Posts Tagged: suicide

Keeping my Eyes Fixed on Heaven, Where the Sun Never Sets

Hebrews 12:2 …fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

How do we turn the page on the darkness of suicide? Sometimes it feels like we are fighting an invisible and silent monster that steals our children, our spouse, our friend right out from under us. It can happen in an instant or a long drawn out torture over years. Suicide is brutal and depression relentless. My depression started at age 6, and I still feel its claws attempting to draw me backwards into oblivion at age 40. The monster keeps us from our purpose in this life being fulfilled. It may be my thorn in the flesh, but Christ is my light, my sword and my compass. The relationship he has built with me since the age of 20 has proved to me that there is purpose in my sufferings.

Christ suffered our most pervasive sorrows. He hungered, he thirsted, and he was wounded. He was deeply burdened by the state of humanity, he got very little sleep, he was persecuted, and abandoned by those who should have loved and understood his mission the most. The cross loomed before him and he grew more deeply depressed the closer he got to the cross. In a way despair was the final temptation of Christ. It almost killed him before he made it to the cross. And from the cross he cried, “Daddy, why have you abandoned me?” Isn’t that at the heart of our rejection of God, we want to be rescued from our despair. And if he doesn’t we believe he isn’t able or a cruel God. But . . .

Joy is set before us. What did Jesus have as his finish line? His joy was being with his father! Oh dear reader can I share that joy with you? When the Lord and his pleasure in us is set in our minds we can bear any cross! If you have never experienced your heavenly father in such a way to motivate you in this life, here are just a few reasons why he is our joy.

  • Hebrews 2:9-10 We will be crowned with glory and honor in heaven and are made perfect.
  • John 14:2 God’s house there are many dwelling places prepared for us.
  • Ephesians 1:3 Blessed us with every spiritual blessing
  • Revelation 21:22 And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. 23And the city has no need of the sun or of the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God has illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb. 24The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it.…
  • Isaiah 60:20 Your sun will never set again, and your moon will wane no more; the LORD will be your everlasting light, and your days of sorrow will end.

Oh for such a day when sorrow ends! I can take hope and not lose heart when my eyes are fixed on the things of heaven. I encourage you to taste and see that the Lord is good in your suffering. Jesus said that if you have seen me, then you have seen the father. (John 14:7) The monster of suicide and depression is no match for the light of heaven. Lets set the joy of being with God before us.

Healing to Your Flesh and Refreshment to Your Bones

Proverbs 3:3Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you;
bind them around your neck;
write them on the tablet of your heart.
4So you will find favor and good successa
in the sight of God and man.

5Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
6In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.
7Be not wise in your own eyes;
fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.
8It will be healing to your fleshb
and refreshmentc to your bones.

As I type the sun is streaming through my window, greeting me with the joy of my heavenly father. For this first year I have felt crushed by my circumstances. My goal of grieving with hope constantly weighed down by my lack of trust in God’s ways. Last night I turned a difficult corner. My sorrow, doubts and fears lay on the altar ready at last to submit to God’s will. He will produce glory from my son’s death. There is no more question mark. I can relax into his purpose because it is no longer at odds with my purpose. I want what he wants, not the other way around. “He is not a tame lion, but he is good.” (The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe) I can trust his goodness even if his ways are not my ways.

I cannot emphasis enough that this has come about through meditating on scripture. The verses that I have been reading since Jonathan’s death establish God’s sovereignty in my circumstances, his foundation of love, his goodness and that his will is done on earth as it is in heaven. Romans 8 helped me to determine that I want the Spirit of life to control me, not my sinful nature.

Now it is a matter of walking in the light of his path that he makes straight for me. He will show me where to go, and equip me to get there. Following his ways and leaning not on my own understanding will be healing to my body and refreshment to my bones.

Proverbs 3 My Role and God’s Role


  • remember the love and faithfulness God has shown me
  • meditate upon examples of his character
  • be loving and faithful
  • love God with my whole heart, leaning on my own understanding results in half-hearted attempts
  • acknowledging God in all my ways leaves no room for selfish ambition, no maverick off-roading
  • remember that the results are his not mine
  • respect and honor the Lord’s sovereignty in every situation and see evil as opposing counsel


  • gives favor and success with God and man
  • straightens out my path
  • heals my body and refreshes my bones

Sowing in Tears = a Joyful Harvest

Psalm 126:6 He who goes out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, bringing his sheaves with him.

