After Jessica in 2015 died my bipolar became a mess I had just had a hysterectomy so hormonally I was all off track then I became situationally depressed with some PTSD as well. That next six months I attempted suicide more times that I can count on one hand until one Dr. had me try ECT therapy 3x a week for a month. It worked I was out of the hospital and was finally able to safely function on my own again…..I still had ups and downs but nothing like I went through in the previous 6 months.
Then in 2018 my friend/classmate Dustin died by suicide. I was not going to let me go back down the wrong track again. Earlier that morning our minister preached a sermon on #opendoors and how sometimes God places them in our lives for us to go through them. Tuesday of that week I joined a small group and explained what had happened to my classmate and Brian asked if i had heard of the organization SAVE. I hadn’t so immediately I went home jumped on the computer looked up everything I could about this organization and knew I wanted to be apart of it. I found out they had a charter right here in Central Illinois. I signed up to be a volunteer and called the office directly the next day to make sure they received my information.
About a month later I was invited to attend SAVE’s annual memorial and training event in Minneapolis MN. I was already helping the Charter leader her with donations for the 5K that was coming up I was so excited to go to MN to learn more about the organization. In September the Charter lead decided to step down from SAVE and asked me to take over the Charter and I did. God does place #opendoors in your life for a reason
Months went by I started planning for our spring event but after 10 years of being a stay-at-home mom I accepted an amazing job working for SAVE (suicide awareness voices of education) I am so EXCITED but so terrified at the same time! I am so passionate about preventing suicide and reducing stigma that this is the perfect job for me….the only thing is I wish my kids were a tad bit older just a tad.
So I will be recruiting Volunteers for Charters in the Midwest area mostly Peoria, St. Louis, Fort Wayne and Evansville, IN. I will try to form Charters in these areas as well.
Host EVENTS to raise awareness to raise money for SAVE’s educational programs and help get SAVE’s educational programs into school’s and colleges!
I have been working for about a month now and things are going well. I have traveled to St. Louis for a grief event, UIS for a health fair, have been planning our “Ride to SAVE lives event”, been on the radio talking about SAVE. I am attending a wellness summit in Galesburg IL, a healthy family event in ST. Louis and traveling to Minneapolis for some training! Thanks for all of your encouragement on this journey you have all be so helpful
4 years ago my favorite song was “fight song” by Rachel Platten. If you don’t know the song here is a couple lyrics that really hit me hard….
“This is my fight song
Take back my life song
Prove I’m alright song
My power’s turned on
Starting right now I’ll be strong (I’ll be strong)
I’ll play my fight song
And I don’t really care if nobody else believes
‘Cause I’ve still got a lot of fight left in me”
In March it will be 4 years since I lost my best friend to suicide. My world forever changed. It was a loss like no other, I had battled depression and suicidal thoughts my entire adult life but never did I think I would be sitting in a funeral with hundreds of other people mourning someone so special to me. That was when suicide became real to me. I became suicidal myself dealing with the loss and pain of loosing one of my Best friends. Luckily for me I got out of my dark whole by doing ECT therapy. I became happier started attending church more and being more involved in my kids lives. Flash forward to 2018 when my phone rang and I found out I had lost another classmate to suicide. My world was shook once again….but this time i decided to handle the crisis different. I decided I wanted to make a difference for others and help reduce the stigma behind mental illness. I joined an organization called SAVE (save.org) and signed up to become a Stephen Minister at my church. Almost a year ago I started on that journey and the blessings from doing those two things have became unbelievable.
In September I started my 6 month training to become a Stephen Minister and also that month I took over as the Charter lead for the Central Illinois Charter for SAVE. Its now February and I can see my blessings overflowing…this is my fight song…..and I took back my life….
20+ years later an apology was made…however the mark it made on my heart will always be there. I suffered from depression in my early adolescent years, trouble with boys, friends, trouble trusting anybody. One thing I always wanted was a simple “i’m sorry” from someone who hurt me when I was a young girl. I tried to find a way to talk about it when I was 18 but i was too scared to bring up the subject so I just pretended like it was a thing of the past….but when i was 29 I tried again only to be told not to talk about it. For years I carried this pain with me everyday of my life. And I probably will carry the memory of it with me my entire life.
But this morning something happened. The way my heart felt after hearing “i’m sorry” was something indescribable, I didn’t even know what to think honestly. I cried. I wanted to call my mom first she had to know the dream I had been searching for all of these years finally happened. Its amazing how 2 words can change someones heart for all the right reasons…it lets forgiveness begin, it lets grief back down, it takes the weight you been carrying around off your shoulders and it makes you feel at peace for the first time in a long time. God has been wanting me to show forgiveness for a long time and I can finally do what is right and forgive. So to the man who is forgiven thank you for giving me closure on something thats been heavy on my heart for many years
WELL lets start by I have been up for 24hours because I can’t sleep my mind is racing!
- What is it? To me its forgiving the person/people for something they have done.
- What it isn’t? To me it isn’t a get out of jail free card you still have consequences for what you may have done…but i have forgiven you.
- Why is matters? I believe to truly move on in your own life you need to forgive someone for what pain they may have caused you.
