Posts Tagged: survivor

Fight Dirty for the Depressed

“God made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God”.

“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”.

2 Corinthians 5:21, Romans 5:5

Turning My Page

When was the last time you fought dirty for the ones you love? Or for an enemy? I’m not talking cheating, I am talking about getting dirt under the nails, sweat on the brow, and dig deep into all you’ve got and then give more. Love the spouse who hurt you deeply. Treat the bully at work with kindness. Fighting dirty is not based upon changed behavior, it is deeply rooted in who Christ is in us.

We love because he first loved us. God didn’t just give us a list of do’s and don’ts, pat us on the back, and send us on our way. We can’t give those battling depression a toolbox of mental health solutions and leave them to figure it out.

God was and is involved since the creation of the world. He formed us with his hands. Nothing else in all of creation is described that way and even when Adam and Eve left God’s perfect plan, he stayed involved. So much so, that at just the right time, while we were still sinning, he came to earth in the form of a human child.

Jesus experienced rejection, sweat, felt thorns dig into his skin, and bears scars on his back from loving us. He knew our struggle with temptation. He knew we were oppressed, and he knew our depression. He fought dirty for us. Jesus told the disciples when he returned to heaven, he would still be with them through the Holy Spirit and that was enough for them to get their own hands dirty with humanity.

Depression, suicide, hopelessness is a dark and dingy place because hopelessness is wrapped in lies about our identity and the character of God. I was once smothered in those lies and my poor sweet son died in those lies. Children counter such a devious and destructive attack that often begins in their early development. I don’t accept that I’m helpless to fight back. My weapon is scripture. Know the character of God and act on the hope he offers to us.

When I didn’t know much about God, reading scripture was like having him sitting across from him and hearing him tell his side of the story. Prayer became a constant conversation–both speaking and listening–to God. Time with other believers encouraged, challenged, and brought me out of my shell. This is my foundation. As a result, I can’t sit idly by and put on blinders to the suffering of others. My hands in the dirt of humanity. Be all in because God was all in for us. Get your hands dirty.

Turning Your Page

Think of souls as gardens. The apostle Paul described ministry in this way: Some plant, some water, but it is God who causes them to grow (1 Corinthians 3:16). Use the skills you have to be present in the life of someone wrestling with despair. Love is something we all have.

  • Love is not based on feelings. It is a practice, it is a disciplined pattern. Start small. How has someone loved you well? Identify the elements of how they spoke life into you.
  • Identify a few people around you who need encouragement.
  • How can you give opportunities to listen and provide tangible hope? Try to be consistent.
  • Let me know your story in the comments. How can I fight dirty for you!?

Creater, you’ve had your hands in my humanity from the beginning. Give me a heart of flesh that I can love my family and neighbor more deeply. Amen

Survivors of Suicide Support: Reaching out for understanding

Today has not ended as it began. I was down, really down. I mean so far down that the enemy attempted to take ground long since won in my life. It was that way until just an hour ago when I went to my once a month survivor’s group. I felt so dead inside as I walked into that crowded room. It seemed like each person touched a different part of my heartache and gave me permission to be where I am. As I left I determined two things.

1. It is okay for me to enjoy life ( Jonathan would dismiss what I now see as guilt for living as silly.)

2. It is okay for others to be where they are. Not everyone will understand my grief and I don’t want them to, because if they did, it would mean that they too have lost a child to suicide.

1st Birthday of Hoping Without You

How many kids do you have? . . . That question has not gotten any easier to handle. I have three children, not two and I will never get used to saying that I have two children. Today I was asked a couple of times and Natalie, very matter-of-factly elaborated on how Jonathan died. The poor ladies didn’t know how to respond.

These days leading up to Jonathan’s birthday are harder than I expected. My emotions are a bit runny right now, and I’m not much fun to be around. So . . .how do I get a grip?

1. Declare: I HAVE THREE CHILDREN!

2. Crawl into my Heavenly Daddy’s lap and cry, scream, kick, whatever I need to do!

3. Let Him hold me.

4. Love and hold Brian,Daniel and Natalie a little tighter.

5. Drink Jarritos every day (Jonathan’s favorite).

6. Draw, write, walk.

7. Plant.

8. Go to survivor’s group.

9. Speak scripture over the pain until the heartache subsides.

10. Blow out the candle on my first year of celebrating your birth . . . without you.

Free Gift

Embrace hope in dark places.

Get three free printables of hope and encouragement when you sign up for my monthly newsletter.

.
Suicide Hotline

National Suicide Hotline

If you or a loved one are in immediate danger, call the National Suicide Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or go to the website at  SuicidePreventionLifeline.org.