Suicidal after Abuse, Kayla Harrison Found Help and the Gold

By Karen Boerger:

Although Kayla Harrison felt suicidal after abuse by a former coach, with help, support, and love she chose to live. This week Kayla won a gold medal in the 2012 Olympic games.

 

The 2012 Olympics are now over, and how the world cheered them on!

Television sets were tuned day and night into the visual extravaganza covering many athletic games. Amazing feats were performed by the athletes. One such athlete was a U. S. judo star, Kayla Harrison.

Kayla was born in Middletown, OH, July 2, 1990. At the age of 6 Kayla was introduced to the sport of Judo by her mother who held a black belt. Two years later she was introduced to her coach, Daniel Doyle. By the age of 15, Kayla had won two national championships.

However, during that time her coach was abusing her. She eventually told a friend, Aaron Handy, about the abuse because she could no longer take it emotionally. Hardy told her mother, who contacted the police. Doyle was subsequently convicted and sentenced to a ten-year prison term.

Kayla admits that during those years she was an emotional wreck, severely depressed, and suicidal. “I hated my life!”

After the abuse was revealed, she moved away to train with Jimmy Pedro and his father. The new coaches took a “tough love” approach. Jimmy told her, “You know kid, it happened to you, but it doesn’t define you and some day you’re eventually going to have to get over it.” That sounded good, but it wasn’t that easy. Two weeks later her coach found her on top of a two-story building ready to jump and stopped her.

Kayla says, “You’re only a victim if you allow yourself to be. Even though it feels like hell and it feels like it will never end, it will. But you have to have the courage to say I won’t play victim.”

Her case fits the profile of the typical case of sexual abuse. Sexual molestation, as well as physical and emotional abuse, has currently become rampant in American families. About 90% of abuse victims know the perpetrator and in 68% of cases, the perpetrator is a member of the child’s family. Kayla’s coach was a friend of the family who babysat, enjoyed barbecues at their home, etc.

Kayla’s life is good now. The friend she told about the abuse, Aaron, is now her fiancé. She’s also bringing home a gold medal, while being ranked #1 in the world in her division. Congratulations, Kayla!

You can click here for a related story and video about Kayla.

Kathy’s Story: Anger and Suicidal Thoughts

By Susan Titus Osborn:


Stock photo courtesy of David Castillo Dominici (FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

Satan was out to destroy Kathy’s life—her children, husband, and future ministry. She almost fell prey to the lies he fed her through her suicidal thoughts and emotions.  However, our God is more powerful than Satan: “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.” (1 John 4:4 NIV Bible)

This story, I Almost Took My Life,  was taken from Too Soon to Say Goodbye: Healing and Hope for Suicide Victims and Survivors and used with permission by New Hope Publishers.

Kathy’s Story:

As the train rumbled past the East Coast countryside, my thoughts were as piercing as the screeching wheels of the train. Why did Greg kill himself? He was a distant relative whom I rarely saw, yet the news of Greg’s suicide made tears fill my eyes. Oh, to be that full of despair.

In the past I’d struggled with suicidal feelings. I glanced over at my 28-year-old sleeping daughter. If I had acted on those feelings, I wouldn’t have the fabulous mother-daughter relationship I now enjoy with Darcy.

But 26 years earlier, my depression and life had careened out of control:

Larry and I had celebrated our seventh anniversary, but it wasn’t a happy occasion. Unwisely, I asked again, “Larry, why do you work so many hours? Having a two-year-old and a newborn is hard work. I need you to help me.”

“Kathy, I try to help you. Being a policeman is demanding. I’m working all those hours to secure our financial future.”

I knew I’d spoiled our time together. Silence again surrounded us, and a fog of hopelessness encircled me. My thoughts turned inward. Kathy, you never do anything right. Larry hates you. Then in my own defense, I mentally screamed, I hate him too. Doubts and fear haunted me. Will we get a divorce? Why can’t we talk? We used to be in love. Then I prayed silently, Lord, we’re Christians. We’re not supposed to act like this. What’s wrong?

