Tag: Answered Prayers

Thoughts about Suicide: Why I chose to live and push through the pain…

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. ♥

Breaking Free From the Man Who Said He Loved Me (Because Love Should Never Cause Emotional Trauma)

L-O-V-E. I do not know why I cannot shake the thought about love lately. It is not the kind of love that many of you are blessed to have. I am talking about the so-called love that causes emotional trauma. Real love does not hurt like that — it should never hurt like that. It is hard for some to understand why it is not as easy as it seems to just walk away and let go. I know because I spent most of my adult life thinking that way. That is, until it happened to me…

I am writing this because I had suffered in silence for too long and I know there are some out there right now going through this very thing. I know you feel trapped, alone, and perhaps too embarrassed to reach out to someone close to you. You do not want anyone to know. Why? Only you can answer that. For me, it was shame. I was too ashamed to let anyone know the situation that I had gotten myself into. It was all my fault and I was stupid to let it happen. That is the lie that I truly believed. I hated that I had become so weak and needy. I used to be so strong. I just wanted someone to love me, so I pretended that he did when things were good. And when things were bad, I drank myself through it. I regret that I suffered in silence instead of reaching out. It almost killed me. I was only able to break free because I discovered that God is real and He helped me. He sobered me up first, then gave me the courage and the strength to walk away. So now, what I used to keep a secret, I openly share because I want others to know that suffering alone does not have to be. You do not have to be trapped. You too, can be free.

I have shared in older posts that I was in a mentally abusive relationship. It caused severe emotional trauma. I never knew that love could hurt the way it did. It is not supposed to be like that. For the longest time I was so alone and ashamed and I did not believe that mental abuse was really abuse so I kept my mouth shut and allowed it to continue. But I was so wrong. It is abuse. I saw someone put it this way in a recent blog: “Abuse doesn’t always manifest as a black eye or a bloody wound. The effects of psychological abuse are just as damaging.” I could not have said it better myself. It is the truth. All that time I was silent, I had wished I was getting hit thinking that it would help me to cry out for help. That makes me sad today because I think there are others thinking that as I write this. I was able to break free before the first hit came. I believe it was just a matter of time before it did. I say this because of an evil explosion of anger that came that really put fear in me like I had never known before. It wasn’t something I caused, but because I was there, I suffered for it. Then I heard the words “I warned you about my anger.” Hitters usually say that, don’t they? Thankfully, I will never know.

Because I was too weak to break away (after all he did tell me he loved me), I endured his abuse for too long. I was in too deep. I did not know how to let go. I believed that nobody else would ever love me. I convinced myself that I was damaged goods and that no one else would ever want me, so I stuck around and kept taking it. And as for reaching out to someone on the outside, I would rather have died from alcohol poisoning or from mixing alcohol with pills than admitting to anyone the horrific things that I was allowing to happen to me.

Now that I have God in my life and I am 100% sober, I know that it was never love. This guy was a master manipulator and being that I was such a lost soul with zero self-esteem, he caught on to that right away and used it. Boy, did he use it. I get teary eyed when I go back there in my mind and remember how it was.

After the newness of the relationship had worn out, I found myself slowly becoming more afraid of him. I was afraid to speak. I was afraid that I would say something that he would turn against me. I remember an instance when we were talking about something he was going through and all of a sudden I was accused of saying something about him that he took offense to. He then proceeded to tell me that he needed to take a step back and examine my character. There was another time where I was with friends, men and women, for a gathering that I had asked him to go to. He did not go, but of course he called me and because he heard a man’s voice in the background I was suddenly accused of cheating on him. I’ll never forget that hole he ripped into my heart later that night. I tried contacting him after the party and he hung up on me and shut his phone off. Later, he decided to send me a text and said “I hope you’re happy with your new boyfriend.” My tender and already broken heart sank even more when I read that. He had shut off his phone again so I couldn’t respond or call. That was torture. There were so many times when I had called where he would answer, but wouldn’t say a word and would hang up on me. He would later explain he was working or something — we were in a long distance relationship at that time. It was craziness that I kept going back for more for. Other times if I did or said something that he didn’t like, I would find myself getting intense silent treatment. I remember one time I just sobbed because I didn’t even know what I had said or done to deserve it. He would just shut down on me with no explanation. Then there was the intimacy. I practice abstinence now, but back then I did not know God so I did not care or think much of it. What a big mistake that was. I was literally sleeping with the enemy. He was addicted and there was just something about him that managed to tear down my self-esteem even more. I had no idea that it could get me deeper into the dark pit of depression the way it did. Things got worse from there. There’s so much more I could share, but I think this is enough. Why did I stay? I have no idea. The only explanation that I can come up with today is that I was truly a lost soul.

I am grateful that is no longer the case. God saved me. He not only saved my life and gave me a new hope, He gave me the self-esteem of Christ. He became my first love and this will never happen in my life again because I have a whole new set of eyes and I will see the wolves that come in sheep’s clothing. I am eternally grateful for that.

I do not know if what I have shared has been any help to anyone. I am sure praying that it does help because putting myself out there like this is HARD. I am praying that someone will be encouraged — someone whose circumstance is similar to what I was saved from. Do not give up hope and do not stay suffering in silence. You too can break free, but you need God’s help to do it. There is no shame in reaching out. Reach out to God first, then reach out to others. If you do not have anyone close to you that you can trust, know that there are others out there who truly understand what you are going through. We can only understand if we have been through it ourselves. There are support groups out there and they will walk with you as you walk with God to overcome. What God has done for me and others, I know He will do for you. Cry out to Him, He is listening. You WILL overcome.

I am praying for you, with all my heart. God bless.

So I am 49, tired, and a freshman at community college. Am I crazy???

