Suicide-A story of hope & intention

It was January 2007 when I got the call.

He died. My dear friend, the one from high school, the one I’d always considered a brother. It was suicide. It was intentional.

I could describe for you the pain, the looping roller coaster of grief. A cheap ride I never wanted to go on in the first place and one that took a long, long, long time to get off. But I’m assuming you’ve been acquainted with heart wrenching loss. If you haven’t…someday you will.

So, this is my suicide story. The way it sliced me to the core, bloody and bruised, leaving me vulnerable to the realms of this world and beyond. This is my story of how God courted me during that season. This is my story of how He used all those broken pieces to create something new in me.

God says He is the beginning and end. He who is, who was, and who is yet to come. {Rev.1:8} He is the past, present, and the future. And when I welcomed Him to live and reign in my heart, He promised to never leave me or forsake me. He knew what was to come, and looking back I discover that in a million little ways He was preparing me for that black moment. He always does.

Even still, grief is an unwelcome companion.

In the month’s preceding my friends suicide I had developed a very strong unsettling feeling within my spirit. It was odd. Unlike anything I’d ever experienced. I kept it to myself mostly. I prayed. Then one day, while driving I heard a voice whisper, “Death is near.” Whoa! I shook it off. Yet, it periodically returned. The voice. Those words. Death is near.

And then, the call.

Death is destruction, disaster, and a devastating mixture to our soul. Suicide tosses in additional ingredients. Heaping cups of guilt, pounds of regret, and bitterness served up in bulk. We assume our role. We feel part to blame. We could’ve, we should’ve….

This past week a young college student from my church committed suicide. I didn’t know him but my heart aches for his family and friends. I remember the pain as if it was yesterday. It’s palpable. I hold my journal in my palm, I flip back, and I recoil as I relive that moment.

This grief zone; it’s complicated, dangerously confusing, and life changing.

Are you there? Here are a few things you can do:

1. Record Your Journey. A journal helped me pour out my grief. It was good to help me cope and process the waves that crashed and battered. I quickly discovered that grief measures itself with time. One week, one month, the last time you did this, the anniversary of, words exchanged, all of which become marked by time. In the same way, your grief journey can be measured through words, thoughts, and feelings. As you look back, the million little ways that God was comforting and restoring will slowly be revealed. Not now, not in the fog, but later when you can see a little more clearly. Believe it or not, this journey will be used as a tool. It’s shaping your testimony. Write it out.

Resources: Evernote is an online tablet that you can use to record events or make simple notes. Or consider using Blogger. Opt for private settings if you wish to record for your eyes alone.

2. Guard your heart. Above all else, guard your heart. Imagine your heart as a door, the gateway to your soul. Would you allow a thief in? Never. It’s tempting to want to connect with your loved one. I know. I dabbled. I did not protect myself because I did not understand fully. And because of it I flung open doors to a world that I never intended to enter. But God gave me wisdom and in JESUS NAME I cleaned house and closed doors. I also learned some truths about the Devil. He is a trickster, an impostor, and he masquerades as light. {2 Corinthians 11:14} This means he can disguise himself to look like someone we care deeply for. To masquerade as light means that by all appearances it is good and lovely. Why would Satan do this?  To deceive.

 “Demons are undoubtedly more than willing to masquerade as dead humans if they can deceive tens of millions of people and draw them away from Jesus.” -Ron Rhodes

What’s at stake? When we focus our attention on the spiritual realm or connecting with a loved one rather than fixing our eyes on God, the enemy succeeds. The last thing the Devil wants is for you to gain strength, wisdom, and council from the Lord. This subject is wildly controversial in most circles. I’m stating the biblical truth that has been made known to me. If you wish to have a private conversation about this I’d love to talk. Please message me here.

And pray. He who is in you is greater that he who is in the world.

Resource: The book, The Truth Behind Ghosts, Mediums, & Psychic Phenomena by Ron Rhodes was a huge gift to me. Full of wisdom!

3. Step out of your comfort zone. I know your hurting. Scripture says, “Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy.”{Psalm 126:5} Stepping forward and wrapping your arm around someone who shares your grief is good for healing. When my friend died, God laid a burden of compassion on my heart for his mother. One week after the funeral, my sweaty hands picked up the phone and called her. We talked and cried together for hours. And that was only the beginning…

The remedy does exist. We discover it in a movie, a novel, or in the lyrics of a song. We see it painted in a rainbow or in one star twinkling brighter than the rest. We read it in the Word. Profound and bold, we’ve never noticed it before. The calm, gentle voice whispers truth while the hot shower beads our tear streaked faces. These are the things that bring out hope. Cling. Write. Live. Hope.

Make this your intention.


Intoxicated- Discovering Your Core Lies

I woke up around midnight on Saturday sicker than a dog. Vertigo. The room had turned itself upside down by the wild spinning in my head. Thus, for a good hour or so produced some nauseating porcelain prayers.

My first bout with the dreaded vertigo came 6 years ago. Again in the middle of the night. That time however; I ended up in the ER with hurried nurses scrambling to diagnose my condition. After a CAT scan, MRI, and full battery of tests they concluded nothing. I was released in perfect form the following day. Still, the jolting affect of that violent episode left me wondering why that happened to me? After I thoroughly analyzed the events from the previous day I was able to self-diagnose the root cause of my sickness.

I had been poisoned.

The said event was stupid, really. I was simply mowing our lawn when it suddenly quit working. Out of gas. So, I filled up the tank and pulled, pulled, pulled on that rip cord thing. Nothing. Hmm. Next, I checked the oil level {well, first I called my husband and thats what he told me to do. Since I’m a fair person I must give credit where due}. Yep, that was the problem! I glugged a quart of oil into the spout, spilling a little {okay, a lot}. Pulled, pulled, pulled and walla I was back in the mowing business.

Except, now, due to the excess oil spillage I had a crazy amount of burn off. You know, black rolling plumes of smoke. I’m not talking a little bit here folks. I’m talking Hiroshima. But a girls gotta do what a girls gotta do and I had to finish mowing the lawn. So thats what I did. Inhaled, ingested, consumed, and digested all those toxic fumes so I could get the job done. In the process I poisoned myself. Later that night, still trapped within the cells of my body, they fought their way to expulsion. Bam, vertigo!

A few weeks ago I began diving into a study written by Sarah Mae aimed at discovering and dealing with lies. Core lies. Those other toxins imbedded into the fiber of our being. Lies that we believe are true about ourself. Lies we don’t even know that we believe.

“Below the flesh, creeping behind bone, in secret places of the spirit,               lie wounds.” – Sarah Mae 
We all have wounds. Taking an in depth look at my own has brought about this radical realization that the way I respond to situations, the manner of how I speak, and how I behave has often times been an overflow of the lies hidden within.  
What’s the big deal anyways? They don’t really have that big of an effect. I’ll just push {mow} through it.
The truth. It’s about living a cleaner, more authentic life. Cleared of debri from the past. Cleaning up the toxic waste and throwing out messy lies. 
Why? To fulfill the ultimate commandment. 
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind…And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.”             – Matthew 22: 37-39
When we confront those lies and see them as the poison they really are we can be empowered to choose to see and believe the truth. This will make us free. Freedom from lies will give us a greater capacity to love God and love others more fully.

Sometimes it takes a dark night to fully realize that we are indeed sick. Just like my trip to the ER caused me to look back at past events, so can discovering the root of our lies help to diagnose a sin sick condition or ways the enemy has been slithering in and around our wounds whispering tales of deception. 
The Core Lies guide is a free, download that you can obtain here. 
Press on. The truth will set you free.