About that title… I had a post all-but ready to publish yesterday. I was looking for photos to use in it when I ran across something on my Facebook timeline. I have searched all through the year it happened and cannot find it. There are about 4 days missing and I even went back several years to see if it was there instead, but no. It was about something really important.
And controversial, of course.
I am SO upset that I can’t find that post because it linked to an article, which is what started the post in the first place. I debated just giving up on the idea of even writing about it at all, but guys, it’s REALLY important and I’m being serious here.
I feel like, as so often happens, the enemy is attempting to thwart something that would bring God glory, so even though I can’t find the post or article, even though I’ve spent literally almost FOUR HOURS looking for it, I’m going to go ahead and write about this.
I think there may be someone out there who needs to read what I have to say today. It’s something that feels like one of those “God nudges” so I’m not going to ignore it. Please bear with me since I will have to explain SO much because I don’t have the linked article!
I’ve found only one article that is even halfway similar to the post I mentioned in my FB status, so I’m going to put the text link here, but I’m not linking to the article. You’ll have to copy/paste into the address bar to read it and I encourage you to read it. I just don’t want to popularize it by linking it from my blog.
The blog post I saw back then was just a few days after the suicide of Robin Williams. The lady’s point was that suicide was not selfish and I didn’t agree with her.
Now, before you get riled up at me, I didn’t start a debate with this woman. I merely created a status stating that I disagreed with no links to her or mention of her name, etc. I didn’t want to increase her pain since she linked her feelings to the loss of a parent by suicide. I didn’t and won’t even pretend to understand how one would begin to cope with such a tragedy. I was not and am not trying to pass judgment on her, her parent, RW or anyone else!
However, given the fact that RW’s decision to take his own life was linked to depression, and depression is something I know, I’m going to address it. I know depression well. Depression and I are like ** this **.
I’m not going to deny it. In my worst, most desperate moments of deep depression, I have pondered committing suicide myself. More than once. If you know anything about depression, you know how it can grip you, how it can strangle you and make you feel like there is absolutely no reason whatsoever for you to go on.
I want to interject here that my thoughts and opinions about all this are filtered through my faith in Jesus. If you do not consider Him to be your Savior, then you are not likely to understand my intentions here. Just be aware that you MUST use this faith-filter in order to even begin to know my intent.
I believe without doubt or hesitation that my faith in Christ is the only reason I didn’t go through with ending my life. Perhaps it was guilt over the thought that I would be disappointing Him if I carried it out. But when I had lived a couple of decades with depression, after I had resisted the temptation to get rid of my pain through suicide, I finally learned something that has kept me from ever seriously considering it again.
My life is not mine.
Before, when I was younger and would consider suicide, I could only think about how death might bring some peace to my aching heart. I thought about how not having me around would take undue stress off my family and loved ones. I thought about how things would stop being so hard, so painful, so worthless.
In short, I thought a whoooole lot about one thing: ME. I was too young and immature as a Christian– because yes, sometimes even us Christians think about ending it all– to realize that I am not the “owner” of my life.
That probably seems like a strange thing to anyone without faith in an eternal God and Creator. But here’s how it works… if I believe that God created all things, all humans, then I must recognize that God is the Giver of Life. If He gave this life to me, then in reality, it isn’t really mine, is it? Especially when you go further and add to this the realization that our lives, our time on earth, is just “borrowed” and we must one day, when this life is over (whether by our own hand or not) give an account for how we used our time here, it really sobers you up in a hurry. It makes you put down the spirit (as a liquor) of persecution, of pettiness, of self-focus and yes, selfishness.
While I pondered how I could not imagine dealing with one of my own parents committing suicide, the way this lady was, I then put my children in that spot. If I thought it would be hard for me to cope with, why on earth would I consider putting my own children through that? How utterly selfish and thoughtless of me! That thought is possibly more of what kept me from killing myself when I was a young mother. I couldn’t dream of doing such a thing to my babies.
It was later that I realized what sort of thing my suicide would be to God.
