Coping with Suicide

This is one of the hardest posts I have had to write. I think I’ve re-written it over five times now, and it still doesn’t seem adequate. Pre-warning, the coming paragraphs are heavy and quite personal. I never imagined I’d write a post of this nature, but the world is cruel and unforgiving, sometimes.

2019 began on a sad note for me. It had been going great until I got a text from one of my friends telling me that someone we knew had died. Even before I knew the circumstance of his death, I burst into tears after hearing the news.

When the revelation came that the cause of his death was suicide, I felt my heart break into a million pieces. I knew he had been going through a rough time but had no idea just how dark it was. It just goes to show that people are going through more than they’re allowing you to see.

I wasn’t close friends with this person, but he will forever be in my heart. I’ll never forget our inside jokes, his cheeky smile when he was teasing me, or the conversations we shared. It’s heartbreaking to know that the dreams he once spoke to me about will no longer come true. It would be an understatement to say that the news was a shock; I’m not sure anyone saw it coming.

If I’ve learned anything from this challenging time, it’s that life is precious and can end with just one misstep or decision. I’ve dealt with my own suicidal thoughts and have also been there for a friend who used to fight demons that would try to make him kill himself, but nothing could’ve prepared me for the impact this person’s passing has had on me. My prayers are with his close friends and family.

Suicide gets a mixed response when spoken about with others. Some believe it is a sin, and others do not; some say it’s selfish, while others say it’s a personal choice; the list could go on. However, no matter your opinion on suicide, we should never make ourselves so opinionated that friends or family find us unapproachable. There is nothing worse than finding out that a person who committed suicide didn’t think they had anyone left to turn to.

That said, the worse thing we can do is start to wonder ‘what if.’ Allowing ourselves to go down that route is one of the unanswerable questions, loneliness, and guilt. Instead, we should take time to reflect on the life that person lived and pray that God will show us anyone else who might be going down a similar path. To have to face this situation once is hard enough, but twice… It never gets easier.

There are people in the Bible who committed suicide (King Saul in 1 Samuel 31:3-5; King Zimri in1 Kings 16:15-19; Judas in Matthew 27:3-5), but it does not go into specifics about what God thinks of it; however, I believe God mourns over those who come to that point of desperation and doesn’t wish anyone to make that decision for themselves.

My mom said something interesting to me a couple of weeks ago; she said that one reason people commit suicide is that they have come to the end of themselves. They cannot fathom a future because they believe they have nothing left of themselves to give; however, there is a God in Heaven who sent His Son to the earth to save these broken people. Without God in our lives, life is worth nothing and comes to naught. Because of Yeshua/Jesus’ death on the cross, God has given us His Spirit to help guide and protect us; if we get to the point of despair, He will always be there to comfort us and pull us out of the darkness we have become entrapped in.

It’s sad to know that not everyone will come to this realization, but we are all on a journey, and God will reveal Himself to us at the right time and in the right way. As Believers, we have witnessed God’s incredibility first hand and yearn for others to experience it, but that doesn’t always happen. All we can do is pray for those in mourning or deep depression, and believe that God will hear our prayers and speak into those people’s lives.

My sole purpose for this post is to reach out to those who might question why they should continue their lives and those who feel shattered after unexpectedly losing someone close to them. I mean all these words with love and do not wish to say something that could hurt others…

As it says in Isaiah 61:1-3

“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.”

~

During one of my dad’s Living Stone Torah Outreachs, God used me to speak into a girl’s life in a way that I will never forget. That week, I’d been learning how to listen to the voice of God, and it was time to put that training into action. As I walked around the park with two other women in the evangelism group, I felt God lead us towards a girl wearing a colorful skirt. I had no idea why I needed to speak to her or what I would say she looked like an ordinary girl on an afternoon walk however, we later learned that she was doing more than taking a stroll in a park on that sunny Sunday afternoon.

After a bit of small talk, I felt God nudge me to ask if we could pray for her. She said yes, and then one of the ladies started to pray. Each of us had something to speak into her life, but it wasn’t until my turn that things broke open.

I can’t remember what I said, but I distinctly remember that it was the first time I’d allowed the Holy Spirit to speak through me! God was speaking directly into this girl’s life, using me as His mouthpiece, and it was the coolest feeling in the world. Before we finished praying, the girl began to cry, and I could feel God’s love reaching out and touching her.

