Possible Support for Families with “Hidden Disabilities”

Hey, Sweet Things! I am about to do something that I don’t often do. I’m about to mention a website that has no official connection to Living Proof Ministries. I hardly ever do this because we would not know where to stop. By God’s grace, there are so many great resources out there that our entire blog would be given over to a steady stream of recommendations, swallowing up our purpose here. We also don’t have the ability to thoroughly police every site, founder or author we might want to mention. I’ve learned the hard way that, to many folks out there, a favorable mention or a recommendation about someone or something means that you line up with everything they’ve ever said or, scarier yet, will ever say. The risk can be enormous.

The reason why I’m taking the risk this time is because those of you who stand to be helped could need it in the worst way. There is no doubt in my mind that many of you Siestas have a family member with what can be called a “hidden disability.” Or, it might not be a family member at all. It might be the God-cherished and Christ-chosen person you see in the mirror. The new website is called Chosenfamilies.org and its founder and CEO is Shannon Royce, a brilliant woman of God I have known for the better part of 20 years. In order to avoid misquoting or misrepresenting her, I have taken the following excerpts straight off the website so she can explain for herself what Chosenfamilies.org is all about.

Shannon Royce explains,

As a mom of a child who has been diagnosed with a hidden disability, I know the challenges our families face. These hidden disabilities — Anxiety, Asperger, ADHD, Autism, Bipolar disorder, Depression, Learning disabilities, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Tourette syndrome, and others — are neurological disorders that affect every area of a child’s and a family’s life.

While the medical community is beginning to understand these disabilities, they are less understood in the church. As if the diagnosis and daily challenges were not enough, the burden is often made heavier by a lack of understanding and support from the body of Christ. At best, the church is silent, and at worst it is hurtful. Wrong-headed theology treats these disorders as sin or demonic possession rather than as neurological disorders affecting an organ of the body — the brain.

Families struggling with these issues are left to fend for themselves as they seek to raise their child or live with their family member who suffers from one of these disabilities.

Some of you know what she’s talking about. Here’s a brief bio on Shannon so you’ll know she didn’t just fall off the apple cart: (Again, I’m quoting off the site)

Prior to founding the organization, Shannon served in various pro-family organizations as a public policy advocate.  Among her experiences were the privilege to serve as the Director of Public Policy and Legislative Counsel for the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission. Prior to her work with the Southern Baptist Convention she served two Senators as a policy advisor.  She earned her Juris Doctorate from the George Washington University School of Law and is licensed to practice in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Siestas, along the way so many of you have asked me questions concerning (what we can now call) hidden disabilities and often I didn’t feel qualified to answer them. It wasn’t because my life had been untouched by them. On the contrary, my life was effected by them in the past and is effected by them in the present. Still, those kinds of answers need to come from people with more focused education and professional experience. I am relieved to now have a place to suggest to you for information and potential support from those with a Christ-centered world view. (There may be more out there but this is the first one I’ve learned about firsthand.) I implore you to allow me to make this suggestion to you because I love you and care for you so much without holding me responsible for every conversation or article that could take place on the site.  This I can tell you: I have known Shannon Royce to be a steadfast, sound, and mighty woman of God and I don’t look for that to change overnight.

LPM exists to encourage women in their walks with Christ. I am painfully aware that many of you are walking under a burden that is far beyond our area of education. (I am reluctant to use the word expertise as I’m not sure I’m an expert at anything.) I love you so much and I want to see you get the help you need. My hope is that this connection might be extremely helpful to some of you and offer you the relief of knowing you are not alone. Allow me to strongly suggest that you seek professional counsel from qualified physicians to make sure you have or your loved one has been properly diagnosed. One last thing. Let’s be careful on our comments to this post. Remember how public this blog is. Please don’t share anything about a loved one with a hidden disability that he or she might feel dishonored by. If you want to share something under the leadership of the Holy Spirit, by all means, do, but leave off names or identities that could be (even unintentionally) damaged by it. Let’s also stay encouraging and retain our Blessed Hope!

Life can be hard, can’t it, Sisters? But our God is good and our God is so faithful. He tells us to “be concerned about one another in order to promote love and good works.” (Hebrews 10:24 HCSB)

And, how about a shout of praise for God enabling my very small but mighty staff to fill EVERY SINGLE ORDER for SSMT spirals! And over holidays! The resource department is completely up to date in your orders which well surpassed 6000 spirals. (Some have just gone in the mail so that doesn’t mean all your orders should have reached you by now. Only that they are filled and soon on their way.) As you can see from the January 1st post, 8000 of us are memorizing Scripture together. PRAISE YOU, LORD!!!! Listen carefully with ears of faith and you just might hear the sound of Swords slicing through the air to the glory of God the Father.

