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 … Continue reading Living when life does not feel good…
I wanted the pain to end, but I do not mind sharing that deep down, I really did not want to die. Most of us don’t. But there comes a point to where we are beyond exhausted from the fight and we just want to rest. When we think we are close to those final moments, I don’t think we can ever really fathom the “permanent” rest that is about to take place. But when you are lost, numb, and have lost all hope, death seems to be the only form of relief in store.
Why am I writing this? Well, it is with a heavy heart that I share that someone recently lost all hope and ended his life as a result. I do not think that he intended to leave so many unanswered questions (there were no obvious signs) and I definitely do not think that he intended to leave such unbearable pain for the loved ones he left behind. When the pain is so great, it is difficult to see or even think about anyone else’s pain.
I decided to take a chance to share my own thoughts and experience and perhaps shed some light for those who do not know what it is like to be like me or those who are no longer here. I am just me. I do not have all the answers and I will not pretend to know exactly what was on their hearts during the last hours of their lives, but I believe they did what they thought was right. Not only for themselves, but for those close to them. When I thought I would end my life, it was not only to end my own pain, but I truly believed that I was a burden to those who knew me and that they would be so much better off if I was no longer around. I got tired of trying to pretend that the pain in my heart was nothing. I got so very tired…
In my darkest days of torment, it became impossible to hide my depression. I thought the excessive alcohol consumption was a good mask, but I was wrong. The more intoxicated I would become, the more my depression would come out for others to see. It is interesting that nobody ever questioned it. I don’t blame them. They saw and listened to my tears, but I know it was too uncomfortable for any of them to say much about it. Besides, there was nothing that anyone could say to take my pain away. After some time, I isolated and drank more to kill the pain and myself, but all it did was make me sink deeper into darkness and depression and the desire to end the suffering. It is hard to explain why I kept holding on, I think it was being very close to my mother that helped me to hold on long enough for a rock bottom miracle to take place. It really is a mystery that I have had to let go of. Only God knows why.
As tired and lost as I was, I chose to live and to keep pushing through the pain of life. How? I finally found true HOPE. Where? In JESUS CHRIST ALONE. He met me at the bottom one day early in 2010 in a hospital room after my last night of binge drinking (little did I know then that it was my last night of drinking). That is when He made Himself real to me. I was 44 yrs. old. I never knew God before then. A lot of people are not sure if God is real, but I cannot deny the miracles and breakthroughs that have taken place and continue to take place in my life since I surrendered my broken and shattered heart to Him. He is the only reason why I am still here. This blog is full of true stories of the great things of God in a surrendered life for those who want to learn more about this incredible journey of overcoming. It is not just my story. None of it has been possible without the hand of God. It is never easy to be as vulnerable as I have become, but if I do not share what God can do for those who call out to Him wholeheartedly, then I really do not have a reason to be here still. Thankfully, God has shown me a reason to stay and my life is a testament of how He uses everything for good. My hope is that a heart will see tonight of what can be of their life too, if only they give it all to God.
For those who have lost loved ones to suicide, my heart hurts with yours. I pray that you, and those of you who have overcome suicidal thoughts like I have will also allow God to use what has happened to help save other lives. Many of you are and I am grateful. But many of you have not been able to. Too many times we keep things to ourselves out of shame or pride that keeps us from sharing our pain, but I want to encourage you to not hold back. So many are out there walking around thinking that they are all alone in their pain — that no one else can possibly ever understand. They need to know they are not alone. They need to know that God is real. I pray for more hearts to be vulnerable. I believe lives are depending on it. Some incredible blessings are in store for those who open their hearts for the benefit of others. I had no idea how incredibly blessed I would become by allowing myself to be vulnerable and I cannot encourage others enough to follow my lead.
For those who feel something is wrong with a loved one but do not know what to say, please do not force yourself to say something just to have something to say. That can make things much worse. I did not want to hear how much I had to live for. It did not help to be told what and what not to feel or told “don’t cry.” That only made me want to shut down and shut everyone out for good. Know that just being there – just being a silent presence of love can speak longer and louder than you could ever imagine. Let God speak through your heart that way. And the number one thing that anyone can ever do for someone else is PRAY and BELIEVE God for it because when a believing person prays, great things happen. I am alive today to testify to that truth.
My heart goes out to those of you who think that your life is not worth living. It is a lie. The devil is a liar and wants you to believe it. I pray God will open your eyes and hearts to trust Him fully and to see that Jesus willingly died a horrific death on the cross because He believed your life was worth saving. May knowing that He loves you that much keep you pressing on no matter what and remember that you are not alone.
Here is one more thing to ponder: What if choosing His gift of life and pushing through the pain helped another hurting soul to choose life too? Isn’t that something worth living for? I believe it is.