The night after meeting this young woman, she came to our girl’s Bible study and completely let go of Satan’s hold on her life. Watching the spiritual battle she went through as she released his grip on her was one of the scariest and most beautiful things I’ve ever witnessed. We all interceded for her, and when it was over, she physically looked like an entirely new person with a bright shine on her face. 

At this time, she told us why she was really in the park the day before. She had gone to church that morning in a last attempt to see if God cared for her or if He was even real, but after finding no answer, she had driven to the park to walk and decide how she was going to commit suicide…

To say I was blown away by this declaration wouldn’t be a sufficient description. God hadn’t given up on this young woman, and He used the three of us to show her that He does care and is really real. That weekend was unforgettable!

~

God is the God of restoration. He doesn’t want to see us unhappy or in a place of utter despair. Psalm 34:18 says, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” No matter how far into the darkness you might be today, I pray that you will realize that there is ALWAYS light, even if you feel like you are drowning in the dark. The Light is there; it is just waiting for you to call out or take a step towards it!

So, even though I’m devastated at my friend’s passing and having a hard time putting my thoughts together, I wanted to use this time to spread encouragement and hope to those who might be battling suicidal thoughts. I’ve been there and know just how terrifying and horrible that place is, but I want you to know that there are better options.

The night I stood on the roof, looking down at the world around me, I knew that I wouldn’t jump. Firstly, because I was thinking far too logically and saw that there was a chance I wouldn’t die; and, secondly, because even though I thought that jumping was the only way to stop the pain I was in and causing my family, I felt a hand on my shoulder pulling me back to safety. In that moment of stepping back from the ledge, I realized that God was not done with me and what I needed was for someone to hear what I was going through and help me find the light I was missing.

If you feel this way, I want you to know that you are not out of options, and ending your life is not better for anyone. The people around you love you, and if you don’t feel like you have a reliable person to turn to, God is always there to hear your cries. He already knows what you have been going through, and even if you feel ashamed to go to Him, I can assure you that He will be nothing but loving towards you. Life is precious, and we shouldn’t allow the devil to win at his game of deceit and destruction.

Suicide is a subject that needs to be talked about. Many people are going through these thoughts, and it’s time we open our ears to their cries for help and be there to pray, comfort, and support them. Recently, movies and tv shows centering on suicide have become more popular, but they don’t hold all the answers and seem to be doing more harm than good. Suicide has a ripple effect and is about more than you finally finding “peace.” Ultimately, you will be at rest, but the pain you felt will fall on those who loved you the most. I urge you to think about these things before making your decision; pain demands to be felt, if not by you, then someone else once you are gone.

So, tonight, call out to God and ask Him to help pull you out of the darkness you have found yourself trapped in. Go to your parents, friends, or spiritual leader and talk to them about what you have been going through. It’s in our nature to help one another, but it’s up to you to make the first move to get that help. It will be scary but incredibly worth it!

Suicide affects us all. Everyone handles it differently, but there is always hope. No matter how bad it feels right now, the sun will rise again, and the pain will decline with time. We can pull through this together, and with God, we have the chance to release our pain on Him and allow Him to heal us.

I pray that if you have attempted suicide, had a friend or family member who has done it, or are struggling with these thoughts, that you will find peace and realize that this season does not have to break you! Life might be rough right now, and sometimes it’ll hurt to breathe, but I pray that you will find peace in this time of mourning or darkness. God doesn’t want you to be sad or feel like death is better than living; He has so much more in store for you than the future you’ve been picturing. So, don’t let Satan win by stealing your joy and making you feel like there isn’t another choice; be the fighter you were created to be and understand that it’s alright to ask for help. We’re all in this together, no matter how rough the road may be! 

Isaiah 40:28-31, “Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”

~

Music is one of the best outlets when dealing with hard times. I made this playlist to help put my feelings into words, and I hope it can be an encouragement to you as it has been to me! 🙂

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1 comment

  1. Gerry - Reply

    Magnificent post – and so timely!
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts, wisdom and insight!
    “My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.” – Proverbs 3:11-12 really hits home! praise and glory to YeHoVaH! Blessings to you!!!!
    Peace and long life!
    – Gerry in Boston

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