According to USA Today, the number of children and teens admitted to hospitals for contemplating suicide or self-harm has more than doubled in the last decade. Why? More to the point, what can we do to protect our children and counteract the epidemic? Join my guest, author Laura Gallier, and me as she provides parents, teachers and community leaders with a biblical perspective of the fight against suicide and other mental and emotional strongholds in the culture today.
Mentioned in Podcast
Laura Gallier is an author and national speaker initially known for her outstanding resources and presentations on the topic of sexual integrity—a platform she continues to advocate, born of her own brokenness as a promiscuous teen. Over the years, she has become a voice of hope and reason on a broad range of topics, bringing a bold, biblical perspective to some of the most controversial moral issues of our day. Utilizing her award-winning fiction series, The Delusion, and 4 Freedom, the Bible Study based on The Delusion, Laura is particularly committed to shedding light on the reality of the unseen spiritual world. She empowers students and adults to recognize oppressive, demonic influences and gain freedom from self-sabotaging thoughts, emotions and habits. Laura and her husband Patrick have three children and live in northwest Houston. Get to know Laura better at LauraGallier.com.
TRANSCRIBED PODCAST BELOW
Hey everybody. This is Heidi St. John! Welcome to the podcast.
I’m so glad that you’ve joined me today today It’s Friday, January the 18th, episode number 716. We are going to tackle a very tender topic today. We are going to be talking about the culture of suicide that we find ourselves in right now. I have a special guest on the show with me today.
It’s meet-my-friend-Friday and Laura Gallier is here today. She’s written an incredible book called The Delusion. My daughter Summer read it last year and was so moved by it that she shared it with me. I think you’re going to be very encouraged by Laura’s message. She brings a message of hope and healing.
Stick around, I think you’re going to be encouraged
I hope you guys are doing good. Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who’s been leaving reviews for the podcast over at iTunes. We have been thrilled to see those reviews come in. I love this. I’m going to read a couple of the latest reviews that are coming in. We’re almost to 900 reviews or ratings over at iTunes right now. That’s a huge help to the podcast. So, if you’re wondering how you can help – that’s really one of the best ways to do it.
Mandy said: Love, love, love this podcast! It’s current and insightful, but my favorite part is that it’s always based on the Bible and not on someone’s opinion. This is the truth we need.
That is the truth right there. Hopefully what we’re going to be doing today, as we always do, is to point you back to the Word of God.
Speaking of the Word of God, I’ve got several things coming up that I’m hoping you will put on your calendar. Y’all know I’m going to be in Abilene, Texas tomorrow. We’re actually on our way there today. We’ll be there tomorrow for the Heidi St. John Conference. We will be spending all day talking about what’s going on in the culture and offering answers from God’s Word.
The weekend after that I’ll be in Coos Bay, Oregon for my conference. This year’s theme is Miracle Worker: The Life Changing Power of Following Jesus.
I’ve got a lot of things on the calendar coming up. My whole calendar for 2019 is full. One of the ones I really want you to think about – especially in light of today’s topic and what is really an epidemic is suicide among our young people – is this idea that we have forgotten that we belong to God, that He created us.
I am privileged to be one of the speakers for the Answers for Women Conference. This is Ken Ham’s conference. This year it is called Sacred: Embracing God’s Design for Sexuality. Transgenderism, homosexuality, pornography, and premarital sex – these are all attacks on our Creator. And, I don’t know if you guys think about it that way but really – that’s what it is. It’s our Creator. He’s the one who made our bodies to be a beautiful sacred temple of the Holy Spirit. And so, the questions that we’re asking in this generation right now, one of the main ones is – How do we respond biblically to the war on sexuality? How do we view the gift of sexuality as single and married women? How can we evangelize and help our young people who are growing up in this in this crazy upside down world?
I want to just invite you to join me, and many other amazing speakers, and get equipped to embrace God’s wonderful design for sexuality at the upcoming Answers for Women Conference. This happening on April 5th and 6th, 2019 at the brand new convention center at the Creation Museum. So, I’m excited! You guys are going to join women from very many diverse age groups, and walks of life, who are excited to get into God’s Word and allow it to shape our hearts and our thinking in every area of our life. So I hope you guys will join me for that. That’s April 5th and 6th of this year at the The Answer Center at the Ark Encounter in Williamstown, Kentucky. So I’m very excited about that, and I hope you guys will join me.
I have a special guest on the show today. Laura Gallier is an author and a speaker.
According to USA Today the number of children and teens admitted to hospitals for contemplating suicide or self-harm has more than doubled in the last decade. Why? More to the point – what can we do to protect our children and counteract this epidemic?
