Two Years- Thank you!

If I could go back in time and be able to tell myself something, I’d tell myself to have faith that life will change. Today marks the the two year anniversary of my best friend, Hannah saved my life from suicide. I was beyond mad at her, but over time we were able to have a genuine friendship again.

I have been celebrating this week, especially today. Out of anticipation I could not sleep last night. I struggled for years and the spirit of suicide has tried hard to hurt me between now and the past two years. I am proud of myself for making  it this far. I never thought I would live to even the age that I am. 

Tonight I am dancing and am excited for the future. I personally want to thank everyone who has cheered me on along the way. I couldn’t have done it without you. ❤

To the Family of the Young Woman at the Mall

It takes more strength to leave in the middle of the night than to stay a hundred years (domestic, emotional, and sexual abuse awareness).

Recently, I re-read the blog that I wrote three months ago titled “To the young woman at the mall.” If you are not already familiar with the piece, it is linked here https://lamaleah.wordpress.com/2016/10/20/to-the-young-lady-in-the-mall/. I thought that it would be appropriate to write a part two/continuation of that post; this time it will be an open letter to the friends and family of the young lady in the mall.

Dear friends and family of the young lady at the mall, I understand that you are hurting for it is hard to see someone that you love be in an abusive relationship but here are some things to remember:

~ Do not blame yourself for the situation that your loved one is in. It is not worth the time or the energy spending your time wishing that you had done something different. It is easy to say, “If I was a better sister, aunt, mother, (whatever your relation may be) they wouldn’t be in that position.” It is convenient to think in that manner but you can’t be sure that if you were a “better friend” that they would make different life choices.

~Be the role model in their life that they need. Keep toxic influences out of your life, and don’t let others push you around. How will your love ones have a desire to leave an abusive relationship if you yourself are in them?

~ Don’t judge them for staying because it takes more strength to leave then it does to stay. Make sure they know that you can be a listening ear when they need it, encourage them to leave but remember that it takes a lot of courage to do so. If they reach out for help, and the abuser finds out, they probably will not be safe. It takes courage to leave when the victim knows what the risk factors are of leaving.

~Pray for everyone involved in the situation. I believe that people can change but only through the blood of Christ. “Prayer changes things.”

~Remind them that they are loved. You may be the only influence in her life that unconditionally loves her. She needs to know that she is loved and worth more than being abused before she will ever leave.

And lastly…

When they are ready to leave they will, but they will definitely need love and support when they take the steps needed to leave. If they leave, they will need your help to enter back into society. But in the meantime, while you are praying for them, love and show them Christ as much as you can in creative ways. I know that it hurts now, but remember that our heavenly Father is waiting for them with open arms.

“It takes more strength to leave in the middle of the night then to stay a hundred years (domestic, emotional, and sexual abuse awareness).”

To the Young Lady in the Mall

Lama-Leah

This weekend I went to the mall with my mom. After shopping for awhile we decided to take a break. As we were sitting I noticed a group of ladies sitting not too far away. It was a beautiful girl who appeared to be in her early twenty’s, her mother, her aunt, and the older women’s children were there too, but they were playing in a designated area for children. As I am trying to mind my own business, the group near me seemed to become louder and had more of a sense of urgency in their conversations. What I could pick up was that the mother and aunt were desperately trying to get the young lady to leave her boyfriend; he doesn’t treat her well. She, however, did not want to listen to what they had to say. I almost went over and joined their conversation but I didn’t…

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The Enemy is Fighting to Defeat You

If you were not on this earth life for everyone else who is still here would never be the same. If you are struggling with knowing your true value, continue to read.

Last week I was at a coffee shop with the intention to write but I made a friend. They shared their wisdom about life with me. This person shared parts of their testimony. Despite having a HARD life, they choose to remain positive. I shared about the first time that Satan had a spirit of death and suicide over me.

How they responded to me is prevalent to anyone who has/is struggled with suicidal thoughts/actions. I was told, “The enemy did/does not want you here because he knows how special you are, what you have done and are going to do here on this earth for the glory of God.”

That statement in itself has so much truth in it. If I had died the first time I desperately wanted to, I would not have been able to make the small mark on the world that I have made. I wouldn’t have the honor of helping those whom I have gotten the chance to help, and Lama Leah wouldn’t be what it has been becoming and my thoughts and wisdom would not have reached around the world. In my wildest dreams I never thought that my life would change for the better, but against my contrary belief, it did! I have been able to do some things and help some people that I would have never have thought was possible.

The Enemy is intimidated by those who are going to do great things for the kingdom! When he sees something great that comes from God his instincts are to destroy it and prevent it from doing its work. The most rewarding thing that you can do is overcome the devil through the blood of Christ. 

When I personally choose to fight for life, my depression did not end nor was I always content with my decision. In the small moments of hope that’s when I knew that it was worth it. For me, it was giving a friend a hug who is hurting, snuggles with my dog, drinking peppermint tea, late nights focused on art projects, and writing a blog post that others enjoy or learn from. These are the small moments when even depression is at its peak and living seems unbearable, but life is worth fighting for.

If you die from suicide you are taking the mark that you have put on the world and making it significantly lighter because if you continue to live the possibilities that you have to make your mark are endless. The world will absolutely never be the same without you because you bring something unique and individual to the world. If you are suicidal, I am truly begging you to give this life another chance. Life may not become better now but it can and will change eventually. God could be allowing you to go through this season as an opportunity to grow. Maybe God will use the season that you are in now and saving the wisdom that you gained from it for a different season. I promise you that choosing life will be worth it!

