New Normal: New Hope After Trials

By Jeenie Gordon:

This excerpt, written by Jeenie Gordon (licensed marriage and family therapist) was taken from Too Soon to Say Goodbye, Healing and Hope for the Suicide Victims and Survivors, and used by permission from New Hope Publishers.

Once you have gone through this gut-wrenching painful cycle, you will establish a ‘new normal.’ You will again feel hope.
Image: anekoho / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image: anekoho / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

As a therapist, I often tell my clients about the concept of “old normal versus new normal.”

Life has been going on in a normal manner – ups and downs, little annoyances, and joys – the usual stuff. Then disaster strikes and throws us smack dab in the middle of agonizing pain. During the time of mourning, we feel abnormal. Nothing makes sense, we don’t care about life. Nothing brings joy. Grief has us in a vise grip, with unyielding heavy chains surrounding our hearts and minds.

I have told many clients:

“If you weren’t feeling abnormal during this tragedy, then I’d worry about you. This is normal for what is currently happening in your life.

“Once you have gone through this gut-wrenching painful cycle, you will establish a ‘new normal.’ You will again feel hope, be able to laugh, and enjoy life. The old normal is gone forever, but a new one will replace it.

“A word of caution: There will always be residual pain the rest of your life. However, it will no longer control and suffocate you. Emotional health can and will be achieved and you will be able to deal with the residual hurt.”

God certainly has a purpose for us and for all the things that happen in our lives. However, we may never fully understand what those purposes are while we’re on earth. It’s not that God doesn’t want us to know, but we are probably incapable of understanding because of our limited, finite minds.

Consider a two-year-old who sticks a fork into an electrical outlet. The parent grabs it away, yet does not try to explain to the toddler the dangers of electricity. At that age he could not grasp the concept.

Perhaps God withholds the reason trauma has occurred in our lives, not because He wants to hide something from us, but because our minds are unable to comprehend. Someday, when we see Him in His majesty and glory, we will fully understand.

Army Suicide Prevention: Faith and Counseling Help

By Penny Monetti:

Military life presents unique marital challenges for the warrior and his or her family in an already stress-ridden society, but many army suicide casualties can be prevented.

 

Called to Serve, by Penny and Tony Monettii offers encouragement to soldiers and their families.

Called to Serve, by Penny and Tony Monettii offers encouragement to soldiers and their families.

My family looked forward to attending my son’s first Army Christmas party this last December. After 24 years as an Air Force pilot’s spouse, I was looking forward to observing a different military branch, meeting my son’s Army unit, and being the party guest instead of the party planner.

It was time to relax. During our military years, I helped organize holiday parties: From bases spanning from America’s heartland to the deep South. From New York to California’s coast. All the way to bases located in Europe. For weeks, my son, Antonio, verified that no commitments or unexpected time conflicts would interfere with us attending his first Army holiday gathering. He was excited that his dad, a B-2 stealth bomber pilot, would meet his fellow Army reservists and commanders.

When we pulled into the base parking lot for the awaited festive day, Antonio met us with apprehension. His normal ruddy complexion was ghostly pale, and he had a forlorn look that will be forever ingrained in my memory. He shared the devastating news.

Someone at the base had taken his own life just the day before.

Unfortunately, this military unit’s suicide is not an isolated incident. A 2010 report indicated that an average of eighteen military veterans committed suicide daily (Maize, 2010). The number of suicides among US Army active duty and Reserve personnel in 2012 was higher than the total combined military fatalities from Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan over the same time frame (Burke, 2012).

Military life presents unique marital challenges for the warrior and his or her family in an already stress-ridden society, such as: Deployments, dangerous missions, reintegration into family, civilian, and college life after separations, numerous relocations, and post-traumatic stress to name a few. Depression can be the fall out from any of these challenges.

Unless you’ve experienced the darkness of depression, you cannot relate to its vice-like grip it seemingly holds on the afflicted person’s life, whether you are affiliated with the military or a civilian.

If you or someone you know has expressed suicidal thoughts, do not ignore the warning signs, hoping they will disappear on their own. Seek immediate professional guidance, but before locating help, submit your challenges to the Lord and ask for His guidance to finding counsel. Know that before you begin this journey you are not alone:

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9.

Depression is a very real enemy, but the Lord reassures us:

“The one who is in you  (The Holy Spirit) is greater than the one (Satan) who is in the world.” 1 John 4:4.