Thank you for listening to my tender heart. May God bless you through His story of this life – one of many — that He saved in so many ways. ♥
Just a little more than five years ago, I believed I was worthless and would be better off dead (I wrote about some of that in my last post). I battled suicidal thoughts. Although they were tormenting, they were just thoughts. Other than isolating and drinking my life away, I hadn’t reached the point of doing something drastic just yet. I felt it was getting close, but thankfully it didn’t get that far. A sincere cry out to God changed everything and He sobered me up and showed me love I have never known.
Today, I believe that I am worth something. I have an ongoing miracle sobriety of five years now and I am no longer suicidal. Many more miracles that have taken place in my life have caused me to dare to believe in God, in myself, and that I really am worth dying for. And for those reading this who are battling like I used to, I dare to believe that YOU are worth dying for too. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you might have done that you think is so bad that there’s no way out, I still dare to believe.
It has taken much effort over the last five years to learn to fight against the devil — the liar who had me convinced otherwise for over half of my life. I admit that he still finds small openings to sneak in and bombard me with his evil lies on occasion. I continue to get knocked down pretty good at times, but God ALWAYS helps me to pick myself up and dust myself off and learn from it. When the Lord made Himself real to me and kept me from entering the gates of death, He gave me such a passion and desire to completely give up my life and spend the rest of it learning from Him and the great teachers He has placed in my life who lead me by example. I truly have never known so much love before I started this journey with God – both directly from Him and through the people He’s blessed my life with. Amazing love. There is no greater…
Today’s Bible Gateway Verse of the day is 1 John 3:16 — “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.”
God’s message of love is all over the Bible. He reaches my heart in different ways reminding me over and over that I am worth dying for. I choose to believe no matter how many times I get knocked down. No matter how many tears I cry. No matter how many times I mess up. No matter how many trials come my way. He gets me through every single one. Even after all this time of great things in my life, I still have moments of feeling unlovable and unworthy. But even so, I still dare to believe. God is SO real. He rescued me from the pit of hell. He showed me that His grace is sufficient — He is more than enough for me. My heart hurts when God gets blamed for the bad stuff that happens in people’s lives.They believe that He doesn’t care or He is not All Powerful. They doubt that He really exists or that He can really do what He says He can do. That used to be me in the dark days. I thank God for showing me differently. He wants to rescue EVERYONE…ah, if only they would believe.
I think about how I lived all of those years being separated from God. It was painful. It was pure hell on earth. A soul can’t get any darker than that. My soul was absolutely dead and my body was getting close to it. Yesterday morning, I celebrated a wonderful Easter / Resurrection Sunday with my church family and when I think of what Jesus did — the One who had no sin but God made to be sin for us — He willingly sacrificed His life and died that excruciating death on the cross so that I would have a chance to choose to believe and live forever with Him. I can’t even truly imagine what His separation from the Father was like. Every time I think about it, my heart becomes so heavy that I feel like I am going to suffocate from just the thought of what He went through. He took on the sin of the WORLD. Not just yours…not just mine, but the whole world. Wow. I can’t even come close to wrapping my limited mind around what that must have been like for Him. So why don’t more of us see that as being more than enough for us? He conquered death so we may live, why don’t more of us surrender ALL to Him? Why do we search for more? Why do we think we deserve more? I believe it’s because we are spiritually blind. At least, that was the case for me. I am so thankful that God opened my eyes and heart to see and I want to help others activate God’s hand to give them their sight too. It allows us to see the invisible and that is a must in this broken world. This is why I make the choice to be vulnerable and share my heart (His heart) to the world. Only God can make something like that happen and I am grateful to be a part of it!
My spiritual eyesight allows me to see and believe that His grace IS enough. He doesn’t owe me a thing. I don’t deserve anything. No matter what happens to me while I am here, I have the blessed assurance of salvation – the Hope of Heaven. I am going to live forever, because I dare to believe that Jesus’ finished work on that beautiful terrible cross guarantees it. How can that NOT be more than enough for any of us? I am amazed that I can now say that I am willing to lay my life down for others. Was that possible more than five years ago? No way. But I know now that the end of my story here will be the beginning of an even more incredible one – one that will never end. For that, I am so thankful that I am willing to lay down my life. Thank You, Jesus.
So that is why I will always dare to believe. And as long as I have breath, my mission in life is to tell as many as I possibly can about what Jesus has done for me with the hope that they too may be encouraged to make the choice to believe. It’s a life-changing…no, a lifeSAVING decision. Have you hesitated in allowing yourself to believe? If so, I just want to say:
There’s no guarantee of tomorrow, so stop hesitating and choose to believe today. I DARE YOU…
“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul…” Hebrews 6:19 (New Century Version)
**This photo reminds me of the darkness I was drowning in, but I found the kind of hope that only Jesus can give and He pulled me out of the darkness into the light — from death to life. I pray this will happen for so many more!
