On Monday, I chanced upon super bad news. Spoiled my entire rest of the day.
In my head, I am American. I attend a couple churches in America and have a few American Pastors as my Pastors. I loooooove the American Christian circle, and even though I know there is a kinda celebrity culture to it, the ones I lean into are ALL IN for JESUS and not keeping the glory, and not trying to be Celebrities, even though they enjoy some pretty good level of influence, popularity and fans. Oh, but they teach me a lot, and even when the preach, I get more than the average listener cos I truly listen. I stalk, I can tell what is a personal story, I go IN!!! So, when I pray, I pray well for them. I know that beyond the smiling Instagram photos, they are fighting some real demons, so I pray. Which is why I also write this line in the blog on It’s living that is the hard part
This ish is REAL guys. If you are NOT careful, POPULARITY, or like Chris will say, the SPOTLIGHT ON YOU will DESTROY you, especially if the light on you is not INFINITELY GREATER!!!!!
THE SPOTLIGHT IS CRAZY YAWL!!! You should PRAY HARD for anyone who you know and love in there. It is a REAL BATTLE!!! Like REAL!!!
Compared to Chris, I am like 0.001% and I have like 3 Therapists ready for me. When you hear Pastor Steven talk about seeing a THERAPIST for MANY YEARS, you know He didn’t come to play. Like a REAL man of God seeking psychological help. You see THE HUGE CHURCH that is ELEVATION and covet it, but if you DARE KNOW THE BEHIND THE SCENES? My goodness!!! You BETTER be LIVING THE WORD FOR REAL!!!!
So, the bad news? An American Pastor, Andrew Stoecklein of Inland Hills church, attempted suicide.
Even tho his attempt didn’t kill him, it put him on life support and eventually, he passed!!! 30-year-old man, with a whole wife and 3 boys and a whole church, committed suicide???
My mind has been everywhere. What happened? What could have happened? Why did death seem like a better way out? Why didn’t he think of his wife? How bad could it have been?
DEPRESSION and ANXIETY!!!
He had suffered from both, and guess what? He was in therapy. Matter of fact, his Church leadership had FORCED him on a 6-month sabbatical when they realized some funny manifestations of his anxiety.
He wasn’t even allowed to go to church in those 6months. Just take a break.
He got back this August, started a new series on HOT MESS where he was VERY vulnerable about his challenges and journey with Depression and Anxiety.
He preached the first, and I saw that message with his wife, where he was so full of praise for her for standing by him, and his wife talked about how proud she was of him, and how grateful they both were to church, and so on.
Then he started the series alone, HOT MESS and he opened up on some (I believe) of his personal challenges, his father had passed on after a battle, left the church to him, he had stalkers, he had had health challenges, pressures of a growing church, the works.
He preached that first message, happy to be back, and then continued the next Sunday, which was the 19th
and LESS THAN A WEEK later, he attempts suicide???? This is CRAZY!!!
What happened? Wasn’t he ready for the spotlight again? What lies did the enemy whisper to him? Why didn’t he talk to someone again, even if his wife at least to break that flow? Because I am into Social media, and have a whole job off it, I can’t help but wonder if maybe he expected more and better feedback and engagement. I know it sounds crazy but it would shock you what the enemy can do with lies about our social media and all around it. Per example, the church YouTube page is hardly popular. In those 6months he was away, nobody was watching the videos.
Again, may look like nothing but I know what satan can do with that. I LOVE being popular. So, when I put up a post and it has 2 likes, I struggle. I fight the
OH NOBODY CARES ABOUT YOU, YOU ARE DISAPPEARING, YOU MIGHT AS WELL SHUT DOWN, WHAT YOU WRITE IS OF NO BENEFIT, STOP WASTING YOUR TIME, YOU POST TOO MUCH, YOUR POSTS ARE THE SAME NUMBER AS YOUR FOLLOWERS, AND MAY BE MORE SOON YET NOBODY CARES, ETX.
Now it doesn’t matter than, BY GOD’S GRACE on the average, my business makes about half a million a month or more, I still struggle with my social media insecurities and the lies. It doesn’t matter that I know that I am BANG in God’s will and still sensitive enough to hear when He says Move or Quit, the devil tries to mess with my mind.
Let me tell you, the devil will use ANYTHING, and even I had to go find help. I had to talk to people, both Christian and Professional. I have had a few dark days but I am so thankful for the WORD. I literally LIVE by the WORD. I put Scripture on everything. It is a real fight.
Yesterday, someone offered me a gift and instead of thanking God for answered prayers, the first thing I feel is
Oh, she feels what you do is rubbish which is why she is offering you that.
Just imagine that maybe what she gifted me was workout cloths, and devil twisted it to mean I don’t have sensible workout cloths hence the gift, and I quickly shut him down, told the gifter, and we laughed over it.
SECRECY!!! Devil thrives there.
I recall really struggling with feelings of low self esteem and I had told a few people close to me, and as expected, they didn’t quite get it. Till I spoke to someone Professional, and really poured out and they got me!!!
I recall one of my mentees poured out to me that she had to go get therapy on something she was working through, and I was so proud of her.
That’s the thing, even when we get therapy or help, we don’t stop. Plus, we combine it with God oooo. Bonus points for you if your professional therapist is Christian. Then we MUST also help ourselves!!!
You know what, I am off to take a walk. I just wanna say that please don’t do life alone. Don’t even be shy about your challenges. I don’t care how people package, we are all fighting our own Giants. Nobody’s life is easy, even that person on social media you admire with perfect pictures and a million followers.
But like Heather Lindsey says, I CHOOSE JOY!!!
I fight back!!! I find my HOPE not in this fallen world with no absolutes, but in GOD!!!
I believe that even when stripped to the barest, so long as I have God, I will rise again. I believe that the voice of God can thunder over the lies of the enemy is we let him
People, find a trusted person you can be 1000% REAL with!!! You need somebody like so!!!
Recently, I watched a John Gray message and I can’t even imagine what his wife has to go through with him. I can’t imagine them thinking of a divorce within the last 2 years. I can’t imagine any kind of infidelity, but that is it. But when we see social media, we see the smiles, and the travels and the nice things. Part of what John Gray was saying in that message was take the secrecy off our struggles. We all have our struggles but GOD’S GRACE is relentless in its pursuit of us, if only we lean in.
Please don’t talk to the wrong people too. Oh gosh please don’t!!! I just pray that if anyone reading this is struggling, God orders your steps to the right place and person for help!!!
Plus, our HOPE!!! It can never be in this world. This world WILL DISAPPOINT. I wonder if maybe like me, Pastor Drew thought he was giving too much and getting very little in return. Now on YouTube, his last 2 videos are hitting the 50k mark, and will probably surpass it. When he was alive and preaching, it barely hit the 100s or early 1000s. Oh gosh!!!
I really don’t know what his struggles were. Maybe some people were saying trash too about him on social media. Maybe some keyboard thugs were all up in his DM mocking him. I don’t know. I am just broken for his wife and kids. I pray God grants them GRACE unimaginable in this season, shield his kids from the aftermath of this, and I wish and hope Pastor ‘Drew has found REST now!!!
GET HELP GUYS and RECEIVE HELP too.