The Lord further strengthens us with the promise:

“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart because I have overcome the world.” 1 John 16:33.

Notice that the Lord makes clear that the indwelling spirit triumphs over evil. So how do we get this internal protector to abide within us?

It’s actually extremely simple. We invite the Lord into our lives by confessing that we are sinners and believing that Jesus is the Son of God, He died on the cross, and rose from the dead to save us from our own sins. This belief assures us eternal life in heaven.

What have you got to lose? Perhaps you don’t buy into the whole Jesus will save me if I say those words idea, but you long to. You can take comfort knowing that you are not alone in your doubt. Some of the Biblical “greats” struggled to believe God’s promises, as well. John the Baptist, who fiercely preached that Jesus was the Messiah, doubted his own declaration when he was at his lowest.

While imprisoned in the foul atmosphere of a dark gloomy dungeon fortress tucked within the savage cliffs of Moab, John doubted Christ as the true Messiah. John, who formerly held the firmest convictions that Jesus Christ was the true Savior, wavered in His conviction. After all, Jesus was not performing as John expected. This prophet was not axing the trees, winnowing the field, and judging the unrighteous. He was gentle of spirit, humble, and forgiving. So he asked two disciples to simply ask Jesus if he were truly the Messiah or should they expect another.

Instead of rendering a yes or no answer, Jesus asked the disciples to convey to John the awesome wonders that they witnessed: The blind could now see. The lame could walk. Leper’s infected flesh was cleansed.  The down trodden were uplifted. Jesus then continued to praise John. He didn’t ridicule him for his doubt, but explained those doing God’s work would be persecuted whether they dined with tax collectors or ate locusts from the land.

If you doubt God’s power and feel God has not lived up to your expectations, you are in good company; however, get ready, because once you invite God into your heart and submit your challenges to Him, you will be spiritually awakened, shaken, and claimed as God’s adopted child. You will begin to experience that God works all things for His purpose in your life, even the bad stuff. (Romans 8:28)

Sinking to a low point in life can cause doubt in Christ and imprison you in the wretched pit of depression’s confinement. If this depression remains unaddressed, it can lead to suicide, but once you acknowledge your doubts, confess them to God, and make healing your new mission, there is nothing that can stop the restoration process. Roman 8: 38-39 promises:

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons neither the present nor the future, nor any powers neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Remember, you are not alone. God is waiting for you to reach out to Him from your place of despair where the enemy is holding you captive.

“He reached down from on high and took hold of me; He drew me out of deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemy.”  Psalm 18: 16-17.

There are some great military sources to help you or your loved one overcome depression. Military OneSource provides FREE online counseling and will pay for 12 counseling visits that will not transferred to military health records. Focus on the Family will help you  find a Christian counselor in your area:

To get immediate help, call the Military Crisis Line at 800-273-8255 and press 1, or chat online now for 24/7 access to trained counselors. www.wingmanproject.org is another organization to help military veterans combat this very real enemy.

 

How Suicide in the Family Hurts Loved Ones

By Susan Titus Osborn:

If you are depressed and considering taking your own life, please stop for a moment and think of how a suicide in the family hurts loved ones who are left behind.

 

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.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles /  FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The following story sums up the feelings of a mother and the effect her son’s suicide had on her.

In this story Dr. Balodis, a Christian psychologist, was able to help a heartbroken mother who wondered if she’d ever feel whole again after her son’s suicide.

It shows in a devastating way how a suicide in the family affects those left behind.

 The Puzzle Pieces

by Dr. Jacqueline Balodis

The phone rang, and a hysterical voice on the other end cried, “I just found out that my son shot himself. How could God let him die?”

It took me a moment to pull my thoughts together to respond to her. Then I replied, “I’m so sorry. Brenda, why don’t you tell me exactly what happened?”

She took a deep breath. “My son was going to college and living with his grandmother in Illinois. I just received a call from Grandma. She had just returned home from a shopping trip. When she opened the door, her grandson’s golden retriever met her. The dog was shaking all over and looked distressed. Grandma knew something was terribly wrong and started walking through the house. When she reached Jim’s room, she saw him stretched out on his bed with a gun still gripped in his hand.”

