You are not alone. One of the sneakiest tricks of the enemy is to make us believe that we are the “only one who is struggling with this.” And that is…Depression and Being Christian: You’re Not Alone
And watch it erupt in someone’s night;
Fiercely pursue in love,
Someone who’s afraid of it,
Who needs it the most;
Scars are a medal
To those who’ve endured hell
On earth and survived it
Because they were strong enough,
So why not believe that;
Embrace your pain
So your audience can see strength
In the midst of struggle;
Don’t pretend to have it all together
Let yourself fall and accept it,
Don’t put a mask of perfection on
Because we all know the struggle;
Live your life without regrets
Live in the light,
Not the shadows
Where you continue to wait;
Disturb the darkness
With your inner light,
Distract it with your fearlessness
Because we can;
We all have the choice to live,
To be more than our past
Defines us as;
We are not a label,
Unless the label defines
Who we are in Christ;
We can all bleed life in some form
We can be unstoppable,
A fearless child of God
Capable of the unthinkable;
We must choose to live,
To be strong for those
Who want to stop their timeline;
Because they don’t want to die
They just want the pain to stop;
With God all things are possible,
But one must believe that;
To know God means to know peace,
To feel His presence breathing
Life within you, inside and out;
His love bleeds an ocean
I baptize myself in,
So that I may know Him;
May I never grow faint,
But always be undaunted
~ Bethany Anne
Why? Because this was a new beginning.
Even though it was another two years before I went through deliverance with my Pastor, this was a day to celebrate. One of the very first sermons I remember my pastor preaching was on the Real “F” word (I’ll never forget it).
I thought to myself, no way, no how, was this happening.
I could NEVER forgive what had been done to me!!!
The staff gave the congregation sticky notes as we entered the church. As he went through his sermon, he was saying, I know you’ve been hurt, I know you’ve been treated badly, but you have to forgive the person/persons that have done this to you. I was literally bawling my eyes out thinking ‘how does he know all this about me’.
He said, you were given a sticky note when you came in today, I want you to write down the one person that has hurt you the most, the one thing that is tearing you up inside and I want you to bring it up here and put it on the stage, and then we are going to pray forgiveness and we are going to break those chains and we are going to move on.
He continued, I know you’re thinking why should I forgive this person, they are the one that hurt me, they should apologize, not me, but you have to get past this and the only way to do so is to FORGIVE.
As I continued crying my eyes out, I just could not bring myself to write my husband’s name on this sticky note, so I thought of someone else, something else, that was very low on the pain scale, but still held an anchor on me of anger and hatred.
I walked up to the stage, I placed my sticky note, and we prayed, and I continued crying thinking deep down, that what I really felt most hurt by was my husband. (we were not divorced yet, but he was gone overseas already at this point)
I went back to the church a few more times, but each time, the sermons were speaking to me and had me crying and I kept thinking, how does this guy up here (the Pastor) know EVERYTHING about me.
So I quit going, because the pain of his sermons reaching me deep down, was just too much to bear.
Over the course of the next 2 years, my life was a roller coaster of deep valleys and small mountains.
More valleys than mountains as I struggled as a single mom with a behaviorally, head strong child, working, mortgage, financial worries, and going through a divorce. I began to drink a lot more alcohol to drown out the pain, to the point of passing out most nights.
Then one night in November 2013, feeling like a failure because I was divorced and still single, I had gone to a sports bar with some friends and had a few too many, like most other nights.
I was in a very low valley at that point, and as I drove myself a mile and half down the road to get home, drunk, and crying my eyes out and screaming at God ‘why? Why are you doing this to me? Why are you making my life so miserable? Why do I deserve this? I am a good person, I work hard, I’m a good mom, why God why? I just want to be happy, is that too much to ask?’ I was beating my steering wheel to death as I was driving and yelling at God. I pulled in my garage, and I said to God, ‘I’m done!! I can’t take this pain anymore!! I just want to die!’ I left my car running, I closed the garage and I placed my head on the steering wheel, still crying a river.
