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The Feet of Good News

“And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” (Romans 10:15)

 

Dear Page Turner,

My feet have good news. Faithfully, not perfectly, I have tried to grieve with hope and walk in obedience to God’s direction. After four years of grieving with hope, I am almost done with my second book, a devotional to help anyone who has just experienced a loss to suicide. 

I have also joined The Dented Fender writing team, and am developing my speaking chops so that I can share hope more effectively. I want to be fully equipped, not lacking anything. God’s love is shining into the darkness of despair, and I love getting to be a part. So many amazing things are happening, way beyond what I thought myself capable of, but with God nothing is impossible.

Four and 1/2 years ago it was painful to turn 1 page on Jonathan’s death. I have now turned over the 2007 pages. Each page has been important, even the ones I could barely turn. My initial hope, that others would be encouraged to choose life is coming to fruition. I refuse to bow to the spirit of despair. Each page, some intensely painful, have produced new joys, new discoveries, and encouragement. I look forward to sharing with you what God is accomplishing, even when we don’t understand the fullness of his purpose.

As the work on my second book is nearing the finish line you inspire me to finish strong. Writing this book has made me look back over all that God has accomplished in four years of Turning the Page on Suicide,  I am so thankful. 

I learn from each of you. Thank you for wrestling with despair and not letting the darkness have the final say! Thank you for choosing writing as your outlet to share hope. Thank you for encouraging others with poetry, stories, photography and scripture. Thank you for commenting and blessing one another with courage for each individual journey.

 

The mental health community is made up of spectacular and uniquely gifted individuals. Don’t ever underestimate the value of your words, your courage to breathe life into others, in spite of your own physical and emotional pain. If you are just getting started on turning your page on suicide, may 1 page become 2 until you look back and find a lifetime of spreading the good news, death does not have the final say. Life is worth living.

 

 

 

 

Sincerely,

 

 

Karisa Moore

Poetry Collection: Broken Butterflies

 

Crossing the Dead-Line: Our Diligent Work in Grief

“Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away” (Matthew 24:35)

Deadlines are awesome…when they have to do with writing, but the word’s origins are steeped in death. Prisoners could not cross a “dead-line ” without being shot. By choosing hope, I have crossed the dead-line Satan attempted to draw into my life. “You can do your christian thing, but stay in your religious box and do not touch the other side.”

But on the other side, I see a neighbor who just got fired from his job, the teenager who can’t look you in the eye because they are so tangled in sex, drugs, or doubt they feel no one can forgive them. I am aware of the preacher, who feels stuck in the muck of depleted finances, a wife and two kids, and righteous sinners critical of his work, contemplating a way out. The businessman who has scrapped the way to the top and is lonely and finding success hollow and shallow, now holding onto the amber bottle of escape. And that child not given a chance from birth, whose only known pain. They are all on suicide’s doorstep.

So I cross that line. At nineteen years old God crossed the dead-line for me. He plucked me from suicide’s grave and even now when Satan thought he’d have the last laugh with my son’s death to suicide, I find abundant life in grief.

I was given a new dead-line. Cross over into despair and possibly be swallowed whole by Satan while pulling others to safety is worth the risk. Finding the words to express God’s love became my diligent work in grief. My deadline is Heaven with Jesus, and I want you there with me.

 

Devotionals are posted every Tuesday at 7pm

Spirit of Despair (Response Prompt)

I am elevated emptiness

puffed up with my will.

I cradle and nurse fear like a

mother with starved child

I breathe deeply, as I pinch your oxygen

I am the shiver that shadows your spine,

always creeping in the open doors of

crowded confidence.

 

You can’t escape me,

human gods. You elevate to

pedestals and put crowns on achievement.

I find the cracks in

your stoic status and crumble

saints and sinners with the

tap, tap,

of my chisel of

doubt.

 

Poetry is posted every Thursday at 7pm (Garment of Joy Next Week)

One of my favorite ways to write poems is to respond to other poets. Are you up for the challenge? How would you respond to someone battling the Spirit of Despair? How would you offer hope? What weapons would you use? Link back to this post and place your link in the comments.

God Creates Something New Through Mistakes

“Jesus straightened up and asked her, ‘Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?'” (John 8:10 NIV)

My son Daniel brought home “mistake” artwork. His teacher drew on each of their pages, and they had to transform the mistake into a new picture. Daniel had the two humps you see in the middle and what emerged were gravestones. “I didn’t see what they were until I turned the page a different direction,” he explained. Life is full of mistakes, and they are usable, even our worst sinful failures, in the hands of a creative God.

The nameless adultress woman could be any of us. Your sin is exposed. Standing in front of Jesus, and the high and mighty who don’t care what happens to you. They just want to trap Jesus. After all, “thou shall not commit adultery” was written in stone by the hand of God.  Yet, Jesus offers grace to both the accusers and accused. “You who are without sin, cast the first stone.” He kneels down, begins drawing in the sand. Maybe he is sketching a new, beautiful, healed picture of you.

God has every right to judge us for breaking his law. But instead, he takes our mistakes, the sin that so easily entangles, and transforms us with his love. Jesus isn’t glossing over sin. He tells the woman to go and sin no more. He expects us to live a transformed life. Justice and grace unite on the cross to form a new picture for humanity. He is not distant from our struggle, he is intimately aware of what we have already drawn on our page. Christ drew resurrection over death, transforming our sin warped picture of his original design.

What new picture is God drawing of you?

 

Devotionals are posted every Tuesday at 7pm.

Rebuilding from Grief

Concrete life is ground up by grief

Exposing the naked foundation of what I believe.

Slowly you softened my soul with tears,

fill me with the mortar of faith

And build brick by brick, a temple of Grace

Love and Hope for others to come in.

