A few years back a woman came to me and said, “Remy, I promised myself that when my daughter graduated from high school that I’d commit suicide. Well, she just graduated last month and I want to know why I shouldn’t kill myself.” That is one of those counseling sessions you never want to have! Who is adequate to answer that question?
I stumbled around trying to give her some profound theological answer but then I thought of my friend who was also about this woman’s age (which was about 50). When my friend was in high school, she was a beautiful girl and got straight A’s. But she showed signs of psychosis in college and when she married and had her second child, he died of spinal meningitis. This led to a psychotic break and put her in a psychiatric hospital. She had two more children later but her marriage suffered and she divorced, losing custody of the children. Again she ended up in a psychiatric hospital, a broken woman.
That is when my wife and I went to visit her. There wasn’t much we could do for her. But we did have our faith to share. We told her how God loved her and was committed to her – that he was with her and would never leave her. Because of her condition and the medication she was on, her reasoning wasn’t the best. So we taught her a simple song that we used to sing in church. It went like this…
Something beautiful, Something good. All my confusion. He understood. All I had to offer Him, was brokenness and strife. But He made something, beautiful of my life.
She wept as we sang this song. God seemed to touch her in a gentle yet profound way. I’d like to say that everything was perfect after that moment but my friend had a number of hard years where she made attempts to get back on her feet. Eventually, in her 40’s, her parents took her back in and helped her grow strong…she met a newly widowed retired Marine. They fell in love and married and now my friend is living a joy-filled life. Her new life didn’t really start until she was 50.
A New Life After Considering Suicide
I finished my story and told my counselee that her value wasn’t gone just because her daughter graduated. If she would allow God to give her a new life, the next 50 years might be exceptional. She thanked me and told me that that was the story she needed to hear.
In the same way, I want to encourage you…if you have considered or attempted suicide, don’t beat yourself up. God doesn’t condemn you. He weeps for you. The Bible says that God longs to show you his goodness. He aches to think that you feel so bad that you would want to end your life.
Suicide is a logical ending to a life of shame. But God wants to re-story your life. He wants to give you a new life that doesn’t end in suicide but blossoms and flowers and becomes a blessing to others.
Whenever I speak on suicide there is always at least one person that was seriously contemplating it and my words seem to be perfectly timed to encourage them. Maybe that is what is happening with you right now. This prayer is written for you, coming from my heart:
Father, you know the despair that has fallen on my reader. You know the pain of their shame, their sense of worthlessness, their lack of hope, the fear that life can never be good again. I ask that your Spirit would surround them right now like a blanket. Might they sense an encouragement within their heart that they know is from you. Bring people into their lives to support them. Help them to expose the lies of shame and find the truth of their value to you. Might great grace be upon them now. I ask you to lift them up and show them the future that they can have with you. Amen.
This post is taken from chapter seventeen of Healing the Hurts of Your Past.
Please share this on Facebook, Twitter, etc. Who knows what life it might save today from suicide?
Question: If you ever considered suicide, what kept you from it? What would you say to encourage someone from not carrying through on their plan?
You might also want to read:
- Loved Before You Were Born (readingremy.com)
- Raw Shame: Ten More Ways We Manifest the Pain of Shame (readingremy.com)
- The Difference Between Shame and Guilt (readingremy.com)