Hold On Pain Ends

Since I was a child I always wrote poetry as a way to process my pain. I stopped for many years and in 2006 I started again as I processed my brother Toby’s sudden death with a piece called An Unfinished Life.

These days I write many things – but rarely do I write much poetry anymore although I have such a deep love for it.

Today, I again wrote poetry to help me process my pain.

Hold On Pain Ends

The enemy will convince you

there is no hope.

That the restoration process is pointless.

It’s taking too long …

It’s too hard…

When will it ever end?

The mundane seems meaningless.

But the mundane is where the

miraculous is birthed.

The day in… the day out…

The baby steps

The big steps

Acts of obedience

Uncomfortable

The small

The big

One next choice

Made moment by moment to

Live. Breathe. Love. Keep Going. Forgive

Surrender to the process

Surrender to His will

Surrender to His timing

Trust not Toil

Rest not Resist

Wait not wail

Remain in His presence

Amidst the pain

That is the only place

for the pain to subside

No more

Numb

Confused

Questioning

Why?

Abiding not Answers is where it all lies

Hope is alway there…

Hope is the choice we must make

Hope is the method not the means

Hope is relying on His Grace

Hope Is His Saving Grace

HOPE…

Hold

On

Pain

Ends

~ XXOO Michelle Bollom

Rest In Peace Beautiful Girl!

You will be greatly missed.

13 Reasons Why 


13 Reasons Why Students Need to Read The Delusion, a Young Adult Novel about Teen Suicide

 
If you’re a teenager or the parent of one, you’ve probably heard of the Netflix original series 13 Reasons Why. My eighth-grade daughter described the teen drama to me this way: “It’s about suicide, and lots of my friends are watching it, but Mom, it’s, like, making some of them depressed and stuff.”

Based on a book of the same name, the show’s theme centers around 17-year-old Hannah Baker, a suicide victim who leaves behind audio recordings for those she blames for causing her to want to die—13 people, to be exact. The show’s producers maintain that they hope to shed light on the tragic issue of suicide, but various suicide prevention groups say it’s actually glamorizing suicide and putting teens at risk.1

I too have a heart for this cause, so much so that I chose teen suicide as the driving theme of my young adult novel, The Delusion. But I come at it from an entirely different angle—a biblical, spiritual perspective.

Here are 13 reasons why I’m over-the-top passionate about getting The Delusion to every teen and household who speaks and reads English (and beyond that once the book is translated into other languages!):

1. While The Delusion depicts how peer-to-peer conflict can escalate suicidal thoughts in teens, the ultimate source of dark, depressing thoughts is not the people around us. Instead, 18-year-old Owen Edmonds becomes an eyewitness to the otherwise invisible demonic forces that whisper soul-sabotaging lies to troubled teens in a deadly mission to provoke them to end their lives (see Ephesians 6:12). It becomes Owen’s mission to convince his vulnerable classmates to combat depressing thoughts with hope and truth, a real-life strategy.

 

2. Throughout The Delusion, readers are shown the crucial importance of reaching out with concern to friends and loved ones who show signs of depression, committing to be a source of support and encouraging them to seek counseling. At the same time . . .

 

3. The Delusion portrays how some students show few or even no signs of depression, yet are suicidal. With this in mind, readers are inspired to go beyond surface-level conversations with those within their sphere of influence and seek to build deeper, more meaningful friendships that help prevent emotional isolation.

 

4. As an atheist, The Delusion protagonist Owen Edmonds wrestles with the real-life struggle to understand why a supposedly good God would allow evil to prevail at times, particularly when forces of light (angels) have the power to overcome evil. Eventually he learns that it’s our responsibility, as human beings, to yield to good and resist the evil that seeks to overtake us.

 

5. The Delusion powerfully illustrates how abusing antidepressant drugs and alcohol to numb emotional pain only leads to more suffering and dysfunction.

 

6. The Delusion gives a vivid—okay, completely horrifying—account of what it’s like to face eternity without Christ, exposing the lie that all turmoil ceases after we take our own lives. At the same time, it dispels the notion that suicide is an unpardonable sin that automatically damns a person to hell. The takeaway is that we must accept God’s saving grace in this life.

