Yesterday while on my drive to town I reached a hill where I saw an ambulance and police cars. My heart skipped a beat. I thought, "Is there an accident? Is someone injured?" I slowed to drive past and said a prayer. God knew the needs. He didn't need me to know the information. He just needed me to be a vessel of prayer.
I arrived at my mom's house and she informed me of what had happened. She had heard the news on her scanner. A young man, the age of 26, committed suicide. My heart sank. I left her home and got in my car to go do her shopping. As I was driving I had my Adele Cd turned up, but then I no longer could enjoy the music that lifts me up. My heart felt that I simply needed to pray.
Finally, on my way home, I passed by the house again. The ambulance was missing, but the officer's cars were still there, but I noticed something more. I could see a large group of people sitting and standing outside the home. Tears began to flow and my heart stirred again to pray.
I thought, "Did this young man wake up today knowing it would be his last day? Had he contemplated taking his own life for days, months, maybe even years?" Then it hit me, "Where was his hope?" What had happened in this young man's life to change everything for him? Then I remembered when I was in that dark room.
My thoughts went back to about seven years ago when all seemed dark in my life. Troubles had grabbed hold of my heart. Every day, no matter what good there was in my life, all I could see was the bad. I couldn't shake the hurt I was feeling or the unknown. In a home of hunters I could take my pick of which gun to place in my hand. I knew where the bullets were stored. Could it really be that easy? Could I really end all of my pain I was feeling? I just wanted the pain to end and I didn't want to think about anyone or anything. In my pain I just wanted to hide.
I was at the end. I didn't want to face what tomorrow would bring. My perfect life was not perfect any longer. My happy home was no longer filled with laughter. It was a night I was home alone and I walked into our bedroom. I fell to my knees as I felt the Lord take my hand. I felt His strength wash over me and before me I no longer seen the pain, but I saw hope. I could hear Jesus saying to me, "Your work on this earth is not finished yet, daughter. There is so much more you do not see. Be strong. Be still and know that I am your God."
In those few moments my life changed forever. I grabbed on to the hope of Christ and I made the choice to not let go. Was every day easy? No, it wasn't, but instead of seeing the bad, I chose to see the good. Each day was a physical and mental choice for me to reach for God. I learned to trust Him. I learned to wait upon Him. I learned that I did not have control over the choices of others. I couldn't fix everything. I had to totally let go and let God. That meant surrendering ALL. He was not only surrounding me with His strength, but He was teaching me. Guiding me to a new faith. A new day of hope.
Not only was this a huge step for me in my faith, but for my life. Surrendering was not easy. I would give something over to the Lord only to take it back that evening and wonder, "Now, I know just what needs to be done here. I can make this better." Ha! So, I thought. The more I tried the worse things grew. That's when I knew that God's plan was better.
Over the years, those very issues that had almost taken my life, are now better. Life is not perfect, but I had to come to realize, "What is perfection?" Heaven. That was the answer. I long to see heaven. I long to spend my days with the Lord, but I know here on earth there is much to be done. Life on this earth is not easy. Some days are downright heartbreaking and earth shattering. But we must remain in hope. There is much to enjoy. I have to make the choice each day whether or not I am going to choose to see hope and feel joy.
That was where my prayers had grown for this family. I asked the Lord to show them His hope. To wrap His mercies around them and wash them in His grace. To give them peace when there is no way for them to understand. Their pain was not over.
Friends, we put on so many masks and hide our pain. I had to learn to let go of my pride and reach out for help. I not only relied on God, but my husband and close friends who I confided in, along with my pastor. I was blessed to be surrounded by people who loved me and helped me to overcome.
I know in America there are people who are thinking of ending it all today. I wish I could reach out to all of them and just say, "You have a hope. You have a Savior who wants more for you." Sometimes people just need a hug. They need someone to pay attention. They need someone to listen. When your at the end and you feel like there is no tomorrow, you didn't get there overnight. Healing takes time, but it can begin today if you will turn to Jesus. Healing came for me. It too can come for you with time and trusting in the promises of God.
"Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”
"Don't be afraid, for I am with you. Don't be discouraged, for I am your God."
"The Lord is a shelter for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble."
"Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for You are close to me. Your rod and Your staff protect and comfort me."
"Give your burdens to the Lord, and He will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall."
"Then Jesus said, "Come to Me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light."