Scripture Helps Overcome Thoughts of Suicide

By  Karen O’Connor:

One man discovered that hearing and applying scripture to his life helped him overcome thoughts of suicide.

 

Image by jdurham

Image by jdurham

 

During a class on faith building at church this week I heard an inspiring story about a man who had been so despondent about his situation that he planned to take his life. But he decided to go to church one more time before committing suicide.

That Sunday he heard a sermon on how much God loves his people—regardless of who they are and what they’ve done.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16 the Bible.)

The man postponed his suicide for another week. He returned to church and heard a sermon on fear and faith.

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7 the Bible).

Week after week he reconsidered his decision to end his life, returning to church and always hearing just what he needed in order to hang on a little longer.

 (Jesus speaking:) “For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you (Matthew 17:20 the Bible).

 “For we live by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7 the Bible).

 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5 the Bible).

After one Sunday service the man approached the pastor and told him of his plan to commit suicide but that after listening to some of the pastor’s sermons he put his plan on hold.

“It’s been two years since my first thought to end my life,” the man admitted. “I now feel so loved that all thoughts of suicide have vanished.”

And for further encouragement take a look at this inspiring music on YouTube:

“More Than Sunlight” – Mustard Seed Faith

Will it End? Depression from Loss of a Son

Janet suffered great anguish and depression from loss — the great loss of her teen son.

Would that feeling of despair ever leave?

 

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

By Janet Perez Eckles:

Dear God,

This wound tore my life apart. The darkness of pain is too overwhelming. When  will the torment that mocks each sleepless night end?

The murder of my son, the tragic end of his life at only 19 years old was unfair. Why did you allow this to happen? You could’ve saved him. You could’ve performed a miracle. You did so many times before when you walked on this earth.

When will   your silence end? Why didn’t you rescue my son? Was I that bad? Did I deserve that kind of punishment?

Why me, God? The loss sears. And now the man responsible for his violent death is set free. The laws are unjust, the laws are a mockery. And the  devastating injustice is eating me alive.

Although I wondered when would it all end, I didn’t sign that letter. I didn’t simply because after pouring my heart to God, a hint of hope sparked.  I remembered how Jesus was also in the same agonizing pain when He was crucified. And I also remembered the glory He knew. That’s when hope came in like a tiny shimmer of light. The more I focused on Christ, the more that  spark grew. And now I walk in that light to dispel the darkness of heartache.

When the pain is too deep, hope is real. When anguish is too profound, God’s grace is powerful. And when the future seems too dark, His love is clear.

Now,  the horizon is brighter, the heartache has turned to a scar and the anticipation for complete healing shines in me.

Why Am I Here?

By Martha Bolton:

Do you have days when you wonder, “Why am I here?”

 

Why by Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos net

Do you ever wonder why? Why are you reading this right now? Why did that person say an encouraging word to you today? Or send you a card, or smile at you as you passed them on the street?

Why did you decide to remember the people who love you? Why did you pick up that phone and start to call a friend?

There’s a reason. There’s a reason you’re reading this. There’s a reason someone reached out to you, or is praying for you right now. You may not even know their name, but there’s a reason God put your name on their heart.

So why? What is the reason?

To remind you that whatever you’re going through, you’re going to make it.  It may not seem like it right now, but there is hope. There is a lifeline–all you have to do is reach for it.

Talk to anyone you know and ask them this one question: “What was the darkest moment of your life?”

I guarantee you they can tell you. They can tell you in great detail, I’m sure, because most people have been there, right where you are right now. They, too, have been blindsided by some unforeseen pain, devastated by an unwanted loss, bullied by heartless people who may or may not realize the damage their hurtful words and actions have caused. But they survived it all. And you can too.

There are many lifelines that you can reach for. Talk to a parent, friend, pastor, get professional counseling, read books filled with life-changing advice and encouragement, read the Bible, and pray. But be pro-active in your recovery.

There’s a reason you’re reading this right now. It’s not an accident. The world needs to benefit from the gifts that you have been given. It needs to learn from the experiences you’ve had. And someone out there needs YOU to keep going until you find hope again, and then have you share it with them.

See more helpful articles by Martha Bolton here at Thinking About Suicide to offer you hope and encouragement.

Words: a Lifeline to a Suicidal Person

By Karen Kosman:

Sometimes an encouraging word can be what a suicidal person needs to hear.