Often I prayed for my marriage and my angry reactions to our two-year-old daughter. My anger towards Darcy escalated when I felt rejected by Larry. Her strong-willed nature resisted toilet training and resulted in constant temper tantrums that wore me down. Constantly I yelled at her. But that wasn’t all. My reactions had deteriorated into angry spanking, kicking, and pushing, and I felt totally powerless to stop my behavior.

“Oh God, help me,” I cried. When my rage increased and prayers went unanswered, I concluded God had given up on me.

The day after our disastrous anniversary dinner, I caught Darcy playing in the fireplace ashes. I exploded, “Darcy, how many times must I tell you not to play in the fireplace?” I ran over to her and screamed again and again as I choked her. In my frenzy, it was as if I left my body and was watching a horrible movie of a crazed woman, choking a little blonde-headed toddler.

Then within seconds, I was back in my right mind, and I jerked my hands away from Darcy’s throat. She gasped for air and began screaming. I ran down the hall, trying to escape the horrible scene. “Oh, God, I don’t deserve to live.”

I slammed my bedroom door behind me. I’m a terrible mother. I can’t believe I did that.

Then I remembered what Larry had said before he left for work. “Kathy, I’m leaving my off-duty service revolver in the top dresser drawer today because I don’t need it. Don’t let Darcy get close to it.”

That’s the answer—Larry’s gun. A tiny voice in my head sinisterly whispered, Take your life.God doesn’t care. Otherwise He would instantaneously deliver you from your anger and heal your marriage. There’s nothing for you to live for.

With trembling hands, I opened the top dresser drawer, and the gleam from the shiny barrel of the gun glinted at me invitingly. Darcy’s crying from the other room wrenched my heart. She’s better off without me. I’ve ruined her for life.     

I stared at the gun and began to reach into the drawer. But then a new thought suddenly entered my mind. What will people think of Jesus if they hear that Kathy Miller has taken her own life?

My hand stopped. The faces of the women in the neighborhood Bible study that I led flitted before me. My family members who didn’t know Christ came to mind. I thought of my unsaved neighbors whom I had witnessed to.

O Lord, I don’t care about my reputation, but I do care about yours. I call myself a Christian, and so many people know it. What will they think about you if I use this gun?

The concern for Jesus’ reputation saved my life that day, and I knew it was prompted by the Holy Spirit. I didn’t have any hope at that point, but in the following months, God proved Himself faithful by revealing the underlying causes of my anger. He gave me patience to be a loving mom and then healed my relationship with Larry.

Suddenly, my reverie snapped back to the present as the train began slowing for the next stop. I looked over at my daughter who had awakened and was gazing out the window, and I smiled. The thought struck me forcefully, If I had taken my life, I would have missed: Darcy’s wedding three years ago and our son’s graduation from college. I wouldn’t have had the opportunities to speak in 29 states and five foreign countries or to have written 47 books.

The list went on and on. I thought of Larry who is my best friend and our 35 years of marriage. If I’d used the gun that day, Larry probably would have remarried. And I knew my daughter and son would have grieved over a missing mother who seemed to be more absorbed in her own pain than about their welfare.

Yes, I understood how Greg could have so little hope that he took his life. But I wish I could have shared with him that there’s always hope, and God is faithful if we will hold onto Him and His promises. I’m so grateful I did.

My daughter turned to me and said, “Mom, I’m so excited we’re spending a vacation together in New York City.”

If you are depressed and considering taking your own life, please stop for a moment and think of all the special times you will miss out on as well as the effect suicide has on loved ones, your loved ones, who are left behind.

 ***

If, like Kathy, you have had suicidal thoughts, call for help. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) is 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 call 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).

If you fear that you will hurt your child, you also desperately need help. Here is one article contributed to by Kathy on controlling parental anger: Learn How to Cope with Anger. Here is an article describing how Anger Management Hotlines can help.

I Feel Worthless: A Suicidal Man Calls Upon God

By Karen Kosman:

 Here is one man’s story about how he went from feeling worthless to feeling hopeful and finding a new life.

