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

Embracing Truth after a Suicide Attempt

From Karen Kosman, with Dr. Kevin Downing:

Truth Image courtesy of winnond FreeDigitalPhotos net

Excerpt from Too Soon to Say Goodbye: Healing and Hope for Suicide Victims and Survivors; used with permission by New Hope Publishers.

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. (Psalm 34:18)

Unforgiveness traps the heart, mind, and soul in an unrelenting cycle of grief. It touches the lives of both the young and old—a jailer of those who desperately need to be set free. It comes in many forms: regret, sorrow, hopelessness, revenge, and self-blame. Standing guard over unforgiving thoughts is anger, whose accusing taunts torment the mind.

The ability to forgive oneself after a suicide attempt is vitally important.

Embracing the Truth after a Suicide Attempt

 by Dr. Kevin Downing

A man, I’ll call him Jeff, who had been a patient in a local ER, came to see me for counseling.

“I can never own up to or explain why I attempted suicide,” said Jeff.

“You already are owning up to what you did by talking with another person about what happened, I replied. “Sharing what happened is the first step, and to do so in counseling is even better.”

He sat there a moment, then added, “OK, but too many people know about my attempt. I feel I have to cover it up, but I don’t know how.”

“Jeff, in your situation you are not going to be able to cover it up—and you don’t need to.”

“As your healing progresses you might find that you will make your suicide attempt part of your life story. It really is an incredible story that at one time you wanted to take your life and now you are in a far better place. It is a testimony of the grace of God in your life. It might become a tool to help other people. You have survived this dark night of your soul and since you did, others just might be able too. You can decide about these things later. For now you need to heal and spend time with safe people you trust. What to do and whom to share this information with will come in time.”

“I hear what you are saying. Dr. Downing, but I can never forgive myself for what I did,” Jeff said. “The guilt and shame I feel is something that I just can’t shake.”

I responded. “I want you to imagine yourself dragging around a giant ball of guilt and shame. Imagine that your burden is so heavy that you give in to exhaustion. But you are not alone. Your friends and God Himself show up and lift the burden. Together they carry it to the foot of the Cross. And there at its base, a powerful cleansing flow begins to melt away this weight of shame and self-condemnation.”

I paused and waited for Jeff’s reaction. When he didn’t respond, I continued, “There is only one place for guilt, and that is at the foot of the Cross. We cannot forget, and that is why we need forgiveness.”

Then I challenged him, “If you really hate what you did, then hate the self-condemnation that could drive you back to another suicidal depression. Propose in your heart to hate so much what you did that you will not allow yourself to harbor the seeds of self-hate that could force you back to the same place.”

“I ruined my life by trying to kill myself,” Jeff persisted.

“Black-and-white statements are rarely true. This one is definitely not true. Your life is not ruined. You survived. Victorious songs are filled with many verses of nearly giving up­—but you haven’t.”

Jeff learned not to take his depression lightly and to take better care of himself. He changed his routine to include physical exercise, a men’s accountability group, prayer, reading the Bible, and periodic counseling. Over time he embraced God’s grace. Jeff forgave himself and found the ability to share and encourage others with his story.

Embracing truth after a suicide attempt can be difficult — yet the truth is: Jesus Christ can wipe away shame, create new hope and offer a fresh start. Ask Him and he will give you new life!   See: 2 Corinthians 5:17

Suicide Loss Book Translated into Polish (Too Soon to Say Goodbye)

News from our blog writers: the book  Too Soon to Say Goodbye: Healing and Hope for Victims and Survivors of Suicide by Susan Titus Osborn, Karen L. Kosman, and  Jeenie Gordon has been translated into Polish, and  has also been featured in a Polish magazine.

Too-Soon-to-Say-Goodbye-190x300

Here is Susan’s Q&A with the editor of the Polish magazine, in English:

Questions on the topic of suicide: (Pytania do tematu: SAMOBÓJSTWO)

How does the Christianity approach the issue/topic of suicide? (Wjaki sposób chrześcijaństwo podchodzi do tematu samobójstwa?)

Already in this new century there have been more than 5 million suicide deaths worldwide. Each year approximately one million people in the world die by suicide. This toll is higher than the total number of world deaths each year from war and homicide combined. Suicide is an important public health problem in many countries, and is a leading cause of death amongst teenagers and young adults.  In addition, it is estimated that there are from 10-20 times as many suicide attempts as suicide deaths.

Sadly, suicide seems to carry a stigma with it.  Often people don’t know what to say to someone who seems depressed, and in the aftermath of a suicide they often don’t know how to comfort and help those left behind. However, as Christians it is important to try to help those who are struggling with suicidal thoughts.

