March for Mental Health 5K; we’re all broken

“Don’t judge my path if you haven’t walked my journey.”

This year one of the things on my bucket list was walking a 5k. Even though I haven’t been walking consistently lately and haven’t walked a 5k in several years, it was still a goal.

And this Saturday I walked and jogged a 5k, the March for Mental Health, and finished it! I felt so happy and proud of myself!

NAMI
NAMI

 

me before 5k
me before 5k

Created by the volunteer-based, non-profit organization, National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI) and several sponsors, this 5k walk/run was for the support of:

1) advancing the research and treatment of mental illness;
2) establishing family and peer support groups;
3) suicide prevention;
4) providing support to the health care professionals who treat mental illness, spreading overall mental health awareness.

balloons
balloons

The woman who started this 5k for NAMI, Heidi, was the mom of Adam, who was diagnosed with schizophrenia. He nearly died after taking 100 morphine pills, but to his doctors’ shock he came back to life. With his mother’s, counselor’s, and others’ support, he started college classes and helped his mom with founding this 5k Walk/Run. With his well-known humor, he suggested they call it, “Runs Like Crazy.”

Although she finally decided on the name, “March for Mental Health,” since Adam was born in March, he used his own name, “Runs Like Crazy,” for his team name.

In the end, Adam gave up the fight and took his own life. Heidi continues this 5k in memory of her precious son and others who have mental health issues. Below is a picture of Heidi speaking at the 5k, thanking all the sponsors and participants and her son Adam, who inspired it. 

Heidi, mom of Adam and the founder of March for Mental Health 5K walk/run
Heidi, mom of Adam and the founder of March for Mental Health 5K walk/run

Before the walk started, I also spoke with a beautiful brunette-haired woman named Annette, who was serving at the NAMI table. Her son, Clayton J. Hugill, was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in his teens. She said he was such a kind, loving, and funny boy.

He lost the fight to mental illness, too, and tragically, he committed suicide when he was just 22 years old. She said it was two years ago, but understandably, it is still hard for her. Here is the pin and bracelet she gave me at the 5k. My heart aches for her and Heidi.

Pin & bracelet honoring Clayton J. Hugill at 5K
Pin & bracelet honoring Clayton J. Hugill at 5K

A young woman dressed up in a costume as her “alter ego” shared her story about having borderline personality disorder, a disorder that one of our own family members has been diagnosed with recently. This woman said several profound things:

  • “I’m broken because of everything I’ve been through. Why do we run from the broken? We’re all a little broken.”
  • “Just because I’m broken doesn’t mean I can’t be fixed.”
  • “We need to be present for one another.”
woman with borderline disorder
woman with borderline disorder

I so agree with these words. We’re all broken; we all need Jesus. 

This police officer who works in the Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) at the Kansas City police department also spoke. I talked with him before the walk, and he explained a little more about CIT training, which helps and prepares police officers for coming into contact with people who have mental illness and to respond appropriately to them. He thanked me for participating in the 5k walk/run. I thanked him for being there and his help.

CIT police officer
CIT police officer

There was a spirit of excitement and joy at the 5k before we began. To my surprise they were playing Christian music, which really encouraged me! One was Chain Breaker by Zach Williams, a song I love.

walkers/runners
walkers/runners

 

woman runner
woman runner

 

young girls runners
young girls runners

This kind black man prayed for everyone before the walk and I thanked him afterward for doing this. He smiled big at me and said, “We can’t forget our God!” and I said, “That’s right!”

man who prayed at 5k walk/run
man who prayed at 5k walk/run

The 5k was in Kansas City by the Missouri River. The area and the day were just beautiful, perfect for the walk! Several people brought their dogs to walk, too.

Missouri River
Missouri River

 

Man with his dogs at 5K
Man with his dogs at 5K

Along the 5k walk/run path, the NAMI staff had created boards with stats on mental health, which I found interesting.

Depression in young adults
Depression in young adults

 

Suicide in young adults
Suicide in young adults

 

teens with mental illness
teens with mental illness

 

coping skills
coping skills

This sounds silly, but I was afraid I’d get lost along the way on the walk, since I wasn’t familiar with the area in Kansas City! Thankfully, they had drawn chalk-colored arrows on the sidewalk to guide and help you.