 

I met Terry several years ago, as my husband and I were leaving our doctors office.  Terry worked in the same building as our doctor. He’d spotted the Christian symbol on our car. As he approached us he smiled and said, “I’m a Christian, too.”

Today, I believe meeting Terry was a divine appointment.  I shared with Terry about being a Christian writer, and that I was working on a book about suicide. He smiled and asked, “Can you wait? I want to give you something I wrote.”

We waited as he went to his office and brought back his personal story about depression.

***

Terry’s story:

As I climbed into my car I thought, I can’t deal with life anymore. When I drove towards the freeway, memories of my heart attack flooded my mind. I glanced out the window at the slow moving traffic. I glanced up at the dark storm clouds overhead and spiraled down even deeper into my depression. I thought, I have no future. The only answer is to end it all. It’s two in the afternoon. My wife and daughter aren’t home yet. I’ll hook up our 18-foot travel trailer and split for some secluded spot in the desert.

After my heart attack, I’d lost my position as senior lieutenant assistant chief of police. I’d worked hard, and had been selected as one of the “top ten cops, in the entire US. One position away from being at the top of my chosen profession, it all came to an end. I felt worthless as a man. I dabbled in several areas of employment, for a while I worked as a private investigator. Soon I learned that being a PI didn’t come close to the satisfaction of being a cop. I began to drink to numb the pain.

I went to polygraph school and became a lie detector technician. However, changes in the polygraph profession severely cut back business. Bills became overdue, including a foreclosure notice on our home.  I felt worthless as a man. My family would be better off without me.

Suddenly, another memory flooded my mind; at work I’d overheard two of my co-workers discussing something about the Bible. Curious, I walked out of my office and joined them.

Steve asked, “Terry, do you know Jesus?”

“I’ve never been real religious.”

“Terry, it’s not about religion, it’s a personal relationship with the Son of God, replied Tom.”

Tears streamed down my face as those memories faded. As deep emotions surfaced I burst into uncontrollable sobs. I cried God I need you. I’ve blown it. I can’t go another step without You!”

In that moment something happened—something real—something I’ll never forget.  Just when I thought I’d go over the edge, a tangible calm came over me. Inside my car the air became comfortably warm and cozy: I felt my heavy burdens begin to lift. For the first time in more than two years, my fear vanished. I felt at peace. Within seconds I understood, “God you’re real!”

With my heart screaming for forgiveness, I cried, “God,  I surrender my life to You.”

I share my story in the hope that my experience will reach others who have given up on life and who need God in their lives. Eighteen years have passed and I don’t regret one single moment of my life in Jesus. You won’t either.

Here’s an encouraging verse for you:

Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know. (Jeremiah 33:3, NIV Bible)

Are you feeling worthless, yourself? God created you for a purpose and loves you. You are of great value to Him.

Baby Blues, or Postpartum Depression?

 By Karen Boerger:

Are you experiencing the baby blues or postpartum depression after having a baby? You’re not alone.

 

Having had two boys within 2 years of each other, my unexpected daughter–born within 17 months of my last child–was overwhelming.  Yikes!  But the joy of having a daughter was huge because I knew this would have to be my last child.  I had previously had great difficulty carrying a child to full term, plus had one miscarriage and one tubal pregnancy that ruptured. To say that I was tired of hospitals is an understatement! I had been in hospitals once or twice every year for the first seven years of our marriage, and it was stressful for me and my husband. Yet despite all this, I was still surprised to experience the baby blues.

I brought my beautiful daughter home in December. Christmas was filled with warmth, beauty, and love.  I had two wonderful boys and now a daughter. I was on top of the world; but something happened.  I slowly began to lose all those good feelings; in fact, I became disagreeable and angry. I would cry when alone.

One evening in January as I was sitting waiting for my husband to come home for supper, I looked at the large picture window and thoughts of how the window would look if I threw something through it went through my mind. I could see the thousands of minute shards of glass in all sizes and shapes moving through the air in slow motion. It took on a kaleidoscope effect that made the pieces turn, reflect colors, and show patterns.  It was a beautiful sight in a seemingly evil way.

