To those of you crying out in pain,
thinking suicide is the only way for the pain to stop, this writer
offers you these words of hope and testimony of freedom and joy.
(Written by one who is now far more than a survivor and is helping
others to get free. She was challenged to write one who was suicidal
and talk her out of in within 20 minutes and she did!)
I'm So Glad I
Didn't Commit Suicide!
A year ago, I came
within minutes of a successful suicide. All of
my possessions were laid out. My will was
completed. Correspondence to family and friends
was finished. Even my funeral wishes were on
paper. I was furious when, for a few moments
hours later, I regained conscious just long
enough to see the hospital white lights and
scream, "How the hell did I get in here again?!"
I was still alive and furious. I didn't know how
I was rescued but I was mad. The hospital staff
kept me sedated for 3 days while they did
respiratory and cardiac therapy and assessed the
damage to my body.
During the psyche
stay that followed, a friend of mine died
suddenly in a car accident. The shock woke me
up. Elizabeth's children prepared two years to
be able to care for their mother in their home
until she died. Tragically, on the way back from
a wedding, Elizabeth died, leaving the children
with a home furnished for her needs. Who would
guess that she would be taken home first? I
realized life is fragile and precious. We think
we have a lifetime of 70-90 years yet any one of
us can be gone in a heartbeat.
From that moment, I
chose to live every day, giving it to God in the
morning. I determined to make my imprint on today as
though it were my last. What a turn-around!
"God-surprises" popped up every day. It has been an
exciting and very painful
year. There are no quick fixes here short of
miraculous supernatural healing of the soul. But my
decision to treat each day as my last changed me.
Since December 2003,
I was in the ER 3 times in 3 months with a
suspected heart attack. Then they thought it
must be GI related. In March I couldn't tolerate
any food. Over 50 pounds has come off (which is
a good thing). The best I could do was chicken
noodle soup or broth. Sleep was hard and I
wanted answers. By May I was near crazy. I was
losing a pound a day and I couldn't eat. They
couldn't find what was wrong with me and
wouldn't treat anything without being sure. I
was frustrated, angry, tired and miserable.
Every doctor's appointment meant waiting more
weeks with no suggestions for change.
One day I was
picking up another lab request. I burst into
tears. My anger flashed. The nurse gave me a
hug, then permanently changed my attitude by
saying "You will get through this. People do
this every day all over this city." That night
it was obvious I wasn't going to get much sleep.
I asked God to show me what the nurse meant. My
thoughts went to cancer patients, exhausted, in
pain, having trouble breathing, hungry but
unable to eat, bodies unable to move for
disturbing a wound site. People in traction who
depend on others to see them cry and to wipe
their tears away. My dear friend who just lost
her leg to gangrene! She is DID with 3 children
and her husband just finished surgery and
treatment for brain cancer. Yet she is growing
and maturing so beautifully! I can't imagine how
she's adjusting but God is showering her with
His Love and Grace. A baby struggling to live.
An exhausted mother who dares not sleep lest her
son die in the night. In comparison,
my life wasn't that hard. I had no
reason to complain.
I decided to live
and be thankful for the gifts God
has given me. I chose to rejoice
in His love for me because He is God and
deserves our praise no matter what the
circumstances. I chose to embrace suffering and
be thankful for opportunities to run into God's
heart, asking Him for comfort, strength, wisdom,
and peace, etc. I accepted the fact that my
doctors didn't want to further complicate things
by adding medicines that may not be helpful in
finding answers and that I, like so many others
but to a far lesser degree, had to learn to
adapt and endure. How I endured would be a
personal choice. You disagree? You think I'm
minimizing your pain? Not at all. I've been
there for way too many years.
Choice is what the
abusers stole from us. God will not violate our
choice. To God, our choice is precious. It is by
choice we love Him. It is by choice we accept
His payment for our sin. It is by choice we bow
down before Him and worship Him. By choice we
dance in adoration in front of Him. It's by
choice we open our hearts bare and let Him see
what we can hardly stand to see ourselves. To
move from victim to survivor to overcomer to
thriving requires choosing to trust Him, what's
written about Him in Scripture and choosing
faithfulness to Him. Just as trust grows with a
therapist, pastor or friend, we build a history
of trust with Jesus that leads us to increasing
insights of His goodness, which leads us into
intimacy and a love relationship with Him that
satisfies all the deep yearnings of our stripped
down hearts. A relationship requires time,
effort, risks, trust, honesty, communication,
questions, listening and time, time, time.
