A word that is often part of a joke or casual conversation. To many, it is a distant concept.
To those of us who have been there, though, it stings. It’s a heavy word that carries isolation, hurt, shame.
What if they knew?
How dare they talk about it so casually.
They have no idea what it is like.
Sometimes I find myself laughing at the jokes to distract myself and keep others from associating suicide with me. Sometimes I pretend I didn’t hear the reference. Sometimes I get defensive and angry toward the person speaking.
I Know What It’s Like To Want To Die
A lot of people don’t know what it feels like to want to die. But I do. One of the gifts God has created from my experiences in dark places is the ability to speak to people in those same places, with credibility. I know what it feels like when giving up seems easier than facing another day. I know the numbness that replaces the desire to keep going. I know the moment when all of the pain turns into desperation.
I also know the incredible freedom and love for life the Lord can give in place of that fear and hopelessness. I know because He has given it to me.
Jesus knows what it feels like to want to die, too. Hebrews 4:15 says Jesus has been tempted in every way, just as we are. When He was on the cross, He felt the full weight of our struggles. He gets it.
How did I pull through? Grace.
Grace Is What Pulls Us Through
Grace — the unmerited, undeserved favor of God — pursues us even in the darkest places and moments.
You are reading this right now because God is pursuing your heart. You are worth pursuing and He loves you too much to stop.
If He had not pursued me, I would be dead. I am not dead because God is not done with me. You are not dead because God is not done with you. Instead of trying to escape this world by leaving it, escape this world by falling into the arms of a God who can turn pain into greatness.
If you are struggling with thoughts of ending your life, or you know someone who is, please hear these truths from the bottom of a heart that can relate:
- You are not too messy, because it is not you who has to clean everything up. There is no such thing as too messy for God.
- This is not too hard, because it is not you who has to be strong enough. God is strong enough.
- You don’t have to save yourself. Jesus already died to do that.
- Your life doesn’t have to be something you run from. If you let Him, God will complete the beautiful story He has already started in you.
- He can carry you through this. I promise. He carried me through it.
- You really matter. You are a gift to this world with a role no one else was created to fulfill.
- You are loved, so much that someone died for you. He died so that you and I can not only live life, we have life.
Take it from someone who is living proof. You and I were created for more than barely making it through each day. We can have an abundant life through Jesus (John 10:10).
Life After A Suicide Attempt
Satan still tries to sneak old lies into my head. I still have scars, hospital bills, and some scary memories. But I have something worth way more than any darkness could ever cover. I have the gift of a story that can help others who are in the same place I once was, and I have an appreciation for a God who is truly a lifesaver. I have more grace than I know what to do with.
These days, I love life and I can’t wait to keep living it. Not because of circumstances, but because I am held every single second of every day by a God who is bigger than my worst moments. Because of His grace I am more than a conqueror of anything this life can throw at me (Romans 8:37). You are too, friend.
Hang on, the best really is yet to come, I promise.
If you or someone you love is in immediate danger, please call 911. To learn more about what the Bible says about suicide, click here.
Written by Rebecca Garvin — originally appeared on the Newspring Church blog.