Today’s post is very different. Today, I am pausing the recipe posts to talk about something very important yet difficult. I am not equipped on my own to touch on this topic, but I have been praying that God speaks through me to all of you in this post. September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month.
Far too many people have been impacted by suicide in some way throughout their lifetime, including myself; therefore, I find it crucial that we all openly discuss it.
For anyone who is struggling with these thoughts, my prayers are with you. For anyone who is struggling with any mental illness, my prayers are with you. For anyone who has a loved one who is struggling with these thoughts and/or mental illnesses, my prayers are with you. Mental illnesses can greatly impact an individual as well as their loved ones. There is a lack of knowledge among many of us, including myself, around the topic of mental illnesses.
While I am unable to provide you with specific information on the science and treatments of mental illnesses, I will try to provide you with some hope that you can hold onto amidst the struggles you may face.
1. You are never alone.
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6 (NIV)
The enemy will speak lies to you that may make you feel alone, but the Bible tells us that we are never alone because our God is with us ALWAYS. He will never forsake us. He goes before you and will be with you through every season (Dt. 31:8). He is our strength. Do not let the enemy win. You have a REALLY good God who wants your heart.
2. He sees and hears you.
“I am worn out from sobbing. All night I flood my bed with weeping, drenching it with my tears. My vision is blurred by grief; my eyes are worn out because of all my enemies. Go away, all you who do evil, for the LORD has heard my weeping. The LORD has heard my plea; the LORD will answer my prayer.” Psalms 6:6-9 (NLT)
David called out to God in a time of deep pain. He asked and pleaded for deliverance from this pain and from the enemy. David’s feelings and circumstances may feel familiar to you. BUT… You are not alone in these moments of sadness and grief because God hears your prayers and sees your tears. Call to Him. Ask Him to deliver you from your hurt. He will listen and he will answer your prayers.
3. He will rescue you.
“He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me. They confronted me in the day of my disaster, but the LORD was my support. He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me.” Psalms 18:16-19 (NIV)
“Unless the LORD had helped me, I would soon have dwelt in the silence of death. When I said, ‘My foot is slipping,’ your unfailing love, LORD, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.” Psalms 94:17-19 (NIV)
These verses are such beautiful depictions of God rescuing people and bringing them out of their hurt. I wrote about Psalms 18:16-19 in a previous post, but I found it important to touch on this again. These verses give us an image of God physically rescuing, which is so special. They also show how much He loves you. He will rescue you because HE DELIGHTS IN YOU. God doesn’t save perfect people, He saves those who are crushed in spirit (Psalm 34:18). Therefore, do not feel like you need to “figure it all out” before turning to God. He loves you more than you could ever imagine JUST AS YOU ARE.
Psalms 94:17-19, however, show Him delivering someone from their internal hurt. They wrote that God filled them with joy after being filled with anxiety. These consuming feelings of anxiety are likely very relatable to many, but you clearly are not alone in this. People have felt these feelings for thousands of years. This fight with the enemy is not new to God. He saved this person from their anxious thoughts then and has continued to do so everyday since. As 1 Peter 5:7 says, “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” Again, He loves you, and He wants you to surrender FULLY to Him. This includes surrendering your thoughts and your worries. Give it all to Him.
He WILL rescue you. He WILL help you. He WILL save you. He has been doing it for thousands of years and He will not stop now. He leaves the 99 just to save the 1 lost sheep, and He is happier to find that single sheep than the other 99 who did not wander off (Matthew 18:12-13). He is searching for the lost sheep. Call out to Him. Accept His grace and love. Let Him help you. Let Him fill you with joy and peace.
4. He has a Plan for your life, and He holds the future.
“‘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.’” Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
The future is scary because the future feels so uncertain to us. The emphasis here is on us because the future is not uncertain to God. He knows what the future holds. He has a plan for each of our lives. Not only does He have plans for our futures, but He has good plans for our futures, as Jeremiah 29:11 says.
The Lord declared that His plans include us flourishing. His plans would never be to harm us because He is our protector. A life with Him is a life filled with hope because you can confidently know that He is in control.
A life with God, however, is not a life without hardships. The hardships will still come, but He will walk with you through it all. You will never be alone in your struggles. When I compare my life before I fully accepted Christ to now, the biggest difference is this. I have walked through hard seasons with and without Christ, and I simply NEVER want to walk through another without Him.
5. Hope is found in Jesus Christ.
“You will surely forget your trouble, recalling it only as waters gone by. Life will be brighter than noonday, and darkness will become like morning. You will be secure, because THERE IS HOPE; you will look about you and take your rest in safety. You will lie down, with no one to make you afraid, and many will court you favor. But the eyes of the wicked will fail, and escape will elude them; their hope will become a dying gasp.” Job 11:16-20 (NIV)
Before these verses, it says “‘Yet if you devote your heart to him and stretch out your hands to him…’” in Job 11:13. Job 11:16-20 is a beautiful depiction of the hope found in Christ once you stretch your hands out and open your heart to Him. Life will be brighter. You will be secure and safe. The enemy will no longer win.
My hope is found in Christ. He changed my heart and life. I pray the same for you. There is no greater hope than that found in our Savior. He is the God of hope.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13 (NIV)
This is my prayer for you. I have been and will continue to pray for all of you who have, are, and will grapple with mental illnesses and suicidal thoughts. I pray God fills you with joy and peace. I pray you overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
If you ever need someone to talk to, I am here. Please never hesitate to reach out. I know I will never fully understand what you are walking through, but I am here to listen and pray for you. Please remember, you are NEVER alone.
I love you all so much!!! Have a great weekend 🙂
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-8255 (Veterans, press 1)
Crisis text line: Text TALK to 741741 (Veterans, text 838255)
The Trevor Project: 1-866-488-7386 to speak to counselors