I dreamed about Jonathan last night. We were so excited to see him, but I knew it was only temporary so I invited everyone to visit him, hug him and we loved and laughed deeply together. It felt so good to see him, healthy, happy and whole. And then I quietly said my good-bye and turned away releasing the memory of him to where I now know it belongs.

There is such a shift in my heartache. It well never leave me, but there is an acceptance that I’m different and becoming a better person not in spite of the anguish of loss, but as a result of. How many years do we spend running from the painful things in our lives? If you are like me, our past is littered with brokenness. It can be so easy to slip into a cycle of short-sightedness and forget that God sows seeds through generations. Sometimes we sow tears for many years, but oh the harvest we reap when we do not give up!

Joseph, from the Old Testament, sowed tears for just shy of 20 years, before he saw his dream fulfilled. And Israel would later sow tears for 400 years before they were freed from slavery. The whole world had to wait for thousands of years before the promised Messiah would come and free us from the consequences of sin. Jesus sowed in tears. I am a part of his harvest.

Why does a good and loving God operate this way? Why does he allow pain and suffering? Why do we have to sow in tears? What if I told you WHAT YOU ARE EXPERIENCING RIGHT NOW HAS THE POWER FOR THE REDEMPTION OF MANY! Would you believe me? Would you keep sowing in the midst of your depression? There are many witnesses who have gone before me to testify that there most painful times were when they drew the closest to Christ, grew in belief and action, and began to anticipate a larger harvest. I have seen first hand God’s hand move in the lives plagued by deepest despair (cancer, divorce, death of a husband or child, natural disaster). In Psalm 126, the psalmist is celebrating the restoration of Israel’s fortunes and he shares three crucial elements that are true in the deepest, darkest moments we go through. 1.We will be filled with joy and laughter again. 2. The Lord is aware of our planting. 3. We will reap and the nations will take notice of the difference in us

This is at the core of grieving with hope!

Mama Told Me There’d be Day’s Like This: Overcoming Downcast Days

John 16:33 I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth, you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”

I woke up to the tune of “Day’s Like This” going through my head. Not a good sign. When I entered the church this morning I found myself scanning for Jonathan. It was hard to worship, even though I was excited to hear from the book of Daniel. I was so weary when we got home that I laid down and napped.

When you grieve, or suffer depression, there are simply days that don’t feel right. But ironically, as I looked for the lyrics to the song stuck in my head–having little to do with my circumstances–I discovered that Van Morrison took the phrase and turned it on its head. His lyrics warn against getting too attached to the good days because bad days will happen and they can derail you if you aren’t prepared (love Morrison’s take on the phrase).

Jesus prepared the disciples for his death. He said, “Don’t get so attached to the good days with me that you forget, in this life, you will have many trials.” Too often we Christians try to portray becoming a believer as a smooth ride, but it isn’t. “I’m hanging with Jesus. It’s all good.” But it is not all good. At least not if you plan on digging in the trenches of faith. Sometimes I don’t feel like singing, praying, reading scripture, fellowshipping, or witnessing. Good that Jesus conquered the consequences of my darkest days before I ever took a breath!

When I came in this evening, after weed-eating and mowing I put my arms out like a zombie and asked for hugs from my kids and husband. They scattered with laughter. It felt good to overcome the grass swamp in my backyard. The rain had kept us from mowing all week and with no end in sight to the rain, it was as dry as it was going to get. More than that, I needed to work hard to snap out of my downcast spirit.

There are days like this dear friend, but Jesus has overcome the world!

Opressed but not Hopless!

The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.”

Isaiah 61:1-4, KJV

Feeling attacked today! My entire family awoke with some sort of physical ailment, my husband’s the most serious. What is it about our family that makes the enemy is so oppressive? Is that I’m talking to you? Is it that we are taking a stand against his demonic forces? Is he that threatened by hope, by you readers turning your own pages!?