You are loved here and counted into every week of ministry that takes place within these doors.


379 Responses to “Possible Support for Families with “Hidden Disabilities””

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  1. 101
    Melissa Brown says:

    Tears are streaming as I read your blog Beth and find this site. I deal daily with a 15 year-old son who suffers from severe ADHD and some nondiagnosed issues that are being explored right now including, I believe, depression. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  2. 102

    Thank you Mama Beth for reaching out to us seista’s you are an amazing lady to care so much for people and women you truly are a servant of the Living God.
    I have fought depression and anexity for a while and it is not as bad as it use to be Thank Our Lord because of a Christian counselor that I was led to by a christian radio station. But at times when I get that way I have no one to really talk to except her and she knows about me , But when you are taking care of an elderly parent and it is a day to day basis and the only one doing it and no job it wears on you but I try to be strong and not go down that road again, as I type this tears stream down my face because sometimes the hurt runs deep because I feel like my family does not understand they do not live here so they do not know what goes on daily and I don’t say to much. But to sum all this up thank you thank you for helping us and to help us memorize scripture verses , just yesterday my mom was kinda of mean to me over the phone and after I got off the phone I was upset and I got a hold of myself and crab my scripture verses and said I am not going to let the enemy get a foothold in my life today and I started feeling better. Plus the enemy uses my mom to get me all ruffled up but she does not know that espically beingf 85yrs old and all the meds she takes. So all I say is Lord control my mouth and put a hedge of protection around my mind.
    Thank You Beth Love you to pieces you are amazing.
    Thank you Lpm for all you have done for us and all you hard work on those spirals for SSMT and over 8000 women you go Jesus just do it Lord.

  3. 103
    Sharoni says:

    What a lovely, lovely resource! As a nurse this gets me so excited I want to shout from the rooftops…”Come and see and join in for a wonderful life-line!” The wife of a deaf man with a seizure disorder for 25 years now, we have shared that path of misunderstanding and cruelty the world and even the church in its ignorance provides. BUT we know the power of GOD and His love in ways that others do not often get the opportunity to share in, so it’s really okay.
    Thank-you Miss Beth for sharing this information. As you can see, it is beyond needed and into the “craved” category! That’s the leading of the Holy Spirit….yeah!

  4. 104
    Jennifer Brand says:

    As a siesta, pastor’s wife and mother of a son with a “Hidden Disability” I wanted to say thank you and God bless you for this post. It is a difficult task to try to educate the church (meaning the people we are blessed to serve) as to why my son doesn’t behave like the other children. I feel like because he looks normal that it appears that we are just parents who do not know how to discipline our son. I wanted to say that now that my son has been diagnosed and I am more aware of these “hidden” things, I realize that I am not alone. I wanted to totally pull away from attending church because it was so painful. Let me just say to anyone thinking that…hang in there. God has a plan for each of these children.

    • 104.1
      Marie says:

      thanks to Jennifer for her comments & for the reminder that God does indeed have plans for each of these children. I really needed to hear that right now:)

  5. 105
    Dorothea says:

    Thank you for posting this information. “I raise my eyes toward the mountains, where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, Maker of heaven and earth…” and sometimes from a wonderful Siesta Mama.

  6. 106
    Erin says:

    Dear Beth,
    Thank you so much for the website link. My son has autism (formally diagnosed just last month) and church can be one of the toughest places to take him. Many people make comments that can be hurtful simply because of their lack of understanding. Because he looks “normal” he doesn’t receive the same understanding that is given to other disabled children. God bless those who see the need to educate the body of Christ.


  7. 107
    Darcy says:

    Thank you so much for the information! Our son is Autistic and we have had a hard time finding information or any support what so ever from a christian perspective. We were told that our son could not participate in activities at church because they didn’t have the resources for him. We have been praying and have been led to a new church with loving amazing people that would bend over backwards to make sure our son is able to learn about God, Jesus and worship our amaing Abba, father! Thank you thank you for all that you do, Beth!!!

    • 107.1
      Kaptain Obvious says:

      Special eyes

      My name is Adam
      and I’m only a kid
      I came with autism
      (They say that I did)

      But I raised my hand
      When God asked us who?….
      ‘Who loves you like him’
      and wants to live here with you?