I believe that all things are created for a purpose. I think most Christians believe this. Even bad things can be turned into good ones through Christ. I have lived that doctrine out many times! So, if God created me, He gave me life and meant it as a gift, something precious to be treasured and used for His glory…then how dare I think I know when it should end and how dare I contemplate ending that life myself?
How dare I??
When I put it that way, I am stunned and ashamed that I ever even entertained such thoughts. And don’t get me wrong… I still fully understand what it’s like to be in such a deep pit, lost in such total darkness and in such great pain that you think there’s nothing left but death. I am not trivializing the way that feels at all.
I wouldn’t dare do that, either!
But…I am adding to it another thought. A thought beyond the temporary (but sometimes extremely too-long) pain that is depression. The realization that this is not my life. God gave it to me. He intended me to use it to glorify Him. What glory do I bring Him if I let desperation and depression SO overcome me that I take my own life? What glory is it if I dismiss His might and power to keep me safe, to direct my path, if I throw away the gift He gave me? Where is my faith if I let what I KNOW to be the work of my enemy destroy my faith that God is enough. That He is mighty enough to deliver me from this, just as He made a dry path through the Red Sea for Moses. Just as He provided a substitute sacrifice for Abraham as he prepared to prove his faith in God by sacrificing his only son, Isaac. Just as He closed the mouths of lions and kept Daniel safe and sound. Just as He walked in the fire where the three Hebrew men (who refused to bow to an idol) had been thrown. *
Once my mind was healed enough to realize what suicide actually is to God… a virtual slap in the face. A statement that He actually doesn’t know best. That God can’t keep me safe or heal me. That He doesn’t care and the gift of life He gave is worth nothing to me.
And most tragic of all, that Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross wasn’t enough for me.
I am not wise enough to state or debate about whether committing suicide will keep you from entering Heaven. I know some people believe that as much as they believe the sun gives light, but I don’t. I admit that I could be wrong. ** chuckle ** We all know, I could certainly be wrong about a lot of things, especially something so spiritual and eternal as this. So I won’t debate it but I can’t think God would “undo” the promises made when a person accepted Him because they later became so despondent and so wracked with grief and pain that they made a foolish, albeit eternal, choice. Again, I DO NOT KNOW THIS and I’m only stating my opinion. You decide for yourself if you must ponder the question.
I am so thankful that my mind is no longer so clouded. That even when I am deeply depressed I can remember Who I belong to. Yes, I do STILL get depressed. Not sad, not discouraged, but deeply grieved and almost physically unable to smile it seems. Depression for me is hugely physical and not just emotional or psychological. It’s like having a heavy black cloth thrown over me that I must fight to get out from under. When I’m there, in the darkness which can feel completely isolated, I can recall that God made me and He DOES have a purpose for me. Then I can ponder what He wants me to learn from this season.
I hope my rambling and sharing has helped someone out there. I hope it speaks to your heart and prods you to look at God’s word for healing. EVEN when He doesn’t “cure” your depression, you can still rest in Him knowing that He doesn’t forsake and He knows the plans He has for us… plans for good and not harm; plans for a purpose and to bring us to right where He needs us to be.
As I like to say, I don’t have to understand it. I just have to trust God with it.
Email me if you have questions or want to talk through anything.
- scripture references for the miracles mentioned in this post:
Additional encouraging scripture:
Hey y’all. I have some things on my mind and you know how that goes. smile I’m gonna try to sift through them here if you don’t mind. Any insights or commentary is always appreciated!
So…I alluded Monday to the fact that things are going well in the s-e-x department at my house. Hahaha… stop laughing! stifles a giggle If you’re new here and don’t know our back story, please read this first so you’ll be up on everything.