About 30 seconds later, I heard a voice, it said, ‘Dawn, turn the car off, and go inside and go to bed.’ I lifted my head, looked around, and said, ‘ok.’ And I did just that. I went inside, and went to bed.
Over the course of the next few months I kept telling myself over and over, ‘I need to start going to church, I need to get right with God’, but I just could not bring myself to get there.
Finally I gave myself enough lead way and said, ok, I’m going to start going to church in the New Year, and I worked myself up to it for weeks, and then come January 2014, I made my commitment to go to church every weekend, and I quit making excuses and I reluctantly went every Sunday.
The struggle was real, my daughter was not having it, she kicked and screamed EVERY Sunday. I would show up at church in tears many Sundays because the struggle was soooo real. And the volunteers at the church would recognize my struggles, and they would pray over us. As the next few months went by it got easier. Someone approached me one day and said you should meet with the Pastor, she can help you with some of your challenges. Not really knowing what they meant, I agreed to set up a time to meet because I needed help and I knew it.
The first meeting she told me that I needed to make a list of every person I could think of that had hurt me, that I was angry with, that I had grudges against and we were going to pray over each situation to forgive them…..
Here we go again with ME forgiving THEM. Reluctantly, I agreed.
Through many tears, much stress and heartache, and near death, it was one of the hardest things I ever had to do.
To forgive the person/persons who treated me so badly, who cheated on me, who lied to me over and over again, who left me abandoned with a child that I loved yet resented so badly, I had so much anger, so much hatred and so much resentment!
I hated myself, I hated every aspect of my life.
My pastors taught me that my daughter is a child of God (no matter who she was biologically) and HE would ALWAYS provide for her and they taught me that I must first forgive, even though I wasn’t at fault.
This was difficult. I struggled for years.
How could I forgive when I did nothing wrong, they needed to apologize…. NOT ME!
Finally I listened to them, finally I forgave, and FINALLY I felt the chains that bonded me to sorrow, self-pity, anger, resentment, and hurt, be broken.
Finally I felt free, happy, and loved.
I felt a stronger connection with my daughter, and we have worked so hard together to build a strong relationship/friendship that is nowhere near perfect, but 100 x better than what it was.
There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t thank God, my church and pastors for all the blessings in my life.
There also isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t pray that simple prayer that my pastors taught me for forgiveness.
You can do it too.
“Dear Heavenly Father, I CHOOSE to forgive ______, and I release them from all judgement. In Jesus name, amen.”
Until you do this, to whomever you feel hurt, angry or have a grudge against, you may never know the TRUE feeling of freedom.
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. -Matthew 6:33
Abortion is mostly a fear born and based decision.
It is forced on many by either fear of the unknown or fear of losing their partners over the unplanned or unwanted pregnancy or fear of losing the love and acceptance from their disappointed parents and family which could be forcing the decision.
No one ever makes this decision lightly. No matter what celebrities like Chelsea Handler or Ilyse Hogue, will try to tell you- the effects of abortion are far reaching and lasting for many and not something to be proud of.
But not something we should feel condemned of anymore either.
Statistics show that 60% of female inmates in prison have had an abortion. Many will tell you they are in an endless cycle of addiction and crime because of this decision.
Statistics show it has lasting affects just like those of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)
Statistics show that those that have chosen abortion suffer with suicidal thoughts, depression, isolation, obsessive compulsive behaviors, addictions, divorce,relationship struggles, and subsequent issues bonding with their future children.
We are only as sick as our secrets!
I believe God has called me to be a voice for the unborn by helping to restore men and women that have made the decision to abort their unborn child. If we can get these people to rid themselves of the guilt and shame and know that God truly forgives and loves them still; they will become one of the greatest pro-life movements and voices for future unborn children the world has ever seen.
I have counseled numerous women of all ages that have shared their stories with me.
I know many that are still too terrified to share their stories because of their churches and pastors that are so vocal about their disgust and opinions on abortion. I encourage pastors and leaders to please stop alienating your wounded women and men and instead realize – the children are not the only victims. Send those in your congregations that are suffering to Restored Ministries. We would love to help them.
