Suicide? I’ve been there.
I was 17 years old; my life was crashing down around me; and everywhere I looked, I saw destruction that I’d caused. I didn’t tell anyone my thoughts because I knew that they would disagree, but I also thought I knew better. I believed the world would be better off without me.
At that time, the only thing that kept me alive was the knowledge that if I died, my boyfriend would himself likely plunge into depression. I knew he might not survive, so I took another breath and kept living.
I also argued with God, who spoke a gentle whisper in my heart, challenging my train of thought. This is how the argument went:
“I’m useless—worse than useless. Look at the mess I’ve created! Look at how many people are hurting because of me! Every single person in my life would be better off if I hadn’t been born!”
Now hold on.
“I haven’t lived all that long and everything that I’ve done has caused someone pain.”
Wait a minute, child.
“Truly, God, why am I here?”
Are you saying I made a mistake?
“No, Father! You’re God Almighty! To even imply that You make mistakes is blasphemy!”
But you know that I made you. I am the One who placed you here—and now. What else could you mean?
“God, my life is nothing but a tale of destruction. I cannot say that You made a mistake. I’m not a blasphemer, but it is hard to see how my life can be according to Your will. I don’t understand why You haven’t killed me yet, Father. Perhaps You want me to kill myself?”
Did I not say, “You shall not murder” [Exodus 20:13]? Are you not a person who lives and breathes because I give you breath? When you are no longer needed, I will take away your breath. I will, not you. I did not create you to be a murderer.
“When will that be? Surely You hate the pain I cause; surely you can see that my life isn’t worth it.”
Are you trying to tell me what to do?
“No, Father! It’s just very hard for me to trust You right now.”
Why is that, child?
“Because I’m less than worthless.”
How dare you call a child of mine less than worthless? Who gives you breath? Who gives you value? Are you not worth much more than two sparrows? [Matthew 10:29-31] Can you see the whole tapestry to judge the beauty of the thread that is you?
“But who am I that You should notice me?”
You’re my child. I created you. That makes you more precious than gold. Everything that I create, I declare good.
“But what about all the pain that I cause? How can that be ‘good’?”
Many in this world have chosen to turn from My goodness. There is much pain, destruction and sorrow. Do not think that I do not feel it. I cry whenever a child I created cries. I hold their tears and offer them comfort.
But sometimes, they need more than a gentle whisper in their heart. Sometimes they need a human friend. I have chosen you to be that comfort to others, to give to those who sorrow the comfort that they need in My name.
In return I promise you this: while you walk this earth, I will provide for you a helpmate who will show you My love. I will allow you to have children who will walk in My name and continue your work after you.
When you have completed your task, I will not make you stay on this earth a second longer than you have to. When you are finished, I will take away your breath and give you rest.
Finally, when I come again to receive you to myself and give you a new home, you will be able to look back on your life from My perspective and see that your life was worth it. My plan is good.
I would like to say that God’s promise ended all my doubts, but I am, after all, human. After living a life that I’d perceived to have no value in many people’s eyes, it was hard work to see that I have worth. Even today, I find it incredibly hard to say “No” to others, because I’ve been taught to believe I’m nothing more than a commodity. My worth, I was told, is measured by how willing I am to give to others whatever they demand, regardless of how I may feel inside.
That conversation with God was, however, the wake-up call I needed to see that what I’d once thought was “normal” was indeed wrong and that I needed to find a way to break free from the oppression I faced—literally and metaphorically. It ended any inclination I had to cut short God’s plan for me.
Through A Sea Of Troubles
My favourite Bible story is recorded in 2 Corinthians 12:7–9, which was written by one of the great New Testament apostles, Paul.
Paul travelled the world preaching and teaching about Christ. He started many churches, then kept them going even from a distance. Yet Paul talked about a “thorn in my flesh” (verse 7) that he said God put there to stop him from becoming conceited.
According to Paul, “three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness’ ” (verses 8, 9).
I take that to mean that even when I forget what God has taught me and try to base my self-esteem on how valuable a commodity I am to others, God can still use that for good. I cannot mess up irreparably, because God is always there to help me through.
Sometimes, I get impatient with God. Sometimes, I feel like I’m drowning in a sea of troubles. But in spite of everything, I have the Word of God promising that He’ll even turn my pain around into good. Knowing I’m a part of His plan gives me just enough hope, faith and love to get me through the storm and allow me to rejoice wholeheartedly when the darkness has lifted.
God didn’t delay in keeping His promise to me. The man who was my boyfriend when I was 17, is now my husband and we have a beautiful baby boy.
God has a plan for every single life that He created. He’s there through the dark times, ready with a promise and a purpose tailored to each life. God loves you.