Why Israel?

I am going back to Israel!

I am so excited that I get to go back to the Holy Land next May with another wonderful group of people.  For those of you who have followed my blog, you know that my last trip was not only a blessing but life changing.  I experienced and encountered God in ways that I never knew possible. (To read some posts from my trip, click here).

Many people have asked me, “Why Israel?”  Their question stands valid especially in the midst of the media attention it has been receiving these days.  So, I made a little video explaining my heart behind wanting to go.

 

 

Will you please be in prayer for myself and the team as we all prepare to go to God’s chosen nation? If you would like to partner financially with me, you can do so by making a TAX DEDUCTIBLE donation here: https://trips.ibethel.org/transactions/new/4313

I mean this with all my heart when I say that any amount helps and means the world to me.  Sometimes the $5 donations are the ones that meant the most because I knew that the people donating were making a sacrifice.

Also, would you mind sharing the youtube video I made to help spread the word?

I love you all and am so blessed by you consistently!

The Wailing Wall

The Wailing Wall

Depression doesn't have to be fatal

It’s been a sad few days on the internet this week.

As you all know, tragedy has struck Hollywood once again and the world is left shocked as the news of Robin Williams’ suicide spread like wildfire.

Blogs, news articles, and various media streams have tried to process the unanswered mystery as to why someone who held the hearts of so many would take their own life.

Didn’t he know how loved he was?

What did he have to run from?

What was there to be so unhappy about?

Why didn’t he talk to someone?

It was a known fact that Mr. Williams struggled with depression and addiction.  A deadly combination that has claimed the lives of so many.  The problem with depression is that it never makes sense. Sure sometimes it can be situational but generally,  there is no rhyme or reason to it.

As someone who once was diagnosed with severe depression and addiction, I know that feeling all too well.

I was only 19 and I sat across from my therapist and doctor in a small, cold nursing office with my mind in a fog as they tried to convince me that I needed to go on anti-depressants.

I couldn’t go on anti-depressants.  I refused to be classified as “depressed.”  Only the sad, pitiful, and deadbeats of our society were on anti-depressants. Or so I thought because you see, no one really talked about it.

After a few days of their pleading, I finally relented and there began my process of trying every mix of whatever pill cocktail they thought would help me.

I lived in a deep state of shame because of it.  For years, only my close friends and family knew my secret. I was depressed. 

If someone caught me taking one of my pills, I would lie and claim that it was for some other ailment. Anxiety. Stress.  Antibiotic. I couldn’t care less what they thought it was as long as they didn’t know it was an anti-depressant.

There were many nights where I felt helpless and at a loss.  Although I cannot say that I was suicidal, there were times where I did feel like that would be my only way out.  I was afraid that if the darkness I felt within got any darker that I would someday be led to that point.

You see, what people who have never experienced depression don’t understand is that it makes you feel powerless.  It robs you of the ability to see the people and love around you.  It isolates you and makes you feel like sinking and disappearing within yourself. For some, it paralyzes you to the point of being afraid of your own self.

You become a stranger.

Depression isn’t always situational, as we can see from those who suffer from it in Hollywood.  Money, fame, recognition, and a world-wide outpouring of love can’t fix it because the root runs so much deeper.

It comes from not being connected to the one who created and gave you life in the first place.  We were designed to be in connection with God.  The human race first began it’s journey on earth by walking side by side with God.  When that connection gets polluted, we hide just as Adam and Eve did.

Depression makes you hide.  Depression makes you think you’re alone when in fact someone has been looking and in pursuit of you from the beginning. Depression makes you cover yourself with something that was never meant to be your covering.

Sadly, Robin Williams represents thousands upon thousands of others who have battled the same demons. The ones who had been lied to by the spirit of depression into thinking that death was their only way out.  What breaks my heart is that they will never know on this side of life that there is freedom.  There is hope.

If you battle with depression, please do not lose hope. Do not allow fear and shame to lie to you and trick you into staying silent.

Reach out.

There is hope.

There is a way out.

There is freedom.

My prayers are with Robin Williams’ family and friends during this time and also with the countless others who have been left behind by someone they loved.

 

If you or someone you love is struggling with depression or suicidal thoughts, please contact The Suicide Prevention Hotline.

 

 

 

The Power of Peace

Peace is power.

Peace is sacred.

Far too often we give our peace away as we search for significance.

Approval.

Answers.

We give our peace to people.

Do they like me?

Will they approve?

Will they betray me?

We give it to numbers.

The number on the scale.

The number in our bank accounts.

The number of likes on a photo or status.

We give it away, yet it’s the most powerful source of Heaven we have.

It was Jesus’ peace that calmed the raging waters in the midst of the storm.

It was Mary Magdalene’s peace that surpassed her fear as she broke all cultural rules and stereotypes as she, a woman, bowed at Jesus’ feet and worshipped him in a room filled with men.

It was peace that protected Mary as she walked among her town, pregnant and unwed, as others looked upon her with judgement and surely accused her of being a liar.

Peace keeps us in the heart of the Father.

Peace reminds us of who we are.

Peace gives us the power to be surrounded by adversity and warfare and be able to say, “I will be okay.”

Peace is life.

Peace is sacred.

Peace is power.

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The Sea of Galilee

 

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