September is Suicide Awareness Month

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Suicide is becoming more and more common, even amongst Christians.  Some may wonder, how could a Christian consider taking their own life when they know God personally?  Is that even possible?   How could life be so bad that anyone would want to take their own?  Why wouldn’t they just reach out?  These are a few questions that I used to ask myself and then one day a lot of them were answered as I, myself, considered the thought of suicide.  According to those around me I was so “lucky” or “blessed”!!  But they didn’t know the story of my heart.  They didn’t know how I feel so alone, even in a crowded room, that I feel like I don’t belong, and no one would really care if im gone.  “What’s my purpose here anyway?”  were the thoughts in my head.  I just didn’t feel “good enough” and so replaceable.  Emotions are strong, SO STRONG!!!  I also used to think that Suicide was an act of weekness, however later thought that it was act of strength as I considered how much better life would be if I weren’t in it, better for everyone else.  And then someone close to me took his own life.  The pain that I felt, knowing that I saw this man mostly every day.  I worked with him, for him actually.  He had a wife and beautiful children.  He smiled almost daily and I saw him the day that he decided would be his last.  I wondered what I could have done, said??  I often prayed for my job and the people that I work with, we were one big family that was broken by the acts of Suicide.  Shortly after this, another man that I trully admired most of my life, took his life too.  I’ve seen what the acts of Suicide does to those in the life of the one who takes their own, and I’ve felt the saddness, the maddness, the despire, grief, loss that is part of this package.  Im sure a lot of you can relate, altough none of us wants to talk about it.  We are ashamed too.  Why?  Why are we afraid to tell the stories of our hearts?  Maybe afraid of being judged, for being real.  We continue to walk through life blindfolded by the reality that the story of our hearts is what connects us to each other.  This fake costume that we often wear, holds us back from experiencing something so beautiful.  Because beautiful things come from opening our hearts to share our “darkest” parts and allowing Christ inside to heal and connect us to each other, here hope happens!  As I’m writing this I keep hearing God tell me to read Proverbs Chapter 20 because he has something to say.  I will do that now….

Verse 5 says “The purposes of a person’t heart are deep waters, but one who has insight draws them out.”  then verse 6 says “many claim to have unfailing love, but a faithful person, who can find?”  Verse 9 “Who can say, I have kept my heart pure, I am clean and without sin?”  These verses together explain a lot.  God is truly the only one that fully understands the story of our hearts.  And I know that he works through “insightful people” to speak life to “dieing souls”.  But guess what?  These insightful people that God works through, are human, have sinned, and have had life experiences where God has shown himself in their own dark places so now, they can help another by giving hope, offering compassion and sharing the love that Christ offers us all.  Togetherness – when we are the ones in a dark place, we need an “insightful person” to encourage us, walk along beside us, comfort us.  Yes, Christ is our ultimate comforter,  he also intended for us to comfort each other, to stick close together.  The church is known as the “body of Christ”  We are one!  After we experience this life changing connectedness and acceptedness, it’s our turn to help another.  We experience things so that we understand enough to help another.  And God places people along our path to help us, just as he places us in someone else’s path, to help them.  The really cool thing is, is either way, we are all helping ourselves at the same time.  We long to belong, to connect, to be accepted, and most of all to be loved.  So what do we do as a society, as christians?  How do we help?  Verse 24 “A person’s steps are directed by the Lord, how then can anyone understand their own way?”  Let’s start by trusting God to guide us, without him we are lost!!!  And let’s stop judging each other and ourselves so much, understanding that only God knows the true story of our heart and the life’s experiences that we all have been through.  He is the one who also knows where these life’s experiences are going to take us and what joy it will bring along the way.  We just have to trust him!!  We must receive what he has for us!!!  Believing isn’t enough, if we don’t trully receive it.

Please know that you are NEVER alone and taking your life is NEVER the answer.  Open your heart to Christ and pray that he will send you the right person to walk with you through your tough times.  Talk about it. Pray about it and open your bible.  Ask God to guide you to the verses that will speak life to you now.  I pray that whoever reads this will become aware that Suicide is real and so is God.  He gives life, and He makes beautiful things come from ugly experiences when we trust him to.

