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Women of Hope: Jessy Fagerstrom

Words of Life / Salvation Army
The Truth Network Radio
September 25, 2022 1:36 am

Women of Hope: Jessy Fagerstrom

Words of Life / Salvation Army

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September 25, 2022 1:36 am

In this episode we hear from Jessy Fagerstrom. She shares her story of battling depression, anxiety and suicidal ideation. Like Beth, she talks about how she found hope in the word and continues to look for those flecks of gold in everyday life.

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Words of Life
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Hi this is breathing welcome to the Salvation Army's words of life. Welcome back to life. I'm Cheryl and I'm Bernie Dick and were here with our special guest cohost this week Ashley Escobar welcome Amy, thanks for having me this is a new passion that I'm realizing you have. Yes, this is a brand-new passion interviewing people hearing their stories and just getting people the power to be heard. I mean, especially coming out of COBIT.

There's so much mental health issue going on in the world and I think just letting people know that you see them more than you can hear them is important.

Thank you, thank you so much. Last week we shared the first three testimonies will be hearing over these next few weeks and today were going to be hearing from Jesse Ekstrom. Jesse is an amazing person you are around her. You just feel the sense of energy that she just expels she is a mom. She's just very passionate person when it comes to education and teaching people and so Jesse's story is about mental health, which is something that is not really talked about too much in the church and it is more now than it was a couple of years ago, but there's so much importance on speaking openly and having vulnerability about mental health issues, especially in the church, as believers, I think it's important that we have these discussions so this video is Jesse telling her story. Not only is she telling her story. She's telling it for the first time people which I thought was incredible a lot of healing. I think took place and that interview session, which is the point. My name is Jesse Fager Stram and I see myself wearing a lot. I am a creative.

I am independent person, but I also am really attached to my family and a wife and mother daughter and all of those hats are really important to me. I see myself as a person in an of the world as well. I grew up in Kenya.

I grew up overseas, and which really shaped me. That really made me who I am today. I spent my middle school and high school years in Kenya and then I finished off my senior year in England and having lived through the Civil War in Kenya and having experienced all that that was was really transformative for me.

I would go to bed. Hearing gunshots outside of my window and the young girl that really shapes your understanding of conflict and that really shapes your understanding of how people interact with one another and so from that. But I also loved it there. I also found so much joy in the people there and I learned a lot about the world and about my place in the world and so from that experience. I really decided that I wanted to commit my life to education because I felt like the people there that conflict. That was ensuing was due to the fact that people didn't have an education. People didn't know how to communicate what they were feeling in their hearts they didn't know how to write it down. They didn't know how to get up on a stage and presented in a way that people would understand so I felt like it was a calling on my life to educate after finishing high school I came to the United States and it was a huge culture shock. I had spent my entire upbringing in a place halfway across the world and here I am in this college dorm room, wondering what I'm doing here, I didn't. I didn't really identify with the other people in my college I went to first site for my undergrad I went to Smith College which is a all women's University and then I went to Columbia in New York City and that is really where I fell down the rabbit hole I found myself in this massive city full of people from all different walks of life that I was I was by myself. I was completely alone and I was staying in in a retirement community where people were dying left and right so I would go down for breakfast one day and find out the person in the room next to me had died and so I was surrounded by low, I was lonely and I was surrounded by death and then on top of that, at Columbia University.

The academics are insane in terms of what's expected of you. So I had pressure coming at me from all angles. My parents were still in Kenya so they were halfway across the world.

