Always the Fight Ministries: Displaying compassion for those fighting mental illness, addiction, or abuse. (c)2019 Nancy Virden
“Please God, is it time?” That question in 2011 preceded an attempt to die that did not end in physical death but instead, a major part of who I was flipped inside out. That’s how I lived for the next five years – inside out.
The story behind the story
Twenty-five years earlier I’d had what some might call a near-death experience. In the dentist’s chair under twilight anesthesia, I found myself somewhere else in perfect peace. God was near, and we had a conversation.
The topic is lost to memory. However, at one point I looked down and there was a woman in a dentist’s chair having oral surgery. She and the others around her were not only strangers to me but living in a different world and time.
God said, “I’m sending you back there.”
I said, “To her? I don’t want to be her.” Sensing the woman’s deepest needs I added, “She’s in so much pain.”
God said, “It is only for a short while.”
With that, I awoke behind the woman’s eyes. Still sensing eternity I asked everyone if what I was seeing was real. An attendant said, “You scared us. We thought we lost you.”
Sadness and hope coexist
The above was the pretext for my prayer asking if it was time yet. Home is in heaven and that is where I wanted to go. Instead, I came to the end of myself.
There was no more denying that I could not do life on my own. Fighting a war within yet wanting desperately to honor God, I asked him to help, repeatedly pleading with him to use this terrible experience as a blessing to others. His answer was to use therapy to grow me up again, this time safely and in wisdom.
Despite lingering great sadness, in early 2012 I embarked on what I hoped would become a successful outreach to suicidal people. I measure success by lives touched, and in that sense Always the Fight Ministries has been successful. Yet there have been many failures and more than a few reasons to feel humiliated. By mid-2018, I knew it was over. The joy described in part one of this series was active and thriving. Yet losing a sense of direction was painful. Then hope changed focus.
Another year passed before I sensed God telling me to begin again. Always The Fight Ministries got a new look and plan.
Our greatest hope
Over time, the lesson that God fights our battles has been sinking in. He is guiding one step at a time, and I’m not pushing for a faster pace. Previous personal goals are dashed to bits. I’m relying on the Chief Strategist to bring his purposes to fruition. This is restful.
You see, my hope is no longer in this life. No, that is not suicide, it is eternal hope. When my hope was in this life, disappointments nearly took me out. In this world, struggles come and go. Finances rise and fall. Success is measured by numbers. Relationships begin and end.
In God’s timing, one day there will be no more sorrow or pain or loss. Anything that happens to me until then cannot take this certain hope away. Instead of taking life into my own hands, I am letting him have it, trusting him to know what is best.
Hope wins! After all, we who follow Christ are only visitors here. One day, we will go home.
Today’s Helpful Word
1 Peter 1:3-6
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.
*** COMMENTS ALWAYS WELCOME
NOTE: I am not a doctor or mental health professional, and speak only from personal experiences and observations. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.
If you are feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, in the U.S. call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or for a list of international suicide hotlines, go here.
If you are suicidal with a plan, immediately call 911 in the U.S. or go to your nearest emergency room. (for international emergency numbers, go here ). Hope and help are yours!