      They said it’s not easy
      and I’d have to be smart
      Cuz the label they’d give me
      Would still hurt your heart

      I jumped up first
      And I held my hand high
      Because I just knew
      That I’d be that guy

      So they said I was ‘special’
      (but it’s just a disguise)
      Because when I wear it
      You see through my eyes

      Others are ‘special’
      In the world that I see
      But they say I’m special
      ….So they’re nicer to me

      I’m happy I’m special
      (I like the disguise)
      You’ll know what I mean
      When you see through my eyes….

      and I love being special….
      and get to live here with you
      You see you’re much nicer
      When you see like I do

      God said we’re ALL special
      And in life they’ll be worse
      But I’ll never forget
      Who said we’re all special first

  8. 108
    Mamahop says:

    Thank you so much for posting this. My father passed away last year, after suffering for more than 25 years with paranoid schizophrenia that was suddenly onset. I had been married 6 months, the youngest of 4 children, and my mother carried this burden. She was shunned, left with little to no friends. Some of my siblings were embarrassed by it, would not ever want to be seen with him, others were just mean to him and taught their children to ridicule him. I so wish my mother had a place of support like this and am so thankful that there is help for others that deal with so many aspects of mental illnesses. People that suffer from “hidden disabilities” have the same feelings the rest of us do and deserve to be treated with dignity. God is good . . . all the time.

  9. 109

    Praise the Lord! I was a classroom teacher for 10 years, mom for the last 13 and now going back to receive my 2nd Masters for a State Licensed Counselor because of my passion for Godly healing and hope in the lives of those suffering from these illnesses – this is soooooo needed!

    God CAN heal, restore, and establish His precious people ~ I’ve seen it done in my family over and over in different ways and stages but He is faithful!

    Thank you for this site ~ I will definitely check it out and use it as a resource.

    Blessings to you! ;o)

  10. 110
    Carrie says:

    I have worked with students with not so hidden disabilities and my sister works with students as a physical therapist with students who have these hidden disabilities. We have talked about our experiences often and our hearts break for the parents. They are often lonely and honestly just plain tired. I’m praying for all of you as I type this. This also makes me so grateful for the way my church ministers to children with hidden disabilities and not so hidden. Instead having a separate room for them (they often already have this at school), they have them with everyone else, they just assign one adult volunteer to be their “friend” to help them out when needed. And most often no matter what issues arise (unless they are medical in nature), our volunteers don’t pull the parents out of the worship experience because they realize that alone time with God is so precious to the parents. I also have a student in one of the rooms I volunteer in that has one of these hidden disabilities. It so amazing to see teenagers patient with her and genuinely like hanging out with her even if she is a little quirky and different than everyone else. I pray that all of you find the community in your church you are looking for and don’t be afraid to bring this to your church’s attention oftentimes they just aren’t aware. God may have placed you there in your church to start something that will minister to thousands of parents in your area that may not even know Christ and come to your church because of something you’ve started.

  11. 111
    Shawn says:

    Thank you Beth! I’ve only read one post on the site so far and already feel so encouraged. My 8yr old son has been diagnosed with ADHD and anxiety. Although not oficially diagnosed, he shows signs of OCD and depression. My 18yr old daughter also suffers from anxiety and depression as do I. As a single mother it is sometimes very hard to encourage my children and help them deal with these issues without falling in to that “black hole” myself. Unforunately my sons father doesn’t want to acknowledge anything is wrong with his son “he will grow out of it”. It took us and the guidance counselor working 3 weeks with him at the beginning of the school year before we could get him on the bus in the mornings to go to school. I had to take him every morning and the teacher would have to physically restrain him so that I could leave. Fortunately the guidance counselor and his teachers so far have been a true blessing. They understand why he acts the way he does and work with me to try to help him succeed at school.

    • 111.1
      katie says:

      You are a hero. I am currently praying for Gods unending grace to wash over you! What an amazing woman you are to have all of that on your plate!

  12. 112
    carole says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this website. I was in tears this morning reading the blog entries there because for so long we have been dealing with these issues with our son who has Aspergers…and we feel so alone! As we are heading into the teenage years…please, God, come back soon!…we are dealing with new issues. I feel blessed that some of his adult leaders at church are close to our family and understand some of our/his struggles but others just don’t seem to be able to “get it”!

  13. 113
    Gaylene says:

    Beth, thank you for your care for us in the area of hidden disorders. My mom suffered under the stigma of bipolar disorder for almost 20 years before her death. We supported her as much as we could but I don’t think she ever felt understood especially by believers. My prayers go out to all who suffer or know someone who does. I saw God do amazing things in and through my mom after her diagnosis. Know that you are not alone, our God walks with you every moment.

