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Today I Walk Out of the Darkness

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:3).

Survivors of Suicide must do what our loved one could not–walk out of the darkness.

We cannot help what was, but we can be a part of changing what is. How?

  • Humble ourselves (1 Peter 5:6)
  • Be thankful (1 Peter 5:3)
  • Be present in the lives around you and offer (Matthew 9:35-37)
    • love
    • faith
    • hope
  • Pray for and defend the oppressed (Psalm 10:17-18)
  • Pray for and challenge the oppressors (Matthew 5:44, Isaiah 1:17)
  • Live your God-given life to the fullest (John 10:10)
  • Take courage as you face your own weaknesses and temptations (Luke 8:4-15)
  • Grieve with hope (1 Thessalonians 4:13)
  • Walk together, supporting each other (1 Peter 5:2-4)

This is the foundation God is laying in my grief.  that help me to continue through the valley of the shadow of death rather than becoming mired in the pit of despair.

 

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Falter

When crumpled pages still turn

marked and argued within margins

and ideas of who you are no longer boxed in

then I falter no longer, but trust even when …

Grief’s Quickening

When the dust settles over

grave and grass grows

thick over death, your life

still quickens in the womb of

a mother’s grief.

When Your Thoughts Are a Horror Film

My heart staggers; fear makes me tremble. The twilight of my desire has turned to horror.

Isaiah 21:4 NIV

Turning My Page

Awoke this morning to images of my dead son. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does sometimes I can move my brain to dwell on God’s goodness. Other times I cannot.

God planted some new book ideas last night. A great blessing. But, this new, potential series takes me back to those first days, and once those cataloged images are opened some unwanted ones come with it. So what do I do when my thoughts are uncontrollable?

  • Take my thoughts captive and make them obedient to Christ.
    • Meditate on scriptures
    • Speak truth over my thoughts
      • I was up late discussing my son
      • Made connections with other men and women who have similar stories
      • Was encouraged by their stories
      • Walked away with ideas for new books
  • Share my struggle with my support team
  • Pray
  • Pour out my complaint before God.
    • Lord, I am struggling with my thoughts this morning. I acknowledge that I want Jonathan alive and here. He is not. What do you want me to learn from my son’s death? Is there anything I need to see differently in light of your love? Father, the enemy seeks to destroy my rest and trust in you. Guide my heart and mind to your truth that I may share your trustworthiness in a deeper way.  Amen.
  • Repeat
    • Sometimes a spirit of fear does not leave easily or quickly. Does a lion just quit when she doesn’t get her prey on the first try? We have an enemy seeking to devour us, and our thoughts are a place he will pursue relentlessly because they are the stronghold of God.
  • Fortify my weakened soul.
  • Rest
  • Be careful what I watch
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Spend time with family and friends

Turning Your Page

You cannot always help where thoughts may go in grief. But, you do not have to stay there.

  • What are your current thoughts revealing?
  • How can you develop the mind of Christ in your difficult circumstances?
  • Who is your support team? Reach out, make them aware of your struggle.

Father, take my thoughts and align them with your truth. Calm my mind and let me rest in the truth that I am yours. Amen

Born From Grief

Birthed from the womb

of your grave, I gasp my first breath of new

life and cry out.

 

Again I Confront Depression: Poetry Response

I love finding other poets to respond to in poetry. Take a look at Radhika Shah’s poem, “Depression calls again” as posted on Jalvis Quotes.

 

My response:

 

Bed made, doubt can’t stop me.

Renumbered days feel possible.

Attention, I will not quit!

Not your call, Not your call.

Bed dressed, habit of hope.

Time waits quietly,

already prepared for the

wrong pressed against determination.

Is there a way through? Is there a way through?

Attention all obstacles

opposite to thought, you are

mere specks of trouble

darkening my life.

Is it possible?

Smile, remember days overcome.

Tried and tested. Tried and tested.

Uncomfortable stretching of muscles untrained.

Help me with your presence, so that I may

lie in peace, lie in peace.

Look in the MIRROR !!!

Yes and Yes! Such a beautiful and truthful reminder to remember who we were and who we are becoming because of what we experience. I especially loved the line, “Just peep back into a time ,where you laughed so much ,that your belly hurts …” I immediately smiled because the memory surfaced.

Knee-Knocking-Obedience

1 Corinthians 2:1When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. 2For I decided to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. 3I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. 4My message and my preaching were not with persuasive words of wisdom, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, 5so that your faith would not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.
Dear Fellow Page Turners,
Yesterday I took a step to face disabling fear and in my brokenness encouraged others struggling just as deeply.
 
We do not know who is on the edge of hopelessness. It is not in our achieving “Christian perfection” God uses us for the most glory of his kingdom. We become oaks of righteousness in our knee-knocking-obedience. 
Be real with your faith. Be bold in obedience. Be open in your weakness.
Love Always,
Karisa

Needing Reminders in No Mans Land

As I edit my devotional book, I find that sometimes I still need the reminders of four years ago. It has been a rough couple of days. God is still ahead of me, making my path straight. Find courage in God’s declaration that he knows your path!

 

(Written on day 10 after my son’s funeral.)

Deuteronomy 31:8 The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”

Last night my back locked up as my father-in-law, an osteopath, was trying to bring healing and relief. I cried out to God. “I’m trying not to be mad at you, and this isn’t’ helping!” What an amazing God I have, he can handle anything that I dish out at him. He can handle my anger, tears, ups and downs, all of my emotions. We are in a committed relationship.

That committed relationship certainly didn’t occur overnight on my end. I accepted Jesus as my savior as a little girl, but by the time I was a teenager I had come to believe that I was a pawn in a stupid game that God was playing and I wanted no part of it. So I decided to play my own game with my own rules and almost destroyed myself. When I opened myself to his love, I discovered a God who goes before me, who is with me, and who will never forsake me.

I can see clearly amid our overwhelming loss, God is putting comfort in place as we face every parent’s nightmare. A walking friend introduced me almost ten years ago to the cemetery where my son is buried. I continued to walk there with Jonathan as he grew up.

It was the only connection I had to any cemetery in the area, so it seemed like a good choice for Jonathan’s body to be laid to rest. Once the decision was made, my mom did some research. Much of our family is from this area and mom discovered that my great-grandparents are buried in the cemetery I had chosen! We had no idea. Not only are they buried there, but in the exact lot, I desired Jonathan to be buried. A lot that wouldn’t have been available to us if we did not already have family buried there.

Even the weird weather (the sky turned brilliant at 9pm after darkening for the evening) happening since Jonathan’s death is strangely comforting. It as if heaven itself is mourning with us. Dear friend, God prepares a way for us through whatever trials we face. He cares about every hair on our head, and yes, my back as well.

Lord, I praise you that you are committed to me and that I can trust you in my darkest hour.

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Suicide & Prevention Hotline

National Suicide Hotline

If you or a loved one are in immediate danger, call the National Suicide Lifeline at 988 or go to the website at https://988lifeline.org/