Whatever you’re facing right now, the Holy Spirit will guide and help you, too.

“I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.” (John 14:16-17)

arrows
arrows

At the half-way point, the NAMI volunteer staff supplied water to the participants. You could choose to walk or run a shorter route straight ahead, or go back the way you came, which would enable you to complete the full 5k. I opted for the longer 5k route!

“Jesus said, “Everyone who drinks this water will get thirsty again and again. Anyone who drinks the water I give will never thirst—not ever. The water I give will be an artesian spring within, gushing fountains of endless life.” (John 4:13-14, The Message)

water at 5k
water at 5k

I walked and jogged, finishing the 5k. Afterward, I asked one of the staff to take my picture at the finish line. I was so happy and excited!

me after I finished the 5K--so happy & excited!
me after I finished the 5K–so happy & excited!

The staff and the sponsors had fresh fruit like oranges, bananas, granola bars, and water to hand out to the participants. Another table had pumpkin-flavored scones. 

The ready snacks for the walkers and runners are typical at 5k’s, half-marathons, and marathons walks/runs, and is one of the funnest parts–your reward! I grabbed a banana (ate half after the walk for potassium), an orange (ate the next day), a pumpkin scone (ate most of it), and some brochures on mental health, too.

fresh fruit and granola bars
fresh fruit and granola bars

 

pumpkin scone & brochures
pumpkin scone & brochures

Pray for those with mental health issues and the people who try to help them each day. You might even have a family member, a friend, a neighbor, a co-worker, or someone you know who is struggling and feels all alone.

The National Suicide Prevention Hotline if you or someone you love needs help is 1-800-273-8255.

We will never give up hope!

hope
hope

One of the reasons this 5k walk/run was a cause close to my heart is because of my own mental health background, when I was struggling with suicidal depression, nightmares, anger, anxiety/fears, and hopelessness, in a time of a 5-year crisis as a young adult in my 20’s. I was diagnosed with major depressive episode, anxiety disorder, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

I attempted suicide three different times during those five years, including an overdose of pills, but God spared my life. Jesus is my Healer and I give Him all the praise and glory for His healing, miraculous power in my life. He sets the captives free and gives us beauty for ashes. 

You can read this amazing story in my memoir at Amazon, Promises In The Dark, One Woman’s Search for Authentic Love, by clicking here

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Fearless: Be Set Free From Fear telecall

fear is a prison

Do you struggle with fear, anxiety, worry, and/or stress? You are not alone. I’ve battled fear and its tentacles my entire life, and many other people do, too.

The world is a scary, dangerous , and unpredictable place today. Fear of not having enough money for the future, fear of terrorism, fear of people you love dying or becoming seriously ill, and fear of corruption of government officials are the top fears for Americans, according to the Chapman University Survey of American Fears.  

Other fears people commonly share are:

  • fear of public speaking;
  • fear of the dark;
  • fear of snakes;
  • fear of spiders;
  • fear of closed in spaces;
  • fear of heights;
  • fear of flying;
  • fear of death;
  •  and even fear of clowns! Whatever your fear is, it can be paralyzing.

Fear can bind and stop you from achieving God’s purpose in your life. Fear is a prison.

God doesn’t want you afraid, but to trust Him through faith in Jesus Christ.  Jesus often rebuked His disciples for being afraid and not having faith. I don’t want Jesus rebuking me, but to commend me for my great faith. What about you?

The way we conquer fear is by renewing our minds through God’s eternal word, prayer, worship, and involvement in a community of believers to help our faith grow.

Need to be encouraged and strengthened through hope and faith in God’s word?

I want to invite you to join me on my free telecall on Saturday, January 28 at 10 a.m. Central Time.

