I have a heavy heart tonight. This week has been a difficult week since it focused on suicide prevention. You can’t talk about prevention without being touched by the bad stuff, too.
My brush with suicide
I have turned to suicide many times in my life. The first time I remember contemplating suicide was in the sixth grade. A couple of years ago, I was so close to the edge of death that I even had a plan and was ready to follow through.
Suicide Prevention and Christianity
I have been a Christian for 34 years. Listen to this next sentence. Just because you are a Christian, does not mean you are free from the pains of suicide or mental illness. If I were to get down on my hands and knees tonight, with tear-stained cheeks, and pray for hours with my face lifted to the heavens, and if my bipolar does not go away, it does not mean I have an evil spirit, I lack faith, or I did not say the right prayers (and the list goes on.
But the real truth is in the heat of the battle. Whenever I sense the cloak of depression shallow me whole, I pray three words: “Help me, God!” And, I mean I am screaming it in my head. Around about 70 seconds, I feel peace washing over me. It is as if Jesus walked by and removed my depression.
My friends, suicide is real. Suicide is the second leading cause of death for people ages 10-34. Over 47,000 people died by suicide in 2017. That is a rate of about one soul every 11 minutes.
Unbelievable, isn’t it? How many of you have children that age? Friends? Family members?
Call to Action
You can stand and fight against suicide. When you ask someone “How’s it going?” really mean it when you ask. I mean be sincere and do NOT accept “fine”, “okay”, “good” or shoulder shrug. Take the time to ask appropriate specifics and REALLY LISTEN. Then be a shoulder, smile, ear, hug that person needs at the moment.
Let me know how it goes with sincerely asking the people in your life how they are doing. Do you have any ideas for suicide prevention?