Two years ago, in the car, when my best friend was pleading for me to fight, she told me this, “You can’t commit suicide, think about how great the day when you are able to say ‘I made it through this hell and look where I am now.’ Things can only get better from here.” What she said was true. If you are suicidal from a bully in your life (any kind of bully, a physical person, depression, current life circumstances, the DEVIL, etc.), how will you be able to prove them wrong if you’re not alive to do so? From my experience, the rewarding part of various struggles in life is when you can overcome them.

Those who have the hardest life become the strongest people. If you are currently suicidal, please be encouraged. The battles that you are in are always worth fighting, even when it seems that you may not have victory, but remember it is impossible to achieve victory if you surrender. I promise you that life will change, and when it does, you will be grateful that you did not act on your plan. Think about the great day that it will be when you are able to see the beauty in your hardships. Suicide eliminates the chances of life becoming better because it stops your journey in this world.

If you choose life let me tell you this, it will not be an easy battle to overcome but in the end it is worth every hardship and tear. Yeshua is here to walk with you, by your side, every step of the way. Everything will be okay in the end, if it’s not okay, remember it simply isn’t the end. Also read these passages Psalms 57:8 and 1 John 5:4-5

“When you saw one set of footprints in the sand, is when I carried you.”

Do We Need Discernment In The Church? Domestic Abuse Awareness 

“May the Lord protect and defend you.”

*Trigger Warning*

This is a line of the blessing over the children that many congregations/synagogues pray over the children every week, while they stand under the hoopah. This is one of my favorite parts of Shabbat but my heart breaks a little bit every time I sing it because I know not every child is being protected. Some of them could go home and be abused by parents or family members.

Last spring, it was revealed that a neighboring town had a set of parents who were severely abusing their children. My heart was broken for the victims and I was furious at the abusers. What was the most upsetting, though, was that the family was heavily involved in the Christian community of that town.

I may receive negative feedback and I’m okay and prepared for it.

My question for that Church is, how did you reach out to the victims while they were in the household? Before the trial, or the media publicly announced the situation, what did you do? I feel that most of the time Christians don’t use discernment when choosing friends. This court case affected my school and I would constantly hear, “The parents were such nice people” but I don’t think that they realized being nice person and being a good person does not always have the same definition. We tend to trust anyone who claims the name Christ without necessarily judging what their character could be behind closed doors. We can be accepting but not use discernment. Abuse is not talked about in the church as if it doesn’t exist but this court case is an example that it clearly does. It is an uncomfortable topic so we ignore it.

When will we realize that body of Christ is a broken one? Some of the “nicest people” beat their children after the church doors close. As a general rule, I never assume someone has character until I have seen it in not only their actions but also in their body language. I watch how they act around their family members or how their family members act around them and how they respond to certain situations. I challenge you to look at those aspects when examining your friends and acquaintances.

Domestic, sexual, spiritual, and emotional abuse in Christian communities is a way that Satan is trying to damage and destroy the church. I wonder how the victims in this court case will see Christianity when they have had trauma from so called Christian parents. If you are not in a safe living situation, I beg you to find help. If someone in your religious community is convicted of being an abuser in some form, I urge you to listen to the victim. It took them courage and bravery to speak out. Below are listed numbers if you need help. I promise you there’s always hope and options.

National Sexual Assault Hotline 1-800-656-4673

National Domestic Abuse Hotline 1-800-799-Safe (7233)

A Look Inside My Life With Anxiety 

When I woke up this morning I was in a pure panic. I had many things to accomplish and I was in fear of missing a task, not having enough time, and disappointing someone, including myself.

I drive myself to a Torah study that I was invited to and on my way I worry that I’ll either be “too early” and/or be there before my friend who invited arives. I know that there will be food and I worry about eating in front of others. I am anxious thinking about the fact that I may have to read a part of the Torah portion in front of the group. I worry that I won’t be welcomed. I dread answering the questions about what I’m doing with my life because I am in a time that I am waiting on direction from God.

I arrive at the home 15 minutes early, but that’s “too early.” I drive by the location and one car is in the driveway and I don’t know what kind of vehicle my friend is driving and so I waste some gasoline and drive around the neighborhood for 15 minutes and arrive right on time. When I ring the doorbell I find out that the hostess have a dog and strangely I’m relieved and in the end Torah study was fine and I had a great time.

After I left Torah study I did a brief reflection of 2016 and remember that it’s been a great year, especially because 2015 was a wretched year. Life is good right now. This is the longest period of time ever that life has been good and my anxiety starts again as I wonder “Which desert am I going to walk through next?” On the car radio the Christian radio station starts playing song after song about trusting in HIM and I have some Shalom from God.

Fast forward to the evening. In the back of my mind I know it’s New Year’s Eve and the traffic could/will be bad. As I’m getting ready to go my dad says, “Be safe,” and tells me a story about how he saw a drunk driver this morning and to be extra aware. I zone him out when he tells his story because I know I will be even more terrified to drive if I listen to his story. I have a few places to go before the party, the traffic is heavy and I am overwhelmed. As I am arriving to my second destination, while trying to switch lanes, I am almost hit and my ability to keep everything together is quickly leaving me. I put the location of my party in my phone’s GPS and it cannot find the home. My anxiety is rising and I am frustrated and overwhelmed. By now I am late and it isn’t helping. My emotions are all over the place and I cannot handle going to a party after how my day has gone. I try to fight my anxiety but this time it has won. I skip the  party and go into the nearest parking lot that I can find. As soon as I put the vehicle in park, I get into a fetal position and try to cope with the emotions of the day.

On days when my anxiety isn’t bad, I can handle these situations but today I can’t. I hope I can deal with life tomorrow. This type of day is all too common for those who struggle with anxiety. If you are struggling right now, I want to assure you that you are not alone and it is okay to be not okay and you are loved.

Happy 2017!