“Love is Messy.” ~ Amy Hilliker is the statement that was shared, when she gave her Journey of her late brother Matthew and testimony on mental illness and concluded that Love is Messy. When she shared that it resonated with me on so many levels. Love is indeed messy, Battling with a person suffering with mental illness is taking the good, the bad, the ugly AND messy!
I attend the Gathering on Mental Illness conference I felt that throughout the conference. An atmosphere of a safe space to be yourself, whatever that looked like, a space to know that we will love and support you through this journey and model what christ love looks like. Rick and Kay warren model that throughout this whole conference. I can tell from EVERY single staff member at Saddleback Church to the speakers and the people who attend, it was so beautiful to see and be apart of that experience.
At the conference I was BLOWN AWAY by the stories each speaker shared. TO be in an atmosphere of hearing such painful and broken stories to then hear God take those broken pieces mending them together to form a beautiful tapestry of ministries that now blesses nations of people, has left my heart FULL and completely overwhelmed.
I had the wonderful opportunity to interview the speakers, such as Jamie Tworkowski, Founder of “To write love on her arms” Meredith Andrews singer and Music Artist. It was an AMAZING experience to hear the speaker’s support, love and caring support to kill the stigma of Mental Illness.
Sharing the pain, of what you’ve gone through or currently going through is not easy, it makes you vulnerable, puts you out there to be judged and “made fun of” but when I think about what God has brought me through, that’s where the hope comes in and lets me know that God is with me, I’m not alone in this, when you step out into the deep you find out that you are not alone, there are others going through painful experiences as well.
I share my pain and the testament of what God has brought me through with my marriage and family in my new book: S.M.A.R.T. Goals for the Christian Entrepreneur, Achieving success in every area of your life. I share the pain of my husband telling me that he feels that I don’t love him, right after that, I get a call that my daughter is failing the 4th grade, my son was being bullied in school because of his hearing aids, my household was in chaos.
It was in chaos because I was so FOCUSED in my business that I had tunnel vision and was only giving the bare minimum to my family, and they were falling apart before my eyes.
After God has brought me out of that dark period of my life, I felt God telling me to share my testimony in not only a book but tell women my story and as I was sharing my story in the marketplace, I have found SO MANY WOMEN hurting themselves, suffering from depression, Anxiety, their health in bad shape, not knowing how to take care of themselves, STILL OPERATING in business… It BLEW MY MIND!!!!
When I got the invitation to go to a private luncheon with Kay Warren to help spread the word on Mental Illness… I was ON BOARD! To join along side Rick & Kay Warren to KILL the social STIGMA of what Mental Illness can bring, I am all for it.
When I speak and share my story I let the audience know that God LOVES them too much to let you work until you are stressed out to the bone, doing business DOES NOT have to be that way.
I have partnered with an organization here in San Diego called the: Christian Women Entrepreneurs Networking group in creating an environment where they can be themselves, we pray for each of these women and their businesses and share with them the word of God on doing business God’s way, that God cares about them and wants them to successed in business more than they do.
COMMUNITY was the key word (In addition to the word of God) that is needed to help those that are suffering with mental illness in silence that they don’t have to suffer ANYMORE but there’s a community of faith-based people wanting to help along the way and that is what we do in the CWEN organization.
I LOVE that Rick and Kay Warren does this, by putting together in this conference and a starter kit that can help anyone get started in their community. They created a kit called the Hope for Mental Health Starter Kit to help those start a ministry at their church to help equip the leaders in the church to help those that are suffering. Instead of not doing nothing, Rick and Kay Warren wanted to do something to help and equip the faith-based community to do all they can do for those suffering in silence to not have to hide but love on them.
I am so grateful for the opportunity to be apart of something so powerful and literally seeing changes being made, God is so good and faithful, even in the midst of darkness there’s HOPE…
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”