Suicide. In Christian and worldly realms it carries a stigma. A picture of damaged goods is painted. Every brush stroke ingrained with ideas and thoughts, interpretations and opinions. An ugly portrait of falsehoods and deception is the end product. We hand our brush over to another artist and a different picture comes to life. A false representation of our story, our testimony. A gripping fear hinders us from painting our own picture, God’s masterpiece. We must take the brush back.
We hear magnificent testimonies of lives saved from drug abuse, sexual immorality, and alcoholism. The mere whisper of mental bondage is seen as too much information. That’s personal, we shouldn’t discuss these things. It is taboo. That is our Goliath to slay. There will be no Davids coming to your rescue. Mental illness, depression and suicide have no room in our Christian circles. Those are personal struggles, fake it until you make it. Dear friends, there lies the problem.
I don’t know about y’all but in my 24 years of basking in God’s saving grace, I have never heard an in person testimony of someone saved from suicide. Now, I have heard many theories from people about suicide. They go something like this.
- People that commit suicide are selfish
- Suicidal thoughts indicate that you are crazy
- Suicidal people are unstable and will hurt others
- If you commit suicide you go to Hell
I am not here to debate these statements, just to merely point out the mentality and stigma attached to suicide. It can appear that having a testimony about deliverance from a common vice is acceptable. A nod of approval from our pews is given when someone shares their broken chain links from a behavior we are familiar with. A whisper of suicide and you are marked for life, that thought in the back of someone’s mind when they see you. A permanent scarlet S.
I want to share some common myths with you as found on World Health Organization’s website.
Myth: Once someone is suicidal he or she will always remain suicidal.
Fact: Heightened suicide risk is often short-term and situation specific. While suicidal thoughts may return they are not permanent and an individual with previous suicidal thoughts and attempts can go on to live a long life.
Myth: Only people with mental disorders are suicidal.
Fact: Suicidal behavior indicates deep unhappiness but not necessarily a mental disorder. Many people living with mental disorders are not affected by suicidal behavior and not all people who take their own lives have a mental disorder.
Myth: People who talk about suicide do not mean to do it.
Fact: People who talk about suicide may be reaching out for help or support. A significant amount of people contemplating suicide are experiencing anxiety, depression and hopelessness and may feel that there is no other option.
Now friends, I wrote all that to share this poem. We must break the stigma. God has to be praised and glory given for all things.
My wound is healed, scar shines, still alive
A life almost finished too quick, He said not yet
Pushed to the brink, I couldn’t survive
So many expectations, all are unmet
Dark roads traveled, I lost my Guide
It was too hard, I walked the wrong way
Lost, disturbed, hurt, my heart died
Edging closer to a choice, a voice whispered “Stay”
No, I don’t belong, I can’t do this any more
My decision made, the method chosen
The enemy smiled, he knew what was in store
No one will notice, no one will care, hands are frozen
A distant sound, out of the darkness, I hear
This is not why I made you, you are meant for so much
The accuser is lying, please let Me be clear
I fashioned you with love, tenderness and such
You can’t go now, one day you will see
I know it is hard, some days you can’t breathe
I am here, I never went away, come with Me
Following Him, I realize the falsehoods and seethe
Tricked, deceived, shattered, the enemy will not win
Heart is pounding, blood is flowing, thoughts are steady
My Rescuer is here, all is well, He knows how hard its been
It will take time, wounds don’t heal quickly, only when ready
A healing touch from the Master will show
The world that life is precious and He creates beauty
Too many don’t realize this before they go
The Lord saved me, I must tell others, now it’s my duty
The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. John 10:10
I have looked at this poem for a month now, too frightened to publish it. For me it is raw, unfiltered. A small glimpse into a horrible past that is just that, the past. We can learn from the past and not invite it into our future. I always thought of myself as not having much of a testimony. Saved at a young age, church kid, always did what I was told. Then I realized all of the emotional bondage I was under. A dear friend shared with me that sometimes that is the hardest testimony to have because no one can see it. In the ways that you see alcohol abuse or sexual immorality, sometimes emotional bondage has no outer signs. No one knows. It can be just as hard to share a testimony that is unseen. Satan will trick you into thinking it is nothing special, which in turn robs God of His glory. Your testimony matters because you matter to the Father.