As I watched this imagined act take place, I remember thinking, “I’m in trouble!”  I recognized that this was not a good situation I was in, but I couldn’t understand how I could be so sad and moody and irritable with all the blessings that I had. I felt very unsettled.

I reluctantly went to see the doctor and broke down into tears while telling him that I didn’t understand this. I said:

“I should be on top of the world with my little daughter, but instead I’m sad, irritable, plagued with mood swings, and I can’t seem to concentrate.”

He gave it a name – baby blues heading toward postpartum (also called postnatal) depression. I was relieved to know that I wasn’t losing my mind and that someone truly understood.

I learned that symptoms of the baby blues include:

  • mood swings
  • crying
  • trouble sleeping
  • sadness, and
  • irritability, and may be caused with hormonal imbalance.

Postpartum depression may start out as baby blues but becomes more intense and longer-lasting. Postpartum symptoms include:

  • loss of appetite
  • intense anger
  • lack of joy in life
  • feelings of shame or inadequacy
  • severe mood swings, and
  • thoughts of harming yourself or your baby.

Untreated postpartum depression may last up to a year or two.  Fortunately, my depression was treated early on with medication and counseling, and my daughter today has three handsome sons of her own. What a joy they all are to me!  Thankfully I received help before things got out of hand.

I sometimes wonder what would have happened if I hadn’t sought treatment. Would I have really thrown something through that window? Would I have used those shards of glass for hurtful reasons?   My advice is to get help quickly so that those baby blues won’t turn into the more destructive postpartum depression.  Then you can enjoy that adorable little child that has come into your life with all the love you possess.  Don’t lock your feelings inside!  Seek help!

For more information you can read Get the Facts from SPI (postpartum.net). They also offer a chat helpline from that site. You can also read about Risk Factors (what makes a woman more likely to experience postpartum depression) at the Mayo Clinic website:  mayoclinic.com.

 

Depressed and Blind: Why Go On Living?

By Janet Perez Eckles:

Why go on living? Does life have meaning anymore? Yes.

 


Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I resented it, I really did. Words from friends and family directed to me, words that held no meaning. They didn’t because in my world, I saw no answers, solutions and no hope. I was given the sentence that I’d never be able to see the rest of my life, and wondered: How do I find meaning? Why go on living?

In vain, folks try to say the right thing, they want to help and lift my spirits.

Have you been there? You’re at your lowest and inside, negative emotions are about to explode. Words from others seem empty and meaningless.

That’s why, as I wrote this, I wondered if I would be able to make a difference in your life. My words might lack encouragement and my insights hold no meaning for you.

But I decided that I’d try anyway. And let you know that if you hang on one more day, look to one more good thing in your life, think of that person who would be destroyed if something happened to you—then my words may hold some meaning for you.

I’ve been where you are. And when my heart echoed that I’d never be productive again due to my blindness, I found meaning for life in God’s Word. He repeated His promise that there will be triumph after the tragedy.

I believed that promise; I embraced it as my own. Then I gave one last sob and meaning became clear. The significance that my life—with its darkness and valleys—had a purpose.

And now…well, God fulfilled His promise because I’m writing, traveling, speaking, working. And  holding on to the white cane of faith, I take one step at a time.

He said there will be peace after pain. I found His Word to be true, for me and it will be for you.

Tomorrow will look differently, if you choose to see your circumstance through God’s eyes. I did. And after hope came back, the scenery never looked more beautiful.

See Janet Perez Eckles, originally from Bolivia, in this TV interview describing her hardships and how she overcame them.

From about 5:00 to 17:00 in the video is Janet’s description of how she devastated she was when became blind and nearly lost her husband as well. Yet her life was changed, with God’s help.

Why go on living? Because God is with you, and He has a purpose for your life.

Do you know that Janet also suffered the grief of having her teen son killed? Is it possible to bear this much grief? See her article at Finding God Daily: Finding God in Grief When My Son Died and also her story  Forgiveness Brings Peace, at the Christian Record. You can also videos of Janet’s testimonies in SPANISH (Español)  HERE.

