I was lowkey suicidal at one point in my life, and it was super stupid, honestly.
At the time, my life was monotonous and I didn’t see anything exciting or hopeful on the horizon, but looking back, the real problem was that I was running a bunch of stupid programs in the computer of my mind.
Thankfully, that round of depression only lasted about 6 months – I came out of it by learning how to relate with
Consciously telling yourself one thing while your subconscious is busy running a different belief program in the background is like typing words into a Google doc and expecting it to somehow overwrite Google’s source code.
After being jerked up and down emotionally over the years more than I can even remember, I finally had enough in early 2015 and started devoting every spare second to finding the mental roller coaster exit I knew had to be there somewhere…
You set magic in motion when you decide not to give up…
As part of our endeavor to move towards supporting ourselves through our own content, I periodically try out various networks that connect creators to businesses who want to pay for their products and services to be promoted.
One day I was breezing through cleaning out my inbox and randomly clicked on an email I would normally delete without a second thought.
It turned out to be a notification that a company had accepted a proposal I’d forgotten I had made, and before long we were on a call with a guy we learned had picked us out of hundreds of applicants because of a video he ran across on our YouTube channel of our kids showing motions David came up with to help them learn a Bible verse.
The only reason we’d put out that video was because we had joined a video-a-day challenge that month and needed to put something up.
Over the next year, we became good friends with Stephen and were thrilled to have the chance to take part in many online group studies he hosted. My hungry heart also devoured all the previous studies he’d live-streamed (close to 100 in all, if I remember right – over a hundred hours for sure) and I even organized them for him to make it easier for future listeners to know what they were about.
Unfortunately for us, as his business picked up and family life gained more responsibility with a new baby on the way, he had to stop hosting the studies and we slowly had fewer and fewer interactions.
It didn’t stop my quest, though.
My hope had been kindled and I continued to discover many other great teachers/teachings online.
Then Stephen invited us to a conference some friends of his were putting on at the end of the summer of 2016. Although it was a long drive and I knew the expenses would add up quite quickly, it was a chance to finally meet in person and we had high hopes that something really cool would come out of it somehow.
The conference was held at a hotel with a water park inside, and my mom agreed to fly there to take care of our kids while we were attending the conference, which was such a blessing to us and them! (Below is our vlog of that road trip, if you’re curious to see what some of it was like.)
Stephen ended up barely being able to be at the conference himself, but he briefly introduced us to his friend who put the event on – a guy he’d referenced many times as the one who started him on his journey of deep diving into scripture.
We enjoyed all the teachings we got to hear while we were there, and we “sowed” a big chunk of change into the non-profit to help with the conference expenses. (Our words and idea, not theirs.) They had stepped out in faith to make the conference happen; that was our way of putting some action to our faith.
But… we soon found ourselves back home with no new outward developments, still feeling adrift at sea, still yearning for connection and fellowship with like-minded “questers”.
All my life, very few memories tend to stick for me, but I remember well crying out loudly to God as I made supper almost a month later (while David and the kids were at the park). It was one of those times when my emotion was so deep I didn’t have words, thankful for tongues.
The next morning I was still burdened, continuing to cry out, and in a moment of impulse, tears on my cheeks, I shot off a quick email to Stephen’s friend, Austin – a reply to the mass email that had been sent out with access to the conference recordings we’d purchased.
I certainly didn’t expect a response from a professional mass email, but I didn’t take time to put much thought into it and I didn’t have anything to lose.
Much to my shock, just three hours later an email showed up in my inbox.
The time and thought Austin put into his response probably wasn’t a big deal to him, but it meant the world to me. “You have no idea how your reply encouraged me and made my day. “
His second email was massive, as he wrote long paragraphs to reply to a few more questions I
By our 4th email, just 3 days from the 1st, our trip to connect in person was planned.
Most of the emails in the full 2-week thread were quite lengthy, but the 26th was only a couple lines, mainly Austin’s address and “Let me know when you hit the road what your ETA is.”
We were on our way and David and I
The magic is in the flow…
You can find some more details of how that trip went/what it set in motion over here, but that’s the unlikely story of how we got connected with some really cool people.
- deciding in 2012 to start playing with video
- applying for a video brand deal in 2015
- the brand deal being with an awesome teacher who had just what we needed for a season
- that teacher encouraging us to attend a conference in 2016
- deciding to purchase the conference recordings
- building a relationship through the recordings delivery email
Life is crazy, ya’ll.
You never know what is in the works for you behind the scenes when you’re in seek mode. Faith mode.
But you can trust that it is good. You don’t have to try to make things happen.
As I think you can see, it would have been impossible to guess in advance the string of events that led us here.
I’ve pondered many times since, that when I clicked on that brand deal email there was nothing to consciously distinguish it from the junk mail I was deleting routinely. Only when it dawned on me while skimming it, how closely I’d come to completely missing it… did I recognize how seamlessly the Spirit works in our lives.
Our analyzing and worrying, that Tree-of-the-Knowledge-of-Good-and-Evil residue, is the only thing that messes with the flow.
It’s so fun to see what God does when you can let go and just live from your heart – messy emotions and all.