Louder Now Episode #29: Day #89( In an episode)

I have been in a depressive episode since May and that is why I haven’t been publishing, writing, podcasting, exc.

Depression started a year ago at this time but it has intensified since May. Things have been better then last 2 weeks but I still feel like I am in it.

Here is a little recap.

Halls

I went to the hospital for my mental health. I was there 7 days. This is my reflection.

If these halls had hills they would be high too,

I’ve been climbing, trying to find You.

This place is carved out for me,

Full of faces, full of all I see.

I see faces that used to smile,

That made life worthwhile.

Now, I see torn and bruised.

Bruised like bad fruit. Used to

Be sweet but not so much anymore.

I see myself fading into the hall,

Pacing after all,

Hungry for change but thirsty for

Water.

After all, this has to do with my father.

I see him in a wheelchair,

Shouting smoke break is now

And making sounds like a cow

And telling me to look down when nothing

Is around. I see the jokes flying but very little

On the smiling,

I see the halls and they feel like hills

Because we lost our right to have the

Thrills.

This is now and this is my life.

Pass the meds and things will be alright.

Can I go down and dig a little deeper? The lows are low

And the highs are high and why do I find myself closer to the

Floor, asking for more, on my knees crying out for saving!

Everything is a hallway and I see the doors

Which way is enter and which way to exit

When do I leave this place and when do I exit

From grace. The answer may be never but I go

Anyway in stormy weather. This is me. This is my life.

Louder Now Episode #28: 7 Years Later

7 years ago on this day I had the most intense experience. I tried to suicide by overdose. 7 years later I am alive and living with purpose. I went into a coma and after much prayer from friends, family and Newlife Pomona I came out of the coma without any brain damage or memory loss. I look back at how dark and awful those 8 months were leading up to this event. I see now that God had His hand all over my life and was with me the whole time. I went through a lot of acceptance after spending 5 months in the hospital after this event took place. I needed a balance of faith and medicine and since then I have never been the same. I have honestly been in a hard season this past 9 months with depression. I am still human and still struggling.

I don’t have it figured out. How many people saw a miracle or even experienced one yet still struggle to keep their eyes on Jesus? Faith is a constant process and so is hope. At the end of this video I thank all the people that have helped me along the way. My family, my job, my doctor’s, churches and most of all COMMUNITY. Having friendships has helped me so much and having people that lift me up and encourage me help fight the stigma. I feel like a broken record every time I post something but ask for help. Those three words: I need help is something we should all live by. Reach out. Build your faith. Ask for help. Ask for wisdom with doctor’s and medicine( if you need it you might need it and that’s okay). Thanks to everyone who continues to support me in prayer and in relationship. Today is a special day. ( this is a shorter version of The Beginning Again starting with my time in Kansas City from 2004 to 2012). For the whole version watch here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8rLJ8…

#depression #mentalillness #suicideprevention #askforhelp #nami #anxiety #speakingout #havinghope #hopeisfound

Take Today

Poetic reflections on what God is doing in my life.Take Today

Take me into something new

Where I no longer don’t have a clue

For we have a whole lot of history

But where would I be without mystery.Take me out of this misery

Where I rarely want company

Where it hasn’t been you and me

Where sadness has had to much to say

Where love has nowhere to stay.Take me out of the old and place me into the

New. where it so begins again, stories of me

And youI am longing for a new day one brighter than today

Where light overpowers the dark,

Where I feel you a little,And more than just a spark.Where I see something better about

Tomorrow for today has enough sorrow and

Pain that has held itself against me.I am trapped inside of yesterday

Carrying its troubles to another day

But only you can set free

And change me,Truly, truly is all I hear

You say to me!For most of us feel trapped inside our own

Home and most of are longing, still, to be known

Whether or not there was a virus we still have a

Disease and a problem with addiction

We still have a story, a true and tried nonfiction

Yesterday has dominated today and what’s left of

Today is what is gonna happen tomorrow

But where is now and what is has to offer

Is it just to painful here at the altar, All I sense is sorrow from what has been

