Stop Fear in Its Tracks

By Pat Ennis:

Don’t underestimate how claiming scripture can stop fear in its tracks.

 

I pray that my previous post Stopping Fear Syndrome helped remind you that God’s Word is sufficient to override your fears. Are you ready for a follow-up antidote and scriptures to help you stop fear in its tracks?

My past post described the impotence of an old kind lion. Yet scripture teaches this about your enemy:

The devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.  (1 Peter 5:8-9)

To resist him, choose to live according to the truth of God’s Word (2 Corinthians 10:3-5; Ephesians 6:17).

As you obey God’s Word, fear is dispelled, because Jesus defeated Satan on the cross thus stripping him of his power and leaving him with a frightening, but harmless, roar (John 12:23-33; Colossians 2:11-15; Hebrews 2:14-15).

If you are going to refuse to succumb to Satan’s impotent roar you must replace fear with God’s Word (Psalm 119:11; Ephesians 6:10-20).  Begin today by memorizing and meditating upon these truths:

 

  • God is with you and will keep you wherever you go (Genesis 28:15).
  • You should not fear or be dismayed for the Lord goes before you; He will not leave you or forsake you (Deuteronomy 31:6, 8).
  • When God calls you into a difficult situation, you are to recall that the battle is not yours, but His (2 Chronicles 20:15).
  • When you are protected by your Savior’s rod and staff you do not need to fear any potentially threatening environment—even death (Psalm 23:4).
  • Because the Lord is your light, salvation, and the strength of your life you have no need to fear (Psalm 27:1).
  • When you are afraid you are to trust in God—an act of the will, not the emotions  (Psalm 56:3-4).

Also:

  • No person can subvert God’s protection of you (Psalm 56:11).
  • God has provided an intimate place of divine protection for you (Psalm 91:1-7).
  • The peace that your heavenly Father gives provides comfort in the midst of turmoil (John 14:27).
  • Spiritual resources, seeking the welfare of others rather than your own, and a properly prioritized mind, not a spirit of fear, is a gift from your heavenly Father (2 Timothy 1:7).

Because I spent too many years of the precious life my heavenly Father gave me wallowing in fear, I can speak with confidence that it is only God’s Word that can replace fear with a hope for the future (Jeremiah 29:11-13).  It was a miraculous day when I chose to allow trust in my heavenly Father to be my reflex response when faced with fear (Psalm 56:3, 11).  That was the day that I learned how to stop fear in its tracks!  It is my fervent prayer that you will do likewise (Philippians 1:6)!

 

Help When Thoughts of Suicide Filled My Mind

By PeggySu Wells:

Have you felt hopeless? My friend recalled this crossroad experience, which saved her life:

 

Stock Photo by Stuart Miles

Stock Photo by Stuart Miles

I was desperately sad and thoughts of suicide filled my mind. Life was tragically hard. Death appeared to be a tonic, a release from the unrequited pain. The only thing that stayed my hand was my children. I felt guilty leaving them. Still, I often thought about ending my life. I had even mentioned this to my pastor. He gave me a phone number.

Today I dialed the number.

“National Suicide Prevention Hotline.”

“I hurt so bad. I want to take a knife and stab it into my gut and twist it.”

The voice on the other end was gentle. “Don’t.”

I sagged back against the counter.

“And whenever you feel like you have to, just don’t. Whenever you have thoughts of suicide, just don’t.”

One understanding voice saved my life with one word. That was a long time ago. My children are grown and so are my grandchildren and I was here to be a positive part of their lives. Suicide seemed like the answer at the time, but now I can see it wasn’t.

 

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline PSA (Kevin Hines from The Bridge)

If you or someone you know needs help, please call 1-800-273-TALK.

Suicide Intervention: One Teen Helps Another

By S. Osborn:

One teen, who formerly contemplated suicide himself, saves the life of a suicidal friend with a suicide intervention.

 

In a former post, My Son Was Suicidal, I shared how my teen son at one point came close to taking his own life. Thankfully he decided to live, much to the relief of all who love him. Here’s what happened when a friend of his also had suicidal thoughts:

One night my telephone rang, and my son said, “Mom, I’m so glad you’re home. I need to talk to you. Brittney tried to commit suicide last night, but I stopped her.”

A few months earlier, my son had helped his friend, Brittney, through a difficult time in her life. Her parents had divorced, and since he had gone through that, he could empathize. He encouraged her to see a psychologist for her depression and drug problem. He thought she was doing much better—until the previous night.

