Four years ago today.

There is an app I used called one day. It’s a journaling app, I add a picture. I write a line or two and move on with my day. It’s simple and an easy way to document some parts of my life. Now that I’ve used it for years, most days I look at the “on this day.” I was at Starbucks at Portage Crossing when I clicked on it, yesterday. Several entries came up, but three entries specifically came onto the screen from four years ago. Exactly four years prior I was sitting in this exact Starbucks desperately trying to hold on. I remember that day so clearly. The hopelessness I felt, and the doing everything in my power not to give into the darkness in my mind.

Yesterday, I took this picture while there… the journal app open, a cup of coffee and the exact Starbucks I was wrestling so much at. As I sat there I was waiting for a friend to talk through Akron Women on Purpose.  Something that wasn’t even a thought in my brain four years ago, and now we are preparing for our third conference.

I left the meeting and the Starbucks a little emotional. Thinking how gracious God has been through it all. Through His love and intervention in healing that suicidal season. And now how He has allowed me to be part of what He’s doing in Akron! I’m just in awe.

And this morning, as I finished this blog, I again clicked “on this day” and saw THIS post. Which also caused me to be humbled and so grateful for how God has moved in my life. I knew nothing about Akron Women on Purpose, when I wrote this four years ago, but He did! And called me to it years before I knew it… Even in my dark season, and when I was desperately holding on. He is so good!

As I close, I have to say, even though some of the days that came during this last 4 year window were the hardest I have EVER experienced, I’m glad I didn’t miss them. I am SO grateful that the darkness didn’t win. To those who are struggling with suicidal tendencies and feeling worthless. Please keep fighting!! There is hope on the other side. And although it won’t look like my journey, God has you here for a reason too!

"Happily Ever After"

God healed my mind, my marriage, and my body.  I have written and talked about these three things over and over again.  I have told this story time and time again to groups at First Glance, to our church, and really to anybody who would listen.  I needed to.  I had to.  And what better way to end the story than by telling them I was pregnant.  Years of emotional hardship, difficulty in our marriage, struggle with infertility, and the “happily ever after” is that we get to have a baby!!  It’s the perfect ending right?

That was NEVER my message.  Every time I told that story, even if you look back at my blog posts, I say I didn’t like ending with my pregnancy because I was afraid it gave an unclear message.  The unclear message was, “If you believe in God, everything will work out perfectly.”  It’s not true.  I didn’t believe that then, and I don’t believe that now.  I talked about it at the funeral.  John 16:33 says, “In this world you will have trouble, but take heart I have overcome the world.”  Jesus never says that following him will make life easier.  I’m not sure why we Christians often portray this message.  And, as I told my story of healing, I too feared communicating a false message.  In fact, every time I talked about this story of healing and pregnancy, I would even say, “I fear this seems a little too ‘happily ever after.'”  I would always end my story with the reason I was telling it.  God, the creator of the universe, interacts in our lives. That’s the message.  And that is still my message!23984814149_c8767d4fba_z.jpgIsn’t it amazing that God, who created universe, desires to interact with us in our lives?  God did when he healed my mind.  God did when he continued to prepare me in a variety of ways throughout my pregnancy.  God has in so many ways over the years, both in large and small ways.  So I hope to make my way back to all those groups that I told this story to.  Because even though the ending was more different & difficult than we ever could have imagined, the message is still the same.  God interacts in our life!!!  He wants to, and if we allow him to, He does.

Romans 8:26-27  In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.  And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.

my darkest day

One year ago today was the darkest day of my whole life.  In all honesty I never expected to write this post.  I figured tomorrow I would take a screen shot of the app that shows the one year anniversary of when God healed my mind and post it.

I don’t want to admit it.  I don’t want to admit as a faithful Christ follower, as the director of First Glance, as someone who encourages teenagers to not harm themselves, that I was so close to doing so.  I’ve been fairly honest in the past year that I struggled with suicidal thoughts.  It’s easy to talk about it now that I’ve been healed.  It’s easy to talk about it all now that it’s past.  It’s easy to talk about in generalities.

Part of me feels like I need to tell this story, even though I don’t want to.  I don’t want to because it shows weakness.  I don’t want to tell it because I worry about who will read it… mainly my mom.  But the truth is one year ago today I felt more hopeless and darkness than I ever felt.  As I  have explained before I didn’t hate my life or have a desire to leave it, in fact I loved it, but somehow in my mind I genuinely believed the world would be better without me.  I believed that the lives who I was closest to would be better without me in them.  And on Friday, February 13th I couldn’t help but feel so overwhelmed with the idea that it would best if I no longer lived.  And because this idea was so strong in my heart and mind I put items in my car with intentions of committing suicide.

I had a couple obligations that afternoon and so I still went to them, in some ways hoping to distract my mind.  One was helping a friend paint, I thought it might be good to be around her, to tell her I wasn’t doing well.  But within minutes of arriving she needed to leave, and therefore I was by myself.  I finished the project in an hour and realized another friend might be across the street.  I went, but she was talking to someone else.  I was hoping in each of these situations I would be strong enough to say, I wasn’t doing well and had a items in my car a plan to harm myself.  I didn’t.  Although both of these women would have dropped anything for me, in my distorted state of mind, I didn’t want to bother them.

