Would Anyone Care?

#suicide #suicidal #depression #donotgiveup #Covid19 #stressmanagement

Song: Would Anyone Care

Artist: Citizen Soldier

Have you ever felt like the lyrics of this song? Do you feel like that now? If so, you're not alone. According to a recent report by the CDC, "during June 24–30, 2020, U.S. adults reported considerably elevated adverse mental health conditions associated with COVID-19. Younger adults, racial/ethnic minorities, essential workers, and unpaid adult caregivers reported having experienced disproportionately worse mental health outcomes." (The report is available for download below.)

I wish I were surprised by this finding, but we know that suicide has steadily increased in the last two decades and the Covid-19 pandemic has amplified this morbid matter. Suicide and thoughts of suicide has affected everyone at some point. It may not have been you, but I imagine that it has happened to a loved one or a celebrity that you admired. Sadly, I lost three high school classmates to suicide within five years after graduation. I have had a couple of friends attempt suicide one or more times. I remember when one of my mother's colleagues committed suicide and the entire middle school mourned. No, I am no stranger to such sorrow. I also must admit that I have struggled with thoughts of hopelessness and defeat in my past too. Whereas I did not want to kill myself, there were many nights I prayed this simple prayer: "God, please take me by morning." I am grateful for many unanswered prayers and that is certainly one of them. I am still here because I have not fulfilled my purpose yet.

How do we get to the point we want to die or never wake up again? I do not have a straight answer. However, what I know is we do not get there overnight. I think it is the culmination of several repeat offenses that constantly seem to reiterate the lies in our head and those lies begin to fossilize in our heart. The lies that we are not loved, no one cares, no one would miss us if we died. There is always someone who cares, you just have to find them. A homeless person may feel like no one cares, but I am sure there is a case manager at a homeless shelter, a missionary, or a kind stranger who does at the appropriate time.

More importantly, God cares. He made us in His image and sent His only begotten Son to die for us. You don't just watch your son suffer and die for just anyone, honey! Of course He cares. It is that realization that has helped me stay in a healthy mental state. There have been many times in my life when I have shut my door to the world with tears in my eyes and said, "Ok God, it's just me and You." When I discovered and realized (meaning, made it real in my life, my thoughts, my talk) God's heart for me, it changed everything. It changed me. If God alone is not enough for you, then no one else ever will be. You think I learnt this lesson because I have only experienced love and commitment from others all my life? Think again.

Life sucks sometimes (yes, I said it) and I understand that you may feel as though you're at the end of your rope, but there is hope for you. There is still a fulfilling life that awaits you. It may not happen overnight, but I know that if you do not choose to live today - if you give up now - you will NEVER experience it. That's for sure. Let me tell you a story to bring my point home. I used to be an admissions counselor, and one day I had an after-school application review event planned at a high school. To entice students to stay after school, I went to buy pizza and bottled waters. On my way back, I saw a man on the side of the road holding a sign that read, "Please help. Hungry." I was not on his side, so I did a quick turn around to drive by again on his side. It was his lucky day! He was going to get a full box of pizza and cold bottled water. As I was approaching him, the traffic light turned red and caused me to be at a standstill about 12 or more cars away. Before the light turned green again, he folded up his sign, crossed the street, and walked out of my sight. There was no way I could safely cross traffic in time to find him.

I was so sad for that man. He was less than five minutes away from a full box of pizza and cold water that would have fed him for a day to two or perhaps helped him to feed someone else too. He was just a "let me try a little longer"away from a breakthrough. What's my point? Push past this current desire to quit. I believe there is someone who wants to bless you and give you a hand up, but they need you to remain in position, to not walk away, to not quit. Who cared about that random man on the side of the road? A kind stranger, that's who. You have no idea who God has commissioned to be a blessing in your life.

You're reading this blog post right now, because I care about you and how you're feeling, coping, and managing your mental health in the midst of a pandemic, racial war, cold war, recession, a chaotic election, and kinds of calamities throughout the world...not to mention your own personal trials with relationships and inner conflict. It is not a coincidence that you are reading this post at time like this in your life. Therefore, I want to leave you with eight realizations that have helped me cancel my pity party over the years and get back in the fight for my life.

