By Nancy Virden (c)2021
A few things still break my heart when I think back to this weekend ten years ago. This is the non-celebratory anniversary of my suicide attempts that ultimately changed everything.
Only one year earlier
In November of 2009 I graduated college in my late forties. It was exciting. The next November, after moving to a state where I knew no one, severe depression was bashing a sense of purposelessness against my brain.
Only one month earlier
In early December I had the privilege of visiting my aunt in Tennessee. The nice week seems etched in my mind. Memories are shadowed though by the growing sense of despair.
Only two weeks earlier
By this time ten years ago, under depression’s spell, I believed my grown children no longer loved me. At Christmas, one son had written a note expressing his gratitude for me as his mom. Only two weeks. Depression’s lies are powerful.
Only one afternoon earlier
I was fully convinced I had no one in this world who cared, that I was friendless and alone. However, it was I who canceled a get-together earlier in the day. What?
Ten years later
These ten years I did not want and tried to avoid have easily, hands-down, without a doubt, indubitably, positively and surely, and by all means been the richest and freest, especially the last four. I see my life in two parts: before 2011 and after.
I moved back to my home state in 2015 and rejoined two grown children who love me very much. A false belief that had filtered out God’s love for decades was replaced with truth. Finally, I was living in the purpose I had once believed was gone.
In 2017, I began to live a dichotomy. For two years, one health issue after another threatened to steal my joy. A debilitating, incurable disease that causes severe anemia kept me home for most of two years. One son moved far away, and this Always the Fight ministry failed in several areas.
However, a deep sense of joy filled my heart at that time and has not diminished. I started a neighborhood Bible Study with some women who have faithfully attended since. By trial and error and God’s grace, this Always the Fight Ministry survived to encourage those who struggle with life.
God miraculously healed me almost two years ago. The pandemic began shortly after I started to get out more and as a result I’m going on four years of rarely leaving my house. The joy of the Lord is still strong. In 2020 I wrote two books, taught online Bible studies, and led three online prayer groups. In November I began a depression/anxiety support group in my church. Yes, times have been difficult, but I’ve been too busy to get carried away with negativity.
This joy is not always a cheerleader-style of rah rah and yay. Yet I know who I am, why I am here, and can believe it when someone says they love me or are proud of me. No longer do I chase after proof of my value. As God is set free to work through me, I am grateful for the opportunity to be alive.
What about you?
If you are in that day when suicide seems the only way out, let me assure you that finding help is the first step to discovering more joy than you now think is possible. In the U.S. call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room. In the EU call 112. For other international emergency numbers, go here. Hope belongs to you.
If you think about suicide, 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.
Reach out in faith to the only Savior, Jesus. No pain, trouble, or past is greater than God’s willingness to restore brokenness and redeem one’s life.
Today’s Helpful Word
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. “
Nancy’s latest FREE e-books! Click on the pictures for immediate access:
Always the Fight Ministries (ATFM) has been displaying compassion for those fighting mental illness, addiction, or abuse since 2012. Nancy is the founder and voice of ATFM and openly shares her emotional resurrection from despair.
NOTE: I am not a doctor or a 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. In the EU call 112. (For other international emergency numbers, go here ). Hope and help are yours!
HOLY BIBLE, NEW LIVING TRANSLATION, COPYRIGHT © 1996, 2004, 2015 BY TYNDALE HOUSE FOUNDATION. USED BY PERMISSION OF TYNDALE HOUSE PUBLISHERS, INC., CAROL STREAM, ILLINOIS 60188, PER BIBLE GATEWAY. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. RETRIEVED FROM HTTPS://WWW.BIBLEGATEWAY.COM/