After reading of Anthony Bourdain’s suicide this morning, and Kate Spade’s suicide three days ago, I started a post on Facebook that read:
I hate suicide. It's senseless and stupid. Depression stinks. Tomorrow is ALWAYS a new day. People can and will help you, but you have to reach out. If you can't/won't talk to a friend or family member, seek out a counselor, or a pet, or a plant - just talk to them. Write letters to uncork yourself. Or call this hotline. You are loved. You have a purpose. How to get help: Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. Suicide is NOT the answer. For anyone.
I stopped my post with that, but continued to think about the whys of suicide, and realized I need to say more.
Life is not easy for any of us. We all have our own battles we face - some may be social (like bullying or loneliness, or the fame of celebrity), some may be financial (like extreme poverty, debt, or extreme wealth), some may be mental (like depression, intellect, or Type A personality), some may be physical (like disabilities, autoimmune disorders, disease, or gorgeous looks and extraordinary physique). Our battles are as unique as each individual in the midst of them. We deal with different pressures, different responsibilities in our lives, and we all handle them differently.
And that's okay.
But suicide is not the answer to any of the problems. None. Not one. For any battle.
There is hope. For you and for me.
I'd like to share a list of some of the battles I've encountered in my own life's journey. I won't share details to protect loved ones, but each one of the battles listed below have touched me and/or my children personally, many overlapping at the same time:
Verbal, Emotional, Mental Abuse
Divorce (as a Christian, to some Christians, this is the unpardonable sin. And remarriage compounds that.)
Reverse Racism (technically, they say there's no such thing. But there is.)
Cancer, cancer, cancer
Judgment of others
And others I'm forgetting at the moment
Days, weeks, years of our lives have been taunted by darkness. A couple of times, the darkness was so deep, I wasn't sure we'd ever see light again.
Yet, I had Hope.
My Hope comes from God. A personal relationship with Jesus. Direction from the Holy Spirit.
My God is One in Three. Three in One. God, the Father, who loves us so much that He sent His only Son, Jesus, to earth to die for us. Why would God want Jesus to die for us? So that we might spend eternity - FOREVER - in Heaven with Him. So that we could live FOREVER in God's presence. Our only other alternative is to live forever apart from God, apart from all others, in Hell. And that's definitely not a way to live.
I've referred to some of the things we've gone through in our lives as 'hell on earth' because they were so painful I could hardly bear them. I've been through hell on earth - I imagine many of you have been there, too. Why would we want to spend an eternity somewhere so painful? Especially when we don't have to. We have an option.
My Hope is Jesus. His life, death, and resurrection offers us all the opportunity - the option - to spend eternity in Heaven with Him. In the Bible, Heaven is described as a place where there is no more pain, no more tears, no more death, no mourning, no crying (Revelation 21:4).
My Hope is Jesus. Because I know Him - personally. I asked Him to be my Lord and my Savior. I live life on earth by His standards (although I've failed many times in this, I've asked Him to forgive me, and He has.) The greatest thing is - every single day is a new day with Jesus. If we screw up, or have a really bad day, or make mistakes, or hurt someone or be hurt by someone - tomorrow, we get the chance to do better. Tomorrow, we get the chance to make changes. Tomorrow, we get the chance to start over.
With suicide, there is no tomorrow.
Jesus is there for you - today and tomorrow and forever. I know - without one shadow of a doubt - that I will live eternally with Him.
Why? Because He loves me.
He loves you, too. More than you can ever hope, dream, or imagine anyone here on earth could love you.
Jesus is my Hope. Jesus gets me through all the pain, all the loneliness, all the sorrow, all the mistakes, all the failures, all the stupidity and idiocy that this life tries to throw at me.
Sometimes I do need help. I've sought counseling in the past, and am currently seeing a counselor. Sometimes we need help to process all the pain and sorrows in our lives. Sometimes just having an outsider listen to us talk for awhile helps us work through the emotions, the anxiety, the stress, the past/present/future of our lives.
It's okay to ask for help. It's okay to need help. It's okay to be helped.
It's NOT okay to commit suicide. Suicide is not the answer.
You have options. Many, many options.
Talk to someone. Reach out. You are worthy. I promise.