A terrible misconception is that those who take their own lives will go to hell. There is no biblical basis for this wrong idea, and those who are left behind need to be made aware of this.

Does the Christian community pressure people who struggle with suicide thoughts?  (Czy chrześcijańska społeczność wywiera presję na osoby zmagające się z myślami samobójczymi?)

No, they try to get at the root of the problem and see what is causing the person to be suicidal. The individual may be depressed, may have a chemical imbalance, or may not be able to handle certain problems or circumstances.  Often professional help is needed to help the person, and those close to them should make sure they seek this help and follow through.

Why do people try to take off their lives? What pushes them to it? (Dlaczego ludzie targają się na swoje życie? Co ich do tego popycha?)

It is said that suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.  Often the decision to take one’s own life is a momentary, emotional decision made in a split second.  It may be fueled by circumstances such as the loss of a job, a divorce, or serious health issues.

What should we do when someone is trying to take the life off himself? (Co robić gdy członek rodziny próbuje targać się na swoje życie?)

First, if someone you know appears to be depressed and is contemplating suicide, take that person seriously. Listen to what they say. Take the initiative to ask that person what they are planning, but don’t argue with them. Rather, let the person know that you are listening, you care, and you want to understand them.

Encourage a suicidal or depressed person to seek the help of a mental health professional. Because the person feel so hopeless that they may not think it’s possible to be helped, you’ll probably have to be persistent and go with that person.

If your loved one appears to be in imminent danger of committing suicide, do not leave them alone! Remove any weapons or drugs within their reach.  Also suggest that they seek the help of a pastor, a professional counselor, or a psychologist. [Are there hotlines in Poland they can call?]

During treatment, be supportive. Help the person remember to take antidepressants or other prescribed medications and to continue any other therapy that’s been prescribed.

Does compassion takes a big role In the process of healing the depression or bipolar disorder? (Czy współczucie odgrywa ważną rolę w procesie leczenia depresji lub choroby dwubiegunowej?)

The best solution is a combination of compassion and professional help that may require medication.  Over 90% of people who die by suicide have clinical depression or another diagnosable mental disorder.

People who reach out to those who are hurting are “God’s angels on earth with skin on.”  Sadly, many people with bipolar disorder and clinical depression take their own lives.  Those who are suicidal need to be under the care of a physician or psychiatrist to obtain the proper medicines that can help them.

What is the difference between the professional secular and Christian help (regarding suicide and depression? (Jaka jest różnica między profesjonalną pomocą świecką a chrześcijańską?)

Both Christian and secular professionals can listen and give excellent advice. If they are medical doctors, they can prescribe medication that can help. However, only Christian professionals can offer the hope that Christ brings.  They can suggest the person pray the following prayer:  Jesus, I’m hurting and want to have a personal relationship with You. I ask that You forgive me for all my sin and cleanse me. Please come into my life and be my Lord and Savior. I give You control and ask You to guide and protect me through the difficult days ahead. Please bestow on me the peace that only You can give. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

What are the crimson tears? (Co to są szkarłatne łzy?) p. 148 in English;   174 in Polish

“The crimson tears” represent a teenager’s struggle with depression, pain, and addiction to a point where she was suicidal and cutting herself.  A story in the book, Too Soon to Say Goodbye, tells Kallie’s story of ending up in a mental hospital at age 15 after attempting to take her life.  God healed her in that hospital, and now her desire is to help other teens who are suffering from addictions and depression.  In her words, she wants them to “receive restoration—the crimson tears can stop—but only with the love and the life that Christ provides.”

Suicide is the third leading cause of death among those 15-24 years old in the US. Among young people aged 10-14 years, the rate has doubled in the last two decades.

How does the environment react to depression? (Jak otoczenie reaguje na depresję?)

Depression is often misunderstood by society, and the public’s reaction hurts the person who is depressed more than helping them.  People say things like, “You’ll get over it in time,” or ‘Just get a good night’s sleep and you’ll be fine.” However, clinical depression cannot so easily be dismissed. Those who are suffering need profession help and often medication to recover.

Is the depression caused by demons? (Czy depresję wywołują demony?)

As in the case of Kallie’s story, as well as many other stories in Too Soon to Say Goodbye, demons can seem real to people suffering from clinical depression.  However, experts say the demons are more likely caused by a psychological disorder than by Satan. Nevertheless, it is important we never underestimate the power of Satan!  Kallie literally heard voices in her head tearing her down and encouraging her to take pills and cut herself.  Then one day she heard a calmer voice, asking her to turn to God. She cried out, “O God, I need help so desperately. Please, transform me…. Please, God, I just want to feel alive.”

