Not A Day Promised

Battling mental illness through education and resources. "Let the wise hear and
increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance." Proverbs 1:5

Thursday, December 6, 2018


by Julie Brooks

I have always loved to pray!

I taught our kids to pray about doctor appointments, stomach aches, headaches, upcoming tests at school, something they had lost and couldn't find...anything...everything.

Prayer is a part of my day...God's Miracle Minutes! 💓

I feel that praying is such a privilege, which is why I feel honored to pray over each seat in our large worship center at Fellowship Church Grapevine every Sunday before the service. I walk up and down each row of seats, with my hands touching the back of every chair, to the left of me, my other hand on the seat to the right, praying twice over each seat. 

Of course, there is no magic in prayer, but God is with me as I pray...and there long after I pray.

God definitely brings things to my mind as I pray. For the 1 in 5 who will attend church that day, struggling with some form of mental illness, I pray for them, that they will not have a panic attack during the service, that if it were to happen, that God would provide someone who understands and would help them in that crisis.

I pray those with mental illness that attend will feel included in the service. For some suffering with anxiety, it might take several hours to build up enough courage to come into our church, because it is such a new experience.

I pray for those who attend that are not Christians, that God would speak directly to their hearts. I pray for those who are ill, those who are experiencing grief during this holiday season and beyond; I understand so well...missing our boy Carson. As we celebrate this Christmas season, songs about Mary and baby Jesus; they always bring tears.
I also pray for Martha, who used to come to church a year ago, who was in a wheelchair, not because of mental illness, but suffering still. 
She always had afghans covering her legs, and as I would take her hand, she would always say something of interest. Even one year later, I still pray for her and that she is doing well. 
Then there is sweet Luz, who is in a wheelchair because of paralysis. I pray for Luz every week.

I look forward to getting to church early to pray. It is such a blessing to know people will sit in the seats that God has allowed me the privilege to pray over!

Prayer changes EVERYTHING! 
I will punctuate that with a Hallelujah!!

Friday, September 14, 2018

I Talk About Mental Illness Too Much

by Julie Brooks

There isn't a day that goes by that God continues to confirm my calling to the untouched mission field of mental illness.

It is a very lonely calling, but I know there is HOPE, where God is opening doors for hurting people. 

Some say I talk about mental illness too much...but I don't think that could ever be the case. 

Will silence ever make others aware of the red flags children and other youth are already exhibiting? Will we continue to overlook their symptoms of distress? What symptoms you ask? Exactly.

Educating others about mental illness and suicide awareness is a must, so that others can begin to perceive and react to what they cannot now see. We are missing so much by not including those with mental Illness. What mental illness you ask? Exactly.

I find that few really want to believe that I receive a phone call almost every week, letting me know of an attempted suicide, or worse, that someone was successful in taking their own life. 

One call was from someone I'd never met. One referred to me by a friend. One who learned her close friend had just taken her own life. Her close friend left 2 children behind.

It seems that suicide has become so common that many have become numb to the shock, the pain, the loss; it's not my problem...don't really think twice about it.

I get it. If you have not lost a child, you cannot fathom the lifelong grieving, the life change beset a parent that has experienced such

But, this Mom's life has been changed forever! I cannot go back to who I use to be, because a part of me is missing!! Carson Brooks. I will not be silent. I will continue to run this race set before me.

"He who has ears to hear, let him hear." Is the Lord calling you to join me?

Sunday, July 8, 2018

It is Painfully Obvious

by Julie Brooks

These are the hardest days; the week before an anniversary, holiday, birthday or any special date we would celebrate with Carson. It is painfully obvious Carson isn't with us, but is in Heaven (which we rejoice that he is with our Lord).

This July 12th will be 8 years since our boy took his own life. No matter how long it has been, it will always be painful, sometimes more than other times.

I still hold on to Crying as a gift from God, to release the build-up of pain.

I not only miss Carson but continue on my path to help those who suffer with mental illness, and those who have lost someone to suicide...their lives changed forever!