I want you guys to join me today. I’m so excited that author Laura Gallier is here. She’s going to provide you and me with a biblical perspective on the fight against suicide – including practical steps to help us empower our kids as well as adults to combat thoughts of depression, self-harm, and suicide.
Laura, welcome to the podcast today. I’m so glad that you’ve joined me.
[Laura Gallier] Thank you so much for having me. I am really excited to be a part of this.
[Heidi St. John] So you have been speaking out about this for a while. I was reading up about your career, and what you’ve been doing, and you are an author – but you’re also a speaker. And it sounds to me like you’ve been talking about this for a while – just to advocate for young for young people. Where did you come from? Tell us a little bit about where you came from, and how the Lord has brought you around to a place of being able to minister strength, particularly in this area.
[Laura Gallier] Well, it’s interesting you mention your Answers for Women Conference that’s coming up in addressing issues of sexuality. That’s really where it started for me. I was a sexually active teenager, at very young age in the eighth grade. I just lived a life of rebellion to God. And I had received Him as my Savior as a young girl, but then knew nothing about church involvement – much less the Word of God. As a result, I just made some really huge consequential decisions early in life – including an unplanned pregnancy, a quick marriage, rush divorce. All this is by age 22, mind you.
[Heidi St. John] Wow.
[Laura Gallier] So God got a hold of me, and I realized something so profound – and it’s the message I share and can’t shut up about. Which is that God’s commandments are for our protection. And His biblical standards, although often mocked and scoffed, could not be more relevant. And there’s such great protection in His command. So I started off, and I’ve spent the last ten years having the privilege of traveling around the nation teaching God’s plan for sexuality, and dating, and relationships. .
The more I did that, the more I became aware that there’s a real deficit in the body of Christ – in the area of understanding the reality of spiritual warfare, the reality of demonic strategies, and the existence of Satan at all. Some, even Christians, just kind of scoff like – I don’t know, that’s just symbolic.
[Heidi St. John] Oh I know, it’s amazing. We we’re saying that we don’t even think there is such a thing as hell anymore. It’s incredible.
[Laura Gallier] Exactly. And so, that paved the way for The Delusion, which is a novel that centers around the idea of Spiritual warfare, particularly as it relates to suicide.
[Heidi St. John] I think it’s fascinating and I love that you’re hitting on this. You’re saying that God’s commandments are for our protection. One of the things that I talk about all the time at the podcast is that God’s Word is relevant to our lives, right now. It’s relevant. There’s nothing in the Word of God that was put there by mistake. And if we can if we can teach our children from a young age go back to the Word, back to the word.
The culture is getting more and more confused, and I believe and have observed – and it sounds to me like you’re having the same observation – that it really is demonic. I have never seen such deception to the point where we can’t even say men are men and women are women. We have to say – well, the genders are interchangeable. Everything is up for grabs right now and it looks to me like it’s a direct attack of the enemy against this generation. What say you?
[Laura Gallier] Oh absolutely! I mean Satan’s always been after our identity. If you think about when he tempted Jesus he even said: if you’re the son of God. He’s always out to undermine our identity. And so, we’re seeing this in everything from the classroom agenda to taking creationism out of the textbook, to the way it relates to sexuality as if the Word of God is old fashioned and irrelevant.
And actually, we learn in 2 Thessalonians that God calls it a great delusion (a throwback to The Delusion and title of the novel). There’s a great delusion that those who have harden their heart and do not love God will get swept up in it. And instead of finger pointing and getting on some pedestal that we’re enlightened and the masses aren’t, it just moves me to great compassion and this is a time to lovingly, yet boldly, declare truth in a hope-filled merciful way.
[Heidi St. John] It’s amazing to me to you say the Word delusion. That also caught my attention. Several years ago I was a keynote speaker for a very large event in Indianapolis. I was talking about the rise of the transgender movement and how dangerous it is for children. I said it meets the clinical definition of delusion. I’d been speaking for maybe 25 minutes at this point. I said it really does mirror the clinical definition of delusion.
Well, the minute I said the word delusion – a woman who was about maybe halfway back in this auditorium of probably about 3,000 people – stood up. And Laura, I’m telling you what, as I live and breathe – I’ve never experienced this as a speaker before and I speak all the time.
She stood up, raised her fist in the air, marched to the front of the auditorium – and it was a kind of a large stage so her eyes kind of came to my feet. You know what triggered her? The word delusion.