I have done studies with post abortion women and more than half of the groups were Pastors, Bishops, or Elders in the churches daughters. Abortion is just as much a problem for the churched as it is the unchurched.
Because of the harsh judgements and opinions regarding abortion it is also what keeps many out of the church, and also keeps many overly serving in church trying to earn their way to Heaven. Both reasons still keep them suffering in silence and fear of releasing this secret.
I suffered in silence for far too many years. I know what the effects of Abortion can do to a person.
We need to stop telling people to #ShoutYourAbortion and instead ask them to boldly #ShoutOurJesus
I know the Amazing Transforming and Restorative Power of Jesus Christ and what He has done in my life. I know what it is like to carry that heavy coat of shame and guilt around and be pissed off at the world for continuing to be so vocal against a decision I chose – and take that disgust from others personally. I know what it is like to be rejected unfairly by people, Christians too, for sharing my secret.
I also know what it is like to be free from the guilt, shame and condemnation now. I know what it is like to pray for those that tend to shout hate and have to make a daily decision to cover them in love by taking the offense and hurt I feel directly to Jesus.
(Not to say some days I don’t have my Mr. Bean moments and want to flip the whole World off.)
It’s a process of releasing to be restored. It takes time and I can help you.
Abortion is not the unforgivable sin as you would be led to believe. God does not have a grading scale on sins.
God forgave Moses and David for murder. God can and does forgive you too!
If you are tired of suffering in silence and need someone to talk to- contact me. I would love to listen, pray with you and help you to finally #LiveRestored – Mind Body & Soul.
Let’s #ShoutOurJesus together and finally break the silence and suffering of Abortion.
~XXOO Michelle Bollom
Turning to everything but God
We wonder why our lives are fragmented;
Lost thoughts fill the mind with tides taking
Us down into the gravitating depths of the night
That removes our sight, causing us to stumble
In the moment we cannot afford to lose;
We must return to the only One who can save,
Be patient and wait for His timing to unfold
As our inner complications become gold
Found within ourselves, beneath all the dirt;
He is waiting for us to turn back and trust
In His plan and purpose for our lives,
For only He alone can fill the void within;
His words of truth will bleed
Through lies believed, clinging to the mind;
He will remove the toxicity,
Replacing it with His living Word,
Causing the demons to flee in the name of Jesus,
The only One who can save us
And heal the profound pain inside
Our empty, failing hearts waiting to beat again
A spark nursed
On earth’s surface
That gradually became
Life and beauty
But somewhere between
Then and now
The master of the fire
Watching ashes bleed
Into the flesh
Of the universe
Spinning out of control
Losing grip on the light
Falling into the darkness
Whose abyss clothed innocence
Smothering its voice.
~ Bethany Anne
Every one of us needs prayer. Not one of us is exempt from needing His loving hand to move. While I eat my daily bread and am faith-filled, Spirit-filled, and KNOW whose I am, there are times that I, like every one of us, am weak. I found myself in one of those moments a couple of days ago. Thankfully, I knew it would pass. I always look to where my help comes from, and that day was no different. However, feelings of defeat, humiliation, resentment, and hopelessness were hovering. I knew that joy would come in the “mourning”, but until that moment would pass, I asked for intercession. I needed God to move…and fast.
As I praised Him and acknowledged Him, darkness sought to take me in. The invitation was clear as ever, and the temptation of accepting it was fierce. I made the decision to go there…but wasn’t allowed in. I resigned to complete hopelessness, with the entertainment of suicidal thoughts lingering, yet it would not and could not penetrate my spirit. My God of refuge and strength, His Holy Spirit within me, was and is truly armor not to be reckoned with. I’ve been welcomed to that place many times in the past, and He’s always plucked me from that abyss. This time was different. This time, I couldn’t stumble in, walk in, or even plummet through.
What does this mean? It means that the hope I have in Jesus, the KNOWING THAT I KNOW, remains despite “feelings”. Of course, I’ve known this for years, as God has proven himself to me time and time again. This time, however, the overwhelming force of His protective shield around me was as evident as the sky above.
