In Recognition of National Suicide Prevention week I am sharing my testimony once again, not because I am proud of what I had done but to share how grateful I am that I am still alive today. I hope this piece of my testimony will help at least one person.
This is one of the most difficult thing I have to share with the world. I am not seeking your pity nor do I need your judgment. I am sharing this only because I pray to reach if just one person who is at the end of their rope and is ready to jump of of that ledge.
I cannot say that I understand your pain or what has lead you to this point but I pray that you will stop long enough to read these words that I am writing.
It will be five years this Thanksgiving when my world had grown so dark and the pain was more than I could bear that I did give up on life. Falsely accused and arrested in the middle of the night just a couple of months prior my world was turned upside down. After a lifetime of abuse and a multitude of wrong decisions I was alone and all the pain I had suffered over my life came down upon me like a crushing wave. I am not a coward but had nothing that I felt that was living for. Alone on a holiday meant for family and giving thanks all I could see was darkness and feel the loneliness of being cut out of my own life. I lost my will to live. So with what I thought was going to be my last breath I kicked the stool out from underneath me. The belt I used to hang myself did not do the job I thought it would because it stretched to the point that even though I had lifted my legs it stretched until I was literally sitting on the floor. Yelling at God and pounding my fist on my floor like a child throwing a temper tantrum, screaming that I couldn’t even do this right. I continued to yell and cry until I heard a voice. It was not harsh or condemning but loving. I heard it say, ‘Are you done yet?’ I know some of you probably think I was crazy and just hearing things. Obviously my mental state was impaired. (This was not the first or only time I have heard God speaking to me by the way, but the other times they are different stories.) I had just tried to hang myself. Yet as I heard that voice I know I was not imagining anything. It was real, I had heard His Voice before so I do know it when I hear it. Though no one was physically in my empty apartment but myself there was someone who was watching over me. I even knew what they meant when they asked if I was done yet. You see this was not the my first suicide attempt, but my third. So I responded, ‘Yes Lord I am done. Obviously You aren’t done with me yet.’ Then I heard Him say, ‘Get up. It is not over yet.’
So I stood up and took the belt from around my own neck. I was amazed because how long it had stretched and how that no mark was left on my neck. (A little note a couple of years later I tried to stretch that same belt and it did not give an inch, so no one can tell me God is not real.) I still had a long road ahead of me and the trials did not go the way I had believed and hoped for. Even on the final day of court when the rest of my world as I knew it came to a crashing end and even though I was innocent of the charges I was still found guilty. I lost everything but my life, my home, and I was banned for life from my daughter, so I had lost her too. You won’t believe this but as crushed as I felt, I heard God speak to me again. He said to me, ‘Can you forgive them now?’ I responded with, ‘Not because I want to but because of You I will.’ Even though not one thing went well for me, I knew God was with me. That even though I was found guilty in the court of man I was not guilty in His eyes and that He did not abandon me even when I wanted to end it all. My mother died suddenly at the end of my trials, and I lost my daughter, but God was with me through it all. I won’t say that thoughts of giving up have not crossed my mind since but a small still voice says you can’t give up now, You have come too far to give up now. So as hard as it is at times because the battles I still must fight wear me down that I want to toss in the towel and quit, I know that I can’t. I must finish the race. I have not yet reached the finish line.
I will never know why my life did not end that day or why my previous attempts failed, when others who have attempted the same act are gone. I know that I am not a better person than anyone else. My life is no more valuable than another’s life so why am I still here? To be honest only God knows the real reason. The only reason I can think of is that I am to share my story and hopefully reach at least one person who is where I was at, who is hiding their pain and their struggles from the world till it has gotten to be too much for them to carry by themselves. The other reason might be to inspire you to pray for God to reveal those who are hiding their pain from the world, so that you can reach out to someone who is suffering. To someone who feels rejected, cut off and isolated, so you can let them know that they are not alone and that someone does care. Call them or even better visit with them. Don’t push too hard to get them to talk but be there and continue to be there. I did not immediately share my story but a year later I was part of a church who arranged an event inspired by a number of suicides in the area that happened in a very short time period. I saw lives touched and even though I was inspired to start sharing my story, I didn’t. With the holidays upon us I personally know how difficult it is for anyone who suffers from grief, depression and anxiety or is suffering any form of abuse. You may feel unloved, rejected and alone. The pain may be suffocating and the world may be completely dark without light of hope. I was there and I survived but you may not so please don’t give up. If there is no one in your immediate life that you feel safe to turn to, there are others that even though they may be strangers, who will listen to you who will give you the compassion that you need and even help. Your life is valuable and you are important. So important that God sent His Son to die for you.
Call someone. Get help. Please do not give up. I may not know you but you are in my prayers and I pray you find the love of Jesus and the strength and comfort He has for you.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a national network of local crisis centers that provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We’re committed to improving crisis services and advancing suicide prevention by empowering individuals, advancing professional best practices, and building awareness. 1-800-273-8255 website http://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/#
If you’re thinking about suicide, please read Suicide Help or call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) in the U.S.! To find a suicide helpline outside the U.S., visit IASP or Suicide.org.
Always remember that there are phone numbers that you can call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, from any location in the United States:
1-800-273-TALK / (1-800-784-2433) (1-800-273-8255)
This is only a short list of where you can find help whether you are the one who is struggling or you think you may know someone who needs help please get the help that you need and please do it before it is too late. I know my life choices have been far from right too many times and that I survived but I know that if I try again I won’t survive again. Life is precious please don’t give up because you are precious and nothing can replace you in this world.
Check out this article on a special coffee shop that serves more than coffee.
Sip of Hope’s proceeds go toward Hope For the Day