  14. 114
    Joyce Watson says:

    A few years ago, I would been too ashame and afraid to share some of the things I had to go to couselling for.
    I grew up with good parents that never harmed me in any way, but they were not perfect. My mother had some issues, especially with me. I could not be good enough, I felt I was not smart, I was always trying to please everyone, and I was very lonely growing up.
    I found out about some abuse in her family origin and how her actions had effected how I felt. I still love my mother and realized she did not do these things on purpose. Now, that I have been to counselling I am able to deal with things alot better and realize God is my security. He values who I am and He is the one I need to please. It has been a long, hard road_but I am thankful for Christian Counselors who help others grow closer to God.
    Thank you for sharing, Beth. It will be interesting to find out more on this website and maybe I can help someone else.

  15. 115
    Kathy says:

    Oh, Beth, this is a marvelous post. I hold a graduate degree in the area of Learning Language Disabilities. I know first hand the importance of Dr. Royce’s web site.

    I have two tall, bright, handsome and amazing grown sons. They have had to compensate for the lack of medical, social and educational support regarding such “Hidden” issues. Looking at my sons from the “outside” no one could imagine the struggles. “Looking good” and being “bright” often makes it even more difficult for educators to understand the “hidden” disabilities.

    I want to offer hope. Despite the tremendous challenges (that is an understatement!) there can be a good outcome. Hold on dear parents.

    I thought I had lost one son to a hereditary based clinical depression. My other son battled a severe form of dyslexia.

    As of today, one son has completed law school and the other son serves as a fireman and a paramedic. The titles are not important. However, the fact that they and WE(the parents) survived is a true miracle. A path I would not want for anyone- by the way, the dyslexic is the attorney and the one who suffered from depression is saving lives.

    Tears fill my eyes as I write this post. I have stormed the gates of heaven and earth the past 31 years on behalf of my family. What a journey and I know my journey is experienced by thousands of families every day.

    God Bless Dr. Royce and you for this post. God Bless each parent and child.

  16. 116
    playsforHim says:

    Thank you very much for taking the time to tell us about this site. I have struggled with Tourette’s Syndrome since I was a child. I am hoping it will be an effective tool for me and my family and friends.

  17. 117
    Kelly S. says:

    WOW! Our God is the God of timing!! I was amazed reading all these sweet comments and how this email came at just the right time for so many. Praise You Lord!

    I have a son with Down’s, and while his disability is not “hidden”. I learned early in his life that in so many ways it is easier to have a concrete diagnosis. It just seems the medical/educational community feels like they have somewhere to start from and a direction to go in. Thank you for sharing this. I will pray for these families, and be especially careful of my attitudes at church 🙂 LOVE~

  18. 118
    Chris says:

    Thank you. As the one in the mirror with the ‘hidden disability’ I am struggling daily to live with the fear, failure and frailty it encompasses. Maybe a grassroots effort like this will remove much of the stigma – especially in the ‘religious’ world. Thank you.

  19. 119
    Carolyn says:

    Thank you!!! I am on the verge of a nervous breakdown trying to deal with my Bipolar child. This is helpful. Thank you for allowing God to guide you to this resource, and listening to Him to share it,

  20. 120
    Amanda Billings says:

    Thank you so much. As a mom of 4 year old twins and a 2 year old diagnosed last year w/ autism- I need all the support I can get.
    Our therapists are all sweet christian ladies and we have developed life-long bonds w/ them.

    Thank you so much for this reference Beth!

    Amanda in TN

  21. 121
    guinevere says:

    Thank you for sharing this important resource. It is just exactly what I needed to see this morning.
    God is so good. Thank you for your service, your willingness to do His work.

  22. 122
    Sandra says:

    Our church is in our sixth year of our Special Needs-Helping Hands minsitry providing Sunday School and church opportunites for families with special needs. For two hours each Sunday morning we have the blessing to love and teach these children while their parents go to Sunday School and church. We even provide a Friday night respite care so parents can have a date night once a month! We need to love and support these “chosen” families.

  23. 123
    Marie says:

    Thanks for posting this, Mama Beth. “Hidden disabilities” and “invisible illnesses” are very real, very heavy burdens to bear. I’ll definitely be checking into Chosen Families to see how I can help.

  24. 124
    sheila says:

    “Listen carefully with ears of faith and you just might hear the sound of Swords slicing through the air to the glory of God the Father.” I love that!

    “You are loved here and counted into every week of ministry that takes place within these doors.” Thank you so much. I feel blessed everytime I visit.

