The other day I was thinking about how my blog and social media has shifted over the years since I started and I asked myself, what is my focus? I wrote a memoir about leaving a cult and now I’m writing a devotional book for people who struggle with anxiety or depression. Do those things fit together? Where am I going? These questions prompted me not just write a blog about it, but also record my first Youtube video answering these questions. (Feel free to keep reading or click on the YouTube video to get basically the same content in video format.)
My mission first and foremost is the commission that Jesus gave to us before ascending into heaven. He commanded the church to go out and make disciples for the furtherance of his kingdom.
“Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17 And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. 18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”Matthew 28:16-20 (ESV)
At this point of my life I’m not evangelizing on street corners or going to the farthest corners of the earth. What I am hoping to do however, is use my giftings as a writer and artist to inspire and encourage believers to grow in their relationship with Jesus. I also hope that some of my work can bring new believers into the fold. I also want to use my story and the things I’ve learned to help people, not just in their walk with the Lord but also empower people to take a leap of faith and exit toxic environments.
That last one was manifested in my memoir, “Where the Willow Weeps“. I grew up in a cult which downplayed the necessity and sufficiency of Jesus and His glorious grace for us. Writing my memoir was a painful experience for me. Reliving past hurts and struggling with the moral dilemmas of how to share my story in a way that was respectful to other people involved. It also was difficult because of the backlash my book received from current Message Believers which I wrote about in my last blog post, “I will speak the truth”. Nonetheless I’m so glad that I was able to share my story in such a way that gave God glory and could give other people hope in their journey.
I have two books in the works, the first of which will be a devotional book for people struggling with anxiety or depression which will be released this fall. The following book will be a more comprehensive book on mental illness from a clinical and Biblical perspective. My hope for these books are to add more literature to the conversation of mental illness that is consistent with scripture. I am passionate about mental illness because I grew up being unequipped to deal with my own anxiety and depression, and I want to help equip others. The other reason is that I think there is a lot of misinformation and ignoring of mental illness that happens in the church. I think some churches really act like the hands and feet of Jesus when it comes to caring for people with mental illness, but unfortunately there is still such a stigma around it. I want to use my circle of influence to broaden the conversation so we can try to carry one another’s burdens. If you’d like to stay in the know about how these books are coming along, please join my newsletter.
I don’t have a plan past that, apart from hopefully continuing to use my talent of writing for God’s glory and to further God’s kingdom.
To listen to the episode of “The Modesty Files” podcast that I was recently a guest on, and learn more about my unique experience with ‘Branhamism’ click here. Or search “The Modesty Files” wherever you listen to your podcasts.
To find my book on Kindle or paperback, “Where the Willow Weeps” and see my story in riveting detail, click here.
To join my email list for my next 2 books, (a devotional book for people struggling with anxiety or depression and a comprehensive guide to mental health from a Biblical and clinical perspective) click here.