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Freedom Isn’t Free!

“Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends”. John 15:13

Thank you Veterans, both of the Nation and the Kingdom!!

I am the wife of a Veteran and I am very proud of our years of service to our country. For every Veteran there is a family that also served in some way. I am also the daughter of a Veteran. My dad’s military history and then death by suicide years after his discharge…and the groundbreaking federal court battle that followed, led to the establishment of the first real mental health care for our nation’s military and veterans. See, my dad sought help but instead of help he was immediately discharged. He was shamed by the country he served and sent out and his medical file “swept under the rug.” No one wanted the responsibility for the wounds but that they neglected him as a person and in doing so left the family with absolutely nothing, including a dad, compounded the injustice. Freedom isn’t free! But no more would emotional wounds of battle be just “swept under a rug.”

My dad was not just a veteran of the military, he was also a veteran of the Kingdom of God. He was both a Sailor and a Preacher of the Gospel -a church planter in the Northwest while he was in the Navy and then later a pastor of several churches in the states of Washington and North Carolina.

The battle wounds of the military and the ministry have many similarities. As a daughter I felt that I lost much in battle. Some good had come out of it, but my lingering pain propelled me to help those that I felt were still being “swept under a rug” because of wounds. There was too much shame attached to ministers that were suffering and because of the stigma most ministers wouldn’t ask for help. I had seen this with my dad but following the suicide of a pastor while I was a military wife, I joined with other like-minded individuals in Hampton Roads Virginia and we started a pastoral counseling center working with the military community but mostly as a group our primary focus was on giving free care to ministers and their families. We purposed never to turn anyone away and to this day we have not. We hired and then trained some of the best professional pastoral counselors in the state. Today it is our privilege to work almost exclusively with these two categories of Veterans – those that have laid down their lives to serve our nation and those that have laid down their lives for the “High Calling of God in Christ Jesus!!” For me, it is a great honor to know each of them to the extent I am allowed and I am incredibly grateful for their service.

Freedom isn’t free! Thank you Dan and dad! Thank you Veterans!!!
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Something I feel I have to say: Those that know me well know that I have changed a lot over the last decade because I view everything now as a TRULY saved person and true disciple of Jesus Christ. I have also changed though because the mental health system has changed so much and I have seen so many men and women fall to the “power” this field seems to give. I take great issue with what I consider abuses and abusers in mental health care… but there are some great counselors and pastors that give excellent Biblical care and I believe in that kind of care with all of my heart. The insurance system may or may not pay for this type of care, but I find God always makes a way. Please get care but please don’t compromise!!!! Follow Jesus – He is the healer and deliverer!!!!!! I know firsthand and if He did it for me, HE WILL DO IT FOR YOU!!!