By Nancy Virden (c)2022
In the eleven years since my suicide attempts, experiences have challenged old perceptions. It is as if I had been looking through mud-splashed windows and suddenly found a clean one. Visibility has astoundingly improved.
What I’m discovering on the other side of the glass is not a continuation of the same-old; it is not even the same-old dressed up in bright lights. Instead, it is a life previously hidden from me. Simply put, I did not know this possibility for joy existed. It has been worth waiting for the beauty.
At the time, in almost no way did beauty or purpose seem possible. There was a dichotomy of thought. While hope was gone and therapists and doctors were trying to save my life, it seemed to me to be a useless effort. In opposition to that negative belief stood my faith.
There is a song, written by Bill and Gloria Gaither, that says, “Jesus, Jesus, there’s just something about that name.” That “something” is his power, love, and ever-presence. I knew even then that my redeemer lives. There was no doubt he died for me. Mixed with suicidal determination was the wonder, might he want something other than suicide for my future?
I begged him to let me die. He foiled every attempt. Instead, he showed me a mental picture of himself standing there patiently, with me, in my pain.
Another song, written by the band Philips, Craig, and Dean, asks simply, “Can my thorn be a blessing?” An inner desire to be helpful, to encourage people in the faith, sprung up as I asked God the same question. I did not see how God could ever make my mess a blessing, nor did I believe there was anything left in me to offer the world. However, aware that God knows more, I tearfully asked him if he had a different plan.
He did, though it did not unfold quickly. Suicidal thoughts stayed with me for a few years. As professionals showed me options, God gave me another mental picture of him holding me steady as I walked through the middle of a mighty river.
The humans God led me to for help were patient and kind. They did help to wash the muddy window until it was clear. The chief Difference-maker was God himself and he remains so. You see, he has not left. He still loves me, speaks to me, and encourages me when doubts discourage purpose.
A radio host once asked, “Does someone have to be religious to get [mentally] well?”
No, of course not. People recover from suicidal thinking and forms of depression and hopelessness all the time. But through our faith on Jesus, we enter the world of unending love, richer and deeper than any temporary feeling or relationship. He never leaves us in our mess.
Today’s Helpful Word
Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.
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!
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: Nancy is not a doctor or a mental health professional, and speaks only from personal experience and observations. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.
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