Janet Perez’ testimony, in Spanish: Te invito a escuchar una porción de mi testimonio:

A Suicidal Man in God’s Emergency Room

By Karen Kosman:

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

Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

When people are clinically depressed and even suicidal, they don’t necessarily want to die. Often a suicide attempt is a plea for help.

I awoke early one morning with heart arrhythmias. Not again, I thought. Having suffered with this condition for years, I found myself slipping into thoughts of self-pity. Why me?  I reached over and woke my husband, “John, I’m in a-fib. You need to drive me to the hospital.”

A short time later, I found myself flat on my back on a gurney, staring up at the ceiling in the ER.

Before another cycle of self-pity hit, I heard my doctor talking to the man in the next cubicle. “Sam, wake up. Have you been depressed? I need to know what you took.”

Quickly my focus changed from my situation to the suicidal man who attempted to take his life, God, please be with Sam, I prayed silently.

I knew all too well the devastation of suicide. I’d lost a son to suicide. God had carried me through difficult times and had brought compassion into my heart for those struggling with depression.

Moments later Dr. Ervin stood by my bedside.

“Karen, your heart rate has slowed, but you are still in a-fib. We’re going to move you across the hall to another section of the ER. You’ll be more comfortable there.”

“OK,” I replied.

With my husband by my side, I was rolled through two large doors and down the hallway into the next section. Moving from the gurney to the bed while tubes tangled from my body wasn’t easy.

A nurse assisted me. “Hi. My name is Jill.” Something shimmering around her neck caught my eye—a cross. Her brown eyes sparkled as she said, “You’re going to be OK.”

“I know.” I answered, staring at her cross.

Looking over at Jill, my husband said, “Karen is an author. She has to finish the book she is working on.”

Jill squeezed my hand and said, “So we need to get you well.”

A short time later I heard Jill tell another nurse, “She’s going to be OK. God sent her here for a purpose, besides encouraging me.”

I knew they were talking about me because I was the only patient on that side of the ER. I smiled. Again I thought about Sam and prayed, Lord, please help Sam. Help him to know you have a plan for his life.

A whooshing noise erupted as the doors opened, and a gurney appeared. I recognized the patient as the man who had been next to me in the other section. Again, the nurse and doctor asked Sam questions. I watched, listened, and prayed.

The doctor moved away from Sam’s side and walked over to the nurse’s station where he studied the monitors. Then I heard him say, “Looks like her heart rate is normal.” Moments later he stood by my bed and said, “You just converted back.”

“You mean I can go home?”

“Yes.”

Jill walked in smiling and said, “I knew you’d be OK.”

“Thank you for all your help. May I speak with Sam?”

“OK, but officially I don’t know about this,” Jill replied as she unhooked my monitors and IV.

I got dressed and walked to the other side of the room, closing the curtain behind me. I found Sam unconscious, but I trusted that he’d hear me.

“Sam, I’m not a nurse, I’m a patient, too. I wanted you to know that you are going to be OK. I know the heartache of depression, and I lost a son to suicide. I’ll be praying for you. God has a great plan for your life if you choose to live.”

His hand moved, although his eyes didn’t open. The next thing I knew his hand lay in mine. I smiled because I knew he’d heard me. His eyes fluttered but remained shut.

What a strange day, I thought. Who’d have guessed that a trip to the ER could be so full of promise and encouragement?

Suddenly, I remembered my question upon waking with an irregular heartbeat. Why me? And I realized that my question had been answered through the thoughtfulness of a nurse and a man named Sam who needed someone to care.

Heal me, O Lord, and I will be healed;  Save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise. Jeremiah 17:14

Thank you, God, for giving me a glimpse into your emergency room.