Forgiveness has been heavy on my heart for a few years now….I have wanted to find away to reach out to the person that hurt me in my past and just talk about what happened with each other. After years and years memories fade, and you just want to know the truth about it all. I was talking at my Stephen ministry meeting a few months back and the leader brought up i still have some deep pain from the pain i endured when I was younger…however it may not have even been pain at all, I can only remember bits and pieces of it. Yes the pieces I remember are not good memories but i just want to talk about this now that we are both adults. No one is going to scream at each other the pain is over the plan is just to get closure from it all and move on….My goal is to have a healthy relationship with this person if its possible. I would like nothing more to have them in my life again. So back to my personal goals for 2019 DREAM BIG nothing is impossible….forgiveness is on my list of dreams for 2019
#thereisalwayshope #rebuild #forgiveness
So I am a few days late but already 2019 has started off well….2018 was a whirlwind of a year for me I managed to keep myself healthy enough to not be hospitalized for my depression which is the first year in 4 years that I have done that. Wow take a minute and let me pat myself on that back for that! But what was the difference last year? How was I healthy enough to keep myself driven to stay focused on what mattered. I sat here for a few days thinking about that actually….I think it was a all from 1 sermon series Called “all the places you will go” at church that opened doors for me like never before. Sitting in the pew over the course of those weeks listening to how God places doors in our lives to walk through at certain times. I had a friend past away last year on February 11th from suicide but also on that day something amazing happened in my family my oldest son was baptized at church. After I attended his funeral I knew God had was somehow placing an open door in my life in more ways than one. At church an opportunity presented to me to go through Stephen Ministry Training (Stephen Ministers are congregation members trained by Stephen Leaders to offer high-quality, one-to-one Christian care to people going through tough times.) I started this training in September and I will finish the training in March. I look forward to being able to help others. Then another door presented itself to me SAVE (suicide awareness voices of education). I immediately jumped on board joining this organization and helping with fundraising for suicide awareness. In August the Charter Lead stepped down and asked me to take her place so I am now the Charter Lead for SAVE of Central IL. Currently I am working on a fundraiser in May, and attending a event in Chicago in February. I also have kept busy volunteering in my kiddos school and being the secretary on the PTC. THIS is what has kept me out of the hospital. I have DREAMS for Stephen Ministry, I have DREAMS for SAVE. My kids are another year older, their smiles are a year brighter and their DREAMS are bigger as well. I think this is what I need to keep me going I need to DREAM BIG and have goals even if they seem out of reach. So Cheers to 2019 and the Dreams I am following….I will achieve them.
#suicideawareness #dreambig #goals #SAVE #one2many
Christmas was always my favorite time of year growing up I loved that we started the holidays off by having Thanksgiving with my grandparents then Christmas eve we would all go to my Grandparents for Santa, caroling, delicious food and of course presents! Time has passed….my cousins are no longer the “kids” and my grandparents are no longer around. Christmas hasn’t been the same since 2010 and I’m still not over it. In 2010 I moved away from Michigan to be with my boyfriend (Robb) and he works retail so its hard to travel back to Michigan.
So now I have a love hate relationship with the holidays. I still love decorating my house and sharing the season with my kids and Robb but it just isn’t the same being so far away from my extended family. I wish my kids were able to experience a Christmas like I did when I was a kid….I guess I should make that my “Christmas wish.”
My heart still aches that my grandparents are no longer here and traditions have faded away. If i didn’t live so far away I would host Christmas Eve in a heartbeat…notice my post is mostly all about Christmas Eve not Actual Christmas day….Christmas eve is where the memories were made.
Yesterday however we hosted something called “friendsgiving” with a group of friends from church it was the BEST holiday I have had in a long time, back in February of this year Robb and I joined a small group at our Church and we have met with them weekly throughout the year. I have made some real friendships from this group and I am so blessed to have these people in my life. I have come to realize that family is important but some of your friends are just like family.
I’m writing a follow up piece to my #opendoor journey and excited to share all my blessings with you from praying and following the open door journey.
In Febuary 2018 thanks to a wonderful sermon series at church I realized that two open doors were being placed in front of me, the organization SAVE and Stephen Ministries.
Since I decided to walk through these doors so many blessings have been given to me.
First I choose to go through the #opendoor for SAVE, I traveled to Minneapolis for training, helped with a 5K and a BINGO event. All during this time I was actively praying for more ways to be involved and to have more leadership with our local charter. About a month ago I reached out to Linda at the SAVE headquarters asking her if she had more ways for me to become a stronger volunteer and make a difference more. Well this past week our Charter Lead Jen decided that she needed to take a step-down from SAVE and was wondering if I would be interested in taking her position as Charter Lead. I stopped for a moment and thought to God, this is the chance for me to be more involved. So of course I said yes to take over the Charter for her. I feel so blessed for this opportunity and can’t wait to see where this journey leads me and the Charter.
And then there is the other #opendoor I decided to walk through Stephen Ministry. I filled out my application in the spring at church and had my interview in July. I am currently on week 2 of training that goes until May. I know that I have been given this opportunity because its just one more way I will be able to help others in their time of need. I have already learned so much about feelings and listening to others I feel like this is definitely a journey I should be on.
So I’ve walked through the doors with an open mindset I am grateful for all the wonderful things that have came into my life because of these decisions…
#whenasermonchangesyourworld #opendoors #one2many #SAVEcentralillinois