Why yes, I believe I am. Well, I mean that I am crazy for the God of my life. ♥ In January 2015, I took a leap of faith and started taking courses that I had quit on in the early 1990s when life became too hard and the depression and the alcohol abuse took over. God rescued me from the depression and drinking and now I have this incredible passion to walk with others suffering from things that I did for years. I am not sure exactly where God may be leading me, but I felt led to major in Psychology. I always regretted quitting school when I did, but I never felt smart enough to continue on. And not having money made it easy to forget about it. Now at this age, with a full-time job that drains me, the educational journey for me is HARD. I had to overcome the lies that I was too old to get started again. I had to overcome the lies that I wasn’t smart enough. I am truly an overcomer! I am grateful to God for that. I am grateful for my pastor and so many people who cheer me on. I heard this year that a 99 year old woman received the AA that she had longed for all her life. That really did encourage me. I am glad I am starting this at 49. There is much hope that I will continue on and get my Bachelor’s degree and I hope and pray that it will be way before I turn 99. 🙂 I am learning not to worry so much about the time. Like everything else on this journey, it’s one day at a time with God leading the way. I can’t lose when He’s leading.

The more I put my trust in God and depend on Him to get me through, the more incredible and blessed this journey gets. I was never a good student back then, but I am a good student now. I am getting grades I was never able to get before. I am in awe of what God is doing. He gets all the credit because I know there is no way I can do any of this without Him.

I hope this part of the story that God is writing into my life will encourage and inspire someone who has been hesitating to get started with something great because they think they are too old or not smart enough. Do not believe the lies. I am going to throw out that old familiar Bible verse that people throw out all the time because if you believe it with your heart, and you are aligned with God’s will for your life, it is SO true. Matthew 19:26 says that with God, ALL things are possible. I hope you believe it, I sure do. He is making the impossible very possible in my own life. I am always so in awe of how the Lord moves in the lives of those who believe and put their faith into action.

When God first made Himself real to me, He planted a strong desire in my heart to serve Him in ministry for the rest of my life. I thought being single with no kids made me a perfect candidate to become a missionary and travel to other places and minister to the lost. My first experience was in 2011 when I went with my church to help build loft homes for the homeless in Mexico. I was hooked. It didn’t matter that I couldn’t speak Spanish. God’s love did all the talking. It was amazing. When the chance came to do it again, I was there! I remember being nervous the first time not knowing what to expect and very nervous at the thought of staying where there was no electricity or running water, but it turned out to be the start of something amazing in my new life. I was such a baby Christian then and I’ve grown so much since. I am grateful that my passion to reach the lost continues to grow stronger than ever.  I thought for sure that the experience of getting my feet wet on a small scale like that would lead me to a much bigger call in missions, but the call never came. At least, not the call I was expecting.

For a while, I have longed to work in a Christian environment but it hasn’t been the right time. A few years ago when my walk with the Lord was so new, I thought it was time get out of my secular job and look for something in ministry. But after some wise counsel and much prayer, God opened my eyes and showed me that I was right where He wants me. I had no idea back then that a mission field could be right where you are. God provides many “ministry moments” for me at work and for that I am grateful. I believe He has a plan to move me to somewhere else in the future. I don’t think He would have nudged me back to school if He didn’t. So I can be glad that I am still where I need to be and He is providing what I need through it. I couldn’t go back to school without a steady job that pays the rent.

Since I do not work in an environment like a church or other type of non-profit where I would be surrounded by hearts for God like mine, I really had it on my heart to at least pursue my educational goals in that type of environment in a Christian college. I LOVE to be in fellowship with other Christians. I love being in places where God is in the center of EVERYTHING. Places where we can openly praise, pray, and share God stories. I am just drawn to that kind of environment every chance I get. But I realized something huge today. I think God is showing me something that took me a while to get but I’m glad I’m finally getting it (I’m sure He is too!). The Lord showed me that the longing I have had to be in a Christian College is not where He wants me right now. I had a question enter my heart just a bit ago and I know it was from the Lord. He said, “Debbie, how do you think you are going to reach the lost if you are in the comfortable surroundings of people who are not lost? I need you in the midst of people who are hurting and have not reached out for Me yet.” Wow. I can see now that the community college is my mission field “for such a time as this” and it no longer matters to me for how long. Perhaps I will get to attend a Christian school later on. We’ll see. In the meantime, I can reach a ton of people for God between now and the age of 99! 😀

God is going to bring many ministry moments my way on this educational journey, I can just sense it. And as far as my longing to be surrounded by fellow Christians, He reminded me how He has blessed me with my chosen family at Hope Center as well as other brothers and sisters He continues to strategically place on my journey to heaven. I couldn’t be more blessed and more surrounded by loving Christians with amazing hearts for Him. What was I thinking? I believe I was seeing things from my own perspective and not even thinking about His. I had a desire, it was a good and godly one, but it doesn’t seem that it was coming from Him like I thought. As usual, His desire for me is even better than I could ever imagine.

I love dreaming dreams that only my God can make come true. What a life this is. A redeemed life now filled with so much love, hope, miracles, breakthroughs, and God-sized dreams that cannot fail because He is guiding and providing. I will stumble now and then, but He never lets me go or allows me to get too far off course.

Thanks for listening to my overflowing heart. I pray that if you are hesitating to do something  for God that you still see as impossible, that you will stop listening to the lies and let God take over so He can take you to places you never dreamed of. You won’t be sorry. Time is going to go by anyway, right? So just go for it. I am so glad I am going for it and I know you will be too. God bless!

Glory to You, LORD. Thank You for choosing me and giving me the courage and strength to keep saying yes so You can keep making impossible dreams come true! ♥♥♥