Tuesday, September 10, 2013

For Julia...

Today is national suicide awareness day. This post is in loving memory of Julia Rose.
And in honor of her Husband, Onsby, and her four amazing little boy's.

On  October 18th, I was sitting in a waiting room at a doctor's appointment for my son. There was a sign that clearly said "No cell phones". My Dad called me. And I declined the call, as I saw the glare from the secretary at the front desk. I turned my ringer off. My Dad called again. I knew something  was serious. He wouldn't just call two times in a row, unless it was serious. I answered the phone. He struggled to put words together as he informed me that a friend of mine had taken her own life. In that moment I was devastated. Heartbroken for her four precious little boys, and her husband. I was lost without words. Shell shocked.

Just a few months prior, she had moved to Tennessee, I had moved to Georgia. But we kept in touch via social media. She had lived through a lot over the year prior. I knew that. But, I had no idea that she was in such a hopeless state, that she would take her life.

Of course the first thing I thought was "Why?" and "If only she had told me, someone, anyone." and "Are her babies okay?" and "How will her husband live through this?" and "If only?" and "WHY?".

I think I know the answer to "why?" now. She felt that life was hopeless. And my heart aches, because, hopelessness is a very real thing. It does not matter who you are. It is no respecter of persons. Wealthy, Broke, Famous, Young, Old, Christian, Not Christian.

 I know what hopelessness feels like. It is a very dark and scary place to be. As a Christian, my hope is in Jesus Christ, and I have peace that even in the darkest and hardest places, He is with me. That does not mean, that Christian's don't struggle with suicidal thoughts. They do.

I do not believe that if you just love Jesus more, or do more, or say the right things, that you won't ever feel hopeless. Jesus never promised us a life without pain. And many of us have lived through so much pain.

 I believe that some of us, have chemical imbalances, and need medication to be the best we can be. There is NOTHING wrong about that, it does not make you any less of a Christian or a person in general. I think it only helps you be who God want's you to be!

I think too often, we hide behind the "I'm fine" mentality. Especially within the church. A pastor of mine once preached a sermon that has always stayed with me. He took a sharpie, and wrote on his forehead. "Fine". He made a video, in which we saw him at home, and life was not fine. Yet, when he walked into church, he would point to his head and say "I'm FINE".  The message was a powerful one. Because I could relate. Life was not fine for me, and yet, I felt as though I had to play the act when at church, or when I was around anyone for that matter.

That is why I am writing this today. If you or someone you love is struggling. Don't keep it to yourself. Talk to someone. There is hope, so many people love and adore you. As someone who has had to live through the aftermath of suicide, please, talk to someone. As someone who has been in a hopeless state, there is HOPE! Please, do not hide behind the mask of "I'm fine". The first step is just asking for help.

If you or a friend are considering suicide please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 
1-800-273-8255. It is free and confidential.

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