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.                      

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:

Want to Give up on Life? See ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’

By Karen O’Connor:

Don’t give up on life. It  may seem very dark to you right now, but there are people in your life whose world would not be the same without you.

 

Last night my husband and I watched the 1946 classic film, It’s a Wonderful Life, starring Jimmy Stewart as George Bailey. George nearly commits suicide in his despondency about everything going wrong in his life.

Following the prayers of his family, Clarence, an angel-in-training comes down from heaven.

As a quick aside, it’s good to know that people don’t become angels in training, or angels at all. Angels are heavenly created, powerful beings. If interested, you can read Angels by Billy Graham, or read his answer to the question: Does each person have a guardian angel that watches over them?

In the film George is about to jump off the nearest bridge. Yet he ends up ‘saving’ Clarence instead, who shows George what the world would be like if he had never been born.

Over the course of the story, George learns to not give up on life. He discovers through experience that:

“No man is a failure who has friends.”

The same is true for each one of us. No one is ever really alone if we look around at what we have rather than at what we don’t have.

The Spirit of God is always available if we simply call on him for help, as George did in a pub one night when he was at the end of his rope:

“God…God…dear Father in heaven, I’m not a praying man, but if  You’re up there and You can hear me, show me the way, I’m at the end of my rope. Show me the way, God…'”

In an article published in Christianity Today, Stewart talked about his faith and how that scene impacted his life at that time:

“As I said those words,” Stewart shared, “I felt the loneliness and hopelessness of people who had nowhere to turn, and my eyes filled with tears. I broke down sobbing. This was not planned at all, but the power of that prayer, the realization that our Father in heaven is there to help the hopeless had reduced me to tears.”

View and share this excellent YouTube video from the movie, It’s a Wonderful Life, showing George Bailey praying to God when he was in despair.

Depressed? Don’t give up on life. Instead, turn to God. Plead for His help, as George did, and allow God to reveal his plans for you. Not sure how? Visit GodTest.com.

Also see what it can be like for people left behind: Grieving the Suicide of Family Members  You can also click to read articles on Hope and Help.

Support for the Unemployed and Depressed (Suicidal)

By Karen O’Connor:


Image: Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

According to Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research and Kevin Hassett, director of economic policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute, writing in the New York Times Sunday Review:

“The prospects for the re-employment of older workers deteriorate sharply the longer they are unemployed . . . ” This is all the more reason to support the unemployed and depressed who threaten suicide.

The authors referred in their column to a paper by the economists Daniel Sullivan and Till von Wachter.

“A recent study found that a 10 percent increase in the unemployment rate (say from 8 to 8.8 percent) would increase the suicide rate for males by 1.47 percent. Assuming a link of that scale, the increase in unemployment would lead to an additional 128 suicides per month in the United States.”

The authors urge policy makers to recognize this emergency, and to fashion a comprehensive re-employment policy that focuses on the specific needs of the long-term unemployed. “. . . spend money to help expand public and private training programs with proven track records; expand entrepreneurial opportunities by increasing access to small-business financing; reduce government hurdles to the formation of new businesses; and explore subsidies for private employers who hire the long-term unemployed.”

How can we as individuals support support the unemployed who threaten suicide. over their jobless state?

Author Jessica Miller-Merrell in a column on blogging4jobs.com suggests the following:

  • Be Supportive.  There are more than 27.3 million unemployed (via SHRM.org) out there many of whom have exhausted their unemployment benefits or given up altogether.  Provide them an ear to listen before your mouth suggests to them a solution.
  • Help a Job Seeker.  Offer to evaluate a resume or provide mock interview feedback. By giving the job seeker a moment of your time, you provide hope and help.
  • Treat Them with Dignity.  Job seekers who are displaced and out of work are people too.  Talk to them. Get to know them, and remember that more than 27.3 million are unemployed.

It’s the little things that matter.  Meeting your friend for coffee just to check in, helping them update their LinkedIn profile, or calling just say hello.  I promise there is life after unemployment.”

And more than ever, the unemployed need our prayers and spiritual support. These verses from the Bible can be a start on the road from suicides among the unemployed, to the road of hope in God.

Anyone who is among the living has hope. Ecclesiastes 9:4

No one whose hope is in you will ever be put to shame. Psalm 25:3

The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. A righteous man may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all. Psalm 34:18, 19

View and share this excellent YouTube video from Joel Osteen, “God is in Control.”

Stopping Fear Syndrome

By Pat Ennis:

Fear is defined as “a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined.”( Random House Webster’s College Dictionary, 2nd ed.)

We live in a fear dominated world—serious illness, weight gain, financial reversal, old age, death, rejection, and fear of man are all categories of fear that cause a focus away from God and toward circumstances.

Fear is real and it is not always negative—when you sense danger, fear usually stimulates you to fight or flee.  However, often the consequences are not positive—for example, fear can . . .

  • Hinder your relationship with others.
  • Stifle your ability to think rationally.
  • Rob you of joy.
  • Injure your relationship with God.
  • Create inner turmoil that can eventually lead to thoughts of suicide.

Since the presence of fear produces such detrimental results, it seems reasonable to locate an antidote to it. Scripture teaches that God’s Word is sufficient to override your fears.

  • The natural reaction to fear is panic. The antidote is to replace potential fear with trust in God (Psalm 56:3-4, 11).
  • Since God comforts you, why should you be afraid (Isaiah 51: 12-16)?
  • You can be content in every circumstance because God has promised to never leave or forsake you (Hebrews 13:5-6).

As you meditate upon the reality that Scripture constantly urges God’s children to trust rather than fear, consider this account that was shared by an African missionary about a herd of lions:

This particular story is about the old king.  You see a lion can only be the king as long as he is strong enough to hold his position— and there is always another lion trying to usurp it.  Usually by the time the old king is replaced he does not have any teeth and only a few claws.  His hair is matted, he has arthritis in the joints, and he no longer can fight to keep his position so a younger lion becomes the new king.

However, the old king is not entirely useless—he still has a role in the herd when the lions go on a hunt.  When the herd hunts, the old, mean-looking, ferocious lion stands on one side while the young hunter lions hide in the bushes on the opposite side.  When the prey appears, the former king looks at it and begins to roar; the roar scares the prey so badly that it runs to the opposite side—right into the waiting jaws of the hunter lions that attack and destroy it.  If the prey had run toward the roar, more than likely it would have been safe, since all the old lion had left was his roar.

The only positive fear recorded in scripture is the fear of God.  This fear is a reverence of God’s majesty, power, and greatness.  When you choose to “run to the roar” you will most likely find the influence of the fear dissolving.