Brenda started sobbing again. “I should have been a better mother. I shouldn’t have let him go to Illinois. He should have stayed in California with me. Where did I go wrong?”

“Brenda, I’m through seeing patients for the day, so why don’t I come over. I’ll be there in half an hour.”

I knew Brenda blamed herself for her son’s death. She also blamed God for letting it happen. On the drive over to her house, I prayed and searched for the right words to give this hurting mother.

Brenda greeted me at the door, and I hugged her, holding her in my arms for several minutes. We went into the living room and sat on the couch. I held her hand, and we were silent for several minutes. I realized my presence was what she needed more than anything.

Finally she spoke. “Why did he do this to me? Didn’t he know I loved him?”

I realized at this point that Brenda blamed her son as well as herself and God. I knew it was going to take a long time for her to work through the pain. Brenda came to my office twice a week for seven months.

Sometimes I let her pour out her feelings. Other times we sat in silence. Often there is strength in quiet solitude. Every session I gave her homework as we worked on various issues she needed to deal with. That way she could progress at her own speed. Ultimately I had her write a goodbye letter to Jim.

I could see that this was the beginning of her learning to forgive herself. The letter was filled with her good memories of special times she and Jim had shared together. The more she wrote, the more her love was strengthened for Jim and the more she grew herself—loving unconditionally, dealing with and erasing “what ifs,” and forgiving Jim.

During one session Brenda announced, “I understand now that Jim’s death is not my fault. I couldn’t have prevented it. More important, I don’t blame God anymore either.”

Finally, all the pieces of the puzzle came together. Once she forgave herself, her son, and God, her faith was again strengthened.

If you are depressed and contemplating suicide, please stop for a moment. I hope this story has caused you to think about how suicide affects loved ones who are left behind.

There are a number of resources available as near as your telephone. See the numbers below for 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.

If you lost a family member to suicide, consider reading the book Too Soon to Say Goodbye. Request it at your local library, read more excerpts from this book here on our site, or download the Kindle (or Kindle for PC) version to read right away.

Grieving in a Different World: I Want to Kill Myself

By Dianne E. Butts:

When grieving a loved one, it can be easy to hate your new circumstances and even think, My world is so different, I want to kill myself.  Here’s hope.

 

Image: Classical Sunrise by Evgeni Dinev / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image: Classical Sunrise by Evgeni Dinev / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

In this series 10 Things I’ve Learned  About Grief” (from the book Dear AmericaI share my own story of loss and grief.  The ninth thing I learned (see the first eight here) about grief is this:

 #9: Your whole world is different, but that doesn’t mean you will be sad forever. 

We talked in Grief Lesson #8 about how grief can seem to go on forever. I mentioned that many people grieve for a full two years. I wish to clarify what I mean. I know a woman who lost her husband two and a half years ago. Recently I overheard her talking with a friend and she said that people tell her it will get better but she still misses him and she doesn’t expect it will ever get better.

I felt guilty thinking perhaps I was one of those people telling her it would get better.

The other woman said she had lost her husband over a decade ago, she still misses him terribly, and then she told my friend she was right: she will never get over it and it will never get better.

How sad!

When I say grief last for two years, I’m not saying at the end of two years you won’t grieve anymore or feel pain or miss your loved one! Have you ever hit your thumb with a hammer? Or done something else physically painful? With the kind of pain that takes your breath away? At least for a little while, you can’t speak. You can’t express anything but the pain. You can’t move, except to hold whatever hurts and hang on. We learn that if you hang in there, you’ll get your breath back. That’s what I’m talking about.

I’m not saying the pain goes away. I’m not suggesting you won’t miss him or her anymore. Your life has changed and it will never be the same again. But the pain will ease gradually, and after two years you should be able to breathe again. You should be functioning again. If you’re not, you need to seek out help.

Your grief will not last forever. After the death of her husband, I once heard a woman ask her friend, “Will I ever laugh again?”

Her friend wisely and immediately answered, “Yes. YES!

This article “Living Through Grief” on CBN.com has some helpful information about the steps of grief that we normally experience. It also lists three steps to recovery: Grieve, Believe, and Receive. The article offers “Scriptures that can bring hope, strength and peace” and tips for “Helping Others Through Grief.”

Don’t let thoughts linger in your mind that make you think terrible thoughts like I want to kill myself. Don’t give up. Hang in there. It does get easier.