Can just the prayer help in depression? (Czy sama modlitwa potrafi pomóc w depresji?)

Prayer is a wonderful place to start. When we turn to God, He listens. However he also speaks to us through His Word, the Bible, and He reaches us through other Christians, who may be family members, friends, pastors, professional counselors, or medical doctors.  Once again in Kallie’s words, “God furnishes something tremendous. He is able to resuscitate broken souls and create wholeness. His love is not a temporary high but resides permanently inside you.”

My prayer is that all the Kallies of the world can find hope, peace, and a will to live through developing a personal relationship with God.

Publisher’s Note and Warning:  We believe people who trust in God, through Jesus will go to heaven when they die.  If you are wondering if you know how to trust God in this way, please take our test at www.GodTest.com.  If you are suicidal, we advise you to give God a chance to help you through your pain, by trusting even your pain to him.

For more help, please see our articles:

Will I Go to Hell if I Commit Suicide  http://thinkingaboutsuicide.com/will-i-go-to-hell-if-i-commit-suicide/

Our Posts for the Depressed and Suicidal  http://thinkingaboutsuicide.com/our-posts-for-the-depressed-and-suicidal/

With this suicide loss book translated into Polish we hope healing and help is found. Our prayers go out to those now reading this helpful book in Polish.

The Other Side (Poem): Overcoming Suicidal Thoughts

By Susan Osborn:

Some feelings about overcoming suicidal thoughts are best expressed in a poem.

 

sunshine

Excerpt from Too Soon to Say Goodbye: Healing and Hope for Suicide Victims and Survivors; used with permission by New Hope Publishers.

 

If you are feeling overwhelmed by your problems in life and have succumbed to suicidal thoughts, you are not alone.  Many have shared those same feelings. It is important to discern which thoughts you have are from God and which are not.

1 John 4:2-4 gives advice on this:

 “This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world. You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.

Following is a poem written by a young woman we will call CAN, who went through a very dark time in her life. However, by accepting Jesus as her Savior and leaning on Him, she was able to discern His voice and overcome the suicidal thoughts.  She penned the following poem:

The Other Side

C.A.N.

 

Miles of darkness everywhere I turned—

Then I saw light on the other side.

I slowly approached, curious indeed.

But looking forward to the other side

I saw a shadow, but I didn’t shudder.

For I knew it was you, Lord, on the other side.

No words can explain the way I felt

When I finally met you on the other side.

My prayer is if you are struggling with discernment and have suicidal thoughts 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).

Hope and Encouragement from Hot Apple Cider

From N. J. Lindquist:

Excerpt from A Second Cup of Hot Apple Cider (free book through Dec 2013 as a special gift for our site visitors or anyone who could use a little hope and encouragement. All 50 stories. Download Now.)

The story below is from the book A Second Cup of Hot Apple Cider, with N.J. Lindquist.

The story below is from the book A Second Cup of Hot Apple Cider, with N.J. Lindquist.

Be Still and Know by Glynis M. Belec:

Throughout my cancer journey, “God signs” proved that He was orchestrating my days. In one instance, we arrived home after a particularly grueling appointment in London. Dr. Lanvin, my new oncologist, had checked all the reports, confirmed my diagnosis through examination, and then briefed me about the upcoming surgery. So when we arrived home that day, my emotions were fragile. Although I had never played the “Why Me?” game, blaming God for allowing this to happen to me, I was starting to wonder about God’s plan for my life.

As I walked into the kitchen, I noticed my phone flashing red, indicating messages were waiting. A voice I barely recognized said, “Hello, Glynis. It’s Sue.”

I hadn’t heard from Sue for three years or more. We’d been acquaintances through drama ministry and school functions, and when we got together we always had a lovely time, but somehow we’d lost touch.

The recording continued. “So why did God wake me up at three a.m. and tell me that I should be praying for you? How are you doing? We haven’t talked for ages. Give me a call when you get a minute.”

I was floored. I quickly punched in her number. We chatted for a couple of minutes, chastising each other for not calling sooner.

“Are you okay?” she inquired.

“I have cancer.”

Silence.

“I had cancer, too,” she replied quietly.

I burst into tears. Sue and I spent the next hour talking and sharing. She encouraged me, promised to pray for me, and assured me I could call her any time. She also reminded me that as a 12-year cancer survivor, she was living proof that cancer can be overcome.

I got off the phone and cried again. This time my tears were not out of self-pity. They were tears of joy and gratitude for God. He had known my needs and was putting people and circumstances in place so that I could see His mighty hand.

I remembered God’s nudging to write it all down, so my bedside journal became a therapeutic outlet. Words oozed through ink as I penned my thoughts and my day-to-day struggles with everything from fear, to spiritual questions, to relationships, and more. I started to realize what God had meant by the term “fodder.”

