Posts Tagged: suicide

Wanting to be Heaven Minded So that I am Earthly Good

Colossians 3:1Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.

“They are so heavenly minded that they are no earthly good.”, is a false saying! Yesterday I was at  a funeral for a man who was an interracial part of our community, our state, and our lives. Even the Governor and Senator came to pay their respects. Mike’s son shared, “It was not all the things that he did to improve our lives that made him a great man, it was the fact that he loved the Lord his God, with all his heart, soul and mind.” Mike was heavenly minded! I contend, that if your mind is truly on the things of heaven then you will be doing the greatest good here on earth.

I have a son in heaven! To say that he has turned my head towards heaven is an understatement. Jonathan’s death has made me cling to the only one who gave me love, value, purpose and meaning in the first place. Jonathan’s death has forced me to renew the foundation that Christ laid, to strengthen it, and to fix my eyes on Him. Jonathan’s death has increased my longing for things above, and I pray that my longing grows deeper. I want to be heaven minded, because this earth deserves nothing less than my best!

Frankenstein’s Snowman

Our longings are poured out.

Shaped into memories and crafted

moments with you. Built out

of snowflakes, Legos and

tears.  Bringing to life

our smiles.

Welcome, New Page Turners!

Dear Page Turner,

Today my page has been filled to the brim and running over. I wanted to take a moment to welcome the newcomers, thank you for your comments and support. As this blog grows it is my hope that it becomes a resource, encouragement, and lifeline to those effected by suicide and depression. Which, I am finding, touches just about all of us in some way. You may have a friend, loved one or even a complete stranger that you are concerned for. Don’t hesitate to reach out, be present, or sit with them. Be sure to vote in the poll I have set up. Your answers will help me to form content for new posts, and create resources for you as you engage those around you. Feel free to share it with your readers.

Continue to write your open page turners, I want to read what happens next.

Sincerely,

Karisa

Pictured Here is You

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Wall to Wall.”

My walls look so different now that I have a frozen teenager. I have no photo to change, no memory to add of Jonathan. I see the pain in his eyes, that no glossy smile can hide. In time, the rest of the photos will catch up and pass him by. Adult Daniel and Natalie smile back at me. . . grandkids laugh and play, but Jonathan’s photo has no update.

His growth is now captured in snapshots of how you and I live differently. Hang snapshots of love, forgiveness , generosity, and  hope on the wall of your soul–they are my new photos of him.

I Don’t Need Fifty Shades Of Grey: Just Give Me One-Of-A-Kind Black And White Love

I have had enough shades of grey in my life, it has left me lost, confused, afraid, and depressed. Seems to me that our world keeps trying to sell us cheap grey imitations of love when what we crave is black and white love! I have only found that kind of crisp, clear love in one place–the arms of my heavenly father. It may have involved a cross, but that was his choice for me, and again added depth and dimension to my life that is like nothing I have ever felt before. Agape love is unconditional, and it is something I can count on for a lifetime! Jesus’ love enables me to reach beyond my grief, to hold you, encourage you, and to keep writing my story no matter what. God’s love is not stored in a “room” for only a select few, but is sewn into the very fabric of creation. Look around you, it isn’t hidden!

Are you craving some black and white love? Check these verses out:

1 Corinthians 13

1If I speak in the tonguesa of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,b but do not have love, I gain nothing.

4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

8Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

13And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Romans 8

37No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,k neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

1 John 1

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to
do with punishment.

Romans 5

And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

Jonah 2

8 Those who pay regard to vain idols forsake their hope of steadfast love.

Psalm 52

8 But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God. I trust in the steadfast love of God forever and ever.

The Comfort of Silence

Silhouette of YouWhen words wither of comfort.

I snuggle into the warm blanket of silence

and sip a cup of tears

Until I curl to sleep, holding onto the memory of you.

Why Blog my way through Turning the Page?

When I began writing Turning the Page July 8th, the day after my son’s funeral, I was grasping for the lifeline of hope. I was drowning in sorrow. How do you live the rest of your life, knowing that a part of you is missing? As I began seeking God’s face I realized that the disciples asked that very same question. When the miracle of Jesus’ resurrection was followed by his ascension into the heavens the disciples were asking, “Now what?” They still had to deal with Jesus not physically being present with them.