I know in my heart that I am not the only one who battles dark thoughts such as this. Some who are close to me may be surprised to find that I was fighting this thought very recently. I was fighting hard. For a bit there, I felt like I was losing. I think until I decided to write about this just now that only my pastor and one or two others in my life that I trust were aware that I was hearing and starting to believe those words again. It brought me back to my old dark days of depression and isolation – the horrible days when I tried so hard to drink my way through tormenting thoughts of suicide. The difference this time though, is that I did not keep it to myself. I did not withdraw from people and isolate, although it does get tempting at times. I did not relapse and try to drink it away again. Instead, I reached out to God and I reached out to my pastor and trusted Christian friends for help and I am grateful for this amazing and lifesaving change that God has made in me over the last five years.
This morning with my church family, I had the wonderful opportunity to share another testimony of God’s greatness in my life and it triggered my heart to share it here too. I have spent the last five months trying my best to be strong and courageous, trusting and leaning on God as I walked what felt like the longest and darkest valley of my journey into the unknown with Him. It did not come easy for me at all. I had some very good days, but many bad ones and shed many tears through it. It took five months for doctors to be able to tell me whether or not I have cancer. I have had amazing people of faith, much stronger than me, claiming in Jesus’ name that I am healed and that there would be no cancer. I received and I claimed it. However, because I am a weak human being, the long wait for the medical report to confirm it became quite challenging for me. The enemy knows my weaknesses very well and when I am not careful and allow him and his lies to distract me, he attacks and I get knocked down hard. I had to wait for consultations that kept getting cancelled. I had a painful procedure in December that did not go well and the attempt for a biopsy failed. So, more waiting — more of the unknown and more distractions. I started losing my focus on Jesus and started listening to the deceiver and believing his lies that I am a bad person and I deserve what’s happening to me. I started believing his lies that everyone would be better off if I were not around anymore. I was not doing anything good for anyone, I was too busy feeling sick and defeated. I felt shame for what I was going through because I believed that it was caused by my past choices when I was living a godless life all those years before God had reached down and revealed His power to me. The enemy seemed to be winning this battle of my mind. But thankfully, I can share today, that he has lost once again. He’ll always lose with God holding me by His right hand. He will always lose, as long as I never give up.
I am so grateful that no matter how many times I get knocked down, God gives me incredible strength to keep getting back up and to keep pressing on. I am so grateful that I never give up on Him. Not that I don’t think about it once in a while, especially when I become exhausted, but I really do know better by now. Going back to the way I used to live is not an option. Not if I want to live…REALLY live.
People who are isolating and battling tormenting thoughts on their own are in danger. Isolation is the devil’s trap so he can be free to go in for the kill, but first he likes to take his time and torture for as long as he possibly can. I know. I was there. And I believe this because he almost killed me there. Isolation brings darkness, loneliness, hopelessness…basically, it brings death. A slow and painful one. I pray that if you are in this situation that you will do something about it. Stop trying to fight it alone. Let go of pride. If you haven’t called out to God yet, just do it. He’s listening! Reach out to a pastor. Reach out to others, but make sure those you reach out to are godly people. Surrounding myself by a team of godly people was not easy at the beginning, but I have a safe place to be each week where I can open up and cry and ask for help if I need to. They don’t judge and they do not make me feel ashamed. They just love me with the love that God pours through their hearts. Love I have never known before. They aren’t just a team of godly people, they are my family. Everything I have shared here is what I have done myself and is why I am still here to write about it. I was not sure what all to write about today, but I felt my heartstrings being pulled to write something. Too many are suffering alone right now. Too many have already given up on hope and too many are about to. It does not have to be. Hope in Jesus saves lives. He saved mine, in so many ways.
I have seen many miracles in the lives of others and in my own. I have prayed for miracles. I keep praying for them. But lately, I started thinking that maybe I should do more than just pray for a miracle. Maybe I should start praying that I would BE a miracle for someone else. How awesome would that be? This gives my life amazing purpose. Each of us has a special purpose for being here so let’s not give up on finding out what that purpose is. I believe it will save your life. And how amazing will it be when you find that you can be a part of God’s plan in helping other lives to be saved? What if your life and testimony helps someone else to choose Jesus — the only Way to eternal life? Is that not worth living for? I certainly think it is. Imagine if each of us touched just one heart. I get overwhelmed at the thought of what God can do with that. That’s what keeps me going in this dark and fallen world. And when I get tripped up and fall hard, which happens more than I care to admit, God helps me to get up and to keep on keeping on for Him. I am so grateful.
