September Is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

My young friend Ty’s grandmother texted me yesterday to let me know he showed up at school yesterday and came home after school. It was a sigh of relief for me. He has a lot to deal with in life and has been seeing a therapist since his parents died when he was in Kindergarten.

I have taken mental health issues for teens and for everyone seriously for quite sometime. That increased in September 2011 when a young woman from Vietnam, who had been part of my weekend group, completed suicide. I will never forget how deeply it affected her family and the other young people who were part of my group at the time. The following weeks, I spent a lot of time checking on them. That experience prompted me to go through suicide prevention training, which has been put to use twice.

Darkness seeks to envelope people with feelings of hopelessness and despair, Darkness whispers thoughts of suicide into the thoughts of people who are struggling. But Jesus brings hope and life. Jesus said in John 10:10


The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

Jesus wants to help all people to have life to the full. He brings healing for our minds, souls, and spirits. We can cry out to Jesus in our darkest moments. We can also ask for help. It is okay to ask for help.

In the USA, it is a simple number to call or text for help- 988.

In Canada- If you’re in crisis — Call 1-866-585-0445 or text WELLNESS to: 686868 for youth; 741741 for adults

In the UK- 116 123 – 24 hours a day or text SHOUT to 85258

In Australia- 13 11 14

I would like to share two videos that speak to this. One says to stay another day. The other reminds us that our story isn’t over yet. Remember with Jesus we can always have a new start to our story.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Update on My Upcoming Book-Jesus Understands Trauma

I started counseling in the beginning of the year with the thinking of it helping me stay on top of depression. Living with chronic illnesses that all can cause depression is why I have depression. After hearing my pastor encourage people about seeking counseling, I decided to do so. I had no idea that what was about to happen would occur.

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The first three sessions were mostly my therapist asking me questions and getting to know my back ground. At the end of the third session, she told me, “my diagnosis is PTSD, Dysthymia, and General Anxiety.” My reaction inwardly was, “crap I am a mess.:

My PTSD is actually Complex PTSD, Complex PTSD is repeated exposure to trauma or traumas over a period of time including childhood. It is something I was not concerned about dealing with because my focus has been on serving Jesus and letting the rest go thinking when I get to heaven, there won’t be any problem. But is it telling that I do not have any pictures of myself before the age of 20.

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However, my relationship with Jesus has brought healing and there have been aspects of Jesus’s earthly life that helped me to cope with trauma while I prayed to Jesus. So in May, I felt led to write about that. I asked my therapist if she would write a paragraph that I could include in my book’s forward-hopefully published in September just waiting for my pastor to finished reading the draft to write something for the forward. This is what my therapist wrote.

“Matt stepped into my office in January of 2022. He seemed sincere, honest, funny and well-spoken. However, after hearing of the heinous trauma he had suffered, I wondered if I was qualified to help him.  I was transparent about this and suggested a few Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapists. Matt was adamant that he had prayed and Jesus led him to me, he wanted to continue working with me. He put his faith in Jesus and in turn put his faith in me. Looking back I am pleased that he did, because it has been rewarding watching his healing journey. Matt continues to grow mentally and in his faith. His book, Jesus Understands, is a testimony to both. After reading the book I felt honored and humbled, but mostly comforted. Maybe because of Matt or through Matt I found solace in knowing that He understands and comes to our aid. No matter the suffering we have endured, if we put our Faith in Him he will show us the way. Jeremiah 29:11 says “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” 

My hope and prayer is that Jesus uses my book to reach thousands who struggle with PTSD or Complex PTSD.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Remember Step by Step

One thing I encourage people who feel overwhelmed to remember is step by step. When we experience difficulty, it can seem like the whole thing hits us in the face all at once making it feel overwhelming. Especially those of us who might struggle with depression and anxiety. By breaking down what can seem too big into smaller steps, it breaks it down for us. Yes, I practice what I preach. 🙂

Another aspect that helps with that negative self talk is to remind ourselves each day, maybe more than once during the day, of the steps we have taken. Negative self talk can lead to self defeating behavior. By reminding ourselves of positive steps taken, it helps us avert negative self talk.

One important step is to remember to ask God about it. I love the truth Jesus shared in Matthew 6:8-“Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” God knows what we need each step of the way.

I also include asking others to pray for me and asking others who know more than I do. Case in point when my van died.

Setting up my Go Fund Me was an idea I had and one others encouraged me to do. One thing I readily admit to is that I have no mechanical ability. So when it comes time to look at vehicles, I have friends I can ask to come with me. They know what to look at. Involving others in the process who know more is always a good idea.

Thanking God for each step taken is part of step by step. God does not need that from us, but we need it. It helps us stay connected with God through the process.