A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in setting of silver. Proverbs 25: 11

 

Hope image by Stuart Miles FDP net

Is it safe to say that words make the world-go-around?

It’s true that words are powerful and make impressions on our hearts, minds and souls. They can be used to tear down and destroy our self-esteem, forming a destructive foundation for the rest of our lives. Depression, behavioral problems, and physical illnesses are often direct outcomes of emotional abuse—often resulting in invisible scars.

For those trapped in a pit of depression negative self-talk chips away at their ability to reach out and think logically. They have forgotten how to touch, how to cry, and even how to laugh. They do not really want to die, only to escape the pain that rages within them.

Often others don’t know how to react to someone they know is severely depressed. They may feel it best not to say anything negative, or encouraging. But this action only isolates the suicidal person more. However, kind words can seem to a depressed individual like a lifeline of hope.

As a training coordinator for new phlebotomists I experienced opportunities to reach out to the brokenhearted at the hospital where I’d worked for many years.

One day at the hospital, I went with a new phlebotomist to assist her. To my surprise a guard sat outside one patient’s room, but I had no idea why. I went to the nurses station to inquire and learned a teenage boy had attempted suicide, and his parents hired the guard to watch him.

As we entered the room, a pale, sad teen looked up. He said, “It won’t do any good you know?”

“Tell me,” I asked, “what won’t do any good?”

“The guard. I’ll go home sooner or later.”

“Is your life that painful?” I asked.

“Who cares?”

“I do.”

His eyes softened and he smiled.

As I left his room I determined to visit him later, but the opportunity never arrived. The next day he was moved to another facility.

Often I thought of this young man and prayed others spoke encouragingly to him. It only takes a moment to reach out to someone hurting.

Encouraging a suicidal person to seek help demonstrates to them that you care. Listening to them sends the message that what they have to say is important.

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

Depression in Parenting an Autistic Child

By Rhonda Leverett:

In my depression in parenting an autistic child, I began thinking about suicide.

 

Then I found hope.

 

Stock photo by David Castillo / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Stock photo by David Castillo / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

In 1988, my youngest child, Caleb, was diagnosed with autism. I had no idea what autism was, but it looked like this: blank stares; fear of unfamiliar people and surroundings; books, crayons, shoes, and other items stacked in odd-shaped mountains from corner to corner of our house. It sounded like high-pitched squeals, crying, or silence.

I was exhausted, and consumed by fear of the unknown.

My marriage soon soured as well. Too overwhelmed to engage, I could think of nothing so extraneous as my adult relationship. This was survival mode, dysfunction at its finest.

Still, I prayed. The weakest prayers known to womankind maybe, but I knew God loved us, and I prayed.

Fast forward seven years, no marriage counseling, and many autism therapies later—Caleb was not better, but dramatically worse. Everything was worse.

My daughter and her stepfather fought constantly. She, fourteen, and my oldest son, Cliff, eleven, had become my assistants in curtailing Caleb’s now dangerous behaviors—and in cleaning up messes like broken eggs, broken glass, and smashed food. The understanding that they had not experienced childhood themselves bore heavy on me day and night, but I had no alternative to offer.

My daughter announced she intended to live with my parents, and ran away to prove it. Her grandparents supported her desire, due to my unwillingness to leave my husband. There had been separations, but I always came home because it seemed impossible to find anyone willing to take us in due to the challenges of autism.

Determined to escape what had become an intolerable situation, I called a shelter for help. Although hauntingly destructive, emotional trauma was not shelter criteria.

I moved into my daughter’s room and shut out the world, even my boys. I watched the movie “Sleepless in Seattle” every night, all night, for three weeks, and slept during daylight hours.

Thinking About Suicide

I had drawn the conclusion that life was not worth living.

One bleak afternoon, I sunk down on the bathroom floor and contemplated taking my life, even considering a suicide plan.

I heard Caleb then…but in reality, the house was silent. My husband had taken the boys somewhere. Nevertheless, I heard my son in my heart. He cooed as when he was a baby. I saw him reaching for me. My suffocated mind received the oxygen needed to remember this Truth—my life had purpose.

My children needed me. I remembered this just in time.

I stood up, put everything away, and washed my face.