I feel that I am a Warriorett in GOD'S MENTAL HEALTH ARMY...trying to get others to realize that their lives and loved ones could some day be touched by mental illness, or worse, the suicide of a loved one. Sometimes, I feel like Noah must have felt when he was building the ark ... God called him, but no one would take him seriously.

Statistics conclude that suicide has become an epidemic, especially among young people; as young as 10 years old!

I know intimately what it is to lose such a precious gift from God.  

I send this message to any that will listen; that each one of us can have a part in helping to reverse this horrific epidemic. 

I pray that you will take the time to learn what mental illness looks like.

My sorrow will not be in vain. I will use it to educate others and help those who need resources! The need is great. The workers are few. 

If you feel God is calling you to help, and you have no idea of where to start, I would love to hear from you!

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Even the Signs Cry Out

by Julie Brooks

Today, as I was driving to my Mom and Dad's house in Temple, I had no idea that it would be an extended 3-hour trip in the car alone with the Lord! And, in those 3 hours, I loved how God showed me so many random Miracle Minutes! I hope you can follow me on this journey.

As I set out, l saw several flocks of birds at different times.God has been connecting me with His sweet winged creatures that remind me of Carson, who once told me that his bipolar made him feel like a bird with broken wings. So, when I see a flock of birds, I think of Carson, who took his life; but, because he was a born-again Christian, he is now whole and his wings are no longer broken. Amen.

As I traveled on, I got stuck in traffic, but I decided that was actually God, giving me a break and an opportunity to look at my surroundings.

I spotted a QT sign and was immediately blessed to realize this delay was His gift to me; to have a quiet time with Him. 

Soon after, I saw a U-HAUL sign, perhaps God reminding me that when we know the Lord, we don't have to haul around our burdens. He has promised to do that. With that promise to us, comes the responsibility to follow HIS example to haul others' burdens. (Of course, my mind goes straight to those with mental illness and their families.)

I came upon a "Bridge May Be Icy" sign, to me a picture of those with mental illness that struggle to come to church; coming to be loved and understood by the church, but many times feeling they are walking on ice, slipping, with seemingly no supporting hand out to them. How will they fit into a church setting? 

As I approach a "Slow Down Road Work Ahead" sign, I consider how we can become so wrapped up in our own lives that we can't feel the prompting of the Holy Spirit to slow down, so we can better see those struggling and hurting in silence; instead, their faces are easily blocked out of our minds as we speed ahead so fast that we can't see them.

As I enter a Work Zone, I can make out a Traffic Fines Double sign, such a relevant reminder that if I rush, I may miss what God is really trying to show me after all.

A few miles later, I pass an HEB store sign, and I'm ever thankful that He engages us as Believers, and I know that CVS pharmacy sign immediately after is His profound promise that the battle is not mine but it is Christ versus satan. Praise God!

And, as my trip home nears its end, I cross over a bridge, traveling on different sections of concrete, all connected together to take me over a river.  I see plainly and am thankful then, that my God uses even sections of simple and creative ways to connect His thoughts to mine.  Seek Him in all things.  God is good (all the time).

Friday, January 5, 2018

Keys to Open Doors

by Julie Brooks

I love doors, windows and keys.

I think they are very neat, and they also take you places.

A key can unlock a door that hasn't been opened before. A suit case key can allow you to get to necessary items you need. Some of these keys are car keys and can take you and others to places like church, friendly get-togethers, or give someone a ride that may not have a car.

Pierce purchased these keys while he was out of town, and I love how special each one is. One key has a "C" on it. Naturally I think of Carson. Maybe God will use that key to unlock doors for the mentally ill, who have felt locked out and misunderstood.

There is a GM key that looks like it went to a fancy car...hopefully, that didn't stop anyone from welcoming those with mental illness with a ride to church, or to a doctor appointment, etc.

This collection of keys is a reminder that God has given us keys to use to open doors for those who need a community.

com·mu·ni·ty - a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.

All we have to do is be open to God's calling.

Will you let 2018 be the year that you realize God can use you to be a welcoming friend to those who so desperately need to have doors unlocked? You will see that you will be blessed just as much as they will!

#keysunlockdoorsandwelcomethosewhoneedtofeelapart #mentalillness
#hoperising #welcomeotherunrepeatablemiracles