I vividly remember the night I made an attempt on my own life. My mind flashes back to March, three years ago. I had just gulped down several bottles of cough syrup and taken a wide array of painkillers straight up my nose. I was numb. I was bored with life, and concluded that it was, quite simply, not even worth living. “It’s time to go,” I said to myself, and then proceeded.
I had searched for years, and never found happiness. I didn’t have a clue who I was, and I couldn’t care less whether there was or wasn’t a god. I was my own god. I lived only for the next high, and that’s the way it had been for years. I was hopeless, and as my body slowly shut down and my lungs ceased to function, I was sure it was the end. Everything faded into terrifying darkness. I heard strange voices, beckoning me into the thick, black void.
My eyes shot open and I gasped desperately for air, choking and sputtering like a baby just born. “If there truly is darkness,” I thought to myself, “there has to be light.” At the time I didn’t know who or what that light might be, and I wouldn’t meet God until over a year later, but there began my frantic search for truth.
Suicide. In my opinion, it’s one of the most ominous and taboo words in the English dictionary. Honestly, I can’t help but cringe at the sight or sound of it. We often see news headlines and social media posts about our favorite celebrities that have fallen victim to this nasty word, yet we often overlook the signs and possibilities that the temptation of suicide might be creeping through the doors of our churches and wrapping its cold, mangled fingers around the hearts of the people sitting right next to us. Grim, I know, but it IS a problem, and we NEED to talk about it.
It might seem like an oxymoron, but when we address suicide, we must realize that the real issue is not actually suicide. The same goes for drugs, alcohol, anxiety, self-righteousness, etc. It is not just the fruit of the problem that we must face, but the root of it.
Across the board, every sin fruit is rooted in some type of unbelief in Jesus Christ, his Word, and his work. Galatians 5:22-23 shows us the fruits of the Spirit. I’m sure you’ve heard of them: Love, joy, peace, patience, and the list goes on. Are you walking by the Spirit, overflowing with the loving goodness that our wonderful Father freely gives to us? If not, I think it’s safe to say that you, quite simply, aren’t wholly trusting in him and who he says you are. Just like everyone in existence—ever—you are struggling with unbelief.
I vividly remember the night I attempted to take my own life. I hadn’t a clue who God might be or what the Gospel meant for me. Hopeless, broken, and lost, I found myself drowning in prescription drugs. Then I was gripped by an intense revelation that would shock me back to life. I knew nothing but darkness and lies, yet I realized that darkness cannot exist without Light, and lies cannot exist without Truth. I wasn’t sure Who or what that Truth might be, but it had to be out there somewhere, and I had to find it. My eyes shot open, I desperately gasped for air, and the rest is history.
Flash forward to almost three years later, and here I sit, currently two weeks into Discipleship Training School at YWAM in Salem, Oregon. It’s been a year-and-a-half since I found truth and hope in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and I’ve been daily growing in relationship with him ever since.
What a beautifully difficult journey it’s been! See, as the enemy does his best to deceive and to crush us, our Father stands closely by, watching and waiting for us to turn away from ourselves and look to him.
To put it bluntly, you can’t beat suicide. You can’t resist the temptations of this world or the powers of deception. You are weak. Without the Gospel, you are hopeless. You’re not even your own.
Thankfully, though, you are his. A child of The All-Powerful Fabricator of Reality Himself. The King of the Greater Kingdom, the Giver of All Things Good and Loving. He’s your Dad.
What power, then, does suicide have against you, with him at your side? He spits in the face of death because he already beat it. He laughs at temptation because he already resisted it. His gaze burns through the curtains of deception and lies, because he himself is the one and only Truth. Do you know him? Do you trust him? Is he your identity, your affirmation, your hope, and your purpose?
Ephesians 2 says we are literally made alive in Christ, saved by grace through faith. We were once dead in our sins and unbelief, now alive and made whole because of Jesus’ perfect display of love on the cross. There’s no room for anxiety, depression, sadness, and lies anymore. We are called to be free. We are no longer slaves to the brokenness of this earth. Satan has sold us many lies, but in the end, those lies will only help us to better understand the Truth. The hate we’ve felt will only help us to better grasp his love. The rejection we’ve felt will only help us better appreciate his affirmation. Satan tries to make a move, but God redeems it for his own glory. Redemption is his thing.
I don’t believe all who try to kill themselves really want to die, but I do think that many of us just don’t know what it’s like to truly live. I encourage you to let him be your life, your hope, your everything. He is knocking, he always has been, and he will continue to do so for as long as there is a door to knock on. I pray that the chaos of this world and the lies you’re living will all drop to the ground, leaving nothing in sight but him, arms wide open, beckoning you into new, purposeful, wholesome, peaceful, joy-filled life.