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 mind. 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. To say that the news was a shock would be an understatement, I’m not sure anyone saw it coming.
If I’ve learned anything from this hard 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 death has had on me. My prayers are continually 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 that 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 members 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 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… I don’t want to imagine it.
There are people in the Bible who committed suicide (King Saul in 1 Samuel 31:3-5; King Zimri in 1 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 have to make that decision for themselves.
My mom said something interesting to me, a couple of weeks ago; she said that one of the reasons people commit suicide is because they have come to the end of their selves. 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, and it’s okay that we won’t all agree with the statement made above. 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 be questioning why they should continue their lives and also for 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 Outreach’s, God used me to speak into a girl’s life in a way that I will never forget. I’d been learning that week, during the evangelism teachings, how to listen to the voice of God and this was the day I put that training into action. As I was walking around the park with two other women in the evangelism group, I felt God lead us towards this girl who was wearing a colorful skirt. I had no idea why or what I should say, she didn’t look like she was going through a hard time, just an ordinary girl on an afternoon walk around a pretty park; however, we later learned that she was doing more than taking a leisurely 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 the 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 my mouth as His mouthpiece, and it was the coolest feeling in the world. Before we finished praying, the girl begun 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. During that time, she completely let go of the hold Satan had 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.
It was at this time that 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 success, she had driven to the park to walk around as she decided 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 an unforgettable couple of days!
God is the God of restoration. He doesn’t want to see us unhappy or in the 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 still devastated at my friend’s passing and am 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 with 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 my 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. I realized in that moment of stepping back from the ledge, that God was not done with me and that all I honestly wanted was for someone to hear what I was going through and help me find the light I was missing.
If you are feeling this way, I want you to know that there are other possiblities to choose than ending your life. The people around you love you, and if you don’t feel like you have a reliable person to turn to, God is a great option. 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. There are a lot of people going through these thoughts, and we need to be available to hear their cries for help. 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 were feeling 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, a friend, 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 deals with the effects differently, but there is always hope. No matter how bad it feels 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 to give Him the opportunity 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 know that this season does not have to break you! Life is 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! 🙂