Security brought her around to the back when it was over. It’s a long story and I don’t have time to talk about it because I want to talk to you. But, I think it’s worth noting when she came to the back of the stage – and this is how I know it was demonic – the thing that upset her was the word delusion. She said – I demand that you take that word out of your speech. And I said – no. I finally said – why is it that this upsets you so much?
She said that God came to her in a dream and told her that this is how He has made this generation of children. I said – listen, that’s not God. He would never talk to you that way, He would never contradict His word. He said – I made the male and female in my image. This is an attack against The Creator.
And she just began to weep.
And I love that your heart is filled with compassion, because these people are hurting. They are broken on levels that many of us cannot understand – and it doesn’t change the truth of the Word. I love that you’re tackling this head on with the compassion that God calls us to tackle it with as believers.
[Laura Gallier] Exactly. What a phenomenal story and you’re exactly right. It literally causes spiritual warfare and demonic activity to even address these things.
[Heidi St. John] It’s almost like you unleash the gates of hell just to bring it up, and you wonder why Christians out there in the public square right now are being attacked so bad. It’s because it really is demonic influence.
[Laura Gallier] It absolutely is, and it comes on both sides. I feel the need to say this real quick – we have the voice of animosity that says there is no God, and attacks from that perspective. Then we also have that demonic religious voices that want to condemn those who are who are struggling with homosexuality, same sex attraction, gender confusion, and just say such cruel hateful things – which is not the heart of God either.
So we definitely need some mercy, and tact, and love as part of our approach.
[Heidi St. John] Yeah, that’s exactly right. So tell the audience a little bit about the book The Delusion. This was your first book and you’ve got a new one coming out in the fall. The follow up to this, which my daughter Summer is anxiously waiting for. But give listeners just a glimpse into the book The Delusion – why you wrote it and what it’s about.
[Laura Gallier] I had written non-fiction but I never in a million years thought I would write fiction. I set out to write another nonfiction about the reality of the unseen spirit world. I was thinking that this would shed light on the issue of sexuality. We often ignore the fact that there are spiritual implications. Long story short, God got a hold of me and just said – hey, what if you illustrate these same truths. It’s much bigger than sexuality, this whole spirit realm, but utilize fiction.
And I wrestled with it, but then as I got started on it – Oh my! It was just such a neat project. It’s been incredible. It’s about a young man who’s high school has a suicide epidemic. He just wants to graduate and get out of there. He is by no means spiritual, has no Biblical worldview whatsoever. But then he has his own near-death experience and begins to see the demonic spirits that are actually tormenting and provoking kids – not only to suicide, but all kinds of self-destruction.
He also sees forces of good. He sees God’s angelic army at work – but he has no Christian vocabulary for this. And so, we’re also seeing the unbeliever now trying to convince his classmates that this stuff is real, and then battling his own resentments toward God, and why doesn’t God do more, and why does God allow evil. So these very real world issues that we struggle with. We found that whether it’s adults or teenagers – it’s really ministering to people and opening their eyes. So it’s just been an incredible project.
[Heidi St. John] That’s amazing. You say that there’s a vital biblical concept that many parents are failing to even bring up with their kids. And I think partly, speaking as a mother of seven children, I can say these are things that we wished we never would have to talk about with our kids. Right? We don’t want to talk about suicide. We don’t want to talk about transgenderism, we don’t want to talk about same sex attraction, but we need to. We need to.
And when you talk to parents about how they can talk to their kids, and you introduce biblical concepts to them – where do you have them start? Because that’s a question I get over and over and over again – a parent who’s like: I don’t even know where to begin!
[Laura Gallier] Well I love to start, ironically, at the beginning. I’m getting ready to release a purity series an online video series called Unashamed. And even though it’s about sexuality, I start at Genesis 1. We start at the beginning with the origin of humanity, and the strategies of the enemy – and that’s what I am doing to answer that question. That’s what I would say to so many parents – we love God, we love the Word of God, we love Jesus, we love church, and others things. But it’s almost like we think – well I don’t want to talk about Satan, or it would be drawing attention to Satan if I taught my child what this says about Him, and what His strategies are, and the reality of Him.
But what we find then, is that we have these kids who do love the Lord and they do know scripture – but when oppression comes knocking, when depression comes knocking, when these heavy thoughts come – they haven’t been taught how to take those thoughts captive and how to recognize the voice of the enemy and how to recognize his strategies and realize – Wait a minute this isn’t just me here. Yeah. I’m having a bad day but the enemy’s coming to exploit and take me down.