If there was any doubt about Who was in control in my life, it was completely obliterated the night before my surgery, May 27, 2008. My journal entry reads:

This is it. My final sleep before surgery. I am ready. I am Yours. I am prepared to be still and truly know that You are God! I am in awe at the confirmation that You have placed before me (and Gilles) this very night. What was the day’s scripture verse in the Our Daily Bread devotional for Tuesday, May 27? “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). God—You rock! You know this is my favourite scripture verse. I love the soft, subtle ways You find to communicate with me, Lord—especially tonight. How blessed am I to know You in this heavenly way. How can anyone deny Your existence? You are real. You are living. You are in control…

Note: Please do not copy and reuse this story without permission.

 

Learn more about Hot Apple Cider Books

Click here if you’d like to read (a gift to you through the end of December) more encouraging stories from people who have struggled but now offer hope: Download Now

God’s Love Thwarts a Suicide Attempt

Instead of a suicide attempt, seek and find God’s love and new life — as this one young woman did.

 

Image: anekoho / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image: anekoho / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

A group of lively young women—none of them over twenty years of age––sat at attention in a chapel service, ready to talk about their past and how God had rescued them from a life of ruin before they died by suicide or from an overdose of meth or heroine.

As a woman old enough to be their grandmother, I was shocked at what I heard.

“I started drinking and drugging when I was ten,” said one. “And I continued for seven years. I’m nineteen now and have been clean and sober for two years thanks to the love and guidance of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior.”

She went on to say that just three years prior to that evening, she had attempted to take her own life by overdosing and drinking. She had passed out and nearly died.

I suddenly felt sick to my stomach imagining a beautiful young woman with practically her whole life ahead of her even thinking about suicide. But she had. Now, however, she referred to herself as “a new creation in Christ.” She went on to share how God had shown up in her life through a Bible study she attended at the invitation of a friend who saw how much trouble she was in.

Psalm 23:1-4 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.  He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters.  He restores my soul.  He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.  Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

Psalm 121:7-8   The LORD will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life. 8 The LORD will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore.

These and other Bible verses spoke to her in a way that no human being ever could. If God’s Word in the Bible could call out to this young woman who had been in bondage for a decade, he can do the same for you.

Take a look at this incredible YouTube video, “God’s Love Letter” based on Scripture from the Bible. It is not only inspiring–but also true.

When Someone in Debt Says: “I’ll Kill Myself”

By Karen O’Connor:

“If My Debt Overwhelms Me I’ll Just Kill Myself!”

 

Image from Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image from Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

I sat across from a pretty dark-haired young woman who appeared to be in her mid-twenties. She and I and others were in a financial planning seminar seated horseshoe fashion in front of the instructor. We were asked to go around the table introducing ourselves and sharing one thing about our financial circumstances that brought us into the room.

When it came to Melody (not her real name) she made the startling declaration that she was up to her waist in debt. Then she laughed and added, “But if my debt overwhelms me I’ll just kill myself.” I was stunned by how casual she was about the possibility of committing suicide. Her declaration shook me to the core. I couldn’t imagine money, of all things, having such a profound effect on a person that she’d give up her life rather than clean up her debt no matter how long it took.

If you’re in debt and ever had such a thought I hope you will consider the serious consequences you’d be leaving to those you love. Not only would they miss you but also they’d be stuck with your bills.

But more important, as the Bible says, “the love of money causes all kinds of evil. Some people have turned away from what we believe because they want to get more and more money. But they have caused themselves a lot of pain and sorrow.”

At this time of year when gift giving has become an overrated commercial enterprise, people throw themselves into debt in order to purchase toys and presents for those they love. One grandmother I spoke with recently told me the amount of money she’d spend on gifts for her grandkids the year before.

“I didn’t have it at the time so I put it all on my credit card, planning to pay it off by this year. But here I am still in debt and it’s time to give all over again.”

We talked for a while and I suggested she consider giving homemade presents from her kitchen—jam or jelly or cookies or home-baked bread—talents she was known for. Somehow she had sold herself short when it came to creating gifts with her own hands. But the more we talked the more excited she got about doing something simple, easy, and within her budget.

I wish I had been able to speak with the young woman at the financial planning meeting but she rushed off afterwards and I never saw her again. Suicide is never the answer to anything. God is the answer to everything!

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight” [Proverbs 3: 5-6 in the Bible].

It is never too late to start over, to turn to God in humility and repentance, asking for courage and guidance and wisdom. He will not fail you. He will call you his own.

Enjoy this inspiring YouTube video on how God helps us in times of trouble.

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.

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.