CONTENT WARNING: This post deals with sensitive topics, including depression and suicide. Please don’t read any further if you think this may be triggering to you. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you need someone to talk to. Take care of yourselves, friends.
Even though I am part of God’s family, life isn’t always easy. Just like living a Christian life doesn’t add any money to your wallet, it also doesn’t add any glamour to your life. You face tough times–I know I’ve had my fair share. I’ve found that in some of these cases, the difficulty can help us draw closer to God, but it can still be a scary, painful, and lonely process at times.
Call it art or call it science–conversation also isn’t easy. Not only do you have to someway convey your nebulous and inconcrete thoughts through an often-faulty language system, but before you start all that, you have to find someone who’s willing to listen to you, a resource that can be few and far between for some of us.
A terrifying situation occurs when both of these issues–trials and conversation–come together. It is often when we are at our lowest that we feel the most alone.
I went through a time like this as I worked (or rather, struggled) to complete my final semester
at Centennial College for Police Foundations. Regular school pressures, mixed with boiling-over workaholism, combined with several dozen dashes too many of other personal issues resulted in a sickly stew of a situation that quickly became too much for me (when David talked of having nothing to eat but his own tears, I wonder if they had a similar taste?). Around this point, I had several nights where I cried myself to sleep, and I thought about committing suicide.
I literally thought my life was falling apart. More than that, from the vantage point inside my own head, it was.
The change came through conversation with some people that I trusted, who helped me to realize that I could give this time and these stresses to God. Rather than giving pat answers or throwing information at me to work out on my own, they gave me a perspective from their vantage points–they took me out of my own head and showed me that, though something was certainly falling on it, it wasn’t the sky.
I gave myself a chance to rest, prayed, and gave it all into God’s hands. I ended up finishing the semester with good grades. Now I have a diploma in Police Foundation and am currently pursuing further education in Child and Youth Care. I know I didn’t do any of this by myself, and I’m so thankful for the people who took the time to meet me on my level, and the God who is even sturdier than the sky.
The great thing about God is that, while He may not take us out of the storm, He always takes us through it. The devil only attacks what’s valuable–if the enemy can’t keep you frustrated in failure, he will try to keep you from enjoying success you have. But in this, we can see how valuable we are to God. He does not let us go, even to the point of sending Jesus to suffer and die just like us, so that we could share in His resurrection, and never have to leave His side.
We were made to be in relationship–in conversation–with God and with others. When we become prisoners of our own minds, we can start believing the lie that this was never meant to be–that we are alone.
Alone that is, except for our thoughts. When I wanted to commit suicide, it was like facing a monster who had taken up residence in me and wouldn’t vacate. Where I went wrong originally was in believing that I needed to, or even could, fight Him alone. It was only with God and through His work through others that we managed to kick that demon to the curb.
Aside from my own story, I have also had a couple friends who contemplated suicide. I have since realized how desperately the majority of them wanted to be heard. They needed someone to listen to them. They needed a friend, one who could shine a light when they were in their darkest.
To those who want to be this friend, remember: we’re all fighting our own battles. No two sadnesses are the same; no two depressions are the same; no two reactions are the same. This means we need to be listeners first. Don’t judge someone’s story by the chapter you walked in on. Don’t judge people for the choices they make when you don’t know the options they had to choose from. Don’t judge their bruises before you see the other guy.
To those who are still fighting, remember: one lost battle doesn’t mean the war is lost. Don’t believe the lies that the enemies shout–there are reinforcements. You were not made to fight alone.
And to both of you, remember: at different times, and in different places, we are both the friend and the fighter. We’re broken, and we’re weak, and that’s okay. We have a God who is neither of those, but He knows what it feels like to be a human, to feel pain, to cry, and to bleed. Be real with Him. He doesn’t expect your prayers to be perfect, because He doesn’t expect you to be perfect.
Accepting Christ doesn’t mean your life is magically going become easier but knowing that God is by your side every step of the way is what really matters. It’s hard to wrap your head around, I know, but it’s true.
Remember that even when you feel you don’t have anyone to talk to, God’s always there by your side. Remember that you’re worth it and God made you for a purpose. Remember that God created you– you’re his child. We continue to sin, but he still loves us unconditionally for who we are. Just remember that you have the Lord above all Lords by your side every step of the way.
As it says in Joshua 1:9 (which quickly became my favourite verse), “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
You are many things. You are loved. You are important. You are worth fighting for. But most importantly, you are not alone.
Thanks for sticking with me. Talk to you in the next one and remember to always stay grateful.
Below, we’ve included links to some organizations that specialize in helping people manage depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts. If you just need a friend to talk to, please, don’t hesitate to contact us. You’re worth it.