The Robin Williams Question

463px-Robin_Williams_2011aLinda Evans Shepherd

I want to answer the Robin Williams Question that so many are struggling with;

If Robin William’s died, why shouldn’t I?

Here’s my answer, an answer I would have loved to have shared with Robin…

Depression is like a living monster which is built on lies that parade through your mind; lies built for one purpose, to steal, kill and destroy the wonderful person you are.  Dr. Keith Abow, a psychiatrist who has dealt with many who entertained this monster said in a recent article which addressed Robin, “I would have told you to fight against the invader with everything and every resource, without pride.  Deploy every weapon. And because the truth is the mortal enemy of every lie, I would have told you to get to an emergency room or call a suicide hotline or 911 and tell someone the absolute truth about all the dark thoughts you were having—yes, even the one about leaving the planet. Especially that one. Because that one is the big lie implanted in your mind by the Godforsaken charlatan, scum, named major depression. Your enemy. And mine.”

I applaud Dr. Abow’s wise words, but I’d like to further shine the truth on the lies that come with depression.  They are from the pit of hell.  We know Satan (who is real) has come to steal, kill, and destroy the ones that God has gifted with the most purpose and potential.  First he blinds them to their future and hope, then he whispers lies into their hearts.

Do not believe those lies.

If I could have said one thing to Robin prior to his death, I would have told him, “You are loved and have brought joy to so many and if you choose to live, you will continue to bring joy to others and even find happier moments yourself.  Plus, if you live, you will not inspire others to give up on life. Your death will become a tragedy for many families.”

The sad truth is that others have been influenced by Robin’s death and chosen death as well.  Robin could have chosen life and walked out of his deep depression to experience more of his God given purpose as well as love, joy and even peace.  Sure, he may have had to struggle from time to time, but he could have worked to manage his depression and continued to live.  The problems he may have struggled with such as self-loathing, financial woes, fear of the future, or even mental illness, could have been lived-through.  These struggles could have been met through the strength of the very God Robin believed in.

If Robin had only trusted in the God who loved him, if he had pushed back against his depression and called 911 or gone to the emergency room, he would have lived through the darkness to find life once again.

Robin is gone but you are here, and I’d like to say that if you are depressed, you can fight back. You can recognize the lies of depression which may be trying to coax you into a tragic decision that will not only hurt you but those who love you. Don’t do anything rash while you are in the depth of your hurt or despair. Live, so you can have a hope and a future.

As the word says in Jeremiah 29:11New Living Translation,

 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” (NLT)

Like Robin, you do not have to give into the temptation of death.  You can choose to live.  Just as the Lord told his people,

“This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.” Deut. 30:19 (NIV)

Live!  God loves you and will get you through the darkness.

If you would like to know more about God’s love for you, go to:  GodTest.com

Review: How to Survive Your Child’s Suicide

Review by Martha Bolton

REVIEW: How to Survive Your Child’s Suicide:  Steps to Heal the Hurt is available as a Kindle book, click HERE.

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As a mother who experienced the grief of her son’s suicide, Louisa Lanford shares her heart, her hurt, and her journey toward healing in her new ebook, How to Survive Your Child’s Suicide (Right to the Heart Publishers, 2013). In this moving account of her own experience,  Louisa Lanford provides hope for other hurting parents.

Healing is often found in forgiveness, but real forgiveness comes after first looking at the truth of a situation and then opting to forgive.  Louisa had a lot of truths to consider.  Her hurting son had chosen a path that may have, in his mind, ended his pain, but that unfortunate decision opened a world of hurt for those who loved him.  She needed to forgive her son.  Louisa found that she also needed to forgive her daughter-in-law who may or may not have inadvertently suggested that “he go ahead and do it.”  She needed to forgive her because if her daughter-in-law had said that, she would be dealing with unbelievable pain and guilt.  If she hadn’t said that, then she would be suffering from the pain of being misjudged.  And finally, Louisa needed to forgive herself and others around her son who sadly missed important signs of his escalating suicidal thoughts.

Needless to say, the path to forgiveness wasn’t an easy one for Louisa.

But she was determined that her son’s story wouldn’t end at his death. This author of How to Survive Your Child’s Suicide has taken her family’s painful tragedy and turned it around to help others on their own journey through grief, guilt and forgiveness.  She also wanted to send a wake up call to all of us to be keenly aware of the very real need to intervene when someone is so desperately hurting.

If you or someone you know has lost a loved one to suicide, or if you or someone you know is presently in the jaws of despair, this book will encourage you to do more than sit on the sidelines.

