For a long time, those are words that I have wanted to say when people are mourning the death of a loved one who chose to take their own life. Even though I have nothing to be guilty about, I fight thoughts of guilt that I am still alive and someone else is gone. I would sometimes feel like I need to apologize that I am still alive. It is a difficult situation for me. I am so grateful that I chose to reach out for God instead of dying. It it is a challenge for me to share about it in sensitive situations like successful suicides. I am no one special. I’m just me. Someone who was as desperate as anybody to make the pain in my heart go away. I wanted nothing more than to die to end it because nothing else was stopping the pain. The alcohol was making things much worse, but I kept drinking. Tempory relief was better than none at all. I thought maybe I could drink myself to death, I was hoping to. Thought it would be an easy way to do it, but I was so wrong. Well, I didn’t die. I am alive. I chose to live. I chose to let the Lord help me live. I chose to walk in His light so that I would never walk in darkness again. His Word tells us we’ll never walk in darkness again. I am finally able to stop apologizing for making this wonderful choice to live.
So how do I share how God reached down for me at the same time I was reaching up for Him and that He saved me when their loved one is gone? Why didn’t God keep them alive too? I understand now that we can’t begin to know why, so I stopped trying to understand. I don’t think anyone wants to truly die that way and I am so sad for those who weren’t able to see the light. I am so sad that they chose to end their suffering in death instead of allowing God to come in and give them abundant life. I am not saying it is an easy thing to do. It takes complete surrender. It takes a lot of effort to completely surrender control to God, but anybody can do it if they really want to. We all have choices. I was so tired of living in the darkness of severe depression. So as I was reaching the end of my rope, I made the choice to reach for God and asked Him (more like begged) to do something because I didn’t know how much longer I could bear the pain. It is not like He waved a magic wand and the depression and alcoholism were immediately cured while I did nothing. I had to get up and move. It has taken a lot of difficult and sometimes painful effort and complete trust in the Lord to do His part. But He has done miracle after miracle in my life since I made that choice. Like I said, we all have choices and I chose to live and I am forever grateful for the amazing things of God in my life.
Whenever I hear of another suicide, it literally brings me to tears. My pastor pointed out that my heart is especially tender due to my own broken heart. I know she’s right. I know so well the depression and despair—the desperate need for the pain to go away. The feelings of emptiness and loneliness because nobody can possibly understand what it’s like. I understand the thoughts of suicide. I was tormented by them for years. I believed at the time that suicide was going to be the only way to make the pain stop. I remember those dark days so clearly. When someone dies by their own hand today, my heart breaks and I weep as if I have lost someone close to me. But I have learned that ALL who believe in Jesus–who have given their heart to Him go to heaven when they die. That brings me as much peace as it does their loved ones. But that shouldn’t give anyone a reason to end their life. I long to be with the Lord myself, but when I see Him face to face, it will be in His timing, not mine. I am SO grateful to have been rescued from all of that suffering, and I now live the life that the Lord intended for me. Today, I know the Lord and I am grateful that I didn’t miss out on getting to know Him. Every day I learn something new about Him. Every day, I want to get to know Him more and more. He is the only reason I am alive, He is the only reason I want to live. My life is an amazing example that suicide is NOT the only way out of the deep dark pit of depression.
For all who are stuck in this dark place thinking there’s no way out, I pray with all my heart that this will give you hope that there IS a way out without having to end it in suicide. Jesus is the ONLY way. The devil wants to take down as many as he can while he still has time. Please don’t let him win. If you are ready to live, I mean really live for the first time, choose life with the Lord today. You will never regret it. I can certainly testify to that.
Thank You Jesus, for this wonderful gift of abundant life. May my life continue to be an example of Your wonderful gift of Grace. Your Grace is more than enough for me. ♥