Fearless telecall
Fearless telecall

Fearless: Be Set Free From Fear

Here’s the details:
  • Call into my Free Conference Call line at  Free Conference Call
     Conference Dial-in Number: (605) 475-4800
     Participant Access Code: 401886#
  • The call will be approximately 30 minutes long from 10 AM Central Time (11 AM Eastern Time, and 8 AM Pacific Time).
  • I will conclude the call with praying for attendees, for God to replace your fear with faith in Jesus Christ. Together we can defeat the enemy of fear so that we can walk confidently and victoriously in our God-designed purpose and calling.
  • Toward the end of this telecall, I’ll share an opportunity for you to buy my newest book, Metamorphosis: Transformed From Fear to Faith, available as an eBook for Kindle at Amazon. You’re under no obligation to buy the book, but it may greatly encourage you or someone you love or know.
  • Join other women of God for a time of empowerment. I saw this picture below on Pinterest today, and I felt it was a timely word with the launch of my new eBook on Amazon. “With brave wings she flies.” Ready to fly, beautiful butterfly?

with brave wings she flies

 “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”–Romans 12:2, NASB
I can’t wait to see you there! Please like and share on your fave social media sites with your family, friends, and peers!

 

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When you’re worried, pray and thank God

It’s a lazy Sunday afternoon, and I’m drinking a pumpkin spice cappuccino, thankful for the quiet at home (Ray is at work). My plan today is to finish my Bible study on The Armor of God by Priscilla Shirer, the woman who starred as the mom in War Room.

The Armor of God book
Priscilla Shirer’s Bible study

Recently I had a book signing and sale at The Carpenter’s Cup Christian bookstore and coffee shop in Butler, and the store owner Becky Clift invited me to join a ladies’ Bible study there on Monday evenings. (Be sure to check out this cool store if you are passing through Butler!)

This week I’ve been studying the shoes of peace. One of my biggest struggle areas is worrying and stressing out too much, especially over our kids and grandkids. (Actually the way my family puts it is, “Stop freaking out, mom!”)

I deeply desire to be a woman of great faith, but I’m still very much a work in progress. I’m praying for God to help me walk in these shoes of peace each day, because they’re a powerful weapon against Satan.

Marines in war
Marines in war

The author of this Bible study, Priscilla Shirer, says that anywhere peace is lacking, you can be sure the enemy Satan is at work. She writes on page 95:

“Of all the things the enemy seeks to steal, kill, and destroy in your life, peace is almost always at or near the top of his list. He intentionally stirs up discord, division, disruption, and disturbance, both within you and around you. He is the lord of chaos and confusion, using every opportunity to upset your sense of well being and stability. He wants you uneasy, unbalanced, filled with anxiety, worry, and turmoil. Lacking peace.”

fear

Without our shoes of peace, we become unfit for spiritual warfare, unable to advance against the enemy, she writes. Fear, stress, and worry distract you. They imprison you.

anchor
anchor

This lack of peace will keep you and me from being clearheaded and able to fight Satan, Priscilla writes on page. 99. But God’s peace will anchor your soul, tethering it to the security found in His gospel, the good news of Jesus Christ.  

The way we get that peace is by spending time each day in prayer and reading and meditating on the Bible, being transformed by God’s word renewing our minds. (Romans 12:2)

Trusting in Him, instead of in our own power. Thanking Him, because “prayer shrouded in gratitude expresses a firm faith. Concentrating on Him instead of being absorbed by our circumstances tells the Lord that we believe He is able to override and overcome even the most difficult issues.” God responds by releasing His peace within us.

woman praying
Woman praying

One of the most powerful lessons I’ve learned from this study so far is this: when I’m worried or stressing out, pray and thank God. What a revelation!

“Any time you feel worry or anxiety creeping into your heart, take it as your cue to turn your attention to God. Pray. Trust Him. Be grateful. And watch His peace–a peace you cannot even begin to explain–swell in your experience. Then you feet will be fitted with the shalom of God.” (p. 112)

pensive woman
woman worrying

Do you struggle with worrying or stressing out too much? Leave your comments below. 

“May the Lord of peace Himself give you peace always in every way. The Lord be with all of you.” (2 Thessalonians 3:16, HCSB)

I highly recommend this Bible study by Priscilla Shirer. You can purchase it at LifeWay here.

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Metamorphosis: Transformed from Fear to Faith
Copyright 2016 Beth Jones

Are you like me and worry or stress out too much? Do you battle fear? I’ve written a new book, Metamorphosis: Transformed from Fear to Faith.

It will be available soon as an eBook for your Kindle on Amazon! If you aren’t already signed up on my personal mailing list, be sure to sign up at the top of the page on the right hand side, so you’ll be first to know the details when it releases soon!

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