Beautiful African American girl teenager outside in autumn or fall looking sad or depressed.
Beneath the Surface by Kristi Hugstad

Beneath the Surface, by Kristi Hugstad, is specifically about and for teens at risk for suicide. As suicide is too common among the invisibly disabled community, these ideas can also be beneficial for adults.

Ever since her husband completed suicide in 2012, after years of struggling with clinical depression, by running in front of a train, Kristi has dedicated her life to helping to abolish the stigma of mental illness and suicide. She is a certified grief recovery specialist

Have you wondered how to help someone you suspect might be drowning “beneath the surface?” This book can help you w/ ideas. Kristi says, “Reach out and listen, be compassionate, and get assistance as necessary.” She enlarges on each of these areas in her book. She offers specifics about how to put each of these spheres of influence into practice. Of course, since each case is unique, her advice must be individualized.

These ideas apply especially to a friend or family member. An ongoing relationship is beneficial. However, if you know someone in trouble, find someone, even if a hotline, to help. But remember, that help might be lifesaving.

Listen to Kristi’s podcast, The Grief Girl.

Buy her book at Amazon or New World Library.

The Humidity Makes My Hair Frizz and It’s Really Starting to Stink in Here! By Shelley Jarl

Ever wondered about God giving us the desires of our hearts? What it means – or doesn’t? Humidity Makes My Hair Frizz draws comparisons between Noah’s family and Shelley’s journey to owning a home. Along the way, the author combines her story with questions and Bible verses to stimulate your thinking. All in all, Shelley Jarl’s book should deepen your understanding of the relationship between God and our desires.

Shelley shares the following to encourage you when facing invisible suffering.

1. Allow yourself to feel.

God created us as emotional beings. We were meant to feel, cry, laugh, etc. It’s ok to feel. It’s ok to cry. But I also believe it’s important to not get stuck in them. If you are feeling weepy, weep, but then find something joyful to do, or someone to bless in some way.

2. Pray

Sometimes in trials prayer comes with more difficulty. If you find prayer does not come easily, choose a Psalm and write it out as your prayer or open a hymnal and pray some of the words to a favorite hymn.

3. Trust that Your Faith is Being Refined

1 Peter 1:6-7 “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”

4. Trust That There is an Eternal Perspective

God does not waste suffering. Your story is only a glimpse at a much larger context. It is all part of a story which ends with Christ’s return. Trust God’s plan and have an eternal perspective.

5. Don’t Forget to Do Good

Sometimes in the midst of suffering it is easy to get caught up in our own situation. However, if we take the time to look outside ourselves, this can somehow lighten our own burden. Find something to do as a blessing to others.

6. Trust That Your Character is Being Built Up

Romans 5:3-4 says “And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character, and character, hope.

7. Be Open to Being Used by God to Bless or Help Others

As someone who has endured through invisible suffering, you are uniquely equipped to be an encourager or helper to those who also suffer from invisible suffering. Pray for the Lord to give you opportunity to use your experiences as a blessing to others.

Shelley’s book can be ordered from Amazon.

“Because Life Is a Daring Adventure” is Shelley’s website.