 

7. The Delusion shows the harm bullying can do, but goes a step further to show that even the bully is a troubled person worthy of receiving help.

 

8. The Delusion focuses on the healing power of forgiveness as opposed to fixating on a bitter need for revenge against those who’ve wounded us. This theme is also powerfully illustrated in the movie portrayal as The Delusion is currently being prepped for the big screen.

 

9. The Delusion makes the case that those hearing tormenting voices may be in a spiritual battle as opposed to suffering a solely psychological issue. This empowers readers to consider solutions beyond antipsychotic drugs alone.

 

10. Even teens who don’t like to read are engaged by The Delusion storyline, which intentionally depicts how abusive teen dating relationships greatly increase a young person’s likelihood of suicide.2

 

11. The Delusion reveals how cutting and self-harm are destructive ways to cope with painful emotions and only serve to invite more darkness into our lives.

 

12. The Delusion helps young readers grasp the awesome power of prayer in way that is uplifting and engaging, not stuffy or boring—and faith and prayer have been proven to combat the negative effects of stress and depression.3

 

13. Delivered in a form of page-turning entertainment, The Delusion communicates the hope-filled message that God has a profound plan for each of our lives, and that plan is worth living for, no matter our current setbacks or disappointments.

 

Tyndale House Publishers will release The Delusion November 2017. Receive notification of early release copies by texting DELUSION to 24587 or emailing info@lauragallier.com with DELUSION in the subject line. For media requests or to arrange an interview with Laura Gallier (@Laura Gallier), contact alysssaanderson@tyndale.com.


Follow #TheDelusion book and movie-making journey @DelusionSeries on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

 

1. http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/13-reasons-faces-backlash-suicide-prevention-advocacy-groups/story?id=46851551

2. http://www.loveisrespect.org/resources/dating-violence-statistics/

3. https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/more-mortal/201406/5-scientifically-supported-benefits-prayer and http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2314781/Believing-God-help-treat-depression.html

 

 

 

Sorrowful To Soaring 

  
Behind the Smile: I Decided to Jump!

It was a sunny day, the trees were green, the wind whispered softly through the leaves. The birds were chirping, soft music was playing from the apartment. I can remember the smell of my grandmother’s perfume and the scent of her freshly cooked Asian inspired vegetarian meal offered. This was the scene. Well this is what I saw with my physical eyes; but not what was seen with my emotional eyes. 

Emotionally, it was raining, the skies were grey, the music was daunting, the home smelled like rotten food, and a scent of cheap cologne gave me a headache. 

Why did I see life this way? To me, there was no reason to live. I wanted to die.

When a child is suicidal, they have lost all hope-they blame themselves for the neglect. When a child is suicidal, they are in a spiritual warfare with the enemy- they just want to escape the pain. When a child is suicidal, they isolate themselves- they do things like lock themselves in closets. When a child is suicidal, they suffer from depression- they have morbid thoughts of how to harm others. When a child is suicidal, they wish there was an alternative to death; but can’t see one- they just want to feel loved. 

Well as a child, I felt unloved, unwanted, unaccepted, uncertain, uncomfortable, unhappy, unnoticed, undesired, and unattractive. Since, I could not see a reason to live; I climbed on top of the building and I JUMPED! When asked what happen I said I accidentally fell. No one ever knew exactly how I felt. I hid behind my smile.

At that moment of life, I decided that there was no reason to live; but the CREATOR had a different plan. Most people considering suicide truly do not want to die, they just cannot see past the pain. GOD changed my perspective I went from feeling SORROWFUL in the valleys to the experience of SOARING high skies. I was called to SOAR! I was called to live! I was called to share this story. I was called to smile.This is why I smile. ~ Lereca Monik 

#11AMSmile #LearningToLoveYourself #anewme #anewyou #lerecasmiles #itstimeforachange #liverestored #maven2016 #youreign