Or if you are the one who’s depressed, don’t sit on the sidelines of your own life.  Reach out and ask for help.  Call a pastor, friend,  or counselor, but let someone know how desperately you’re hurting.  You can get through these moments of despair.  Listen to the reasonable, caring voices in your life that don’t negate your past hurts or remind you of wrong choices you may have made in the past.  They won’t bully you into believing untruths about yourself.  Instead, they will encourage you to look beyond yesterday and today, and see your future.

To download the ebook, how to survive your child’s suicide, click HERE.

Look Here For Hope

help me God, suicide, the suicidal, help, facts, prevention, your problems, survivor’s guilt, survivor stories, and the loss of a loved one — as well as info for anyone thinking about suicide, suicde.Welcome to our search engine which includes helps, statistics, and hope concerning suicide and the suicidal. You will find facts, survivor stories, suicide prevention tips as well as answers to your survivor’s guilt after the loss of a loved one. You will also find helps and info if you are thinking about suicide.

Be sure to use our powerful search tool at the upper right hand  corner of this page to search our many topics and resources.  You can also check out our arcticle categories on the upper, white tool bar or on the lower right side of this page.  You can also scroll down to see a sampling or our articles.

If you are contemplating suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). We will try to answer comments, but if you need a timely response, please call the phone number above.  (Also, see our disclaimer.)

You Can Survive Holiday Blues

By Linda Evans Shepherd:

Are you wondering if you can survive the holiday blues? Feeling a bit depressed post-holiday?

 

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You may recall a scene on TV where a husband tells his wife her Christmas surprise is in the driveway with the motor running,  but when they run outside to take a joy ride they are extremely disappointed. The only thing in left in the driveway is the bow that fell off when a thief drove away with their new car.

Perhaps you understand their disappointment because you feel your expectations for holiday joy, peace and contentment were stolen as well.

You may have had high hopes that this holiday season might be different and that your family would suddenly become functional and loving.  Instead, all you have left to show for your attempt to create holiday joy is your credit card bill.

Or perhaps you’re disappointed simply because you weren’t able to buy the wonderful presents you felt would help provide happiness for your loved ones.

Would it help you to know that you’re not alone in feeling disappointed in the holidays?  However, if you’re feeling suicidal because of these disappointments, know that you can and should survive.

Eve Meyer, executive director of the San Francisco Suicide Prevention hot line told the  San Francisco Chronicle that she dispenses three “rules for coping” if you are feeling emotionally vulnerable this time of year. She said, “First, find someone that you have to take care of. It helps give you perspective and feel needed.

“Then, find someone to take care of you. And lastly, remember that people will love you in December as they loved you in May. If your family was dysfunctional earlier in the year, they will be dysfunctional now. So let go of any idea that everything will suddenly change and be great.

“If you do get together, just tell yourself, ‘We’re going to be typically us as a family,’ ” Meyer cautioned. “And if you do feel bad (because things aren’t going as you hoped), pick up the phone and call us or call a friend. Don’t put off getting help.”

These are great tips, and I especially like Eve’s advice about taking care of others if you have holiday blues.  In fact, just today a friend told me that a few years ago she too was feeling suicidal during the holidays, and she even contemplated ending it all.  But before she could act on that impulse, her best friend Emily unexpectedly killed herself.  Beth said that when she went to Emily’s funeral and saw her grief-stricken family —  it broke her heart.  Beth knew she had to spare her family from that kind of suffering and decided  she would never again consider taking her own life.

Please note that even if your family will never be like that perfect family as portrayed in magazine holiday ads, or even if you simply cannot provide the Christmas gifts you would have liked, your family needs  you to stay alive. However, what they do not need is the guilt and pain of your death – a permanent solution to your temporary pain.  So, do your part to care for your family by considering the heartache you will cause if you were to take your own life. Know that this difficult season will pass and though life may not be perfect, you have hope that things will get better because they will.

If you feel you need to talk to someone about your holiday blues or depression in general, you can get free counseling by calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800) 273-8255.   Also, please check out the resources HERE.  (Be prepared to take a quick test first).

I Need Hope Now

 Linda Evans Shepherd:

If you are thinking: I need hope now, there indeed is hope:

 

If you have been on a diet of frustration, despair and pain then you may be thinking, I need hope now.

But how do you find it? Why not try feasting on my five favorite scriptures about hope to see if they’ll make a difference:

1.  “So be strong and courageous, all you who put your hope in the Lord!” Psalm 31:24

2.  “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11

3.  “I say to myself, ‘The Lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!’” Lamentations 3:24

4. I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13

5.  “Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:13

Let’s pray these Scriptures back to the Lord as a prayer:

Dear Lord,

I choose to be strong and courageous and to put my hope in you.  For you have plans for me that are for good and not for disaster, to give me a future and a hope.