Did you read it? Okay, let’s proceed. So yeah, it’s a little weird to have been married for almost 31 years and feel the way we do these days. I think I can truly say that the healing is complete. I’ve lost count of our “encounters” in the past couple of weeks and that is just amazing! I used to consistently get bladder spasms or sometimes a full-on UTI every time we had sex. That’s understandable since it would be long periods of time in between! I finally learned to get up pretty quickly, go pee and avoided some of those, but sometimes, I’d get one in spite of that. I’m not one of those gals who can have a bladder issue or UTI and not even know it. No. I KNOW when I have it. It creates tremendous pain, unbelievable spasms and frequency which keeps me at home and close to a bathroom. It’s horrible, so it was a real pain to deal with. Yet another reason why I never wanted to have sex! My doctor has prescribed me some Macrobid after I explained to her how this scenario goes for me. She was SO cool about it! I hadn’t even mentioned this whole thing to her til I asked about some way to avoid this problem. She said anytime we had frequent or longer-than-usual intercourse, that I should take one of them.
I’ve only had it happen twice so far, and both times was a day or more later, but the Macrobid took care of it in one dose, so praise God!! That’s a relief!
We have really been like a couple of teenagers around here and it seems every time we had “plans” for later in the day, SOMETHING would always happen! For instance, when Tommy had to run shut off the pumps at the lake last week after the first of the severe storms? Yep. We had some plans. There have been times when we had more visitors than we would get in three months all in one flippin’ day!! Yep, we had them plans made then, too. Sheesh!
I am still trying to process how I feel about all this. I mean, obviously, I’m thrilled that we are finally able to be together without any pain. I’m over-the-moon that not only is there no pain, there is actually enjoyment for me! I honestly never ever thought I would be able to make love with my husband and not at least be uncomfortable. And to find that I am now suggesting that we make love?? That’s just so beyond our comprehension!
Are you getting uncomfortable with all this sex talk? Well, I’m sorry, but get over it. We’ve been married all these years, suffered unbelievably and done untold damage to our marriage because of not being able to have sex together…I refuse to be quiet. The whole purpose of sharing our story in the first place is in hopes of keeping other women or couples from suffering in silence the way we did for decades. We felt we had NOWHERE to turn for answers or help. I felt I was damaged, cursed, defective, worthless…you name it. I felt I had been deserted by God and was being punished for some reason by having this one, most basic thing in our marriage cause me so much pain I wanted nothing to do with it.
My poor husband, yes, he is a saint in my eyes. To have remained faithful to me in all that time. I know it was God who caused him to love me so much he couldn’t stand the thought of leaving me. I mean, it just doesn’t make sense otherwise, ya know? No man could love a woman so much that he’d go months and probably even a year or more between sexual encounters without Divine intervention. Especially not a woman who was so hurt and angry as I was. It is honestly bizarre that I actually want to be around Tommy now. I mean, don’t get me wrong…I never stopped loving him. I loved him even more when I realized he loved me so much that he put up with me! But I was SO angry, SO depressed. I just wanted to die. With all the things going on in my life…conflict with my parents or boys or daughter-in-law, stress from various obligations I had, money worries and then the diabetes and the constant struggle to control it… I was a complete disaster. And I took most of that out on him.
Looking at our lives now, I get this image of me…of my heart, all boarded up, overgrown, and closed to everyone and everything. A lot like these shutters…closed so long that vines had overgrown it then died and regrown. Over and over, waiting for someone or something to cut them away and pry the shutters open again.
It’s just overwhelming at times to realize how far we’ve come. What we’ve come through…from barren wasteland to beautifully vibrant and growing.
chuckle I guess this post has no purpose other than to praise God for the complete healing that’s taken place in our marriage. We are truly more in love now than ever and it’s a total love, in every area of our lives. Unlike most marriages where the physical side of love dies down the longer the marriage lasts, ours began as a dead garden that God has nurtured and “held out hope for” until His appointed time when He has brought us back to life.
If you are or have experienced this sort of problem in your marriage, please share or email me privately. I’d love to hear how things are going or how they’ve happened for you. I would LOVE to know that putting our story out there has helped someone. It’s no small thing to put something so raw and private and painful out into cyberspace for the world to read. We didn’t do it lightly or flippantly. We did it for no other reason than that God urged us to share so that other couples could benefit from our experience.