The mission of our shut up book and ministry is to help teens and college students experience hearing the loving voice of God in a personal way that brings healing and gives them spiritual power to shut up the bad voices.
October 14, 2013 was a day like any other day for most. But, for one family, it was one of the saddest days of their lives. Their son 16-year old, Walker, took his own life by jumping in front of a train. Walker’s journey started a year prior to this event when his clinical depression took hold of his thoughts, feelings and ultimately his life. It started with the onset of puberty, and grabbed a hold of him, until he spiraled down to the point where his family and friends could no longer reach him. I knew Walker and his family very well. His parents are great people and committed Christians. Bill, his father, was an elder at his church. Kristin, his mother, dedicated her life to her boys. Walker’s siblings, Cole and Reid, were close to him. They all tried many things and many ways to help him, yet it wasn’t enough to fight back the demons that depression instilled in his psyche. I was driving home from the Eberwein’s house the day after Walker died and I sensed the Spirit of God speak to me. Honestly, it was one of the clearest messages I’ve heard in my life. I was praying for Walker’s family and I saw a dim picture in my mind of a book with the words “Shut Up” written on the cover. Confused, I prayed silently. God, is this you?
And this is what I heard. “Christy, I want you to write this book for youth so they can understand the difference between My voice, their own pain, and the enemy’s voice.
The CDC reports that suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among young people 10-24. (NIMH Fact Sheet on Suicide, CDC Suicide Prevention – Youth Suicide (2015, March). But if you’re a young person, I’m pretty sure that you already know these stats. Most of you know way more than your parents do about these problems. You guys see it first hand. Bullying, depression, cutting, eating disorders, academic pressure, and suicidal thoughts are common problems among your generation today. I know that many of you often suffer alone for reasons we’ll talk about in this book. Negative and dark thoughts can become so loud that it’s hard to hear the loving voice of God. I’m not sure what you believe about God or if you’ve ever experienced the Spirit of God speak directly to you. You may not even believe in God. That’s OK. Please read on and understand that I’m not encouraging anyone to be a “religious” person or having to do stuff to earn God’s love. (I’m not a very “religious” person myself even though I’m a pastor). Instead, I’m a broken person who has made mistakes in life, and the loving presence of God has healed me and given me hope. This God is love. No matter what you believe, or what you’ve done in your life, the Spirit of God can heal you and help you experience God’s very real love in a way that will change your whole life. Whatever pain you’re experiencing right now can be healed and I promise you there is hope. There is always hope. I didn’t write this book alone. I’m a mom with three teenage kids and they tell me what they’re seeing and hearing. Over 1000 middle school, high school and college students helped me write the book by giving me their stories, input and advice.
Let me be very clear and honest up front with you. The point of this book isn’t about saying shut up to other people (even if they sometimes might deserve it). The actual purpose of this book is helping you know how to say shut up to the negative, lying and dark voices that are inside your own mind. These are the thoughts that can make you feel bad about yourself, anxious, depressed, lonely, hopeless and even whisper lies to you that you should end your life. My hope is that by the time you finish this book, you will know which voices inside your head are from God, which are from your own pain and which are the negative, lying and dark voices. With God’s help, you really can say shut up to these bad voices inside your head and shut them up and make them stop. You really can learn to hear God’s voice of love, encouragement and peace. You deserve that. You can be happy and have joy in your life.
I will promise you this: I won’t pretend that I have all the easy answers to fix your problems. No one can do that. But I want you to know that there is hope. I’m praying that this book and our shut up website will connect you with God in a life changing way.
Your opinions matter to me. I really want to hear what you think. You’ll see that this website is filled with videos of teens and college students who have shared their painful stories to help others in their generation. The shut up book is filled with their ideas about things that can help.
In addition to being an author, Christy has experience speaking around the world on various topics to women, men and youth. She speaks at women’s conferences, youth events, large conferences and small retreat settings.
More About Christy Pierce
Tara believes that teenagers and 20 somethings are the BEST and can change the WORLD! As a seasoned youth pastor, she works to guide young people towards finding a transformational, authentic faith. While Tara served in both youth and young adult ministries, she noticed an increase in young people opening up about struggles with suicide, anxiety, and depression. These issues intensified to new levels during the pandemic and Tara felt called to join the New Hope Staff to make a real difference in what is being called a youth mental health crisis. Tara’s passion is connected to the ways God intersected her life as a young person growing up in central Illinois. Her faith journey began at a middle school camp and she discovered her leadership gifts by serving in her high school youth group. She started two on campus ministries as a high school student and then as a college student. These formative, positive experiences rooted her faith and inspired her calling. Tara served as a youth pastor in both Chicago and in the Bay Area in California. She also has certifications in Life Planning, Life Coaching, and emotional intelligence which all empower her to help people find their calling, purpose, and direction. She holds two Masters Degrees in Organizational Leadership and Executive Coaching from Concordia University Irvine. Her experience at Concordia further ignited her passion to research and reach Millennials and Gen Z. In her downtime, Tara enjoys adding to her shoe game collection, traveling, hiking, the beach, and oat milk lattes.