And what I can’t see is the new You create

And the voice that isn’t hate, but love and

Perfection, a new take on everything

You take the old and make it new

You take this forced stillness and make it

A time to speak, a time to seek, and a time to

Hide is no longer how I want to live. You take me out of yesterday and put me in

Today and today is where you are

Where stillness isn’t far and where pain is

Near but so is Your healing and so is Your dealings

With me and with all that You have planned.I embrace the new and all it has to offer

I lay it down, all that I have to offer.I give it to You,Again and again

Take all of me

Take all of today

Born Again

I wrote this earlier in the week..This is who I am,I’ve been born again,Born into it with pain and suffering

And without a choice I chose this

Without You.You make new paths for me

You make new ways for me

Coming out of the darkness and into the light.Doing all I can to live this right. Seeking you in the night.I have a great inheritance

One where you make this home

One where love is the place I’m known.I have a permanent place to dwell One where you know me well and Seek me first

And make me thirst,You create the hunger

You create the desire

This is who I am

I’ve been born again

I was born into pain

Like I didn’t have a choice

Like You paved a way for me

To come and be known

Like you made me a home and

You call me your own.This is who I am

I’ve been born again.

4 Ways To Keep a Burning Heart

This has been a hard season for all and its no mistake that we all have something to say about it. I would like to use this time( like anyone should when they post something) to bring encouragement and wisdom to the free time we are having. I have not used my time wisely in my hard season of dealing with depression. I have drifted away from putting the Scripture in front of me and ever since the quarantine started I have been diving back into the word and it has been making a world of difference. Having time on my hands has been a great test of where I put my focus. I want that perfect peace that comes from focus on Jesus( Isa.26:3).
I am not the first to suggest that we take this time seriously before the Lord and place our hearts in focus on Him. Here are some ways to keep ourselves burning in this time.
I have used the word BURN and broken this into 4 ways to keep that fire going in God.
BURDENS Often we come to God with a heavy heart and we should but do we take that heaviness and submit our concerns to Him. 1 Peter 5:7 tells us to cast our cares for He cares for us. And Galatians 6:2 tells us to bear each other’s burdens. We are called, as individuals, to submit our cares to God and also called to help each other in prayer, love and support with their burdens. When we can take this heaviness and give it to God we find space for His presence to work in and through us.
UNITY Staying connected to each other has been forced in this season but unity is a supernatural power that comes from Jesus. ( 1 Cor. 1:10; Eph.4:13; Col. 3:14). Often times the thing that keeps us from unity is unforgiveness and bitterness. I have started in the book of Mathew and I plan to study the Gospels in this season but I like the Sermon on the Mount where is says in Mathew 5:23-24 ” Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.”
Usually we are not unified with Christ because we are in need of reconciliation with our brothers or sisters in Christ, or anyone else. What keeps us from burning for God and staying fresh in His presence is this need we have for peace with each other. Take care of your offenses and God will take care of giving us His presence.
RENEW I remember in my years living in Kansas City Mike Bickle used to talk( all the time) about reading 10 chapters a day and pray-reading the word of God. Not just reading it but praying through it. Taking Scriptures and praying and asking for transformation while we read. I am committing to getting back to this Romans 12:2 lifestyle of renewing my mind daily. Our foundation is the word of God. It is the only way we grow and change and especially in this time of crisis we need to stand on His promises.
NEW LIFE. We are a new creation( 2 Cor. 5) and we live now according to our new way of life( Romans 6:4). Often times our struggle is with old ways of thinking and old ways of living. It is also a matter of who we are friends with. Do we have true fellowship with those that are also walking in newness of life or are we still associating with friends that are not living this way? Read Romans 1-8 for more details on how we are a new creation. Take a stand against the old ways that try to tell us we have not changed. Find ways to get around those that will encourage you and challenge your faith.
I hope this helps you in this season. I have found much strength and encouragement in putting this four areas to practice. Let’s go after His word and do it together. This season is only going to make us stronger if we enter into the grace that is available to focus on Him.