My heart goes out to those suffering things I suffered for too many years. If you are one, I am praying for you, that God would intervene and do for you what He has done for me and so many others. I pray you will open your heart to Him like never before. I know He will meet you right where you are. And you need to stop believing the lies and believe this…no one will ever be better off without you! It is the truth. It is not my truth, it is God’s truth!
God’s love is amazing. I am so grateful for all He is to me. I am ALIVE!! I hope you or someone you know will be encouraged by my openness today. It’s never easy, but it is always more than worth it. Oh, and I almost forgot…that unsuccessful procedure to remove only a part of the abnormal cells was a blessing that led to a minor surgery that removed ALL of the abnormal cells for biopsy. I got word the other day…NO CANCER. I am healed! Praise the Lord! Ah, God is SO not finished with me yet. And friend, I don’t believe He is finished with you either. I hope you will join me on this amazing pathway to heaven. And if you do, FASTEN YOUR SEATBELT. It is going to be the ride of your life… just sayin’.
Thanks for listening to my heart…God bless.
My women’s Bible study group just finished the book of Proverbs. Since I’ve been on my sobriety journey with God for 4 years, 6 months, 19 days, and…sorry, I’ll stop there. I can’t help it. It’s just that I am beyond grateful for my life. Every day of sobriety means so much to me. Every day I am sober is a miracle from God since I had been drinking my life away for over 20 years and did not have the power to stop on my own.
Anyway, I am so amazed at how I’m noticing more and more the Scripture that speaks about the importance of being sober. It has never stood out so much to me until recently. I didn’t count the verses, but there were plenty that stood out in Proverbs alone. When we were touching on Chapter 20, the leader for that evening assumed it would be awkward or difficult for me to discuss the first verse so she was about to just pass over it. I have to say I was a little disappointed because earlier in the day I had done some studying on it and actually wanted to talk about it from my own experience. Thankfully, my pastor who knows me and my story very well didn’t let the moment pass me by. She wanted to hear what I had to say about that verse, so I am really grateful that I was given a chance to share. You know, it’s such a wonderful thing — the work that God is doing in me. I’ve gone from not wanting to talk about it, to maybe I should talk about it, to hey I think I REALLY NEED AND WANT TO TALK ABOUT IT! Wow, only God…
So here’s Proverbs 20:1 from God’s Word Translation — “Wine makes people mock, liquor makes them noisy, and everyone under the influence is unwise.” It seems that many think that one of the worse problems in our society today is the abuse of alcohol. I believe the abuse of alcohol is a symptom of a much greater problem. I’m speaking from my own experience. My greater problem was severe depression and tormenting thoughts of suicide. When I didn’t know God at all and didn’t know He was real, alcohol was my only way to get some relief. It was my medicine to relieve the pain. It was the poison that I was using to kill myself. But thank You Lord that today I don’t need it! I have absolutely no desire to drink, and the severe depression and suicidal thoughts are gone. I no longer need alcohol or anything else to numb myself out or to run away from reality. Years of doing that got me deeper and deeper into the pit of hell. That’s what alcohol and drugs do to us, I can see it clearly now. It’s pure evil. It separates us from God. It’s temporary peace that we receive from the devil. It’s the only way he can bring us peace. But I thank Jesus Christ, my Prince of Peace that I no longer reach for anything that only brings a quick and temporary fix. Instead, I reach for my Lord for His everlasting Peace. Every single time. It’s difficult to do, but I allow myself to feel my feelings and pain. By doing that, God not only helped me to overcome my addiction and depression, He has healed my hurting soul from the deep wounds that I had covered up all these years. My journey isn’t easy. I still deal with hurts and pain. I go through a lot of challenges that I now know are opportunities to grow closer to God. One of the greatest things I have learned to do is not to keep it to myself and bury it. No more isolating. I don’t want to ever go back to that dark place, so I’m learning to keep showing up no matter what, and to open my mouth more and talk about the hard stuff. I allow myself to cry if I have to. I’m grateful for the love that surrounds me in my church and in Celebrate Recovery that allows me to do this.
So I just want to close and say to those who can’t really relate to people like me, please don’t assume that all alcohol and drug addicts don’t want to talk about it. Yes, you’ll come across many who won’t be willing to open up, but give us a chance anyway. You never know. You may be surprised at what you hear from those of us who ARE willing. You may even be blessed by it.
Well, that’s all I’ve got for this post. Thanks for listening to my heart. God is amazing. He’s the God of miracles and breakthroughs and I can’t wait to keep writing and speaking more about His awesomeness in my life.