Proverbs Chapter 16

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I read Proverbs Chapter 16 yesterday before taking my daughter to school, planning to blog after work.  However, one thing leads to another and that never happened.  So I reread Chapter 16 today and asked God “What are you saying to me?”  and “What would you like me to do?”  Before I even started reading I heard him say, “Stop complaining.”  I have been doing that a lot lately.  Well, I didn’t think that it was so much, but maybe I was complaining more than I thought.  I don’t say it all out loud, although I share more than I should.  But my thoughts lately have been on my challenges more than my blessings and my Savior.  As I sit here writing this I laugh a little, wondering how?  How can I stop complaining totally when sooooo much is happening right now.  I mean, I have a right to “explain” myself right?  God says, read Proverbs chapter 16 again.  So I will do that now…

Wow!  I guess sometimes it takes a bit for me to get what God is saying to me.  I have so many thoughts about things that I need to do, how to fix certain problems, and to figure out the “impossible” or so it seems.  I know all things are possible with Christ.  His word promises me this, however, there are times when I doubt.  Verse 3 says, “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.”  OK, well that takes away worry, I guess.  At least I know that I’m not alone in planning my time, which I don’t seem to have enough of.  So that to do list that I seem to never complete, is my own, not His.  It makes sense why I get so frustrated and overwhelmed.  Verse 7 says, “When the Lord takes pleasure in anyone’s way, he causes their enemies to make peace with them.”  As I’m walking with Christ, no matter what circumstances come He has a plan for me and promises to give me the peace that the world can not take from me without my permission.  That’s impressive!!  This all sounds wonderful!  I keep saying that I need a personal secrectary, I have one!!  God! The creator of everything, the source of an everlasting, unfailing love, the one who knows all!  It can’t get much better than that, right?  And a bonus, peace, no matter what!  Wait a minute, why would it be so important that I know that I’m offered this perfect peace?  Then God starts to speak gently to my heart letting me know that a lot of my challenges are part of His plan, and this perfect peace will help me stay on the path that He has chosen for me, when I feel like go in another direction.  Verse 32 says, “Better a patient person than a warrior, one with self-control than one who takes a city.”  All along, I’ve been trying so hard to be strong.  Now, I’m starting to see that being patient takes huge strength, especially when things don’t make sense or feel so overwhelming.  I love the way that God touches my heart with his affirmations and guidance.  I pray that you become aware of His presence in your life and you allow Him to plan you time, and be patient with him when you feel like He isn’t being fair and ask Him, what He wants you to see?  He will tell you.  🙂

Proverbs Chapter 15

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Tonight I read Proverbs 15 before going for a run with my daughter.  I’m still trying to catch my breath.  It has been awhile since I’ve run anywhere.  I’m also making dinner and then we are doing our nails.  It’s girl’s night!! 🙂  I love nights like these!  So my time is very valuable to me, and it would be easy not to find time to read my bible and write here, but I feel like God wants to say something.  I used to be so confused when I read Proverbs.  It kind of sounds like a bunch of riddles, especially some translations and they just didn’t make much sense to me.  That was before.  Now, I understand why it’s called the “living” word of God.  It really gives us “life” in a completely simple yet challenging way.  Let’s start with the way that we talk.  In verse 1 it says, “a gentle answer turns away wrath”…. It totally makes sense, if you think about it.  So, why aren’t we “gentle” with our words all of the time?  See, simple, yet challenging.  Verse 4 says, “the soothing tongue is a tree of life” … that’s pretty powerful.  As Christians, if we are meant to be Christ like than we came to heal the sick and raise people from the dead, give life.  It can be as simple as the words that we speak to encourage another, giving hope, and opening hearts to one true love, the one who gave us life.   So much needs to change in the world, but where do we start?  We start with the heart.  First our own.  Why is it important to read the bible?  To have a relationship with Christ?  It gives life to our heart.  And then we can allow Christ to walk with us on our journey here as we give life to the hearts of others, which also gives life to our own hearts, again.  It’s a double win!!  Verse 13 says, “A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit.” The best way to feed a hungry heart is with the love of Christ and the freedom that this love brings to our souls.

Now it’s time to ask ourselves… what is it that you want me to see, God?  How does this apply to my life?  What do you want me to do?  Now let’s listen to His gentle, sweet, voice that gives life to us all.