My hope is in you because you are my inheritance, meaning you have stored up purpose, love and life for me. As the source of hope, you will fill me with joy and peace because I choose to trust in you. Therefore, you will overflow my heart with confident hope through, not my own power, but the power of the Holy Spirit.

You will do this because you love me because it is written, “Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.”  Therefore I choose to claim, to believe to trust that your love is for me.  And that love changes everything.

Thank you!

In Jesus’ name,

Amen

If you want to know more about starting a relationship with God, click HERE.  In the meantime, I encourage you to cling to these scriptures, and to feed your soul with them whenever you feel hungry for hope.

Take a moment to watch what people would say to those who need more hope in their lives.

I Hate My Life, So Now What?: Finding Purpose

Linda Evans Shepherd:

Feel like you lost your purpose and you’re thinking, I hate my life, so now what?

 

Ever get the feeling that the universe or even that God himself is out to get you?

What if you could turn your disasters into a promise of hope? Your purpose in life doesn’t have to be a grand gesture—it just has to be meaningful to you. Watch as Bishop T.D. Jakes explains why you shouldn’t live being something you are not, and how you can turn life’s disasters into direction to find your purpose.

You are uniquely designed, and here on this earth for a reason. Your troubles may seem too hard to deal with, but they are not, with God’s help.

Why do you hate your life? Are you ill? Facing foreclosure or other financial troubles? You can read about how one woman, Cyndi, experienced both cancer and financial crises (and still faces difficult circumstances), yet offers hope to others in this article about overcoming feeling shame.  Despite one crisis after another, she herself has made a difference in the lives of others, including being a miraculous answer to prayer.  (See Comfort from God in a Long Distance Miracle) God has a purpose for your life and can use you to touch the life of another person–probably many people.

You know what might also help when you’re thinking ‘I hate my life’?  Invite God’s presence into your life. Then trust him that he can take your difficulties and turn them around.  To learn more about how to personally know the Lord of the Universe – click HERE.

What is My Purpose?

Linda Evans Shepherd:

If you have ever wondered, ‘What is my purpose?’, you’re moving in the right direction.  Did you know that people who discover their purpose are happier, less likely to harm themselves and more likely to live fulfilling lives than those who never work through this question?

So, if you’re feeling down, confused, or just stuck, it’s a good idea to take some time to explore your purpose.  And yes of course you do have one — you have a purpose for good, not for evil and God agrees.

Ephesians 3:20-21 (AMP) says,

Now to Him Who, by (in consequence of) the [action of His] power that is at work within us, is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly, far over and above all that we [dare] ask or think [infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams.]

What this means is that through God’s power working in you, God will superabundantly use your life in ways even better that what you’ve prayed, desired, thought, hoped or dreamed.   And it also means that even if you’ve never even desired a goal or dream for your life, God can surprise you with a powerful purpose. But it might help you to pray:

Dear Lord,

I’m praying now for purpose, and I’m asking that you give me the dreams and goals that you have for me.  I also ask for your supernatural ability to follow those dreams and goals —  in your power.  Make my life count Lord, with purpose, your purpose.  And the best of it is, I know that you can take my past mistakes and turn them around into wonderful purposes like helping others through the same difficulties I’ve survived.

But whatever Lord, I’ve decided to give my live for  you and trust you with my future.

In Jesus name,

Amen

If you would like to know more about having a relationship with God, click HERE.

Are you still wondering, ‘What is my purpose?’.  I suggest you take a peek at the YouTube below with Ophra and Bishop T.D. Jakes who says, “We may not be perfect people living in perfect situations, but we all have the ability to ignite our passions and find our true purpose at any age.”

Watch the conclusion of Bishop Jakes’ lecture below:

I Got Fired – Is My Life Over?

Linda Evans Shepherd:

Help, I got fired!

A couple of days ago, I got an email from the Philippines from a young woman who’d lost her job because of a mistake she’d made at work.  “I got fired, is my life over?” ‘Amy asked me.

“Now I know you have a future and a purpose,” I explained, because it was God who called you to write me tonight.  You could not have known that 30 years ago, I had a very similar experience.  I too was fired and humiliated because of a mistake my boss made.

She made me the fall guy (girl!), embarrassed me in front of my colleagues, then escorted me out of the building with a cardboard box of my belongings.  As a young woman just out of college, I was devastated.  I felt shamed and wept hot, angry tears, fearing I would never find my way around what turned out to be a mere bump in the road.

You see, God redeemed it all.  I went on to find a better job, to start a family, and then to answer God’s call for my life and to write almost 30 books to help others.

“So you see, you too will get past this.  But what you need to do is give this circumstance, your very life to God, and ask him to lead you to a new purpose.  Despite what it feels like now, it’s all going to be okay.”