You may find the following video helpful. Tamara Laroux:  Surviving a Suicide Attempt:

Help When Thoughts of Suicide Filled My Mind

By PeggySu Wells:

Have you felt hopeless? My friend recalled this crossroad experience, which saved her life:

 

Stock Photo by Stuart Miles

Stock Photo by Stuart Miles

I was desperately sad and thoughts of suicide filled my mind. Life was tragically hard. Death appeared to be a tonic, a release from the unrequited pain. The only thing that stayed my hand was my children. I felt guilty leaving them. Still, I often thought about ending my life. I had even mentioned this to my pastor. He gave me a phone number.

Today I dialed the number.

“National Suicide Prevention Hotline.”

“I hurt so bad. I want to take a knife and stab it into my gut and twist it.”

The voice on the other end was gentle. “Don’t.”

I sagged back against the counter.

“And whenever you feel like you have to, just don’t. Whenever you have thoughts of suicide, just don’t.”

One understanding voice saved my life with one word. That was a long time ago. My children are grown and so are my grandchildren and I was here to be a positive part of their lives. Suicide seemed like the answer at the time, but now I can see it wasn’t.

 

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline PSA (Kevin Hines from The Bridge)

If you or someone you know needs help, please call 1-800-273-TALK.

Suicide Intervention: One Teen Helps Another

By S. Osborn:

One teen, who formerly contemplated suicide himself, saves the life of a suicidal friend with a suicide intervention.

 

In a former post, My Son Was Suicidal, I shared how my teen son at one point came close to taking his own life. Thankfully he decided to live, much to the relief of all who love him. Here’s what happened when a friend of his also had suicidal thoughts:

One night my telephone rang, and my son said, “Mom, I’m so glad you’re home. I need to talk to you. Brittney tried to commit suicide last night, but I stopped her.”

A few months earlier, my son had helped his friend, Brittney, through a difficult time in her life. Her parents had divorced, and since he had gone through that, he could empathize. He encouraged her to see a psychologist for her depression and drug problem. He thought she was doing much better—until the previous night.

I clutched the phone. “Tell me what happened.”

My son answered,“Brittney left a message on my answer machine. I had checked my messages earlier, but an inner voice told me to check them again.”

“You know Who that was, don’t you?” I asked, never missing an opportunity to witness to my jet-setting son who rarely took time to go to church.

“Oh, Mom, I know you pray for me all the time. I remember when you prayed for me six years ago when I was so depressed that I wrote a suicide note, took a knife, and ran out the door. You’ve told me you pray that angels will surround me and protect me.”

He added softly, “I know they did on that terrible night, and I guess they really did last night. If Brittney had died, I would have felt so guilty and would have wondered if I could have done more for her. All my life I would have carried that burden.”

“No way would it have been your fault if she had died, but thankfully, you were able to perform a suicide intervention. Now tell me what happened.”

He continued, “I checked my messages a second time, and there was a new one—from Brittney. Her voice sounded groggy, distant. I knew something was terribly wrong. I knew—I had been there…. I told my roommate, and we rushed to her house. Later we found out she had taken an overdose of pain killers, downed a bottle of wine, and taken some other drugs.”

I interrupted my son, “Is she going to be all right?”

“The doctor said she would have died if we had not found her when we did. I’m so thankful I checked my answer machine a second time. I rarely do that.”

We talked for about an hour—about his ability to perform a suicide intervention and what part God played in it. At the end of the conversation, my son said, “Mom, I’m glad I caught you before you left this morning. It helps to know you’re there.”

“I’ll always be here for you—no matter what.”

 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).

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.

 

My Son Was Suicidal

By S. Osborn:

If you feel overwhelmed and suicidal, consider how taking your life would hurt people who love you. Instead, communicate with them.

 

PrayingBecause my son was suicidal at one point when he was in high school, my heart goes out to other mothers who have experienced a suicidal teen. Fortunately my story has a happy ending, so I hope those who experience suicidal thoughts will read this story, see the effect that act would have on those left behind, and will reconsider.

I watched my eldest son race down the stairs, shoving his younger brother out of the way. He had a wild look in his eyes that scared me. I had never seen him behave like that before. As he brushed past me on the way to the front door, I saw a buck knife in his hand. By the time I reached the door, he had jumped in my car and was driving away.

