorado to marry his high school sweetheart and join their family.  Our families were very close, so a few years after Dad’s death, the rest of my family joined them. Dad would have loved the adventure of living out west with our big family.  He never got the chance to meet any of his 23 grandkids or the more than 40 (and still counting) great-grandkids. He missed walking each of us three daughters down the aisle at our weddings and wasn’t there to help us when we needed him when we started families of our own.

 My father’s death and my struggle with despair have taught me that change is part of life, and storms always pass.  If we are still comfortable, we will never grow. The most difficult tests are often a catalyst that catapults into an upgrade in our life that we may not have considered if we had not experienced challenges.  If we can hang on and climb the mountains that face us, once we reach the top, we can see the view of how far we have come and trust that we need not fear the future. 

Never be afraid to ask for help in this process. None of us are equipped to live life alone.

Consistent, unconditional love and support are a lifeline to someone who feels hopeless. Reaching out with encouraging words, taking walks in nature, going to dinner, to movies, for coffee, a road trip, buying a puppy – engage in simple pleasures. Life is full of joy.  Position yourself to listen; people open up when they feel heard.  I pulled myself and my family out of this dark hole several times.  I sought the support of community and churches; they lift my spirit when I feel weak.

In the more than 40 years since my father’s suicide, I have learned many valuable lessons.  The way the universe, stars, sun, and moon operate daily testify to a perfect, divine order to all of life, down to the most minute, microscopic detail.  The earth is complicated. Millions of inhabitants and their diversity, the vast number of species and plants, and the millions of years that we have all existed, we must know that there is a perfect design for everything, including each of us.  It is not up to us to figure out the future but to trust that the creator already has a big picture of who we will be on his mantle.

About the Author

Christina Rose

Christina Rose is an author, trainer, and speaker certified by the John Maxwell Team of Leadership. She is a DAR (Daughter of the American Revolution) whose ancestors fought in the Revolutionary War. She is a world traveler, surfer, foodie, cappuccino loving chocoholic and a devoted mom to kids and dogs and auntie to over 40 nieces and nephews.
Christina’s book, My Appeal to Heaven, is her story. With her young family on the verge of falling apart, Christina finds herself in a desperate situation with no resources other than herself. After appealing to heaven, the Lord takes her on a journey of awakening and miraculous empowerment. That power is available to us all, especially those who are in need of hope and
freedom. Follow her at: christinarose.org

Turning Your Page

Compiling evidence that life is worth living requires placing hope in what you don’t yet see. Every single person who has ever moved beyond despair has taken that first step to hope for something different and then step into another unknown and then another. What step can you take today.

  • Observation is crucial in embracing hope. What are some characteristics you see in nature that reflect trust in the unseen provision of God?
  • Who in your life steps outside their current circumstances to trust in what they can’t yet see? What work or effort do they put in to maintain that hope? Do they experience set backs and disappointments? How do they get back up.
  • Meditate on Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

Lord, my life is a mess and I am tired of the constant fight. Help me to see your promises and keep pressing into the fact that you are with me. Amen

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Suicide & Prevention Hotline

National Suicide Hotline

If you or a loved one are in immediate danger, call the National Suicide Lifeline at 988 or go to the website at https://988lifeline.org/