Living when life does not feel good…

What would you do if you had a loved one say to you “You are better off without me”? Would you take them seriously? Or if you asked someone that you noticed is down if they are doing alright, are you prepared for an answer like “I am not OK. My life is worthless and I do not want to stay here anymore”? What would you say or do?

What if similar thoughts like the ones I wrote are ones you battle with every now and then or are even battling with at this very moment? Will you keep choosing life even when it does not feel good? Man, I hope so. These are all hard questions. Especially for people who have no idea what it is like to be chained in a prison of darkness that seems so bleak and extremely painful that death sounds like the only means of escape. I know this because that used to be me just over six years ago. Either nobody knew of my torment, they were afraid to ask, or they just wanted me to “get over it” and did not think much about the destructive path I was on. I do not blame anyone for anything. No one but Jesus could have helped me anyway. I believed the lie that no one would even notice that I was gone if I had committed suicide. I think the only thing that people did notice about me was that I drank way too much. And as I became closer to my personal rock bottom of alcohol abuse, I cried way too much.

As you can see by reading this, I am a survivor. And thanks to my Lord Jesus Christ, I am more than a conqueror—a conqueror who is willing to be vulnerable and admit that she still has occasional bouts to overcome. In fact, I am going through one at this very moment. But I praise God that it is nowhere as severe as in the past. I no longer reach for alcohol or any other type of vice to soothe my troubled soul, I reach for Jesus. I am looking at this occurrence as another wonderful opportunity to share my hope in Jesus – Hope truly worth living for.

Suicide is on the rise and because it was National Suicide Prevention Week, it is no surprise to me that I have been battling with some old unhealthy thought patterns. They were mainly triggered by online articles of people who have lost loved ones to suicide, or people currently struggling. I did not realize at first why I was struggling, but I am glad I can see now what was causing me to want to hide again. It is not easy to share when sadness hits my heart in such a way that it makes my mind go to places I wish it wouldn’t. I sure do not want people to see me struggle. Not after all the good Lord has done in my life. But I think those of us whose struggle is all too real, need to be open and share about it and hopefully encourage others to keep holding on like we are. We need to be teachers of faith and hope in Jesus — yes, even when life does not feel good. I think the subject of suicide is difficult to talk about mostly because it makes some people too uncomfortable. People who do not understand the darkness that comes with anxiety, fear, and depression would rather not deal with it. It is not that they do not care, they just do not know what to do. Most people don’t. Even someone like me who battled for decades does not always know what to do, other than surrender it all to Jesus and trust Him to rescue again and again. But you know what? He ALWAYS does, every single time.

I have listened to some people who think that depression is something that we can just get over – they think that it is something that we can control and snap out of. Others lose patience and just want to fix us and end up making things worse even though they really do have good intentions. Then there are others who want to ignore it and hope it goes away. It is not going to go away. I think the best thing that anyone can do for someone they notice struggling is to PRAY. Ask God when to say something and when to just pray something. Encourage the person to talk about it and to not keep it bottled inside. That is when it can become lethal. Encourage them to seek help and not be ashamed — no one should ever be made to feel ashamed for their darkness. Maybe there are even opportunities to follow the example of  Job’s friends who did not say a word but just sat and wept with him when he was going through his extreme grief (see Job 2:11-13).

For anyone who feels that their life is worthless, I hope and pray this truth straight from God’s Word will help you to see past that lie. According to His Word in Psalm 139:13-16, God saw you when you were in your mother’s womb. He knew your mother and father and the circumstances of how you would be raised. He gave you the ability to survive and walks with you through good times and bad. He gave you survival techniques and guardian angels to keep and protect you (Psalm 91:11). He chose you before the foundation of the world to be holy and without blame before Him in love (Ephesians 1:4). I find tremendous comfort in knowing that.

I believe that God cries when we cry. I believe He laughs when we laugh and grieves each time we grieve. He watches and waits and looks forward to the day when each one of us would receive Jesus as our Savior. He longs for fellowship with us and desires that we would get to know Him intimately. I am grateful for that desire in my heart. The more I desire Him, the more I want to keep living for Him no matter what. If you haven’t asked Him into your heart yet, please do not delay any longer. And for those of you who have, remember that whenever He feels distant, do not believe the lie that He has left you. His Word says that He will never leave or forsake us. Remember that God is not a feeling, He is truth and He is there. Just call out to Him.

In Christ, God chose us as His own and has made us strong. God has placed His mark on us. He has placed His Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee for all He has promised (2 Corinthians 1:22-21). Truth!! When life gets painful, I remember Jesus on the terrible beautiful Cross and I thank Him that I will never ever have to experience the kind of pain He did on my behalf. He is my reason for living and I desire to help others along this journey to choose His gift of life too.

HOPE is here, so hold on knowing that one sweet day “He will wipe every tear from your eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” (Revelation 21:4) Until then, we can make our life count and help others along the way. We can be blessed to be a blessing. Please, choose life like I am. More lives are depending on it and even though you might not see it right now, it truly is the best choice you will ever make. God loves you so.

Thank You Jesus, for choosing me. Here is my heart. I choose You. I CHOOSE LIFE. ♥

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