If Satan (he who shall not be named), the enemy of all that God has created can grasp us in the pit of despair, especially our children, what chain reaction does he cause? As I study depression I realize that there are many examples of men and women who chose to offer hope. Abraham Lincoln suffered from debilitating headaches, depression, abuse experienced as a child, and incredible loss. Yet he chose to turn his page again and again. He said,

A tendency to melancholy . . . let it be observed, is a misfortune not a fault.”

Winston Churchill, who also struggled with despair, called his depression a “black dog”.

We are in a dangerous place when we turn from fighting for life to assisting death. Death will come, none of us can stop that, but as I drove home the other night, with the darkest of thoughts hounding my broken heart, a single thought shimmered in my darkness. What does living do, that death does not? Living means my children smile another day, living means I write these words to you and offer hope in the midst of your darkest moments. Living means I shout from whatever platform that I am given. “I will not quit!”

So I turn the page.

Today is hard, but you, Lord give me enough to be present with my husband and children. To comfort them, to bind their wounds, and offer hope to those plagued by darkness. There is a declaration that needs to be spoken, a painting that needs its artist, a war against Satan’s forces that needs to be won by an army that won’t quit, and a soul that needs hope when all seems lost. You, reader, are that person. Keep turning your page.

Battling Impusliveness in Grief and Depression

Yesterday was intensely hard from the moment my eyes blinked open, and today is not. That is the strange thing about grief, it doesn’t always have a rhyme or reason in its approach, it just is. Days like yesterday are happening less and less, but they sap the life out of me. It is the feeling that I cannot go on in this reality. Have you carried the weight of those days?

They are very dangerous times for those of us who battle depression. Impulsiveness can lead to self medicating the pain in some form or fashion. While my impulsiveness has matured through disciplined practice, it has not lost its voice. So what to do in such moments?

1. Let others help. Don’t battle alone. Took the kids to a play date with a friend.

2. Seek out laughter. It is good medicine. One word… trampoline!

3. Cry. It is okay to mourn. Jesus said, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” (Matthew 5:4)

4. Keep away from sharp objects. This is crucial when impulsiveness tries to back door its way into depression. Slam that door shut by removing the option for hasty decisions.

5. Pray. The Lord will never leave you, nor forsake you. That has given me more strength to make it through the hardest days; days my own will power cannot sustain.

6. Be thankful. Thank you for your prayers, for reaching out into my darkest hours. Lord, thank you, when I cry out, you hear my plea and give me your strength in my weakness.

(As an after note. My mom just called to see how I was doing. She reminded me that yesterday was the day I put my son in the ground. I never consciously acknowledged the significance. Maybe there is a rhyme and reason for the intensity of my grief yesterday.)

Too much

I’m angry today. Angry that you aren’t here laughing with me.

Lord, I cry out to you! Fill my heart with your love. I need you, the heartache is too much!

Anniversary Letter

Dear Reader,

The day my eighteen year old son’s suicide is fast approaching and I don’t want to celebrate. It was a horrible, mind numbing, and life altering day of deep agony. I don’t want it to be an anniversary of his death, but a day we chose to live! I want it to be the day that you declare “You knit me together in my mother’s womb, I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I know that full well!”

I want it to be a day that we reach beyond barriers to share that we matter to each other. I long for it to be a day that the one thing you thought you couldn’t accomplish that you complete. I want it to be a day that every breath matters. I want it to be a day of thanksgiving. If you haven’t begun, may it be a day of beginning. I want it to be a day that you realize that all things are possible through Christ! I want the things that lie dormant in each of us to see sunshine and blossom. I want you to write another word, another sentence, another paragraph and another page until your book is complete.

Your life touches mine. We aren’t separate, we aren’t isolated, and your story matters to me and so many others. There are so many things accomplished by people in deep hardships, how can we not look at their witness and break the chains of depression? How can we not root each other on to complete our mission. Be bold, be courageous, and be sure footed in your journey. You may have struggled with turning the page on Jonathan’s death, on the death of other friends, on divorce, on illness—turn the page. God turned the page on sin and death through his son dying on the cross. The disciples turned the page of resurrection to share what they had seen and heard. We don’t need to torture ourselves, we don’t need to prove ourselves and we certainly will never earn grace. Each day is a free gift. Love, live, and write each moment well! That is the anniversary I will celebrate.



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