Falling in love with Jesus is the key to
abundant living here on earth. It does require
choices on our part.
When I'm in pain, I
can run to God and tuck myself into His heart,
thanking Him that He's in control, that He's
present, He's watching over me and He's building in
me a heart of gratitude, praise and worship. I can
also whine, cry, complain, accuse God of all sorts
of things He's not guilty of and ride a downward
spiral of despair, anger, stress, blaming,
bitterness and self-centeredness, leading me towards
suicide. A single choice affects everyone around us
like ripples in a pond caused by throwing a single
stone into it. Will it be a life stone or a death
stone you choose to throw
in the pond?
Moses explained to
the Israelites all the blessings and curses God
set out for them in a manual for living. Then
came the personal choice; the personal decision:
"I lay before you life and death. Choose life!"
Yesterday is over.
We can't change it but we can learn from the
past. Tomorrow isn't here and we can't solve
tomorrow's problems today. Jesus made it
clear--there's enough trouble within each day.
I'm to keep my focus, energy and choices
available for how I engage life today. Today is
all we are promised. Suicide is future focused.
Suicide is a death stone that will send out
ripples of pain. The future seems impossible to
endure given the overwhelming pain of today.
God promises grace
sufficient for today. He promises a way of
escaping all our temptations. He assures there
is a way to find His rest and grace each day, no
matter what we face. He is always with us,
whether we "feel" His Presence or not. He
promised to never leave us or forsake us
(abandon or reject us). Talk to Him. Tell Him
everything. He already knows it all so why not
share your inmost thoughts and "secrets." Cry
with Him. Let Him hear your anger, your turmoil,
your despair. Then be still. Listen for Him.
Begin to thank Him. Can you identify 100 things
you are thankful for? Take some time. Look
around you. There are hundreds of things. Then
praise Him for His watchful care over you, His
promises to heal your broken heart and to give
you life abundant. Let your praise transition
into worship until God's peace soothes your
tormented soul. Then list another 100 things you
are thankful for. Every time you move through
this process Jesus will reveal more of Himself
to you and heal your pain. Trust will take root
You likely are
saying, "Are you nuts? I can't do that! You
don't understand how much I hurt and how far
away God seems!" I do hear you. I feel your
pain. It's taken me 10 years to be free from
almost 40 years of trauma, pain and tragedy.
I've learned the value of my
choice. Please keep your heart
open to hear me out for just a minute.
Life is a series of
choices made every moment of the day. I choose
to stay in bed under my blankets or I choose to
change my attitude and put my feet on the floor
and get up. The only two things I am able to
control in life is my choice and my
attitude. We think we can control
so many other things but it's simply not so.
Just like each destructive choice leads to
hurtful consequences, so do healthy choices lead
to healing opportunities. The CHOICE
is always mine. And the great part? There's so
much freedom in choosing the best path; the high
road; the road to healing; the path to rest.
I've lived these
principles. I've anguished over facing the truth
of taking charge of my choice and attitude and
trusting God for everything else. I've risked
trusting Him when it seemed hopeless. He gives
us peace in the storms of life but my choice and
attitude are my responsibility. I look backwards
now over the span of my life and I can't find
pain anywhere. My life is my own for the first
time in 49 years. My spirit is free, trusting
and playful like a child. There's also a
maturity that only comes by learning to test out
God's character and principles that He gives us
for our good. We choose to risk opening our
hearts bare to Him even when it
seems there's no change. He is
faithful. His healing will come. His Presence
will become your safe place, your recovery
place, your resting place.
Keep your eyes fixed
on Jesus. Give Him everything that holds you
back, slows you down or stops you from finding
Jesus as your Best Friend. Ask God to make you
hungry to know Him; to fall in love with Him.
The path isn't easy. A rare treasure is hard to
find and costs us great amounts of time, energy,
honest searching, sacrifice, endurance and
patience. But when that treasure is found!!! Oh
the joy. The peace. The thrill of possessing
something that is rare, altogether lovely and
precious, knowing no one can steal it for it's
your gift from God - the gift of Himself living
and loving inside of you. Enjoy "pillow talk"
with Jesus, Who loves you more than you can ever
fathom. One day you will understand some of how
God dances wildly with every thought of you when
your heart races, your feet dance and joy,
giggles and smiles erupt from your heart with
every thought of Him. Pray with David, "Give me
an undivided heart that I may worship you."
Conquered and compelled by His Love,