*Before we dive into the subject at hand,
I have to confess my trepidation at sharing this article.
It’s intensely personal and honestly terrifying to be so exposed.
So why share it?
I could write it out and tuck it away. That would protect me from any backlash or criticism or judgement from those who will not or cannot understand. However, I have long known that the call to write that God placed upon me was/is not only for my benefit.
I am not alone.
There are others.
There are others who have struggled or are currently struggling with the things with which I have also struggled. Others who may not have met my Source of hope yet. They don’t know my Jesus. They don’t know that life gets better. They don’t know the Truth that will save them from the father of lies.
They don’t know.
They need to know!
My Jesus loves them always and eternally.
No. Matter. What.
I have come to believe that the idea of suicide is a demonic force. A stealthy foe who sneaks up and whispers lie to you when you are most vulnerable. A foe who can only be vanquished by combating the lies with Truth. Truth is the only significant weapon against lies.
Many do not share their feelings of suicide because they don't want to be seen as weak. I hid my own struggle against this particular demon because I didn't want to be viewed as weak by those I love. Part of it was the need to please others...I couldn't bear to disappoint them. Part of it was my own pride...I couldn't bear to have them look at me as less than them or treat me differently. Even now, I struggle with sharing this information so openly, because I know there will be some who will judge me as "less than."
I can remember three separate instances in my life where the idea of suicide was contemplated. Yes, all three instances happened after I became a Christian. Yes, two of them happened after I was an adult. My faith in Christ did not keep me from having to battle demons, but it IS why I still breathe. My Savior God rescued me every single time: the first time allowing my fear of the unknown consequences of such a thing to hold me back; the second and third times using the Truth I'd learned along my journey. The last (3rd) time happened years ago, when we lived in ND, and was a completely different battle than the first two instances. I was stronger in my faith and my knowledge and trust of the Holy One had grown. I could recognize the lies more easily. It was weird, the back and forth exchange, all night long the enemy kept trying to conquer me but Truth won and in the morning I was utterly spent, physically and emotionally, but victorious. The Lord sent a friend to me, a few short hours after the battle had ended, who felt she "just needed to come visit." I knew God sent her for a reason. I was able to share with her what had taken place and we were both amazed. I will never forget that night/day.
Being a Christian doesn't make you any less vulnerable when the enemy of God comes skulking around. He will use any and every tool he can to destroy humanity. A Christian may even seem a more valuable prize to him as it cuts off any testimony that one might share to draw others away from his lies and into the arms of Truth! Aligning yourself with Christ makes you a target in this battle between good and evil. But choose we must! There is no middle ground! You will be no safer if you deny Christ. Your life may, in some ways, be smoother on this earth, but your eternal life is forfeit. Temporary pleasures will never be as valuable as the life you were created to live, eternally in communion with your Creator. Nothing else can compare.
This idea that those who struggle with this particular demon are weak is a fallacy in and of itself. If a person is gunned down in the street, do we think that person is weak for falling? How much sense does it make to think ill of those who likewise fall in this spiritual war? The enemy of God and humanity is extremely skilled at deception and manipulation. He has honed his craft well and must never be underestimated. If you can't resist the temptation of an extra slice of pie or an extra bit of time ogling a naked body that does not belong to you, how can you judge another for falling to the temptation to end their suffering? Yes, it IS a lie that the suffering will end...but no less a lie than that the temptation to which you yield won't have a negative impact.
It is when we think we are invincible that we are in the most danger!
Look at the people around you. Look at the people you meet along your path each day. There is no way to tell who is currently struggling (or may someday struggle) with the demon of suicide. Think of how many times a suicide is followed by the testimonies of friends and family who knew the victim who would say, "I never knew..." or "They seemed so happy." There are usually no red flags waving, no tattoos on their forehead saying "I feel like I have no use, no value." THIS is why we are called to love. Our God IS Love defined. We are to be His messengers, His hands and feet, to a world that is broken and bleeding. We are to tell them the Truth. They are loved with an Everlasting Love. They are valued (even at the cost of His own life). They are created for a purpose. They are understood by the One who knows them better than they know themselves. They are treasured.
Be kind. Be love. Restore hope.
Our world needs it more now than ever before.
The battle rages fierce...pick up your sword, put on your armor, and engage the enemy!
“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
“…weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.”