The Holy Spirit Sang Over Me (Guest Blogger)

Our guest blogger Kay Em Ellis and I met at a Serious Writers Conference recently. She share how the Holy Spirit Sang his encouragement to her in her darkest moment of doubt. Be encouraged by her story!

Serious Writer

Christian Writers Conference a Place of Connection

Immediately I felt a kindred heart in the fight against despair. At the end of our weekend, with our arms up in worship, Kay came to stand beside me, and I felt deeply encouraged. Such a sweet and amazing woman who is sensitive to the Spirit’s calling.

Kay has traveled the world! She uses her gift of writing to reflect God’s love through poetry, fiction, and lessons God is teaching as she travels.

Check out her travel and faith blog: Awaken the Dawn.

 

 

The Holy Spirit Sang Over Me

For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”

Romans 8:15, ESV

 

I thought depression would go away. It didn’t.

 

When I gave my life to Christ, I signed up for the World Race mission trip. I lived in eleven countries in eleven months. I felt whole and complete and at peace in Christ.

 

Living the Christian life in ministry six to seven days per week, constant community, intensive Bible study while living out of a backpack, God used many opportunities to refine me. He sifted me through several bouts of depression and stretched me to what felt like the breaking point multiple times.

 

He didn’t do it to be mean. He did it because He loves me, and I needed it. But when I melted down at a bus station in Lima, Peru, I failed to lean into God and rest in His strength. I crumbled.

 

I’ve felt unworthy of love and blessing like I don’t deserve a joyful life, spouse, or even children. So much changed in my heart and life after I met Jesus, but that didn’t mean all my problems vanished.

 

The Lord had to teach me to break agreement with shame and depression to wage war against them. The battle wasn’t easy, and I came close to calling it quits several times.

 

It’s too hard! I cried out in my heart and even aloud during heartfelt prayer. I can’t do it anymore! But, each time I said I can’t, God countered the lie with, YOU CAN. Sometimes I believed Him; sometimes I didn’t.

 

It was seven in the morning when I broke in Lima, Peru. I sat at the bus station, waiting to climb aboard the bus that would take my squad to Ecuador. Silent tears poured as I replayed how badly I always messed everything up, specifically one thing I’d been struggling with from my past. I criticized myself, heading toward a destructive path of self-condemnation.

 

Shame bubbled up. My thoughts spiraled into a dark chasm I hadn’t realized still existed in me. But God knew just how deep that darkness ran.

 

He wanted me to face the shame so I could overcome it.

 

Cheeks moist, I tipped my head back and closed my eyes. The peace of God overshadowed me; then He showed me a vision I’ll never forget, Jesus on the Cross.

 

Jesus loves you. The concept of love is so skewed in our society, and I don’t think people understand what it means when I try to share His love. I certainly didn’t before I really encountered that love. Even after I chose to follow Christ, it took a long time to comprehend that God could love us so completely, despite our rejection and the muck of our deepest sins.

 

God loved us first. He loved us when we hated him. It’s His nature. He loves like no one else because God isn’t like anyone else. He sent the Holy Spirit to live in those who have repented of their sins and turned to the Son: to advocate for us, to convict us, and, in this case, to comfort us.

 

My conviction came through the song. You Are More by Tenth Avenue North. The Holy Spirit sang that song over me, and I soaked in the lyrics while in Ecuador. I am so much more than who this world tells me I am. Reader, you are not the sum of your past mistakes. Allow the Holy Spirit to remake you. Lean back, absorb the truth of God’s redeeming love.

 

Please contact me if you would like to appear as a guest blogger.

Mistakes are Missed Takes, Try Again

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (NIV).

The devil whispered, “You are not good enough.”

I just returned from a writers conference. I learned more about the writing market, my skills were honed by great speakers and faculty. Interest in my current manuscript was tangible and God forged relationships with other warrior writers. But among so many amazing people the ugly accuser crept, seeking to reveal weaknesses.

I made an embarrassing mistake, and every last one of my insecurities erupted making it hard to breathe.

And the devil hissed, “You are not good enough.”

But unlike my childhood self, I now know the truth of Romans 8:28. I love God, and his purpose for me redeems even my worst mistakes. Errors are not permanent, and there is a purpose in every experience. I still couldn’t get my body to catch up with my head knowledge of that truth. I was exhausted and felt awful. I sought out the prayer warrior on the team. She prayed in a way I could not, and I agreed with the reality of who God says I am. The feeling of unworthiness passed.

Are you coming into agreement with who God says you are? Here are steps to take:

  • Don’t dwell in the attack/ fight back
  • Acknowledge/confess, any sin causing you to stumble and repent
  • Claim the truth of Christ found in scripture
  • Pray for the spirit of despair to leave
  • Stand firm though feelings may not match

God has a good plan for you, and when you choose to love Him above all else, the enemy cannot defeat the purpose God determined for your life.

The devil may accuse, “You are not good enough.”

But God shouts back, “In my image, I created her/him!”

 

Devotionals are posted every Tuesday at 7pm

 

the cross is necessary

God Leans on Sinners

The snap of surprise,

as the ragged watch you

boldly clear a temple bustling

with the commerce of greedy self-worship.

Freeing frightened birds flapping wildly in cages of false belief.

Awakening truth in the hearts of prostitutes, liars,

and outcast.

 

God leans on sinners.

 

Asks the wicked to pray for him.

Chooses friends among enemies, and

intimately sweats the blood of flesh, to meet

his own righteous expectations.

 

 

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Suicide Hotline

National Suicide Hotline

If you or a loved one are in immediate danger, call the National Suicide Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or go to the website at  SuicidePreventionLifeline.org.