“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1, NKJV)
This past week I joined my writing coach Shelley Hitz’s 7-Day Writing Week challenge, and I completed the first draft of my new book, Metamorphosis: Transformed From Despair to Hope.
If you are struggling to have hope and faith in the midst of your difficult situation, whether it’s your marriage, problems with your kids, financial struggles, issues at work, health challenges, ministry or career obstacles, this book will encourage you that with Jesus Christ, there is always hope.
I hired the graphic designer to create the cover, did multiple edits, and the only thing I have left to do is hire the formatter to get it formatted for your Kindle–then upload it to Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) at Amazon.
You can see the new cover in the picture at the top of this page. I chose the image for it at Lightstock and my graphic designer, pro_ebookcovers, at Fiverr did a beautiful job on the cover!
When it is live at Amazon, I’ll let you know! If you aren’t already on my mailing list here at BethJones.net, be sure to sign up today at the top of the page on the right hand side with your name and email address, and get your free gift!
I feel a great sense of accomplishment about this book as it’s the last book God told me to write. I know I’ll be writing books for the rest of my life, but I feel good about obeying what God told me to do.
I also want to share with you the message that no matter what your circumstances, you can have hope. For with God all things are possible. (Matthew 19:26)
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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!”
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.
Along the 5k walk/run path, the NAMI staff had created boards with stats on mental health, which I found interesting.
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)
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)
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!
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.
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!
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 Healerand 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.
I wanted to wish you a happy Easter weekend, spending time with family and friends you love.
As believers in Christ, we know that Easter is not about the Easter bunny, eggs, Peeps marshmallow candy, or even the cute chocolate bunnies we buy as gifts in colorful baskets for our kids. (Yes, I just bought all our kids and grandkids their gifts!)
We know it’s about the simplicity and the difficulty of the Cross.
We’ve often read the story of Jesus’ birth, death, and resurrection. Sometimes we try to pretty it up with sentimental, lovely Easter cards for loved ones, or even wearing ornate, beautiful cross necklaces around our necks.
But the cross of Jesus Christ was not pretty. It was brutal. It was torture. It was a horrible, excruciating death.
And He did that for you and me. Because He loves us that much. To give us abundant, forever life.
This Easter, reflect on that kind of God and that kind of love.
“Our tendency in the midst of suffering is to turn on God. To get angry and bitter and shake our fist at the sky and say, “God, you don’t know what it’s like! You don’t understand! You have no idea what I’m going through. You don’t have a clue how much this hurts.”
The cross is God’s way of taking away all of our accusations, excuses, and arguments.
The cross is God taking on flesh and blood and saying, “Me too.” –Rob Bell