Tuesday, June 16, 2015

AM~Erica is So Honored

So anyway...

I have big news to share! And I can finally share it publicly!

If you have followed my DEPRESSION & SUICIDE JOURNEY, then you know how passionate I am about stigma, education & advocacy with this cause.

I made the decision to open up about my own struggles to keep the discussion open. Someone has to break the stigma. So I knew I was called to do it.

As I have upped my advocacy in the last few months, I figured I needed to do more....I just didn't know what.

When I did the Out of the Darkness memory walk (reminder HERE), I was asked to step up even then. After that is when I knew I should step up in my advocacy & became a field advocate for the AFSP as I began contacting law makers to support & vote for bills that helped in the awareness & prevention of mental health issues & stopping suicide. And though I've stepped up in that, as well as my own personal advocacy, I felt like there was more. But I still didn't know what...

While I've been running (OK, the few times...I've backed off, but need to step it back up) and praying lately, I just kept asking for something to show where I needed to be or needed to go. I actually was even unsure if I needed to stay with the AFSP or focus on a different organization. Because I knew I needed to do more!

I've tried to be there for several who needed to talk thru some of their own struggles. I do continue to struggle off & on, myself. And I keep passing information & perspective along to anyone who is willing to listen.

As I mentioned, I pray. I have prayed a lot. I knew God was calling me to more. I was trying to listen & be still, even.
Do I go?
Do I stay?
Do I step it up?
Do I back off?
Do I try something else?

As I prayed, this Chris Tomlin song would become a part of my prayer:

Where ever it is, or whatever it is, I knew I needed to do something. But what?


Earlier this month, I went with my hubby to his annual conference of clergy & laity in Missouri United Methodism. So I go for my clergy spouse events as well as to see several friends I only get to see about once a year. So, my hubby goes for business & I go to make the friends.

As we prepared to leave on Thursday (to get there the night before things started), we were rushing around to get last minute stuff done, last minute things from the store, last minute packing...a lot of last minute stuff. As the boys were off getting a few things & I was trying to take care of some home stuff, we checked the mail. I realized I had gotten a piece of mail hand addressed to me.

I looked at the envelope completely lost & trying to think quickly who has the last name of "Nelson" that would send me something from Kansas. The rolodex in my brain was turning rapidly.
"Think, Erica! Think!"
Then it hit me! It's from Barb! I love Barb!
So I figured it was about the upcoming walk this year. You know they have my information now. So I opened the letter to read about the walk information....
...it was different than that.

I'm not gonna lie...I wasn't grasping the letter at all. Since I was set on reading about the memory walk, but wasn't seeing wording about the memory walk, none of it was making sense & the words jumbled in my brain.

I needed to take a moment to regroup.

Then I realized there was a second page. That should let me know what to focus on! So I look...and...I'm seeing something about "job description"....
...and I read the letter again.

I was so emotional!! I was so overwhelmed!
This was nothing I had ever thought would happen!!

So as my hubby & I were preparing for a weekend filled with worship & wonderful Christian people, I was getting the answer I needed for my what I had been praying for, have a passion for, and direction for my calling.

This is where I'm going to skip over my tears of disbelief, of overwhelment, of emotion, and knowing my answer had been laid in front of me...as well as what lead to today.

As of today, it is official:

Yes. It became apparent that I needed to not just stay with the AFSP, but to step up in a bigger way.

I've heard it put that you know God has called you to it if appears to be out of your comfort zone.

I feel very out of my comfort zone. I'm still in shock, but I'm so humbled & honored that I was even considered for a position like this.

Is this the real life? Or is this just fantasy? (you're ear worm for the time being)
Am I really worthy of such a spot?
But I prayed hard for something I knew had to be bigger. I just didn't realize how big.

I'm serious when I tell you that if you do turn to God asking what more you can do, and if you are truly open to what could be in store for what you are being called to do, brace yourself. It could be bigger than you know. And know you can trust God to lean upon as you go forth in your greater calling.

Because if you're the one called to do it, YOU need to step up, no matter how scary it seems. And this Josh Wilson song comes to mind:

Can I be honest with you? Good...I'm sure that's what you'd prefer from me anyway....
I'm terrified. Beautifully & wonderfully excited....and terrified.
But, I know this is what I'm supposed to be doing. And I am still having issues grasping that others have so much faith in me.

But with that said, I am looking forward to getting to work! So much to be done in the area of suicide awareness & prevention. And, as scared as I am, I'm stoked to be able to step up with whatever I have to offer to work toward the eventual prevention of suicide all together.

And thank you to every one of you who have shown & shared your support. You all have been amazing!!

So, with that said....this newly appointed Board Member is ready to go to work!

Let's do this!!

*goes back to being emotional*

Stay tuned...

God Bless, AM~Erica

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