I clutched the phone. “Tell me what happened.”

My son answered,“Brittney left a message on my answer machine. I had checked my messages earlier, but an inner voice told me to check them again.”

“You know Who that was, don’t you?” I asked, never missing an opportunity to witness to my jet-setting son who rarely took time to go to church.

“Oh, Mom, I know you pray for me all the time. I remember when you prayed for me six years ago when I was so depressed that I wrote a suicide note, took a knife, and ran out the door. You’ve told me you pray that angels will surround me and protect me.”

He added softly, “I know they did on that terrible night, and I guess they really did last night. If Brittney had died, I would have felt so guilty and would have wondered if I could have done more for her. All my life I would have carried that burden.”

“No way would it have been your fault if she had died, but thankfully, you were able to perform a suicide intervention. Now tell me what happened.”

He continued, “I checked my messages a second time, and there was a new one—from Brittney. Her voice sounded groggy, distant. I knew something was terribly wrong. I knew—I had been there…. I told my roommate, and we rushed to her house. Later we found out she had taken an overdose of pain killers, downed a bottle of wine, and taken some other drugs.”

I interrupted my son, “Is she going to be all right?”

“The doctor said she would have died if we had not found her when we did. I’m so thankful I checked my answer machine a second time. I rarely do that.”

We talked for about an hour—about his ability to perform a suicide intervention and what part God played in it. At the end of the conversation, my son said, “Mom, I’m glad I caught you before you left this morning. It helps to know you’re there.”

“I’ll always be here for you—no matter what.”

 You can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), a free, 24-hour hotline available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress. Your call will be routed to the nearest crisis center to you.

You can also dial the following National Suicide Prevention Hotline numbers operated by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration of the Department of Health and Human Services:

1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433)

1-888-SUICIDE (1-888-784-2433)

1-877-SUICIDA (1-877-784-2432) (Spanish).

This story was taken from Too Soon to Say Goodbye: Healing and Hope for Suicide Victims and Survivors and used with permission by New Hope Publishers.

 

Survival Tips for Returning Veterans

  Are you one of those looking for survival tips for returning veterans?  So was Jeff, who said:

“You don’t know what it was like for me when I returned to the states after being in Afghanistan. My wife had left me, my children called another man daddy, and my relatives lived their lives as if they were guests on Jerry Springer.  Then, with my PTSD, it took me months before I could shop in a Wal-Mart without wanting to run out screaming.”

“Did you think about suicide?” I asked.

“A lot.”

“What got you through it?”

“Only God.”

“What would you say to other struggling vets?”

“I can’t promise that it will be easy, but when you live through it, you’ll be stronger for it. That’s how you’ll prove to everyone you can make it.”

Are you feeling suicidal after returning from a term of military service?

 

According to the Make the Connection website, there are some additional tips to help you survive your return home:

  • Reach out to other Veterans or Veterans’ groups for social support
  • Exercise regularly and eat healthy meals
  • Practice relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing
  • Recognize that others may not always agree with you or understand your military service; agree to disagree
  • Be prepared for insensitive questions or topics of conversation; practice how to respond ahead of time
  • Respectfully decline to talk about things that make you uncomfortable
  • Have a plan of action for your adjustment that includes a list of goals for your transition, your future, and your personal life
  • Try to get a good night’s sleep
  • Avoid unhealthy “quick fixes” that you think may help you cope, like drinking alcohol, taking drugs, or smoking cigarettes.

If you or someone you know is suicidal, see Make the Connection  for more tips.

Listen to other vets talk about the difficulties of transitioning into civilian life in this YouTube video below:

You might also be interested in the comprehensive 600 plus page PDF book, The American Veteran’s and Service Members Survival Guide – How to Cut Through the Bureaucracy and Get What You Need—And Are Entitled To – from the Veterans of America. Click HERE to download a free copy.

PLEASE NOTE: If you are a vet who is depressed or in danger of harming yourself or others, contact Veteran’s Crisis Line or call 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1, chat online, or send a text message to 838255 to receive confidential support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

If you want to find out how to reach out to God, click HERE:

My Son Was Suicidal

By S. Osborn:

If you feel overwhelmed and suicidal, consider how taking your life would hurt people who love you. Instead, communicate with them.

 

PrayingBecause my son was suicidal at one point when he was in high school, my heart goes out to other mothers who have experienced a suicidal teen. Fortunately my story has a happy ending, so I hope those who experience suicidal thoughts will read this story, see the effect that act would have on those left behind, and will reconsider.

