A Complicated Matter
originally written 12 Aug 14
posted 12 Oct 15
photo by: Shirley/Missouri/Aug 2014
Hear me now...the demon of suicide is real. Whether you believe in demons or not does not exempt you from their ability to torment you in the depths of your soul. In fact, the more you deny their existence, the easier their job is because they can play with your mind and heart as freely as they like without any repercussions or resistance from you.

I am heartbroken and angry that such a high-profile prize has just been scored by our enemy (I am NOT speaking of his eternal destination...I don't believe anyone can determine that but God and He does not reveal those things to us for a reason...I am speaking of his life on earth ending). Robin Williams was a very funny man who made millions across the globe laugh until their sides ached. He was one of my favorite actors and I enjoyed hearing his signature laugh. My heart is so sad to know that laugh will only live on in memories and recordings.  

Since Robin's death, the battle of what to label/how to deal with suicide has raged fierce.
It's a fruitless battle of semantics, in my opinion. No matter what we believe or feel like calling it, it is unquestionably a heartbreaking and ugly event and one that seems to strike so randomly...so unexpectedly.

Health and government officials are powerless to stop this trend, though they try their best. Why?

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
Ephesians 6:12

No rule of man has the power over such a foe as suicide. It's not simply mental illness. Some of the victims of suicide have seemed to be the most "together", the most successful, the most happy, the most accomplished people on the planet. They were surrounded by people who loved them and held them in high esteem. Those things did not save them in the dark of whatever pit they ended up in. That reality did not stop the demon that skewed their perception and caused them to only see death as a way out of the pain they were experiencing in that moment.
No amount of guilt-laden programs ("you should have seen the signs and stopped them!") can help in this battle.

How do you fight so powerful and stealthy a foe?  
How can you battle such a cruel and effective enemy who hides in the dark corners, waiting patiently to strike when a person is most vulnerable?

Truth. You have to know the Truth in order to counter the lies that swirl in the dark. Our enemy is SKILLED at deception. Skilled at twisting words said in jest during the day into cruelties never intended when the night is black and lonely.

While I have come to hate the idea pushed by some religious folk that suicide is an automatic ticket to hell, that same idea saved my life as a teenager. I was afraid of ending up in hell and experiencing a worse pain than I was currently enduring. I can't subscribe to that idea anymore because I know more about the God who created us, the God who loved us more than life itself and who sacrificed intensely to make a way to save us from that eternal damnation. We cannot know with 100% certainty that those who claim their own lives are instantly hell-bound and to declare this in the wake of someone's loss is a deep level of cruelty. We cannot know...and I believe that God has a purpose in our not knowing...so I'd rather trust His heart than the self-righteous interpretations of people who have lost touch with compassion. 

Similarly, I am not able to support the current trend of "suicide is not selfish" going on so vehemently. While I do understand the intention, I fear that this will be the "permission" someone who was holding back making this decision may use to cross the line. Please be clear on my meaning. Depression is not selfish. No one asks for it nor seeks it out. It's not a sign of weakness or "smallness." It is spiritual oppression.
Suicide, however, that is an act that must be decided upon. There is no other way around the fact that though the thoughts may be skewed and facts twisted, there is still that moment in time that someone chooses to take that step. Forgive me if my opinion differs from yours. Some will say, "You don't understand, you've never been that depressed." Pardon the cliché but You Don't Know Me. 
I have been there...in that moment of time when I had to make a decision to keep breathing or end it all. I faced a period in my life that was so dark, so confusing to me that ending my life seemed to be the only way out. I was in a desperate place mentally and spiritually. My entire existence seemed to be so...unnecessary. Was that thought true? Absolutely not. But in the darkness...you begin to confuse facts and things get twisted.
Every day there was a moment, one singular ray of light that broke through that darkness, which helped me to say, "Okay...one more day...I can hang on for one more day." That small ray of light can be anything...any act of kindness, the less expected the better. For me at that time it was the pure joy of a baby's smile. My eyes had been blinded to everything else that was good in my life and there was much to be thankful for, but I could not see clearly. My vision was blurred. So I guess from that perspective, I can see why so many reject the idea of it being "selfish" to commit suicide because the eyes of the victim have been blinded. However, I see no other word that fits. When you are so focused on your own pain...and you cannot see the pain and suffering that act will inflict upon those left behind who loved you most...what other word fits?

It was not medicine that saved my life. It was not counseling. I didn't have either. It was not yet another red-tape infused government program. It was a daily desperate clinging to what joy I could find and not being able to escape or mute the reminders that my decision would forever impact the lives of my family and friends. God used unplanned moments and people in my life to cut through the darkness that was threatening to claim me forever. I also know that there were people in my life who were lifting me up in prayer during that difficult time.

I was once told that because I could still think of the impact it would have on others, I was "not truly suicidal" and that being suicidal requires that you are only consumed by your own pain, not thinking about anyone else. What is that if not selfish? At the very least it's self-focused.
If Robin could have just had one more thought, one more reminder of the loved ones in his life and the impact his absence would have on them, he might have stopped himself from making that permanent decision to his temporary pain. That said, no one holds the blame of this tragedy except the evil that has become so shrouded in our everyday that we cannot recognize its presence. His eyes were blinded and he could not see the truth in his life.
Lies won that fight and no amount of medical or social intervention could have prevented it.
Only Truth is strong enough to win the battles against deceit.

I thank God that I am in a stronger place now. It's been at least ten year since the last time our enemy attacked with the lies that suicide was the only answer to my pain, I battled all night long, blasting each lie thrown at me with the Truth I've learned about God and His great love for all. Dawn brought victory and a friend who "just felt strongly" that she needed to come see me. I was able to share with her what had transpired the night before and we were both amazed. Suicide is no longer a viable weapon against me because Truth has won. 

“And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Romans 8:38-39

Arm yourselves with Truth...for the battle of untruth rages all around us...and no one, NO ONE, is exempt from the twisted and deadly skills the enemy of God and man has developed.  

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