A New Level 

  
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.❤  
~Stephanie Gable

Called To Be Prosperous

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My life wasn’t wrapped up so beautifully from the start. Growing up I was a foster child, raised in more foster homes than one could imagine. I suffered tremendous pain stemming from every aspect of abuse; physical, sexual, and emotional the entirety of my childhood. These were many homes with just a kid, ‘just passing through’. Around the age of 16 my biological parents located me and without fear of who theses strangers were, I ran away to live with them having the false pretense, ‘They finally came back! I knew one day my parents would come back! I’m rescued’. Yes, all children want the fairy tale ending with absent parents; naive I was.
Long story short, it was a horrid time 16 years old up until last year (I’m 35 now) with my biological parents. I witnessed drugs, fighting, prostitution, jail visits, and my parents continually high or drunk. Upon crossing into adulthood, all abuse stopped and yet the situations changed to a complete emotional struggle when I was old enough to move out. The emotional toll taken on me as I continually tried to, ‘parent’ my parents, was massive. I knew my parents really had great hearts, they loved me, yet just so lost in addiction they were powerless to express it or be proper role models and care takers.

You can imagine my life would’ve been tough to keep on the straight and narrow, but I did, through the protection of Christ alone. I saw the ramifications of drug use, criminal activity, and abuse, so I chose to never engage in those. In my early 20’s feeling depressed as ever, extremely withdrawn, I felt as I had exhausted all emotions and decided to give this thing called, ‘church’ a ‘try’. Yes, the first visit changed my life forever as I came to salvation that very day. Throughout the years I have been on fire for Christ, entering into ministry teaching on abuse, addiction, abandonment, identity, self-worth, and more than anything, forgiveness. I’ve made myself very transparent as to give God glory for his restoration and turn around (that He alone did in my life) so that I can inspire and reach the hurting and lost. What the enemy meant for harm in my life has been the very testimony of the greatness of our God now leading so many to hope, change, and salvation.

My adulthood has been spent winning souls to Christ through witnessing, teaching, and as many would say, ‘Just keeping it real’. However, an unfortunate tragedy occurred in my life this previous year as I lost both parents to suicide. The emotional turmoil ended as my mom passed and three days later my father, unable to cope with the death of my mom, took his own life. It was the horrid shock alone upon my mom’s passing as that was so difficult to come to grips with. Then the second wave hit three days later, I had lost my father as well to suicide. The single funeral being planned now turned double and it was such a traumatic time. HOWEVER, guess what? There is GOOD news! The enemy never took me out once, didn’t even come close. Why? Because I’m anchored in Christ alone. The only one constant, never changing, expressing endless love, restoration, and comfort, is Jesus Christ as this I had received so many years earlier post salvation. This is yet another tragic circumstance used to glorify Christ as I minister this story to those depressed, addicted, battling suicide, and many other deep emotional issues. The message is clear, “Hold on, rescue is in route!” Allowing myself to become so transparent has proven a massive healing agent for people battling suicide. Hear from the ‘victims’ mouth the pain caused for those left behind to deal with the unnecessary death while also sharing the purpose of God’s plan for our lives has helped and healed so many. Glory to God for allowing me to be His mouthpiece!
With all of this being said, throughout every trial in life, my passion & relationship has only grown stronger in the Lord.

We’re ALL, ‘called to be prosperous’ in EVERY arena of our lives because our Father is the King of ALL Kings and He took sickness, disease, and poverty to the cross! We are called into victory with a race that has already been won! May we never be victims, only victorious, over every trial and circumstance in life. Glory to God!

Be encouraged in Christ today,
Jess Drown

Jessica Drown resides in Phoenix, Arizona. Besides staying proactive for the Kingdom, she is a teen minister, PE teacher, Christian music manager, single mom of two teens, and currently manages a busy corporate office in the city. She loves Jesus, family, friends, and has a passion for ministry, wellness, fitness, and nutrition. Her goal is to help lead the lost and encourage the saved in Jesus Christ!

“Discipleship (via the Gospel) didn’t just put us into the eternal plan of God, but amongst other things, it enables us to live a prosperous life.”

Connect with Jess on all Social Media Sites, see her Website for details.

http://www.jessicadrown.com

Restored Ministries Mission

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.

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