I watched my eldest son race down the stairs, shoving his younger brother out of the way. He had a wild look in his eyes that scared me. I had never seen him behave like that before. As he brushed past me on the way to the front door, I saw a buck knife in his hand. By the time I reached the door, he had jumped in my car and was driving away.

My other son and I stared at each other for a moment, then he turned and walked slowly back up the stairs. Moments later, he cried, “Mom, you’d better come look at this.”

I ran up the stairs and grabbed the paper he held out to me. It read, “I can’t go on any longer. Please forgive me.”

Sinking down on my eldest son’s bed, I began to cry, with my other boy’s arms around me.

“I had no idea he was depressed. Did you?”

“No, Mom. I know his girlfriend broke up with him, but that’s happened before.”

I added, “And you made the varsity water polo team, and he didn’t. That had to be hard for him.” He was the only one on varsity. His older brother was still playing on junior varsity.

We joined hands and prayed, “Lord, please bring him safely home to us.” Throughout the next few hours, I prayed that prayer over and over. I felt so stressed I couldn’t get beyond that one sentence.

My husband was on a business trip, so I called the hotel where he said he was staying. The clerk said no one was registered by that name. We were struggling in our marriage, so I wasn’t surprised my husband wasn’t where he said he would be. The tension in our home had been hard on the boys, too. I realized that, but didn’t know what to do about it.

I sat at my dining room table, praying and staring off into space. Finally, about four in the morning, the front door opened, and in walked my firstborn, head down, knife at his side.

He put the knife on the table and said, “I couldn’t do it, Mom. I couldn’t take my own life. God wouldn’t let me.”

I stood up and wrapped my arms around him. I silently prayed, Thank you, Lord.

My husband and I divorced shortly thereafter. I never did figure out where he was that terrible night, but somehow my son had found out his father was cheating on me. So for over a year he carried around that burden, as well as the problems he had at school.

We talked for several hours that scary morning, and it helped us both to realize how important communication is in a family. After that, when my son was struggling with an issue, he would come to me and we would talk. Today, 28 years later, we still share that closeness.

My prayer is that if you are struggling with issues and feeling suicidal that you will find someone to talk to, perhaps a family member, a friend, a teacher, or a pastor. Or you can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), a free, 24-hour hotline available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress. Your call will be routed to the nearest crisis center to you.

You can also dial the following National Suicide Prevention Hotline numbers operated by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration of the Department of Health and Human Services:

1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433)

1-888-SUICIDE (1-888-784-2433)

1-877-SUICIDA (1-877-784-2432) (Spanish).

This story was taken from Too Soon to Say Goodbye: Healing and Hope for Suicide Victims and Survivors and used with permission by New Hope Publishers.

 

Why Do I Suffer?

By Deborah Lovett :

 Then they returned to Lystra, Iconium and Antioch, 22 strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith. “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God,” they said. (Acts 14:22, NIV Bible)

 

If you are thinking about suicide today, wondering”Why do I suffer so much?”  I welcome you to think differently with me.

I believe God allows certain things in our lives so that we can share in the revelations of His love and suffering that we receive through our own hardships. Many times we only want to share in the ‘good’ things He allows into our lives, and don’t understand the other things He allows.

Many times people help feed fear, guilt and shame that may come from suffering. Granted, some suffering is a result of our own choices, some the choices of others: but some is neither.

Let me share a few of the insights God has been showing me:

  • He is the Redeemer of Suffering. He redeemed Jesus’ suffering and He will redeem ours, in His time. It is not called the “Death, Burial and Resurrection” for nothing!
  • The bigger the suffering, the bigger the plan, the bigger His glory and grace will be showcased!
  • God’s mission for us includes seeing things from an eternal perspective, and being available to Him. Therein lies our joy.
  • Many trials bring spiritual maturity–if we are listening.
  • There is a method to His madness!  It is spelled: LOVE.

Then as I sat there listening to Him intently; He asked me a question I didn’t want to hear, for I was asking just the opposite:

I was asking Him: “When do the trials end?”

He was asking me: “Even if the trials never end, will you trust Me?”

Remember not to live in your pain, as much as you do in the plan that God sets before you in that pain. Try to set aside your circumstances from your spirituality for a moment and find the purpose. It is equally important to remember that all of our suffering is not the result of some sin or failure. Job suffered because he was a righteous man. He was chosen to suffer, much like Jesus was the Chosen One.