    I came home from work yesterday excited to get the spirals I ordered for my mom, myself & my 11 year old daughter who is doing the memory verses with us – and the dogs had chewed them to bits! So, I have two ‘adorable’ jack russells free to anyone in the Oklahoma area! 🙂

  25. 125
    Heather says:

    Beth, thanks so much for sharing this website. When I started reading this blog post I started tearing up. The information you shared was right on time and God ordained. This information will be so helpful and encouraging to me and many others with family members that have hidden disabilities. My story is too long to share, but that is besides the point. Thanks so much for being led by the Holy Spirit and following through with the leading. You are so open, real, and truthful. Which is what the body of Christ needs to be. So very encouraging. Thanks so much for fulfulling your work in Christ. Thanks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  26. 126
    Andrea says:

    Thanks be to God is all I can say!! I just discovered Living Proof Ministries Blog and I am brand new. This is my second day visiting and I sent a prayer request in yesterday about this very need. This is a much needed answered prayer. THANK YOU!!

  27. 127
    Denise Eldridge says:

    Thank you so much Beth.I got on the blog this morning with my daughter, now age 25, in mind. Our struggles have been many but none to top this past year. I find myself very weary of the battle. And while I know I do not battle alone and I know where my strength comes from, sometimes I just need and extra push. As always, God responds to my cry for help. What a surprise to see your latest post. I never cease to be amazed at the way God answers my prayers. Thank you for being a HUGE part of my journey with Him for the past almost two decades. I praise Him for His work in you, to us. Our Redeemer is Faithful and True.

  28. 128
    KristinaNicole says:

    Mrs. Beth, thank you so much for sharing this site. I am working on my masters in speech-language pathology and have the pleasure to serve many children who have “hidden disabilities”. Each of my students is a precious gift from God, and even with my limited experience I have quickly learned that though I am there to teach them I learn so much more from them. Through this site I hope to better understand what my students and their families are experiencing and serve them in a Godly way.

  29. 129
    Heather says:

    I have a 16 year old son with aspergers and am a single mom. I thank GOD for a supportive church family, including my brother who was my son’s youth pastor until just recently.. so that my son could be an accepted part of his youth group. Because he has trouble sitting still, he’s been used effectively in the audio/visual area of the church… where he can move around during the service but not cause a distraction… and he can feel useful. It wasn’t always this way… we were out of church for many years because his behavior wasn’t compatible with a church environment. It IS a lonely thing for families to deal wtih… especially as a single mom. Many families are broken up because of these difficulties leaving many women in my position. THANK YOU BETH for sharing this information!

  30. 130
    Casey says:

    It is so encouraging to read the stories and testimonies here. I am 30 years old and have had a major battle with depression and anxiety. Today is in fact the anniversary of my being admitted to the hospital because I was suicidal. And it has been so hard to open up with “church people” because I would hear time and time again how I just needed to trust Jesus more and stand against Satan better. For those who suffer with these types of hidden disabilities, those words only served to make me feel guilty and inadequate – like my faith wasn’t strong enough to beat depression and anxiety.

    I can testify today that it is a daily struggle, but to God be all glory! I can sit here today, one year later, and point to countless instances of His grace and guidance and counsel. And if I may share this quote from C.S.Lewis:

    Some people feel guilty about their anxieties and regard them as a defect of faith but they are afflictions, not sins. Like all afflictions, they are, if we can so take them, our share in the passion of Christ.

    I pray that my story might encourage someone today.

  31. 131
    Jenny says:

    My church has an organization that ministers to families with special needs children (like what your friend does). It is specifically a respite-care center for families in the Northern VA area – the website is http://jillshouse.org – if you have families in the DC/MD/VA area that are in need of loving support as they minister to their special needs child (we take all spectrum of needs) – Jill’s House is a resource for them. Bless you for pointing out this ministry Miss Beth! I wish more churches were aware of the incredible blessing that comes from ministering to special needs kids

  32. 132
    Heather says:

    Thank you for sharing this resource. We have a family member, a child, that struggles with a hidden disability. We received all kinds of horrible words from our former church about this. We were even told that this was happening to punish us and “teach” us something. It took years to undo the spiritual damage.