Onto my next meeting with a friend to work on a project.  If I’m honest I drove past her road and headed toward the place I always anticipated killing myself.  I drove quickly and determined.  I no longer cared that I hadn’t written a note to explain to Tim.  I wasn’t concerned about the loose ends I always figured my type A personality would want to tie up.  I had a way to kill myself.  I had an email written to someone I figured could handle finding my body.  That’s all I needed. I started driving there.  I’ve actually never told anyone this detail until right now, even Tim is learning about it for the first time while editing this blog.

As I headed there I text my friend I may not come, and she responded with a phrase she always says and quite honestly I hate when she does, “Thats’ your choice.”  I wrestled back and forth.  The text made me realize that it was my choice… a choice not to let the darkness win.  Eventually I turned around and went to her house.  Later she realized I was not doing well and called Tim.

Then the next day women prayed and my mind was healed.  (I tell more of that story in this blog)

Again, I don’t want to tell or even remember the events of one year ago.  But I need to tell this story today, because it’s easy to remember the good, the healing, the victory.  But to truly rejoice in the healing and victory, you need to also remember the journey and the depth of darkness.

And that is one year ago today.

325 Days!!!

God healed my mind 325 days ago today!  I remember it so clearly, the complete despair and desperation I felt going into that time, sitting on the cold floor while women gathered around to pray, and the feeling of release when they prayed in Jesus’ name.  I remember all of it.  God did it, and it was amazing! Click here to read that whole story.

Today also marks four weeks exactly since I had the privilege of meeting my son and the heartbreak of saying goodbye to him all at once.  It has been the hardest four weeks of my life!  I’ve felt pain and sorrow so deeply… paralyzingly and unbearably deeply. 
As sad as I have been, I have been grateful to God for the healing of my mind 325 days ago.  It is a healing that has kept me from depression and suicide;  a healing that has allowed me to know God really does interact in our lives, and a healing that has given me a sense of freedom to be sad without worry of the deep depression I once felt.  
Praise God for complete healing of my mind!!
Screen shot of the app I use to keep track of God healing my mind
**Although I’m confident God does interact in our lives, he doesn’t always answer prayers the same way for everyone.  So, please don’t hear me saying that if you pray, you won’t be depressed anymore. 

God healed my body…

I’m pregnant!!

Yes, it’s true!!
I’ll let that soak in for a minute… it took me a minute too 🙂

I’ve been asked a lot about when I’m going to tell the world, meaning Facebook (you know because that’s how you tell the world these days).  I’ve wrestled with this question, as this is such a greater story than Tim and I having a baby, therefore posting “I’m pregnant” seems to take away from what God did!

There’s an amazing story of how God healed my mind (click here to read) and then my marriage (click here to read) and then we got pregnant!  If you read the other two posts you will understand the magnitude of what God did.

The short version is that we were told we couldn’t have kids and as a result Tim and I walked through quite a hard journey!!  It caused me to become depressed and tension in our marriage.  But after a extremely hard and yet amazing refining period God did it!  God did it only as God can.  And as I look at it I am so grateful for it coming now.  It all makes sense… our marriage is better than ever,  I have a stronger confidence in who God created me to be, it really is the best timing.  I sincerely give ALL glory to God for what he did.

So now a baby is on the way… he or she is due on December 3rd and we are THRILLED!
No – we are not finding out the gender… I know some of you think this is mean.
Yes – the baby is giving a fist pump!
No – we are not naming him “Tim Beck Two” if it’s a boy (despite Tim’s desire to).

Please note that this is not always the way things work out!  I know this!!  In some ways it’s too “happily ever after”.  I don’t tell this story (all parts) to say that if you follow Christ he will make everything right.  Why I tell this story is because I am CONFIDENT that God, the creator of the universe, wants to interact in our lives and he does!!  

God healed my marriage…

Last summer I was quite depressed and a large part of it was because Tim and I were walking through the hard journey of infertility, after several years of looking into adoption.  It seemed as if our last door to become parents was shut.  If I’m honest it was harder on our marriage than I could have ever anticipated!  Prior to this Tim and I had been through a few rough seasons that came and went over the course of several years.  So infertility was the straw that broke the camels back.  It was the most difficult season of marriage we have been through.

As we were slowly healing from the difficult summer, I became severely depressed.  Several months later God miraculously healed my mind!!  (click here to read about this crazy story) Following my mind being healed, God clearly told me to have a particular guy I knew pray for me.  This was bizarre as I didn’t know him well, but since it kept coming to my mind I finally sent him a message to ask if he could pray for me.  He was gracious and willing, despite barely knowing me!  As we figured out details it made sense for Tim to join this night of prayer!

The night came and I didn’t know what to expect.  But as we walked out of the room that night, it was clear that God wanted to heal our marriage during that time!  It was as if many of the lingering hurts and experiences we had walked through the previous 15 years of marriage were erased.  Our marriage was renewed and it was good!  It is in God’s plan to redeem and renew and that’s what He did… I’m still in awe of this!

A couple days later there was a reunion night planned for First Glance.  We reunited all FG students and volunteers from over the years.  It also was a great way that Tim and I reunited.  That week Tim and I spent a lot of time praying and talking about the night and doing ministry together once again.  It was during that week that God made it clear, through Tim that I should share the story of how God healed my mind.  And so from the stage of FG I shared my story, with Tim at my side.

I can say that the past several years have been hard, and ones I NEVER want to relive.  But at the same time I can confidently say that Tim and I are better than we ever have been.  It was a hard, refining process, but I’m so grateful for where we are at the end of it!