Are you going through many trials? James 1:2 tells us:

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.”

How can you rejoice, you might ask? Well, if you are going through hardships “in Him” the book of John tells us we will bear much fruit. But apart from Him, we can do nothing. (15:4,5) So we can rejoice in Him, and the fruit that is waiting.

The enemy is on full force attack. But God promises in Deuteronomy 1:30 “The Lord your God who is going before you, will fight for you…before your very eyes and in the desert.” The next time you cry out, “Why do I suffer!”, choose to trust the Lord, and His purposes for you. Hang on to your hope and trust, God knows your hearts and will prove Himself faithful.

Will the Pain Go Away? Depression in Children

By N. J. Lindquist:

Depression in children is not expected, but is not uncommon.

 

If you’ve ever wondered, will the pain go away?, you are not alone. I was seven years old. Of course, I didn’t know the word “suicide.” I just knew I hated my life.

Now, you’re likely thinking I had a terrible life, filled with abuse, abandonment, or illness. But it wasn’t like that at all.

I was the only child of two respectable people who adopted me as a baby because they couldn’t have children of their own. I lived in a nice house in a small prairie town where my dad owned a business. I had no health issues or other complaints. Yet I was in pain—emotional pain.

I’m sure there are people wondering why a child, with all the basic needs of life and even some of the frills, could really feel that way. All I know is that, over 50 years later, I still vividly remember the day I stood on the railway track that ran through our small town and asked myself whether, if a train came down the track at that moment, I should run to safety or stay where I was.

That day, it seemed to me that ceasing to exist would be easier than living in a world where I felt that no one liked or understood me.

I’d been at a birthday party for one of my classmates. Along with a half dozen other girls, I’d played games like Pin the Tail on the Donkey, watched presents being opened, and eaten birthday cake. Then, as soon as I felt I could, I’d thanked them and said I had to leave a bit early. Tears flowing, I ran for several blocks before stopping in the middle of the tracks.

On the other side of the tracks were several blocks of stores that made up our business section. And just past those stores was our house.

I didn’t want anyone to see me crying. I really didn’t want my mother to see my crying. Or to ask me what was wrong.

How does a seven-year-old explain that she feels utterly alone? That no one, including her parents, really knows who she is deep inside? That she isn’t like anyone she knows? That she’s thought about suicide?

After a short while, I took a deep breath, dried my tears, and continued my journey home as if everything was okay.

~

What kept me going? When I was four years old, my mother told me I was adopted, and she said, “God gave you to us to be our daughter.”

I don’t know why, but I believed her. I believed there was a plan for my life that was bigger than me, and from that day on, I clung to that thought. It got me off those train tracks, and, occasionally, it still gets me through the day.

If you know the pain of feeling all alone, please believe me: you aren’t. God has a plan for your life—a wonderful plan! Just as He did for mine.

 To help the pain go away, listen to a song I love: “His Eye is on the Sparrow.”

 

The idea for the song comes from verses from the Bible: Matthew 10:29-31.

For information about depression in children, visit the Depression Resource Center  at aacap.org, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. They offer a PDF, The Depressed Child, which can be downloaded here.  Also, see this article: Signs of Depression in Christian Children, by Sylvia Cochran. The author of this post, N.J. Lindquist, grew up to become an award-winning author and teacher.

Disappointments in Life: Don’t Give Up!

By Deborah Lovett:

 

I always say disappointments are really God’s re-appointments. Today I have to remind myself of that. If you are contemplating suicide, please read on. I am finding God in the midst of disappointments and hope you can too.

Disappointments can lead to depression if wrong thinking is not nipped in the bud. I believe that depression can be an impression left from fear: the fear is that God really isn’t who He said He is. Or perhaps the fear is God didn’t say what I thought He said, or won’t do what He said. Thinking God didn’t come through for me is unbelief wrapped in fear.

Today we must make a plan, rather than analyzing, blaming and feeling sorry for ourselves. Start trusting and thanking. Turn our thinking upside down, because we know if we continue in our old thought patterns it will lead to a dead end. And you may miss out on some amazing re-appointments that God has already penciled into His calendar!

Consider these verses:

  • God does not show favoritism.  Romans 2:11 (All people do suffer at one time or another.)
  • With the Lord a day is like a thousand years. 2 Peter 3:8 (He has plenty of time to work in your life.)
  • “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 (He is working on your behalf.)
  • “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” Exodus 14:14  (Rest and leave the results to God.)
  • …take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Ephesians 6:16 (Choose faith.)
  • The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;  I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10  (God always comes out on top~so we are more than conquerors.)
  • So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Cor. 4:18  (This disappointment is building important character in us that we need.)
  • Love never fails. 1 Cor. 13:8 (Bottom line: God loves you.)