  33. 133
    Stacy Bosma says:

    Thank You so much! Our oldest child (9year old son) was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome back in August and lately my little world seems very very small…I am going to that page right now! Blessings to you! Thank you Jesus for this blog and especially this post made today! AMEN! 🙂

  34. 134
    donna huneycutt says:

    Mama Beth:

    THANK YOU. I will look this up right away. My sweet Hannah is 16 and autistic. She was diagnosed at age 4 with autism in the severe/profound range. Now, she is probably more accurately in the mild/moderate range. Our Lord has brought us all very far. She is doing the scripture memorizing this year. She also signs along with singing during praise/worship time at our church. Thank you, Jesus, for great things You have done in and through her life.

  35. 135
    texatheart says:

    Thanks so much for your tender compassion for all of us. My son is 17 now and for years I have struggled with what did I do wrong that caused him to be this way. He has been diagnosed and undiagnosed with many of the conditions you mentioned. It truly is a burden that is misunderstood by many.
    I am so excited about the scripture memory starting up. We may have a group that meets weekly at our church for memory work. We will support each other, pray for each other and encourage each other. What a cool thing. Last time 2 women memorized scriptures, but this year many more will participate. It is the single most powerful thing I have ever done! Thanks for sharing it with me.

  36. 136
    Amanda says:

    As someone who works with kids in the legal system, many of whom have been diagnosed with these “hidden disabilities,” it is wonderful to know there is finally a Christian resource that parents (who wish to find Christian resources) can be directed to for more support. Thanks so much for posting the information Beth!

  37. 137
    Shelly Story says:

    This is some most excellent information, and I cannot wait to check it out! I am one of the many Mommies who has these disabilities in her home. We have one son with ADHD and his twin with ADD and Asberger’s Syndrome. Because of their prematurity 13 years ago, I have wrestled with guilt, regret, frustration, and “what if”. I have sat in IEP meetings trying to explain to a professional what Asberger’s even is, and what to expect from our son. I have wrestled with God over not just the “why?” but also the “what?” and “how?” questions, which are harder for me. What do we expect from him? What do we demand of him? How hard do we push him? How do let him be who God made him to be without giving him too much excuse? How do we motivate him to love the Lord when his deadlocked passions are vastly different than worship?

    Anyway, I ramble now. Thanks for sharing. I am eager to dive in!
    Your sister in Christ,

  38. 138
    Jan says:

    Beth: Bless you for sharing this and for the hope it brings. When my Dad retired 10 years ago, he couldn’t handle it. He went through a depression and spiraled downward. After so many years of working – he just didn’t know what to do with hiself. I remember going to visit him in a mental health hospital. I had to sign in and leave my purse and the staff went through my belongings. Those things and the reality of where he was hit me hard. Going in that room and seeing my dad sitting on that little twin bed rocked my world. He who was always so strong and bold was so weak and vulnerable. That time in our family changed me. I’m glad to say my dad got the help he needed and “lives large” every day! I have a heart for folks with these hidden disabilities. As believers we need to remember that love is the more excellent way. Oh I need that every day.

    Much love to you and your awesome staff at LPM!


  39. 139
    Hannah K. says:

    Thank you Beth for posting about this. I really like the phrase “Hidden Disabilities” because for many years I have suffered severely from them (through my teen years and into my 20’s), but didn’t know what to call them.
    Calling them hidden is SO appropriate since most people think you’re normal, but the truth is you can have problems even functioning.
    Now that I am recovering from my hidden disabilities I am beginning to share my struggles with others. It’s still really hard, and hurts deeply, but God is faithful, and with him I will get through it.
    I want to encourage anyone else struggling with this to not be afraid to open up to someone. Just one person you can trust is a huge blessing. I know because I now have a Siesta I talk to, and because she cares about me I feel completely safe telling her about my struggles. It has helped a lot.
    Remember: take it a step at a time. God is with you, and won’t let you fall! (Isa. 41:10)

    • 139.1
      Lisa says:

      Thank you for sharing. Don’t let people make you feel unworthy, Hannah. Recently, Christian radio is playing “You’re Beautiful” all the time. Let that resinate in your heart.

      I’m sure there are many who love and care about you, they just feel they have to set boundaries to keep from being consumed by your struggles. We are but frail creatures. I recently lost my daughter to her struggles. It does this mother’s heart good to know you have recognized only God has the kind of strength you need to help you through your challenges.

      Pray deep, sweet Hannah. Let God hold you close and keep you lifted.

  40. 140
    mommyof3 says:

    It’s so awesome to see the scripture memory post get 8,000 hits. I am the women’s ministry leader at our church. I wrote an article for our church newsletter encouraging others to memorize 2 verses a month. I have had people responding to me telling me that they are taking on this challenge for the new year. I am so excited to what our Lord is going to do in us and through us this year!!!!!!