I have to say of all the positive feedback we’ve received on the delusion – we have had young people get in touch and say: I chose not to kill myself after reading this book because I realize now that it’s the enemy trying to take me out because God has a good plan for my life.
That is so profound.
Those parents, just going back and teaching the Scripture. There’s a lot of Scripture that reveals who Satan really is. He’s the father of lies and we can look even back at that Genesis account of how he deceived Adam and Eve and we can teach our children his strategies. It’s like opening his playbook and saying – look we’re exposing him. And then they’re much more prepared to deal with oppressive thoughts and emotions.
[Heidi St. John] That’s amazing. And I think it’s reminding parents that they are equipped. That God has equipped them. I’m always telling parents – listen, God knew that you were going to be right here right now on His timeline. He’s not surprised by the things that are happening around you. And I love that you are being willing with the Word of God and knowing who you are – because really it’s an identity thing, right? I feel like we’re having an identity crisis.
We don’t know who we are, we don’t know who God is anymore, we don’t know what we believe. So we’re not sure where to go. But pointing parents back to the Word of God and back to Genesis. Boy, have you been in touch with Ken Ham? I’m going to hook you guys up because he would love this. That’s what he’s been saying all along – right? Go back to the beginning. We go back to the beginning. In fact, this morning ,you we read through the Bible with our kids – and we’re back in Genesis again.
We are reading and one of my one of my younger children said this morning – Mom it’s right here in the very beginning. God said – I made the male and female in my image. It’s almost like the devil is attacking what God made. I was like – bingo.
So for the parents who are struggling with this. You’ve talked about this before, but I would love for you to explain it. Why do you believe that modern treatment for depression and suicide, the methods that we’re using (we are using kind of a backward approach) – Tell us why you think it’s backward and how can we turn it around?
[Laura Gallier] In our current treatment option we tend to approach the issue of mental illness from a physical standpoint first. So immediately, there’s the thought of – oh your chemicals are off your neurotransmitters are off. From there, we may address the soul, the mind, the will, and emotions through some kind of counselling. Then, very rarely, is there any thought to the spiritual – and a lot of times it’s in more of a mystical New Age, you know, whatever is your higher power – then perhaps you can rely on that enlightenment. And we are spirit soul and body, and I’m not advocating that we ignore the biological side and the neurochemical side – but I am advocating that we flip that whole thing upside down and say – let’s start with the spirit, let’s talk what we know about the fact that the enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy. What are the thoughts you’re having. And to go back to your identity – who does God say you are? That’s addressing the thought-life, that’s addressing the soul. Then we know this for a fact that our thoughts are directly tied to a neurotransmitter response.
So simply stated, when we’re thinking positive healthy thoughts – guess what? Our body starts to become chemically sound and healthier – and I don’t say that trite. I am not saying – oh you just need to think happy thoughts. When you’re in the fog of depression, I’m not saying it’s just that simple but I am saying that’s where we start.
That very fog of depression, when we do that through a spiritual lens – wait a minute I’m under attack and I need to handle this with my spiritual weapons. It is so much more effective. And I talk to young people all the time that are battling suicidal thoughts, God just tends to bring them across my path, and what we find is the psychotic medicines can cause them to have more suicidal thoughts. It can cause them to feel numb and just zoned out. So I’m not saying there’s never a time for medical intervention, but there’s a better answer. Mental health is God’s platform. To see our country come back to that, to see us – especially as Christians – to show a watching world that we have a healing healthy solution for the issues of mental illness.
You talk about relevant. I know it’s a buzz word in the church: that is so relevant right.
[Heidi St. John] Yeah well, we’re we’re killing ourselves taking God out of everything in our effort to be relevant. You know, I’m always amazed. I’m just watching churches dropping like flies because we’re running away from the Word of God in an effort to be relevant. And we’re losing the one thing that makes us relevant – which is the Word of God and the truth that comes from His Word. I want to take just a minute. We’re running out of time, but I’m going to go over because I think this is so important.
My heart is breaking. All around us this is happening. I have three friends in the last year who have committed suicide. I have believed for a long time that what’s happening in the schools right now is directly contributing to the problem. And I know that you believe that also. It’s kind of a heavy topic, but I want people to listen. What academic lessons are students being taught in schools right now, that are contributing to the problem of mental illness and suicide in the culture?
[Laura Gallier] Right, well here we go. I mean here’s my soapbox. But how dare we print in a textbook that evolution is a fact.
[Heidi St. John] Preach it!