Do you get the idea? God has a plan for you, he knows your future and he loves you!

Remember: if it feels as if He has failed you, God’s love may be protecting you from something or someone (or some place) that will not form you into His character, or that will hurt you not help you. He has promised in His Word to protect and provide.

Believe in faith that God really does have your back, no matter what it looks like with human eyes. (And if God hasn’t revealed that yet, wait patiently, He will, He is faithful.)

As you believe, God will illuminate your path until you reach your destination, which will surpass the disappointment every time. Keep turning those calendar pages, day by day, week by week, until you are no longer contemplating suicide in the midst of the disappointments. Don’t give in, don’t let up, and don’t quit.

Love always,

Deborah

Nobody Cares About Me: Or Do They?

Feeling sad? Have you ever thought, “Nobody cares about me?” You’re not alone.  A lot of people have times in their lives when they’ve felt this same way. But feeling as if nobody cares about you doesn’t make it true. And though this may sound hard to believe, one day your sad, lonely feelings will change and things will get better. Really! 

Watch the video below and listen to the words that reveal what would happen to your friends and family if you took your life. Just for the record, we DO care about you, and we know God cares too.  That’s why he sent us to write this message for you!  ; )

Do you still really think — nobody cares about me?

It’s possible you may think suicide is a good way to make others suffer for dissing you, humiliating you, or even ignoring you. But sometimes the best way to respond is to live and to show them you are stronger than they are. Then go on to live a life that encourages others, in ways you believe haven’t been!  (If you are being bullied, see this article: I Am Being Bullied.)

But no doubt, someone in your life DOES care enough about you to react and suffer like those described in this audio. Parents, siblings, a counselor, or classmates may not realize you need to hear that they care. Instead of leaving pain and guilt behind in others, talk to someone. In fact, the God of the universe loves you, and you can always talk to Him! You can read about that in 1 John 3:1 in the Bible.

 If you need to talk to someone about why you think “nobody cares about me,” please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).  Also, if you want to know more about God’s love for you, click HERE to take a quick test.

Finding Hope after Male Sexual Abuse

By Laurie Winslow Sargent:

 Cecil Murphey: “I’m a survivor of sexual abuse. As a child, I kept quiet; as an adult, I “forgot.” When I felt safe, I faced my abuse and talked about it. The more open I am in sharing my pain and recovery, the more healed I become.”

 

These personal words come from Cecil Murphey, also known as ‘Cec': best known as a New York Times’ bestselling author and international speaker, with 100+ books including 90 Minutes in Heaven (with Don Piper) and Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story (with Dr. Ben Carson).

Now Cecil is helping men (and their families) deal with the pain of past sexual abuse.

Cec’s own abuse led to suicidal thinking at age twelve. (See his video interview, below.) However, it wasn’t until age 51, when his memories of abuse began to return to him in full force, he felt he could begin to deal with those memories with God’s help and the help of loved ones, including his wife.

Thankfully he did not follow through with those suicidal thoughts, as his words have blessed countless readers and writers for many years. He now brings healing and hope to male sexual abuse survivors and the spouses who want to emotionally support them.

As Cecil realized in recent years that his own past abuse–and the topic in general–should be addressed, he wrote: When a Man You Love Was Abused: A Woman’s Guide to Helping Him Overcome Childhood Sexual Molestation.

Cec has a blog for men who struggle with past abuse, called Shattering the Silence.  He is also a guest blogger for the Joyful Heart Foundation website founded by Mariska Hargitay (actress playing Detective Olivia Benson on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit).  A recent post of his there is: Why am I Still Not Healed?

In the video below, Cec discuss how his abuse affected him as an adult, including feelings of shame and self-blame, and his journey to healing:

Do pay attention to his final words:

“If you are a man and you were abused, remember this: you are not bad. Something bad, something terrible was done to you. It totally distorted your life. However I hope you would see that God loves you just as you are. You may not be able to talk about it, but it’s so important for you to break the silence. Find someone to trust. Find someone to whom you can talk and begin to open the door.”

If you or a loved one are struggling from the effects of male sexual abuse, DO visit Shattering the Silence at MenShatteringTheSilence.blogspot.com.

When a Man You Love was Abused – Cecil Murphey