“You can do this! You’ve been planning it for months. You know the how and the where. All that’s left is the nerve to follow through…But wait. What if it doesn’t work? What if I try and don’t succeed? What if my life becomes even worse than it is now?”
Eight years ago, I had this conversation with myself more times than I’d like to admit. For almost a year, suicidal thoughts plagued my thoughts on a regular basis. Although I never attempted to take my own life, I knew how I was going to kill myself. The only thing that stopped me was my Eeyore-like thoughts. I figured I would be the person who attempted to kill herself and death wouldn’t follow; I would be the one who botched the attempt and would wind up paralyzed, unable to try again.
I’m thankful God spared my life, but it was a long, difficult journey to find healing for my brokenness. I had endured so much suffering in my life that I loathed who I was and what I’d become. There was no joy or peace, and there certainly was no hope that my life would ever get better. It hadn’t improved up to that point, so why should the future be any different?
Since I’ve come out of the fog of mental and emotional anguish, I've learned some truths about depression and suicide. First and foremost, statements about a person losing his salvation or never truly being saved if he is depressed or suicidal are lies straight from the pits of Hell. Satan’s goal in life is to destroy as many people as he can, and by filling our heads with doubts and fears, he keeps us silent and overwhelmed with the darkness of our thoughts. When I was depressed and contemplating suicide, I was a believer in Christ. In fact, I was attending a Bible college and working on earning a Bible degree. I knew Scripture said the believer has hope and a future, but all I could see were the circumstances in front of me. It seemed like they would never change and I would forever be faced with loss, suffering, agony, and defeat. It took one of my professors teaching the class about depression in the Bible for me to realize that my problem wasn't new to God.
I’m not going to pretend that it’s easy to overcome depression and suicidal thoughts because it’s not. I spent several years in counseling, went through numerous journals, and spent hours in prayer, but all the hard work was worth it because in the end, I was able to experience something I never thought possible in this life – VICTORY! Am I still sick? Yes, but my heart isn't. My body may be broken, but my spirit is whole. I've been set free, and God has taught me how to rise above whatever life throws my way. It’s what I call outrageous joy. By the world’s standards, it’s outrageous to think I could ever truly be happy with all that I've been through and all I continue to experience with my health. But because of Christ’s victory on the cross, He graciously shares that victory with His children so that we can walk in joy no matter what happens to us. It’s outrageous and completely amazing!
If you are wrestling with depression and suicidal thoughts, please ask for help today. Speak to your pastor, make an appointment with a Christian counselor, email me, or talk with someone you trust. You are not alone in your pain. Jesus died on the cross to give you victory in this life. It’s worth fighting for; don’t let your emotions convince you to quit. God sees value when He looks at you, His precious child, and so do I.
“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those are crushed in spirit.” ~ Psalm 34:18