Dear Pastors, Women’s Ministry Leaders and Friends,
Over the past 20 years, I have had the privilege to travel around the country, sharing and ministering to over 5 million women with Women of Faith. Next weekend, we kick off the tour in Billings, Montana and then move to Columbus, Ohio. At every event, I get to see hundreds and hundreds of women put their faith in Christ for the first time or rededicate themselves to walk with Him. Nothing compares.
This last year, I have sensed a renewed passion and fresh call on my life to minister to God’s daughters in a more up close and personal way: through the local church. I have just come from Australia where God is moving so amazingly in the church.
It is my heart to expand my ministry where I can encourage and teach women how the transformational love of Christ changes everything: themselves, their families and their communities and how God’s Word brings strength and peace everyday, no matter the circumstances. God is always faithful!
It would be an honor to partner with you and your church as I introduce an event that brings together all the pieces of my calling: sharing and teaching God’s Word with a focus on how it applies to each of us on a daily basis, no matter what we are facing. And there’s some fun and music too! I want to join you to support your local church community and bring this event for women to your area.
If you would like to know more, please email us at email@example.com or 972.335.1303. I look forward to all God has in store. I would love come to your church or ministry.
Serving together until He comes,
You are seen. You are known. You are free. Connect with a community of women that get what you’re going through… and with the God who loves you more than you know.
Join me and my friends for the farewell tour – Loved 2015. This is the year to just come as you are and allow God to love you. www.womenoffaith.com
Twenty years is a long time, and yet as I think back to the night when I was admitted to the locked ward of a psychiatric hospital, it’s as vivid to me now as if it were yesterday.
In the weeks and month that followed, I kept a journal. Some pages detailed my drowning days, others when there seemed to be a glimmer of daylight on the horizon. I never intended to share that scribbled journey, as it was deeply personal. I believed, too, that I was the only passenger. I didn’t know of any other Christian leader who battled dark, abysmal days weighted down by severe clinical depression. But a wonderful counselor, Dr. Frank Gripka, continued to tell me I was not the only one. He said someone had to stand up and tell the truth out loud, so I thought, Why not me? I had nothing left to lose.
Many of those whom I thought were friends had walked away. Mental illness had the curb appeal of the AIDS epidemic in the days before we understood that you couldn’t catch it just by hugging someone who was infected. For a Christian who wrestled a disease of the mind, it was assumed that something in your behavior or a pervasive lack of faith had brought it on. We tend to walk away from what we don’t understand.
So I wrote the book Honestly, praying that it would help even one other person who felt terminally hopeless. In 1997, I tentatively began to speak about this taboo subject from the stage, and every time I spoke the truth out loud, I would find my tribe hiding in the crowd, longing to tell their stories to one other person who understood. A lot of things have changed in the years that followed. There have been many others who have begun to speak out and demystify this illness, but the stigma remains, especially in the church. I still receive letters and texts from those who have made Honestly a textbook of hope, but there are always questions.
“Do you still take medication?”
“How does this affect your family?”
“Are you healed now?”
So, here we are, continuing on the journey of how God took me from a place of wanting to die to the way He continues day by day to love me back to life.
I found it hard rereading the original book. It sent me into a bit of a tailspin to remember the worst days. It made me angry, too, meeting the “me” in those pages. I was angry because I apologized for being sick. I was angry because I believed some of the garbage I was told about those who struggle with mental illness. But as I sat down to write this book, an update and continuation of my journey, the anger faded. I took a deep breath and reminded myself that I did the best I could in the darkest days of my life; that was true for many of those around me as well.
Let me take you back to where the descent began. It was dark and it was deep, but the truth that I thought would kill me actually saved my life. That’s my prayer for you.