Waiting

Coming out of the fog of depression and into the light. Here’s a reflection.
Waiting
Waiting on You,
Making it all about the things
You do.
You work and own all of my history
Where would I be without Your mystery.
For Your Gospel has made You at the center
For You speak and break chains
And chains have been following me
Bound and not free.
I am waiting on You,
Waiting on You for change
This house needs a rearrange,
For I am still waiting on You to move
Things around,
I am waiting on You to change this town.
I am waiting on You to answer my cry,
For these days I have a lot of why.
I feel desperate for change,
Desperate for something to shift
Desperate for this fog to lift.
For all I’ve known has been depression
For all that is there it feels like oppression.
There’s pain and sorrow in the wake of each day
There’s this feeling that this is never going to go away.
It disappears slowly and surely
Where did hope go and has it gone so slow.
Come with Joy and come with it fast
You hold life eternal all that will last.
Do I know you now as God provider
Do I follow You as God the Father?
Am I hidden with You in that You do
Cause I am waiting for change and
Waiting for words written to live inside
Of me.
What is the cost of waiting on You
What have You done for me
The cloud is a thing that makes me
To barely see,
The dark is close and yet I feel it fading
Away.
I am waiting for Your light to make way
And for this life to live another day
A day without sorrow and the pain
Of depression, but days where hope
Is all I am waiting for and all I am
Living for

Seeking and Searching

I have been using this time to reflect on my journey of mental health and how faithful God has been in the process. God has truly been the source of all the hard questions I have asked over the years. It hasn’t been easy dealing with depression and bipolar. It has forced me to trust God in a deeper way.
This is called Seeking and Searching.
Seeking and searching
You call me into the deep things
Into the unknown,
Out of my comfort zone.
I have been searching and seeking for
a place You call home,
A place where I feel I am known.
You give grace and mercy when I
least expect it and shine light where
I would reject it.
You fix this broken heart
And call me afresh to a new start
This day You have called me forth
To a new search, to a new way of
Living as the church.
You call me into the deep things
And ask of me to sing new songs.
I used to be quiet about the struggle
About the diagnosis,
About the way this disease has effected
Me,
It feels as though it has not stayed hidden
For I have searched and I seek to find some
Rest,
For it has been my greatest test.
My faith has been a war within,
Are you healer, are you strong,
Are you the depth that will last long?
I seek and search for You in this time of
Testing, in this time of crisis, in this time
Of needing more than just words to be
True but a life of power that comes only
From walking with You.
You have become an all consuming fire
A birth to a new desire,
It has come from seeking,
It has come from searching
I am loud now,
Loud about the pain that follows me
Loud about the hopelessness that I have
Faced,
Loud about finding You in the secret place
Loud about hope that comes from You
Loud about spending all my time trying to
Search and seek and make it all about You.
I search and seek,
And choose You this day

New Mercies

More poetic reflections on my journey.
Waking up to a new day,
Where new mercies are the way
I hear the blessing in the rain,
I feel less of the pain,
You are the healer of this brain.
Waking up and trying to find You,
Where have You gone off to
And where is the one that has always
Provided.
These mercies I pursue
For I am in need of more of You
I have been finding solace in the
Hidden
Where you call me deeper and out in
The open
Where we seek Your voice and the places
You have spoken
Where I wake up and I know I am
Chosen.
I walk through this darkness and let the
Light in,
I walk through this sorrow and borrow
Your new mercy,
I seek You for I am thirsty,
I lean on You in all of this,
I press into You no matter the
Cost,
I walk as if I am not lost
But as if I am found
Safe and sound and in Your arms.
I wake up with a new vision
I wake up with hope for a new
Mission.
I follow You and worship You
In that you do
I remember You.
You made this day
And you made this rest.
I put my faith, now, to the
Test.
It’s time to rise for today is new
It’s time to fight and to set the
Sight on the merciful one.
I wake up with mercies that are new
I wake up with eyes stayed on You.