God and Depression: In Church, I Was Told My Mental Illness Didn’t Exist

I occasionally re-share articles that I’ve written for other publications here on xo, Ayana. While my blog tone is relatively lighthearted, these articles are typically heavier reading — I love this happy corner of the Internet I’ve created, but I don’t ever want to ignore things close to my heart for the sake of branding. I felt led to share this article after reading about the tragic death of Andrew Stoecklein, a popular megachurch pastor in Chino, California who died by suicide at 30 years old. While I grieve for his family, especially his wife Kayla and three sons, I’ve also been enraged by the cruel things I’ve seen online. 

Pastors have said terrible things about this man’s eternal fate, about perceived spiritual weakness, about depression being impossible once you accept Jesus. Lies, lies, lies — and damaging lies that make it hard to trust church leadership. Additionally, some religious publications have published as much detail as possible about the incident, which goes against the recommendations for Reporting on Suicide.

No matter how far we’ve come, we still have work to do. 

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Best Shapewear From Shapermint + Body Confidence (Discount Code Inside!)

Raise your hand if you have a weird relationship with your curves. (Picture me jumping up and down enthusiastically.) I got my first “training bra” when I was 8 years old and have had hips since I hit puberty. I’ve written about my self-image struggles, but one of the things that has complicated my journey is that I’ve always had a large chest and butt with wide hips. Even when I was much skinnier, I felt disproportionate to the people around me.

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Your Questions About The 2018 Lilly Pulitzer Sale ANSWERED

Life is full of cheer because APS IS HERE! I try not to be too corny, but there’s no other way to express my excitement for Lilly Pulitzer’s After-Party sale. Save the date: It’s September 10-12, 2018. With only a few days left until the sale begins, I wanted to round up all of the questions I get most frequently about the sale. If you have any additional questions, leave them in the comments! Also, make sure you to scroll down to enter the giveaway at the bottom — it’s a good one.

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Tampa Tourist Attractions: The 25 Most Instagrammable Locations In Tampa Bay

If you ask me where we should eat lunch, I’m going to tell you to find an aesthetically pleasing place with a lot of natural light. (I never claimed to be an easy date, okay?) There’s so much debate about whether visiting a place solely for Instagram is a vapid thing to do, but I’m firmly in the “live and let live” camp. Even if you visit a restaurant or store because it looks great on the ‘gram, you’ll likely find something you love about it — which is one of my favorite things about blogging.

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Monday Musings: Plus Size Rompers I’m Loving, A Health Update & More

We made it to Monday, friends! I know — I have it all backwards. But we’re supposed to be thankful for every day, not just Fridays, right?! I’m glad I survived the weekend and have a week filled with potential ahead. I may just be over-caffeinated, but I’m believing this week will be GOOD. 

I’ve had this post sitting in drafts for a while, and I didn’t really know what to do with it because it is SO random and my posts are usually laid out well. But I want to use my blog to actually ramble about my life, even as things become more structured + this isn’t a place where I word vomit all the time! Who knows if I’ll ever do another Monday Musings post, but I figured I’d give it a try! Let’s get going.

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