Video: Listen to this beautiful, hope-filled song performed by Lynda Randle: “I’m Free.”

May you find freedom from your grief.

Read other articles on this site by Dianne E. Butts HERE.

 

Filling the Void When My Son Died

By Janet Perez Eckles:

A mother’s grief knows no bounds with the loss of a child, especially to murder. Only God’s love can bring true healing and fill that terrible void.

 

Image: stockimages / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image: stockimages / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Looking back at the night in that emergency room when the doctors walked in and asked, “Are you the parents of Joe Eckles?”

I jumped to my feet. “Yes, where is he? How is he? When can we take him home?”

Those questions carried my fear that something awful had happened when we received the call that he was wounded. But nothing, nothing, no amount of faith, knowledge of bible verses, of years of attending church could have prepared me to receive the doctor’s words that shook my senses.

“Your son has not survived the twenty-three stab wounds.”

Emotions? Feelings? None made sense. No mother can begin to comprehend the horror and grief that slices the heart.

Anguish jabbed at me when my son died: thoughts that I’d never be able to live carrying that pain. I’d never be able to face a world without my Joe. Weeks dragged back with sleepless nights and with days that made no sense.

And one dark afternoon, as I held his football jersey and pressed it against my chest, I realized that the void he left in my heart, my life and in our family was what ached the most.”Lord,” I cried out. “Will you fill this emptiness that sears in me?”

In the midst of my sobs, God’s voice whispered a question, one I’d heard many times before. But now it had a different message for me:

”Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?” Romans 8:35.

I had experienced the sword of pain. But I lifted my head, wiped one more tear, and looked up. I chose to receive Christ’s love to fill the void the love for my son had left. I embraced Christ’s love to soothe the bleeding wound in my heart. And it would be God’s love that would touch the heartache and begin the healing.

Ten years have gone by since that day when my son died. And  looking back, I think of many who want to know how to commit suicide, how to end it all, how they can go on living when the anguish feels too much to endure, I understand.

But now I also comprehend that God’s healing is found in the love He offers, in the promise He makes, and in the hope that soothes each wound.

See more articles and videos by Janet Perez Eckles HERE, including how she not only lost her son, but also faced her husband’s unfaithfulness and the loss of her sight. Janet continues to rest in God’s arms and rejoice in Him.

Where Do I Fit In?

By PeggySue Wells:

Do you ever wonder, Where do I fit in? Please know that you do belong in this world, and there is a place for you.

 

Image courtesy of dream design / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of dream design / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Humans have the fundamental need to fit in and to feel significant, according to counselor Dr. Tom Dettmer.

When these two needs are not met for a lengthy amount of time, individuals can begin to struggle with their identity. Feeling isolated can lead to despair and that can digress into thinking about suicide.

The good news is that even when we don’t feel like it, each of us is deeply loved by God. We are assured of this through the truth that Christ came and lived among us and went to the cross, and after three days rose from the dead to provide forgiveness and eternal life for all of us. You are that important.

If you are thinking about suicide:

1)    Call the suicide hotline at 1-800-784-2433

2)    Talk to your doctor

3)    Talk to a pastor or youth group leader

Church is a place to connect and belong. To fit in and feel significant. Regular teaching from the Bible provides assurance that you are valuable. You are here for a reason. Come and see.

If you are not sure about how to get started in finding a church that would be a good fit for you, click here: How to Find a Church. But no matter where you are, if wondering, Where do I fit in? know that God loves you in a way that is a perfect fit.

 

When a Parent Commits Suicide

By Karen O’Connor:

When a parent commits suicide, it impacts children for the rest of their lives.

 

Image courtesy of Salvatore Vuono / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Salvatore Vuono / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

“A gunshot awakened our household when I was eleven years of age,” said Marie P.,  now in her 80s. “My father, in his late 40’s at the time and a good Christian man, had taken his life, leaving my mother, my four older siblings, two younger children and me behind.”

According to Marie, her dad was not a man who would do such a thing to his family. Some believed his action was the result of a brain tumor. “But that belief didn’t take away the sting of losing him in such a tragic way,” Marie added.

 “The next few years are mostly blank pages in my memory book, except for a dream-like image of people gathered around to view the body and pay their respects.” As Marie grew up she remembers missing the presence of her father at school plays, graduation, holidays, and later, her wedding.