I would live, because I am a mother—and because I am a daughter, God’s own daughter. I live because I was rescued by Jesus Christ long ago, on a cross.

He died to save you, too. If you cry out to Him, He will meet you wherever you are.

He will remind you of your purpose, and that you are loved.

If you turn to Him, He will save your life.

Read an update by Rhonda Leverett about her son (now-grown) and her own joyful life at rhondaleverett.com. 

One Christian resource for parents of autistic children is Autism’s Hidden Blessings, by Kelly Langston. You can read an excerpt at kellylangston.com.

Moms of special needs children may be encouraged by this video from Kelly Langston:

Refocus Thoughts When Thinking About Suicide

By PeggySue Wells:

When unhealthy thoughts persist, including thinking about suicide, refocusing can help.

 

U.S. Navy Seawolf Submarine, Thinking About Suicide

When a friend’s thoughts dive deep into wrong places,  including thinking about suicide, can you help them periscope up and refocus? Wisdom from the Bible helps.

 

Mary’s husband was the captain of a nuclear submarine. Deployed, the sub would be under the water for six months at a stretch. Their only communication was an occasional message he could receive via transmission when the ship surfaced.

Much like current Twitter counts, the captain’s wife was allowed a limited number of characters for the brief one-way communication she could send.

While Mary carefully considered how to spend each character, this particular opportunity weighed heavy on her heart. During her morning quiet time, she prayed that God would guide as she constructed her communication. Then she wrote:

“For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7a KJV).

Months later the ship docked and the couple were reunited. Adding her husband’s clothes to the laundry, she discovered a worn and tired slip of paper in a pocket. It was the verse she had wired those months ago.

“I kept it with me for a long time,” he explained. “I had made a decision I was not feeling good about. The more I thought on it, and mentally beat myself up, the more depressed I got. Daily, those words reminded me to choose different thought patterns.”

Do you have someone in your life that seems to focus conversation toward the negative? Is the trail leading them to thinking about suicide? Here are some tips:

1)   De-escalate. Move the conversation to be more about something they want to work on, or improve. Help them find and list the positives in their life.

2)    Give tangible suggestions and encourage your friend to try them. For example, how about journaling, writing out scripture, and volunteering in the community.

3)    Help them focus on one thing, rather than grouping all the problems into an overwhelming tsunami. What is the one aspect that is the most concerning?

4)    How can your friend help others in a similar situation?

The truth is that life looks plenty dark under the shadow of regret, sorrow, grief, and an overpowering number of problems. It is also true that God is greater than our griefs and cares.

“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7).

Like Mary did for her husband, we can help those who are struggling to channel their thoughts in a healthy direction.

PeggySue Wells is an author books helpful to those who are struggling, including What To Do When You Don’t Want to Go to Church, What to Do When You’re Scared to Death, and Rediscovering Your Happily Ever After.

Feel Suicidal? Truth in 25 Words

By PeggySue Wells:

Despondent? Feel suicidal?

Typically this grows from a deep sense of not being loved.

John 316

I have felt like that at times.

Why go on, I reason, if no one cares? This is not the truth but it certainly feels that way.

So what is the truth?

The most quoted verse in the Bible, John 3:16, declares that God loves you and me. That he loved us before we even knew him. Before you and I were born. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life,” (John 3:16 NIV). So much promise and assurance is packed into those 25 words. No wonder it is often the first Bible verse put to memory.

In his book, The Joshua Code, O.S. Hawkins shared this:

An unknown, yet wise old sage once explained John 3:16 like this:

For God . . . the greatest Lover
so loved . . . the greatest degree
the world . . . the greatest company that
He gave . . . the greatest act
His only begotten Son . . . the greatest gift
that whoever . . . the greatest opportunity
believes . . . the greatest simplicity
in Him . . . the greatest attraction
should not perish . . . the greatest promise
but . . . the greatest difference
have . . . the greatest certainty
everlasting life . . . the greatest possession

Despite how abandoned I feel, this simple verse gives hope. Not hope in the ‘maybe it will or maybe it won’t’ sense. This hope is the confidence that what God said in John 3:16 is reality for you and me.

This little video should make you smile: John 3:16

PeggySue Wells www.peggysuewells.com is the author of What To Do When You Don’t Know What To Say To Your Own Family, and What To Do When You Don’t Want To Go To Church, among other books.