[Laura Gallier] … that there is no creator, and I don’t even have time in this setting to explain how contradictory it is – and you see it over and over in these you know documentaries they do on the planet. But what we’re doing is such a disservice because what we’re saying is you’re a cosmic coincidence, you’re an accident. No wonder they’re struggling with depression and defined purpose. Not to mention morality.
When you discredit Genesis 1– guess what? You’ve just discredited Genesis 2 and Genesis 3 and the rest of the Bible. It’s a demonic agenda and it’s not even intellectual. That’s the thing, Satan doesn’t want evolution and creationism in the same textbooks so students can decide – because if you put the argument side by side it’s evident that we have an intelligent designer.
So this is just an absolute travesty. It’s kind of like The Emperor’s New Clothes. You’re doing it, Ken Ham, and others are doing it. Somebody needs to say – hey, he has no clothes on, right? This does not even add up. It’s not even logical.
[Heidi St. John] That’s exactly right. I love I love that you’ve said this this analogy. That’s the whole thing with the transgender movement now too, right? – Is it really? Really? We’re gonna believe this?
I mean, we can see with our own eyes that it’s wrong. We know in our spirit that it’s wrong, and yet because this guy said it’s right we’re going to say that is right.
Are you watching this the story of this Desmond, this kid this 11 year old boy, that his parents are allowing him to dress up like a drag queen and promoting parading him around on television? I just saw him on Good Morning America – actually can watch the whole thing. An entire audience of grown men and women applauding what is pedophilia. That’s exactly what it is. Now he’s been photographed with a nude drag queen, and his parents are allowing it, and we’re applauding it because he’s found his freedom. I just want to go really? really?
[Laura Gallier] They keep calling it brave but you know hey – it’s brave to put a gun to your head and pull the trigger but it’s not healthy
[Heidi St. John] Right.
[Laura Gallier] It’s ridiculous what we’re calling brave and what we’re applauding. We’re clapping for brokenness, we’re clapping that he’s rejecting himself. He’s rejecting that God made him as a male. It’s a travesty.
[Heidi St. John] It’s so sad, it’s so sad. Christians, listen to what Laura is saying because this is exactly right. If you know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you have inside you the living Spirit of God – what this entire generation is literally thirsting after – and that is the good news, the hope that we have in Jesus. There is hope in Jesus, there is healing in Jesus.
God’s Word is relevant to your life right now. It was given so that you would have life, so that you would walk in God’s truth. I love that Jesus said – I didn’t come just so that you could have life. I came so you could have it to the full, so you could have abundant life.
The farther we walk away from God, and His Word, and His design for human beings – the more and more lost we become. And Laura, I am applauding. I’m just gonna stand up and applaud. I am so thrilled for what you’re doing. I’m thrilled for the influence you’ve had in the life of my 16 year old daughter who cannot stop talking about this book. I just want to encourage you to just keep doing what you’re doing. I am going to hook you up with Ken Ham too, by the way, he’s going to love what you’re doing.
Thank you so much for coming on here. Where can people find you, because we are almost at twenty-five minutes now but I know parents are taking notes frantically. Where can people find you on the internet, and what do you have coming up that you want them to hear about?
Yeah it’s LauraGallier.com and there’s more information about The Delusion, there’s a free newsletter I do, I have a YouTube channel, a lot of different ways that people can connect and stay involved and really be empowered to be a champion in their own community. It’s all there on my website.
[Heidi St. John] I love it and you’ve also got a Bible Study that’s based on The Delusion, right? It’s called For Freedom. Can parents find that at the same place?
[Laura Gallier] They can. It’s right there on my website and on Amazon. It’s all there
[Heidi St. John] All right you guys,you’ve heard it here first. I hope that you’ll check out LauraGallier.com. If you’re driving, if you’re in the shower, if you’re homeschooling your kids right now – don’t freak out. I’m going to link back to it like I always do in the show notes today. But this message is important, it was written for such a time as this. And Laura, I just I want to thank you for coming on the show I really appreciate hearing from you.
[Laura Gallier] It’s a privilege, Thank you.
[Heidi St. John] For those of you who want more information please go to HeidiStJohn.com, click on the show notes. These podcasts are now being transcribed and you can get them delivered right to your inbox. Just click on the subscription box at HeidiStJohn.com and it will be delivered every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday to your inbox.
I hope you will join me in praying against the spirit of the evil one who is really just wreaking havoc over this generation. We have the answers. The answers are found in the Word of God. It’s love and compassion. And we come to this generation with a message of hope and healing.
Thanks for listening everybody I appreciate you hanging in there with me for a few extra minutes today, have a wonderful weekend and I’ll see you back here on Monday.