“My older brother became a father-figure and along with my mother continued to run a large dairy farm and keep the rest of us in school. Our lives were never the same again. I missed hearing my father and mother singing duets while Mom played the organ, Dad’s playful rough-housing with my brothers, and the way my father and I held hands on our way to and from church.”

Marie’s mother once told Marie that she grew up too early, hadn’t really had a childhood.

“Following that tragic morning when my father committed suicide, apparently I demonstrated more maturity than my age would indicate,” said Marie. She believes her desire to make something of herself was driven by a need to make her absent father proud of her.

 Marie reminds people that “the stigma of suicide is an ever-lingering presence in the minds of those left behind. She encourages families to:

“observe those around you for  changes in behavior or personality. Seek professional help. Some drugs trigger changes that can lead to tragic results. Listen for hints of hopelessness or even periods of euphoria, which can indicate a solution has been found to their despair. Learn to be a good listener, encourage dialogue, show compassion.”

As an adult, Marie is now able to speak out when she feels her experience may help others.

 To those who may be considering taking their lives when they are in despair, Marie says with conviction: “You will be taking away their most precious possession–– your presence.”

Marie turns to God when faced with problems beyond her ability to solve. “I pray, ‘God, please handle this. I can’t.’ I then let go. He can’t help me if I’m in his way.”

“He will give his angels charge of you, to guard you in all your ways”

 Psalm 91:11 (the Bible).

View and share this excellent YouTube video from Joyce Meyer on trusting God when you don’t understand what is going on.

How Can I Survive? Grabbing a Lifeline

By PeggySue Wells:

At times life becomes so difficult many wonder, How can I survive? But others can offer hope–and you can too.

 

Life preserver image by cbenjasuwan FDP net

Image by cbenjasuwan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Times of transition can send us spinning into depression and thoughts of suicide. There can be more questions than answers. Will I survive this? Will life ever be secure again? Did I make a bad decision?

“Save me, O God:

 for the waters have risen up to my neck.

I sink in muddy depths and have no foothold;

            I am swept into deep water, and the flood carries me away.

            I am wearied with crying out, my throat is sore,

            my eyes grow dim as I wait for God to help me.”

            Psalms 69:1-3 (NEB)

 My friend shared her experience with change:

When my husband was discharged from military service, we found ourselves jobless and homeless. I took our four small children to stay at a friend’s mountain cabin while my husband looked for employment in another state.

Isolated and on the edge of despair, life looked hopeless. I found myself thinking about suicide.

“If one should fall, the other helps him up; but woe to the man by himself with no one to help him up when he falls down.” Ecclesiastes 4:10 (NJB)

Though we weren’t his responsibility anymore, our former military base chaplain tracked me down. He spent time with me on the phone, asking serious questions to keep me focused on continuing to live. He said he would be there for me during the tough days and he was. I’m thankful he cared enough to help me across the miles.

Has there been someone in your life who has been your lifeline during a dark time? Have you been there for someone else when they were thinking about suicide?

“The generous soul will prosper, he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.” Proverbs 11:25 (NIV).

Are you wondering today, How can I survive? Absorb these words from Ruth Bell Graham:

Trusting Him when dark doubts assail us

Trusting Him when our strength is small

Trusting Him when to simply trust Him

is the hardest thing of all.

 

Trust Him then through tears or sunshine

All our cares upon Him cast.

Till the storms of life are over

And the trusting days are past.                      

Is There Hope? The Buck Stops Here (Decision 1)

By Liz Furman:

Part 2 in the Is There Hope? series.

money from morguefile

In the opening post of this series, I promised to share with you the first decision a person can make to start getting their life to a place they want it to be. If you are thinking about suicide, it is critical for your perspective to change, and I believe this Is There Hope? series can help you.

If you remember I encouraged you to get Andy Andrew’s book The Travelers Gift and to start reading it. (You can find that book new or used, or at your public library.)

So, let’s get started. Decision number one for a person who wants their life to be fun to live is: The Buck Stops Here. Check this quote from the president in The Traveler’s Gift who had big decisions to make~and be responsible for.

From this moment forward, I will accept responsibility for my past. I understand that the beginning of wisdom is to accept the responsibility for my own problems and that by accepting responsibility for my past; I free myself to move into a bigger, brighter future of my own choosing.