My other son and I stared at each other for a moment, then he turned and walked slowly back up the stairs. Moments later, he cried, “Mom, you’d better come look at this.”

I ran up the stairs and grabbed the paper he held out to me. It read, “I can’t go on any longer. Please forgive me.”

Sinking down on my eldest son’s bed, I began to cry, with my other boy’s arms around me.

“I had no idea he was depressed. Did you?”

“No, Mom. I know his girlfriend broke up with him, but that’s happened before.”

I added, “And you made the varsity water polo team, and he didn’t. That had to be hard for him.” He was the only one on varsity. His older brother was still playing on junior varsity.

We joined hands and prayed, “Lord, please bring him safely home to us.” Throughout the next few hours, I prayed that prayer over and over. I felt so stressed I couldn’t get beyond that one sentence.

My husband was on a business trip, so I called the hotel where he said he was staying. The clerk said no one was registered by that name. We were struggling in our marriage, so I wasn’t surprised my husband wasn’t where he said he would be. The tension in our home had been hard on the boys, too. I realized that, but didn’t know what to do about it.

I sat at my dining room table, praying and staring off into space. Finally, about four in the morning, the front door opened, and in walked my firstborn, head down, knife at his side.

He put the knife on the table and said, “I couldn’t do it, Mom. I couldn’t take my own life. God wouldn’t let me.”

I stood up and wrapped my arms around him. I silently prayed, Thank you, Lord.

My husband and I divorced shortly thereafter. I never did figure out where he was that terrible night, but somehow my son had found out his father was cheating on me. So for over a year he carried around that burden, as well as the problems he had at school.

We talked for several hours that scary morning, and it helped us both to realize how important communication is in a family. After that, when my son was struggling with an issue, he would come to me and we would talk. Today, 28 years later, we still share that closeness.

My prayer is that if you are struggling with issues and feeling suicidal 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).

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.

 

Will I go to Hell if I Commit Suicide?

Will I go to hell if I commit suicide?

A lot of people wonder, “Will I go to hell if I commit suicide?” This is an important topic, with strong opinions on either side of the issue.

Those who think people who kill themselves will go to hell, believe this because a person who kills themselves isn’t trusting God to get them through their difficulties and therefore may not really have faith in God.

Still, there are other people who are convinced that the jury is still out, as God is in the business of forgiving all who ask.

Both of these arguments seem to make sense, so which is it?  Part of the mystery is because most people who have experienced hell after a suicide attempt don’t like to talk about it. But one exception to this rule is Tamara Laroux, who when she was a teenager, tried to kill herself by shooting herself in the chest.

Did she go to hell?  Yes.

Did she stay there?  No.

God in fact rescued her from hell, but to find out the why or how, you’ll have to watch her explain what happened in the YouTube video below. Her story has a twist you won’t expect. However, Tamara’s story certainly sheds a lot of light on the question, “Will I go to hell if I commit suicide?

So what we’ve learned from Tamara is that hell is real, and sadly, people really do exist in torment there.  But it seems God has set up a way to escape hell, in the here and now,  that has more to do with God’s grace and forgiveness when it is sought through the sacrifice of Jesus.

If you are reading this article, because you’re considering killing yourself, here are a few rules about God you should know:

  1. God loves you and does not want you to kill yourself as he has a special plan for your life.
  2. The enemy (the devil) wants to tempt you with self-inflicted death so that you can’t fulfill God’s plan for your life.
  3. You can receive God’s grace and the forgiveness of sins (through the work of Jesus who died for your sins) if you only ask him.  Click  here  to learn more about this:
  4. God will also help you walk through, then eventually walk out of your pain, if you but trust him.
  5. Don’t allow yourself to become a sacrifice to Satan, especially if you are not sure where you stand with God.
  6. Choose life – Despite how it seems, God can really take your broken life, no matter how broken it is, and turn it into a miracle.
  7. Live and dare God to show you what he can do with your life.

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. Deuteronomy 30:19, NIV

If you are hurting and  need to talk to someone, call a suicide hotline.