My boyfriend lived across the country which is now my husband but he was far away from me and everybody kinda did their own thing and especially in New York City right everybody is Darrell Chase and their own ambitions and chasing their own dreams so that I am by myself living what I thought was good to be the dream in New York City, but really falling down a very deep dark rabbit hole. So much so that it caused me to become medicated so I actually sought out medication to assist me in my anxiety and depression and it also led to suicidal ideation, which was really out of nowhere for me and felt very uncomfortable because this is something that really had never happened in the trajectory of my family, my families genealogy before none of my family members had ever experienced such intense depression and anxiety and so I felt very alone and not to the it was only me and so I was seeing a counselor at the time and you know explaining all of these pressures that I was feeling this loneliness in this despair. This depths and this is whole thing that I was experiencing and I was in one session and I just lost what I say lost I mean that like I couldn't see anything. I couldn't hear anything and I felt the floor and I lost it.

Like I couldn't feel my body like from that moment so my my my counselor at the time was like what is happening to you. So she called the hospital they come and get me and I I wake up from this movement and I'm in the mental hospital in New York City.

I am locked in a room and I was essentially imprisoned in the moment, there was no hope. Our father felt like there was no I like to call my husband, my angel because I was dating him at the time he found out that I had been admitted both my parents and Tyler ended up coming out to New York and Tyler. My husband really saved me in a lot of ways and I think anybody in his situation normally would have run for the hills.

I don't know many men who would stick a woman in the situation that I was in so I sometimes call my yeah my angel because I just feel like the Lord put him in my life in the perfect when I think about hope. I think about as clich as it might be.

I think about the light at the end of the tunnel and sometimes that light is so small it is like a pinprick of light, a flick of gold is that tiny little thing and you don't know how long it's going to take to get down the tunnel to it and you don't even know really what's on the other side, but you could see it. I feel like he was my flick of gold like I could see what it would be like to be with him. Like I can have this idea of if I could just if I could just get through this whole big the other side.

I feel like there'd be something beautiful there for me this is not a testimony that it has a beautiful bowl on the top. I have not completely. You know what I deal with these feelings that I deal with anxiety and I deal with this on a daily basis but the way that I've been able to the way that I've been able to move forward in my life is.

I look for the flecks of gold know we think of hope is like where were just wishing for better days or were were were just wishing right wishful thinking, but in the Old Testament the word for hope is actually a verb and it's a verb that means on waiting expectantly, believing that actually God is already headed believing that actually he is going to come through without fear, without doubt, knowing, waiting expectantly for God and I feel like I've been able to transition from that wishful thinking to waiting expectantly, knowing that God is there, knowing that he's going to bring me through any strange situation when I find myself and so I look for the look for the flecks of and sometimes that's as small as seeing my child smile at me sometimes that's as small as eating ice cream on the couch and watching my favorite but it's the flecks of gold each day that bring me closer and closer to where God wants me deep breath. That was a lot I don't know if Jessica will listen to this fact. I do want to say thank you to her for being so vulnerable to peak inside her story. I hope that encourages anyone that sees or hears this and hear these words you are not alone.

The Bible is very clear talks about how God will never leave us or forsake us. That's so true.

But it doesn't remove the loneliness of the sting or the depression. For some people just us. As I think were all processing what we just saw feel like it's important for listeners to hear the you're not alone.

Yeah. And I think for people who are part of the community right who are coming alongside someone who is going through this, you may not fully understand you may not fully wrap your mind around what's going on. For them, but you can fully show up for them and that's a lot of prayer a lot of intentionality that's going to have to take place. But you don't have to understand someone's situation does show up for them the way that Christ wants us to show up for each other, which just reiterates Bernie's first few points with your not alone. Yeah, you're not alone. That's a good one. I hope that everybody hears us or sees this as an opportunity to just reflect on their own lives or the people in their community that maybe they see. Or maybe they haven't seen in a while. Check in the ghetto be encouraged were so glad you joined us the words of life. We pray that this has been an encouraging time for you. Come back and join us next week. Talk about even one more what God is using very powerful way to publish the Salvation Army's mission doing the most good means helping people with material will be become a part of this mission every time you give to the Salvation Army visit Salvation Army offer your support and love to hear from you. Call one 800-2299 65 email us radio USS.Salvation Army.tell us how we can help your prayer request your testimony. Would love to hear.

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