Never again will I blame my parents, my spouse, my boss, or employees for my present situation. Neither my education nor lack of one, my genetics, or the circumstantial ebb and flow of everyday life will affect my future in a negative way. If I allow myself to blame these uncontrollable forces for my lack of success, I will be forever caught in a web of the past. I will look forward. I will not let my history control my destiny. Page 32 The Traveler’s Gift

He goes on to say that any person has the power to determine what their thoughts will be. We get to choose negative or positive thoughts. He also vows that when faced with an opportunity to make a decision, we will make one.

The end of that president’s quote goes like this:

The buck stops here. I control my thoughts. I control my emotions.

In the future, when I am tempted to ask the question “Why me?” I will immediately counter with the answer: “Why not me?” Challenges are a gift, an opportunity to learn.

Problems are the common thread running through the lives of great men and women.

 In times of adversity, I will not have a problem to deal with; I will have a choice to make. My thoughts will be clear. I will make the right choice. Adversity is preparation for greatness. I will accept the preparation. Why me? Why not me? I will be prepared for something great!

I accept responsibility for my past. I control my thoughts. I control my emotions. I am responsible for my success.

Page 34 The Traveler’s Gift

When thinking about suicide, remembering that the future is our choice has helped folks back from the brink many times.

Though especially when we don’t feel capable of pulling it off, remembering that Jesus promised several times in scripture to never leave of forsake us lends the courage we need to press on. In Deuteronomy 31:6 (NIV Bible) it says:

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.”)

I will continue to share thoughts from Andy Andrews’ book,  The Travelers Gift in future posts, so it would be helpful for you to have a copy–be sure to check your library for one. In the video below, Andy shares about dealing with adversity and making choices, and about how learning new principals can change your life.

Is There Hope? Choosing New Beginnings

By Liz Cowen Furman:

Many people who feel desperate wonder, Is there hope? They may even consider suicide. The answer is YES, there is hope, and your life matters.

Part 1 in the Is There Hope? series.

DCF 1.0

Every person at some time in their life is bound to go through difficult times. Some feel so desperate they end up thinking about suicide. There are so many things Satan can use to send a person to the brink of losing hope. And a life without hope is the one that ponders suicide.

If you are in that place today, I am here to tell you that the voices you are hearing, the ones telling you suicide would solve your problems, that life is not worth living, that you or your existence does not matter, is a lie from the pit.

From this moment forward, we can decide to tell that mess to get behind us. We are the ones who can choose our future; we can look out on the world and choose for ourselves what we want our futures to be like.

I heard a wise man once say that when people are depressed and without hope, it is because they are spending too much time thinking about how things currently are and too little time thinking about how they want them to be.

This is a new year, a time for new beginnings. Why not make 2012 the last year you let yourself be thinking about suicide; the last year you let yourself be without hope or somewhere you do not want to be emotionally.

I will share with you some choices you can make so that in January 2014 you will view this painful time in your life as just a bad memory. If you will bear with me here and follow the next seven posts, I believe you will find a way out of the pit of despair you might currently reside in.

Anything that could truly help, that is worth doing, is worth doing right. So please join me on a journey that can bring you up from the land of the dead into the wonderful light in the land of the living.

In the beginning of Andy Andrews‘ book, The Travelers Gift, the main character tries to kill himself. He is at his wits’ end. Sees no way out, feels like a failure. He is living in that pit of despair. While he is asleep (or in a coma) from a car wreck he goes on a journey back into history and meets several great people, each with a gift to help him get his life back.

In the next several posts, I am going to share some of the ideas presented to the main character in his time travel. I encourage you to put off your suicidal thoughts and read the book and the upcoming posts, because I believe that if you have this information you may decide yours is a life worth living. You can find Andy Andrew’s book The Travelers Gift, new or used, or at your public library.

For starters, watch the video below to hear Andy talk about how you can choose how you react to bad circumstances, or manage to act when life is not fair. (This is a long video, so if you want to go to just that section, fast forward to the 14 minute–21:56  marks.) At the end of the video Andy talks about the amazing Butterfly effect and how two billion people were saved by the actions of just a few ordinary people. You can click HERE to watch just the excerpt on the Butterfly Effect at our sister site, Finding God Daily, at the bottom of our article about George Washington Carver.

“Everything you do matters”–your life is indeed worth living!