Realizing that no matter how much pain I am in, no matter the depth of not understanding “why” things are the way they are, and in spite of sometimes feeling like God doesn’t like me and that I am continuing to be punished for things from so long ago, I can’t go to that place that seeks to devour me. I wanted to go there. I decided to go there. He would not let me. This was a revelation…I’d reached a new level.
Now, I celebrate. I celebrate that He continues to prove Himself to me, level after level. I celebrate that when I may think there can’t possibly be more and this may be “as good as it gets”, He shows Himself in a mightier way than ever before. I celebrate that I can ask for prayer and know that I have fellow warriors joining me. As we each come nearer to the Father, and as we each reach new levels of discovery in the journey of learning who He truly is, may we eagerly choose to stand with one another and celebrate together.❤
Freedom!; Take a hold of my heart.
Spirit of God come fill this place…
Oh that line in this song really gets me charged up!
Recently, I had several friends all going through some things and I was praying for them and felt the need to play music softly while I prayed.
This song shuffled and somehow hit me somewhere in my spirit because I had to set the song to repeat over and over as I pressed in and continued to pray for them. The lyrics are amazing!
He brings peace in every storm…
A hope that’s deep within my soul…
Oh, the strengths of Your love…
Tear down walls… Tear down strongholds…
Enjoy this weeks #SongSundays
Shores- Bryan & Katie Torwalt
Oh depression wash away
On the shores of your great love
And let addiction and all shame
Be laid down at your feet
Come awake, awake my soul
I feel justice rising
Breathe new life into these bones
I can feel your heartbeat
Freedom, take hold of my heart
Spirit of God, come fill this place
Jesus, You’re all that I want
Have your way
And you bring peace in every storm
‘Cause you are my anchor
A hope that’s deep within my soul
Oh, the strengths of Your love
Tears down walls, it tears down strongholds
That keep me back from You
Perfect love that’s never ending
It leads me toward You
All creation knows that
You alone are God
As we sing Your praises
God, let our hearts respond
Do you feel sometimes that you are at the emptiest of places? That you aren’t quite sure if you possibly can keep going? Hold on! Grab this amazing Promise right here:
A Full Life in the Emptiest of Places
9-12 “If you get rid of unfair practices,
quit blaming victims,
quit gossiping about other people’s sins,
If you are generous with the hungry
and start giving yourselves to the down-and-out,
Your lives will begin to glow in the darkness,
your shadowed lives will be bathed in sunlight.
I will always show you where to go.
I’ll give you a full life in the emptiest of places—
firm muscles, strong bones.
You’ll be like a well-watered garden,
a gurgling spring that never runs dry.
You’ll use the old rubble of past lives to build anew,
rebuild the foundations from out of your past.
You’ll be known as those who can fix anything,
restore old ruins, rebuild and renovate,
make the community livable again.
~ Isaiah 58:9-12 MSG
With the Robin Williams tragedy splashed all over the news, computers, and our twitter and Facebook feeds; I can’t help but feel certain that what the world needs desperately is Jesus Christ. Robin Williams is just one more in the millions of people suffering from addiction and depression that have taken their own life. Our world is full of hurting people living meaningless lives on the brink of death because they are holding on to secrets, sins, or struggles. People don’t need some dead dry religion or sets of rules, they don’t need judgement, they need the real living breathing Spirit of God to blow through their lives and remove all the junk the world tries to throw at us and keep us bound. People need someone to share the Truth of God’s Transforming and Restoring power to change their hearts and lives. Only Jesus breaks every chain! We are not meant to do life alone. It is not a competition. We need to stop playing like we have it all together and share our vulnerability, our hurts, our struggles, our stories. We all have a story that needs to be told. We repair our stories when we begin to share our stories. We are only as sick as our secrets.
We only overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the words of our testimony. #RestoredMinistries wants to see Overcomers rising up! We want to see people begin to #LiveRestored lives.