The books I am writing are something I have included in my own step by step. Yes, I am the one writing, but I have asked others to read the google doc and share their response. I met with a friend of mine who understands finances to ask him to review what is involved for the business part of it with Amazon to self publish. I hope to have them published in September. The delay has been due to God giving me ideas of sections to add.

When we are faced with adversity, let’s remember-step by step.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Music Mondays- Take It To Jesus by Anna Golden feat Kari Jobe

When your questions don’t have answers and you just can’t understand it When your mind just won’t stop running and the tears just keep on coming You don’t have to explain it He hears you before you can speak Come with me, let’s take it to Jesus

I love the lyrics of Take It To Jesus. We all have those moments that we just can’t seem to be able to put into words what is going on. We can feel overwhelmed and confused. When we have such moments, the best thing we can do is Take It To Jesus.

This song blessed me a lot, so I wanted to share it today in hopes it blesses you as well.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Book Update

One of the books I felt led to write is Jesus Understands Trauma. I have shared the first draft with a few people to get their input. One of them is my therapist who is a Catholic woman. Our sessions are wonderful because we can be open about sharing faith.

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Some of her comments after getting through half of the book are:

how do you feel about starting with this as your intro? It is really powerful!


I like all the thoughts to ponder areas in the book! It really makes the reader that much more involved and thinking about their own situation. I am curious to know some of your answers. Maybe we can discuss a few in session?

Jesus wants to partner with us. – this whole section is great. I think it speaks volumes about not having to through this journey alone and provides hope!

 I really enjoyed reading all of this, the insight was beautifully said. He became human and endured trauma for us, so he could understand us.

Getting positive feedback has encouraged me to press on. Double meaning press on- press on to press 🙂

My hope is to publish in August. I will self publish through Amazon and have it available on Kindle and in print.

I would covet prayers.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Music Mondays- Peace by Bethel Music

John 14:27-Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

In any situation Jesus gives us peace inside. It is not the fleeting temporary peace the world gives. It is the peace that only Jesus can give us. Peace inside even though times are turbulent. Peace inside even though we have struggles in this life.

We can breathe in as we focus on Jesus. We can give Jesus our struggles in life. He reaches out to us to give us peace inside.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Dealing with Anxiety

By anxiety, I mean that non stop anxiety that seems impossible to control, not just the I have a test today kind even though that would count too. For people with PTSD, General Anxiety etc., it is not like they can just easily turn a switch off and poof the anxiety is gone.

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It also does not help much when someone throws out a cliché or just quotes a bible verse. Philippians 4:6 is wonderful but merely quoting it to someone with PTSD or anxiety is kind of like saying be warm and filled to someone who is hungry without giving them food.

Philippians 4:6 says:

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

But how do we apply that. I would like to share something I have been doing. Breathing exercises and grounding exercises to bring us into the present moment are helpful, but even more helpful for me is to do breathing exercises while listening to worship music.

By doing breathing exercises while listening to worship music, I can also at the same time give my concerns to Jesus by praying. Try it sometime. While listening to worship music, breathe in deeply and slowly and exhale slowly. At the same time pray over the day, or the hour, or the moment.

There is one song I listen to each morning first thing. It is Come Alive by Lauren Daigle. Living with chronic illnesses means there are mornings I wake up with fatigue as in no energy for the day fatigue. I also tend to wake up with pain every morning. As I listen to Come Alive, I do breathing exercises while also praying over my day and asking Jesus to help me be a blessing. By connecting the breathing exercises with worship music, it also helps with renewing our minds.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

A Little Girl Had Anxiety- She Will Be Okay

I shared back in February about a little girl at school who had anxiety in- A Little Girl Had Anxiety. She had anxiety because she was a beginning English learner and school felt daunting to her. She is only in 2nd Grade. After speaking with her in Spanish, she began to visit me in my classroom, which was next to hers, each morning. I shared about that in-Being A Safe Place-My Special Visitor Each Day.

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She made a lot of progress to the point that when I would ask her-“Sientes Nerviosa?”, do you feel nervous, she would say no. She has made little friends in class and has been doing well in school. But yesterday when I told her it was my last day at school, she did not take it well at first. I reminded her that she has friends in school now and is doing well. As she hugged me, I told her she will be okay and that Jesus is always with her.

I went into her classroom to give the children cookies, When I went in, she hugged me and cried. I held her for a few minutes while she cried, and reminded her again that Jesus is always with her. After I left, her teacher helped the students in her class to make cards for me. The little girl, Maria, made this one for me.

As I left the school, I saw her having fun playing with the other children during recess. She will be okay. I am glad I could be a small part of helping her adjust to being in a new school in a new country in a new language.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.