Live To Make A Difference (LMD)

Posted: November 27, 2009 in Uncategorized

Two weeks ago a small group of our youth from Church went to the Generation Conference in Utica, New York. Their slogan for this years conference was “LMD: Live To Make A Difference”

We heard so many great, brilliant speakers. Including the founder of an organization called Love 146. They exist with the passion to end child sex slavery around the world. I never could have even imagined that every MINUTE, TWO girls are sold into the sex slave trade. It seriously sickened my stomach to hear that jaw dropping statistic. Hearing Rob Morris talk with such enthusiasm and passion about his organization, and to get knowledge about an issue not many pay attention to inspired me to start making a difference with the thing I have so much passion for, which is suicide, depression and self injury awareness.

I remember when I was in high school the issue of depression and self injury affected many of my friends and peers. I would see the pain in my friends eyes and hear the heartless comments of others, calling those who were known to have cut themselves “emo”.  Like there was no other POSSIBLE reason to why this person could have been doing this to themselves other than to get attention. I heard it all the time. People that went to school with me always associated the term “emo” with those whom were cutting themselves. It hurt me to know that these people were too ignorant to realize that there were more than likely more people cutting themselves, yet keeping all of it hidden; those whom were too  scared and ashamed of what they were doing to themselves. I also wondered if when they were mocking those suffering, if their friends among them were suffering as well, yet they too kept silent about their pain and struggles.

Most kids in high school find it so hard to confide in someone that they might be battling depression thinking that whomever they tell will psuh them away or go telling everyone thier problems; soon becoming the butt of jokes, the person being forced into the guidance councelors office and having their parents informed (Which is the scariest for these kids). They become withdrawn from friends and start feeling ashamed of their inner pain. The term “emo” hanging over self injury doesn’t help these kids either.

According to, there are 121 MILLION people world wide suffering from depression and 18 million of those are right here in the United States.

Every time I read the statistics on self injury and suicide in young adults it just breaks my heart. We don’t talk about this major issue because of the stigmas surrounding it. Everyone is so afraid to having some sort of label on them if they were to bring up the subject of self injury. The Conference this year has opened my eyes so much to realizing that I can make a difference. That I need to start raising awareness of self injury, whether it be in my church, youth group, work or family. Sure I wear my To Write Love On Her Arms t-shirts all the time, become fans of organizations like Holding Of Wrist( HOW) onFacebook and Myspace. All these things still are not enough in getting word spread. I feel since the Conference this year, it is my calling to make a difference in this. To stand up in front of people talking about this subject.

Now I’m not saying I am aiming to be the next Jamie Tworkowski (the founder of To Write Love On Her Arms), I feel like God is calling me on a more smaller, more personal level; not as commercialized and publicly known as Tworkowski. I’ve been having a sort of “prophetic vision”, if you will, of myself standing in front of small groups of people talking and sharing with them my personal testimony (which includes a lot of the issues I am now talking about) and laying hands on them and healing them through Jesus Name from things, specifically mental illness.

I get so fired up thinking about that happening, that it continues to give me hope that through God I can do such great things for His kingdom in setting people free from the weight of their illness and struggles.

As I close this blog I just want to encourage you that if you know a friend dealing with these issues, help them out! Take time to talk to them and let them know you care. Trust me when I say, it makes a difference to them, even if they don’t show it.

  1. Deb Barbaro says:

    Jess-Awesome .and well written So proud of you and will support you in any way I can. Know God has it on my heart to always be an encourager and an ear for people in high school/college . Hate to see young people with their whole lives ahead of them have no hope and suffer so much. I’ll be praying for you now, that God will use you greatly to fulfill your vision… fear, no turning back, and having the mind of Christ – being always filled with the Spirit and power to do what He has called you to do !!!!! Hope more people get the courage to put it out there cause of you taking the first step. You rock !!

  2. Hello,
    My name is Jimmy Elliott and I’m the founder of Holding of Wrist. “LMD: Live To Make A Difference” is a perfect quote. You are alive today to help other people, I believe everyone is! No, it doesn’t take large communities online to help others, helping others through friends, or small groups as you’ve said.
    I too have seen myself in dreams speaking about these issues in front of groups.
    It’s amazing how little something can start and how huge it can become!
    Love Always
    -Jimmy Elliott

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