Jesus promised the comforter would come when he left. And boy did he. This rag-tag band of followers were filled with the Holy Spirit and became powerhouses for the gospel! I am realizing that day-to-day the Holy Spirit is turning the page with me. He has a plan for me, and my son’s death is not the end of my story. God is comforting me, equipping me, and teaching me to grieve with hope.

As I Turned the Page and began blogging I wanted to reach beyond my friends to a wider audience. Writing is my way of leaving my unique, God-given perspective on the world. I want to offer hope to those struggling with depression, as well as those survivors of suicide. I want to become a resource and witness to resiliency. There is life after tragedy and I want to live it to the fullest!

This hope isn’t just in reuniting with my son Jonathan in heaven, this hope is for the here and now! Jesus came that we might have abundant life here. How in the world can you have abundant life after your eighteen year old child takes his own life? You may be wondering the same about your own loss, turmoil or pain. Turn the Page with me and we will find out together.

The Cross is Necessary: Why God couldn’t rescue us through a baby

Mark 15:39When the centurion, who was standing right in front of Him, saw the way He breathed His last, he said, “Truly this man was the Son of God!”

Since Jonathan’s death I have struggled with the cross. In all of my getting to know the character of God the cross always made sense. But, since Jonathan’s death I have questioned why the cross is necessary. If God is God then why did Jesus have to die? And of course the underlying question, how does Jonathan’s death work anything for good?

At the Christmas Eve service, as the pastor shared the sermon, the Lord jolted my attention. I mean, sat me up straight and sent me searching for a pen. He said, Karisa I want you to hear this and he wasn’t talking about my ears. My soul was now leaning into the next words.

“It was not enough that Jesus came as a little baby. We don’t need a perfect example, we need a savior.”

It isn’t enough that Jesus came as a baby, grew up among us, did miracles, gave us some good principals to live by. Those are all amazing, but the cross is necessary! Because, you see, with one fell swoop God said Karisa I came for you! Reader, I came for you! Oh, the power surging through my fingers as I type this message to you.

I can celebrate Christmas, despite the loss of Jonathan this year, because God said that I was worth saving. My son was worth saving. You are worth saving.

How can I not live life to the fullest? How can I not wake my daughter up yesterday morning with the delight of Christmas? How can I not share with you the joy that comes in the midst of my pain and casts despair to the deepest part of the sea? I want you to know that Jesus came for you, not when you had your act together, but when you didn’t even know that you needed him. He loved me when I was still forming in my mother’s womb, he valued me when others abused me, he claimed me when I rejected him at 19, and became an anorexic drunk, and he saved me when I was an unwed mother at 20. I had grown up hearing about the man called Jesus, but it is only at the foot of the cross that I really saw him for the Son of God!

Open each day like it is a gift and may it be filled with joy that transcends your understanding! Because, God does things that don’t make sense to me and I love him for it. He rescued me in a mind blowing way, and it started with a little baby in a manger, but it did continued all the way to the cross and a grave that could not contain him! Merry Christmas!

Lashing out in Anger

Things are a bit raw between my husband and I right now. When struggling with grief it can get easier to slip back into old habits or lash out at those you love. So how in the world do we keep perspective in our hurt and anger, and remember that the other person is in grief and process too? Here are some verses that may help:

Proverbs 16:32
He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that rules his spirit than he that takes a city.

Ephesians 4:25-31 Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. 26Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27and give no opportunity to the devil. 31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.

Ephesians 4:1-3 I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, 2with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

If we have unity of the Spirit then when we hurt others in that unit we also are hurting ourselves. In the military a unit fights as one. If there is strife, and anger towards one another then your guard is down to the real enemy.

Brian and I learned early in our marriage that as long as we looked at each other as the enemy that we would get no where. But, as we began allowing Christ to be the center of our lives and marriage we began to become a unit, placing the problems outside of each other and crushing the devil’s schemes together.

Thank you Lord for giving me these verses to calm my wounded soul and give me a renewed focus on who I am fighting. The devil wants to crush both Brian and I. Give me the strength to guard his heart and mind as he heals from the wounds of losing Jonathan. Keep my tongue from coming into agreement with the devil. Amen

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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/