Amy wrote me back.  “I had tears of joy in my eyes when I read your letter.  I am so excited.  Now I know I have a future.”

And my friend, if you too have also been fired, know that you have a future too.  Things may not turn around overnight, but they will turn around. Everything is going to be all right as you learn to trust God with this situation.

Pray this:

Dear Lord,

Despite my circumstances, I choose to trust you.  I call on you to provide for me and my family, not just financially but with purpose.  Lord, give me a clever idea, a witty invention, an anointing of favor – to get me the job you have for me.

I trust you.

In Jesus name,

Amen.

If you need to know God better, take this quick test.

Oh, and know that a lot of people have survived being fired.  Here’s another story below:

I Hate my Job!

Linda Evans Shepherd:

I once met a woman who told me, “I hate my job,” and expressed that she wanted to die.  But as we began to talk, what  happened next was so remarkable that I wrote about it in my book, When You Don’t Know What to Pray – How to Talk to God About Anything.

See the excerpted story below:

After speaking at an event in Iowa, I was chatting with the soloist when a grandmother in her early sixties approached us. Her conference nametag read “Barb” and she said, “Linda, I appreciated your talk today on joy but it didn’t help me.”

Startled, I stared as she continued, “I can’t go on. I’m no good to anyone. It’s like I’m already dead.”

My friend Jackie’s eyebrows shot into her hairline and she looked to me as if to say, “Yikes! What do we do?”

I studied the woman before me. Her eyes were dull and her face hard. She was in incredible emotional pain. “What’s happened to you, Barb?” I asked softly.

Barb frowned, then in one long breath she said, “My husband died last year of a heart attack. I hate my job. I was left to raise my granddaughters and I’m doing a terrible job. My son-in-law committed suicide and I think he had the right idea. I’ve decided I should kill myself too.”

I asked, “Who are you mad at?”

Her blue eyes locked with mine. With a trembling voice she answered, “I loathe myself and I’m mad at God.”

I nodded slowly, comprehending her fury and replied, “That’s okay. God’s big enough to handle your anger. Do you want to let go of it? Do you want to give God your anger?”

She nodded her head and together we knelt on the carpet. There on the hotel conference room floor, with conference attendees milling around us and Jackie looking on, Barb let go. She not only gave God her anger, she also gave Him her burdens, hurts, and disappointments with a simple prayer, “I give it all to you Lord, the anger, the burdens, everything.”

When we finished, Jackie and I witnessed an amazing transformation. Color returned to Barb’s cheeks. Her eyes glistened. The hardness in her face evaporated as if she’d received an instant facelift. It was a stunning moment as we witnessed Barb’s return from the dead.

Barb and I stood up and hugged. I said, “Barb, this is what it feels like to be free.”

Barb jumped and clapped her hands. “Oh, I didn’t know this could happen. I am free. I’m free. I’m free!”

If you are finding yourself in the same situation as this woman, why not pray a prayer of your own.

Dear Lord,

I’m so angry about my job situation, and all the people who have contributed to my difficulties, including my boss, my co-workers, me and even You!  But I’m willing to give you my anger, to lay it at your feet, and to say to you, I give my anger over my job to you, Lord, it’s now your problem.  Help turn this situation around into a miracle.

In Jesus’s name,

Amen.

 Speaking of miracles, Zig Ziglar, who passed a few days ago , was a man who spent his 86 years living life with zest as he helped others find their purpose.  Watch him tell about a woman he met who also hated her job, and how he helped her turn her situation around.  His solution is brilliant and I think it might also work for you.

John Waller – How Prayer Lifted His Depression

Prayer Lifted His Depression

 

Singer John Waller had a 20 year struggle with depression, but a depression that no longer lingers. But before his depression lifted, no one was able to help him, including his loving wife and three beautiful children.  Medication helped, but did not fully control his bouts of suffering.

 John relates“It was all in my family. It was a generational thing that was passed down and I believed I would always struggle with it.

So, how did he get over his old nemeses that darkened so many of his moods and days?  The healing started with friends from church came over to his house to pray for him.  Over time, Waller noticed that he had been transformed.

Since prayer lifted his depression and helped cause Waller’s transformation, this Christian recording artist loves to write songs that help others who are struggling to pray.  His songs are more than encouragements; they are actually prayers, the same kinds of prayer that started his own transformation, like the song below, My God Reigns. Waller has seen other people transformed whenever he sings it.  Take a listen, and then consider putting it on your play list.

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You can see more of Waller’s story on It’s Supernatural with Sid Roth:

If you would like to have a recorded prayer from our GodTest.com website prayed over you, click HERE.