Last year, after playing a show in Northern California, I was approached by a young woman. She wanted to tell me how our song, Scars, had touched her. She then told me that she was barely making ends meet because she spent every free moment that she had volunteering at a suicide/crisis center. She talked about some of the stories she had heard and how she felt like our song really spoke to what so many people are going through.

We want to open a dialog about depression and mental health. In the days leading up to the launch of our music video for Scars, we talked on social media about our experiences with depression and asked for others to share their experiences as well. I think that one of the biggest lies that the enemy whispers into our minds and hearts is that depression, anxiety, and mental health issues and faith are mutually exclusive… that they can’t coexist in the same heart and mind. That is a lie. Let me repeat that… it is absolutely possible to have faith in Jesus and still struggle with depression.

I think that one of the biggest lies that the enemy whispers into our minds and hearts is that depression, anxiety, and mental health issues and faith are mutually exclusive….png

Since sharing our stories, I have heard from so many people about what they have gone through. One woman I’ve known for several years shared her story. This woman has a deep rooted faith and has been a source of encouragement throughout the time that we have known each other. I honestly had no idea that she had planned on two separate occasions to take her own life. To hear her story of how God so tangibly held her firm during her struggle is both inspiring and heartbreaking.

Another woman I know approached me to talk about how her struggle was harder because she felt like she had to hide it.. When she would go out in public, she felt like she couldn’t be honest about her struggles, especially at church.

Have you ever heard the phrase ‘the church is a hospital’? I know why people say that. They are trying to make the point that we are all broken, all struggling, all imperfect and the church is meant to be the place where we can go in all our various states of brokenness and find healing. The church should be the place where you can feel the most free to be the most yourself. The lie that you have to be perfect is one of the most destructive.

Hiding your struggle with depression doesn’t help you to heal, it keeps your pain in the dark. Bringing pain into the light is where the healing is found. It’s hard. I know. But, healing is found in the light. Sometimes our struggle with depression is spiritual and in those times, it’s our birthright as children of God to take authority and claim the victory. Sometimes our struggle with depression is physical and requires medical intervention. In either case, pushing aside our struggles or pretending they don’t exist will only magnify and multiply them.

We are so humbled by those of you who have trusted us with your stories, so let’s continue the conversation. Leave us a comment here or on any of our social media links. We’d love to connect with you about your experience, our experience, and how we can all find healing together.

Here’s our music video for Scars. We hope it touches your heart like you’ve touched ours.

Set Me Free

Are you afraid?  Afraid of commitment, afraid of taking chances, afraid of change, afraid of the dark, afraid of failure, or maybe just afraid that you let your fear dictate too much of your existence?  Last summer I was visiting my best friend and her family in So Cal.  One afternoon we went to the Santa Monica Pier and I met Bobby. 

Bobby was from Nashville and I don't know how long he had been living in Cali, but he did share one bit of his story with me.  He shared how he had gone through a heartbreaking breakup with a girl he had loved.  He shared how he had felt like he had no purpose in life.  He shared how he had wanted to end his life.  He shared how he was alone, probably about to die, and terrified.  At that moment, he decided that he didn't want to ever feel that that fear again.  He was making a film about fear and was approaching people all over the pier and having them write their fears all over his body with markers, then he was planning to go into the water and wash those fears away.  What a beautiful thing.  He asked me to write my biggest fear on his arm.  I stood there thinking for longer than I should have.  It felt really weighty, assigning the word 'biggest' to a fear.  I know that it wasn't some permanent, public thing, but it also felt like a big deal to put it in writing.  Ironically, I think I was afraid to get it wrong.

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So, what did I write?  I wrote that I was afraid that I would fall short.  He assumed that I meant a fear of failure, but that wasn't it.  I was (and probably still am) afraid that I will not give enough.  NOT not be enough, in Christ, I am and always will be enough.  I mean that I won't give all I am, all I have to the things that God has called me to, to my family, to the things in life that I love.  It seems too easy to get distracted by the things that don't mean as much and move important things to the back burner.  Every where we look, there are things waiting to distract us from what is important.  I think that is still at the top of my list...  allowing myself to forget what's important.

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I have a cover photo on my personal Facebook page that says 'fear is a liar'.  It's true.  Fear comes in and tells you that something is or isn't.  That the fear IS greater and that there ISN'T anything you can do about it.  Whether you are fearing failure, commitment, or even being alone, fear would tell you that you aren't enough, that you are better alone, or that you will always be alone.  Fear will lie and twist your thoughts and emotions to keep you from making life giving decisions.  Why?  Because fear is one of the biggest tools in the enemy's arsenal.  But, fear is a liar and the moment that you stop believing the fear, is the moment that you start breathing in new life. If you've ever faced down one of your fears to find life on the other side, then you know exactly what I'm talking about.

So, if Bobby walked up to you and handed you a marker right this moment, asking you to write down your biggest fear, what would you write?  Next question, how will you choose to overcome that fear?

Lovely Deceit

I usually have a lot of jumbled thoughts.  They all fight with each other to see who will come out on top and be the lucky winner to find life as I express them in some form.  The downside to having so many things going on inside your mind is that sometimes, no one wins.  Sometimes there are just too many thoughts and the tangle they create leave nothing but silence and my mind a complete blank and I just stare off into space.  

The worst is when I am standing on a stage, leading worship or in the middle of a show, and the silence of my mind betrays me and it's just so not cool.

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Taking Over

Discouragement.  I have been thinking a lot about discouragement lately.  Maybe because I know so many people who are struggling with discouragement right now, or maybe because I am.  

I once wrote a song and the opening line says 'A tidal wave of self doubt...'.  I think that's how discouragement feels.  It's this overwhelming tsunami of negativity that can bear down on you, steal away your breath, and rip your feet out from underneath you.  When you are in the midst of a season of discouragement, it's kind of like walking a tight rope...

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Changing Names

There are many reasons why a person may desire to change their name...  to make life easier, for sentimentality, for safety, or for a clean slate, just to name a few.  One big reason why people actually change their name is because of marriage.  A major life event followed by a legal and public marker to commemorate the event.  

When I got married and changed my last name, it was kind of a big deal.  I had to think through every aspect of my life, every account, every card, every website...

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