In the past two days, in my hometown, Knoxville, Tennessee, nine people have killed themselves.
Nine people. Two days.
That’s ten percent of the number of suicides last year in my city!
These are scary days.
People are isolated. Worry and fear are thick all around us. People are losing jobs, getting sick, and losing hope.
And if I’m honest, there have been times in my life when I’ve wanted to die.
I have had those scary thoughts. And I’m a Christian.
I thought about taking my life when my baby lay in ICU, my husband was addicted to cocaine, our finances crumbled, and everything looked bleak.
I wanted to die again after my husband, whom I so adored and counted on, killed himself and I found myself lonely and struggling as a single mom with a chronically ill baby and a three-year-old.
And, again, years later, when I was physically exhausted and circumstance after circumstance piled up, choking off the blessings I could see, I wanted to die.
But as I write this morning, I hear the birds singing as I sit here on my porch. Though we are practicing social distancing, I’m surrounded by people I love. I’m able to see blessings.
If I’d given in to those moments of fear and dread and hopelessness, I’d miss the blessings of this moment and the ones to come down the road.
Suicide is a permanent decision in response to a temporary problem.
And for believers, all problems are only temporary.
Though we may face horrifically hard things in this life, though things may feel hopeless . . . because of God, they won’t always be.
If I had taken my life, I would have missed so much good. So many beautiful days.
Yes, life is hard. These days are hard. But better days are coming.
The enemy doesn’t want you to believe that. He wants us all to feel alone and hopeless.
The enemy of your soul—and you have one—is the father of all lies. He may be lying to you right now. He has come to rob, kill and destroy.
He wants to destroy you. Not just in this life, but for eternity.
But there’s hope. That’s Jesus. He has come to give life and life to the full!
Every single time things have been hard in my life, they’ve gotten better. Sometimes the circumstances didn’t change, but God picked me up. He held me close. He lifted my head. He still does.
He has helped me move past the troubles of this world and the lies of the enemy and keep walking forward.
And, He has, so often, used others. That’s why isolation is so hard.
If you are feeling down, tell someone!
Reach out for help. Call a friend or your pastor or the National Suicide Hotline (1–800–273–8255).
There is no shame, even if you are a believer, in telling someone!
God tells us to encourage one another, because He knows we all have bad days when we need encouragement! Let someone encourage you.
Hold on. And look up.
Pick up your Bible every day. It will wash your thoughts with truth. Real truth. Not flimsy, temporary “fixes” of this world.
Keep running to the Rock, Jesus Christ. Better days are found in Him—in a real relationship with Him!
If you are feeling down, friend, hold on. One day you will be on the other side. And one day, you will be able to encourage someone else.
God has allowed me to do so.
God’s brought me hope again and again because He is hope.
He is my Rock. Not just for eternity. But for here and now.
One day, every tear will be wiped away. He will make all things new. But until then, let’s hold tight to truth and refute the lies the enemy throws at us.
Yes. We get down. Even believers. But when we look up to God, when we reach out to others, and when we look ahead to the promise of eternity, we can keep going.