    Thank you so much for all that you and your staff do. You all are bringing such great glory to our Father in heaven!

  41. 141
    Lisa says:

    My precious daughter turned 30 Dec 1, 2010, but she was not there to enjoy her favorite Dairy Queen cake because on Oct 18, 2010, she could no longer bear the burdens of her border-line personality disorder illness. She accepted Christ as her Savior at the age of 9, so I know she is free of all pain and dancing with Jesus now. That is what we who are left behind have to focus on.

    A friend offered me books that were to help me understand sucide, but I told her I do not need to understand sucide, I spent 20 years learning to understand my daughter and her struggles. My husband and I can continue to use that knowledge to help those she left behind (two sisters, a husband and two daughters – 7 & 11) and countless others.

    To those struggling with hidden disabilities, please don’t think ending your life will make the world better. It doesn’t. As a mother who has lost her child to this illness, the trail of “What did I do wrong” and “I tried to help. but . .” that you leave behind is much harder than having you with us. Your family loves you, they are just not sure how to help.

    To those family members who just don’t know how much more you can take from the hidden disability person – LOVE THEM. Set boundaries so you are not consumed – yes. But be all so thankful you still get to sit in their presence. I would much rather be dealing with the Melissa moments than the pain of not being able to stroke her hair or kiss her cheek. Should God grant me a long life, it could be 30 or 40 years of living on earth without her.

    Thank you for putting this resource out there, Beth. May God continue to use you in mighty ways. . .

    • 141.1
      Heather says:

      Sweet sister… my dear fried Natalie is the surviving spouse of a wonderful Godly man who committed suicide five years ago because of his battle with bi-polar disorder. Natalie has a facebook page “tears to joy” and is also on twitter. To read her story, you can google Michael FLake – there’s a great story in the CHristian Index about his struggle. Natalie’s heart and ministry is to helping families recover. She’s writing a book about her journey. My prayers are with you.

    • 141.2
      katie says:

      Oh sweet woman, you and your family are in my prayers….

  42. 142
    Ann says:

    I’d like to ask for the Siestas’ help. I am the one struggling so very hard with depression and anxiety. Such a huge hurt comes from praying my heart out, trusting and believing God for the the last 16 months and still, here I am. I have sought help from so many sources. To begin to believe God is not answering me, not hearing or responding to my cries for help is completely beyond devastating.

    • 142.1
      Daughter of the most High God, Heir to the Throne says:

      Ann, I am very sorry about your struggle with depression and anxiety as I too have struggled with this. I recall to mind the story about Saul and David when Saul would have a distressing or tormenting spirit would come to Saul, David would play his harp and Saul would feel better. That is in 1 Samuel 16:23

      I know for me I love to listen to Praise and Worship music and it helps me. I try to keep it playing all day to keep my mind focused on God and so my thoughts will stay in the right direction. That is a constant battle anyway, the mind. I am not perfect I only look forward reaching ahead not looking back or else I would not be able to go on because I have made so many mistakes. I thank my Lord for His Grace and Mercy.
      Father in the name of Jesus, I come to you right now for Amy, you said in your word to be anxious for nothing, but to ask you, thank you and your peace will guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus please guard her heart and mind I pray as she seeks you. Thank you for answering her prayers today for peace. Help her heart and mind not be troubled but be stayed upon you. In Jesus Name. Amen.

      • Ann says:

        I love you for praying for me! Thank you so much.

        • Daughter of the most High God, Heir to the Throne says:

          You are most welcome! I will continue to pray for you and ask that you pray for me as well because I need your prayers too! I Love you,


          • Daughter of the most High God, Heir to the Throne says:

            I am sorry I said Amy instead of Ann when i was praying for you! my mistake. Please forgive me. Sandra.

        • Rebecca says:

          I know where you are Ann and I am praying for you!

    • 142.2
      katie says:


      • Ann says:

        Thank you for your notes, Sandra & Katie. In addition to not knowing where or what else to do, I don’t have the energy/motivation to keep seeking.
        I’m afraid also this is not how Beth wants this forum utilized, really, but I didn’t want to not acknowledge your notes. I do sincerely thank you.

        • katie says:

          Ann, you are loved and being bathed in prayer. I know how dark it can be, And you are brave for asking for prayer. You MUST speak to your docor and seek help. I am living proof that the sun can and does shine. Praying for you!

  43. 143
    Rebecca says:

    Dear Beth,
    Since I started memorizing scripture with all the lovely ladies, and my prayer for this year was to be RID if anxiety and depression, two things came up this morning that maybe a help for me. First, is you dear Beth. Hidden disabilities will get you a handicapp parking space but it won’t stop the remarks from strangers who have no idea.Thank you for the mention of the website.
    My second thing this morning is still in God’s hands, but if He chooses to let me have it you all will be the first to know. Thank you and love you lots.
    PS Don’t know if my siesta spiral will ever get to Canada!!!

  44. 144
    crystalw says:

    beth: i was on the phone when i got the email with a link to your post. i started to read it and had to get off the phone cause i got so choked up i could not speak.tears filled my eyes and warmth flooded over me.i joined this blog last week, after my husband left to a rehab for drugs and left me with the 4 boys to care for. one of them is ten, he has aspergers . i have struggled with the answers for years, he has been on medication and in therapy since he was two. he has been prayed for and fasted over by many of his family members.we have left the church we was attending due to a lack of cooperation with him.his teachers have also been at their wits end each year.it was a true gift from God that you placed this as your post today. last night i was looking at Justin and thinking Lord, what am I going to do with him all by myself. your post reminded me I am not alone, and God answered my prayer as silent as it was by sending me this link to Shannon Royce.thank-you for listening to God, you have truly been a blessing to me this last week, love you, CRYSTAL

    • 144.1
      Beth says:

      I wish I could give you a big hug right this minute, Crystal. Jesus is holding you so tight.

    • 144.2
      katie says:

      You are a HERO!!! I am bathing you in prayer!

      • crystalw says:

        thanks, Beth and Katie,I am honored to have women in my life that can support me with prayer..even tho we have never met.I feel God is using this blog to remind me of his GREATNESS…just a small thing means so much to me right now..

  45. 145
    Meghan Dawson says:

    What a blessing Beth. My family has a long history of anxiety. I will not share any details, but know that this is a real blessing (and a timely one.)

  46. 146
    Shannon says:

    Thank you so much for posting this site and reassuring us that Shannon is a credible, Godly source. My son and husband struggle with “hidden disabilities”. We truly need all the Godly support we can get. Again, thank you!

  47. 147
    Martie says:

    THANK YOU!!!!

    I have only read about the first 4 paragraphs & I have to stop reading now. I’m at work, and I don’t want to cry! I am an adoptive mom of a son with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, a true hidden disability that little is known about outside the FAS community.

    I am also a Youth Pastor’s wife. My husband & I have a huge burden for reaching special needs kids & their families.

    Tonight I’ll grab my tissues, cozy-up to the computer, surf back to the site, and be ready to cry & praise God for this.


    • 147.1
      Beth says:

      Martie. FAS really touched our lives, too, for a long spell. I get part of what you’re going through. May Jesus raise that child up mighty in the Spirit.

  48. 148
    TRACI DUREN says:

    Thank you so much for this post. I am a caregiver of a child that has a hidden disablility and we struggle with different out bursts every day. Some days I feel all alone, even though I have wonderful friends. I always feel that I will be judged or given unwanteed advice on what to do, when the “normal” stuff doesn’t work. Most people don’t understand when they think a good spanking or other disipline would “fix” the problem. Thank you for allowing me to know there are so many other Godly people out there going through the same thing! There is HOPE IN JESUS! AMEN!

  49. 149
    Patti says:

    Your staff did a great job in mailing out the spirals. I received mine in much less time than expected. I’m very pleased with it. The spirals were a great idea!
    Thank you!
    Patti, Kissimmee, Fl

  50. 150
    Daughter of the most High God, Heir to the Throne says:

    Thank you Beth for speaking out about this. I am Bipolar and a Mother of two beautiful daughters and it concerns me that they may have this. People don’t understand you and even your family doesn’t at times and it is hard trying to explain to them what is going on inside of you.

    His compassions never fail.
    They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
    Lamentations 3:22-23

    Holding things together sometimes gets hard so that you can raise your daughters to fear the Lord and be the wife that you are supposed to be. WHAT IS IMPOSSIBLE FOR MAN (ME) IS POSSIBLE FOR GOD.
    I think that my 17 yr old may be bi-polar as she is showing some of the signs of it. She is a very beautiful person inside and out. Please pray for her as I will be praying for these precious people on here, I know the struggles that some of them face everyday and it is by His GRACE that we make it through and with people like you that speak the truth and encourage us and we have a community of sweet sisters that we can share with and lift us up. How I love JESUS and HIS WORD. Thank you and your team for all your hard work!!! Great work on the Spirals!!!

    WOW!!! 8000 memorizing scriptures how;

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