8 Realizations that Will Save Your Life

1. You are not alone.

No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. ~1 Corinthians 10:13

Often we interpret temptations to only be acts that pleasure the flesh, such as sexual immorality, drugs, alcohol, etc. A temptation is anything we desire to do while knowing it is not the will of God for us to do it. Therefore, suicidal thoughts are also temptations that are common. Yes, the thing that you are experiencing is common, usual, normal. Meaning, there is someone on your contacts lists who knows exactly how you're feeling right now. And, the reason you feel so alone is because he/she is keeping their trials and burdens to his/herself just like you are. Moreover, this scripture reminds that we will not be tempted to harm ourselves beyond our capabilities to call on the Holy Spirit for help bearing our pain. God will indeed provide us with a way of escape from our on hand. Jesus saves.

2. God is with you.

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. ~Isaiah 41:10

God promises that He is always with us in the midst of our hurt, pain, and fear. Who better to stand with you?

God is omnipotent; He is all powerful and He is in control of everything in the earth and beyond.

God is omnipresent; He is everywhere and with you simultaneously because of His Spirit that lives in you.

God is omniscient; He sees the past, the present, and your future all in one glance, so He's never caught off guard or by surprise.

God is love; He is compassionate, forgiving, relentless, and intentional in with His love towards you.

God is yours; He will never leave you or forsake you and He will not change His mind about you.

God is not just with you in the good, happy times. He is with you always, just as He was with the three Hebrew men in the fiery furnace (Daniel 3). If you look closely, you will see that there is another in the fire with you. With Jesus as your Lord, God's Spirit will never be removed from you. Never.

3. You need to love yourself.

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. ~1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Here is another scripture you need to expand your perspective on. Too often we look at this scripture as a guideline for how others should treat us and how we should treat others only. But, what about how you treat yourself? Let this scripture guide us in loving ourselves, because if do not love ourselves, we cannot love God and others as commanded. If we do not allow love to heal us, we will always serve and minister from a hurt, shameful place.

So how do we love ourselves?

Be patient and kind to yourself. Do not be jealous or covet what others have, be humble, and respect yourself always. Do not demand your own way, but submit to God's will for your life. Forgive yourself and do not keep a record of your wrongs. Do not boast in doing wrong, but rejoice in living honestly and righteously. Never give up, never lose faith, always hope, and endure through every circumstance.

You deserve that.

4. Satan wants to kill you.

Then the angel showed me Jeshua (or Joshua) the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord. The Accuser, Satan, was there at the angel’s right hand, making accusations against Jeshua. And the Lord said to Satan, “I, the Lord, reject your accusations, Satan. Yes, the Lord, who has chosen Jerusalem, rebukes you. This man is like a burning stick that has been snatched from the fire.” ~Zechariah 3:1-2

Satan has cornered you, and he's trying to bully you into signing a DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) with the Holy Spirit. He wants to convince you that your life is over, there is no turning back, and that your life will always be this way. He does not want you to call out to God for help. He wants you to feel that you are beyond help, saving, or resuscitation. He wants you to identify as worthless, lonely, rejected, and discarded. Don't believe him! He is a deceiver and a liar. He does not want you to endure or receive the inheritance God has promised you - the same one he forfeited when he rebelled against God. In fact, he tries to litigate his claim against you with God to to prove you are not qualified to fulfill your calling and purpose in this life. However, Satan is deceiving you with what only looks like the truth and validates your feelings. I know you know what is in his case file; the sneaky bastard has been replaying the videos and audio from every mistake you ever made and every hardship you ever experienced. And, he is so good at his job that he has convinced you to testify against yourself. Don't do it.

God is still rejecting Satan's accusations against you. Your Father is your great defender and protector. He knows who you are, your struggles, and your potential. Most importantly, He is knows His plans to give you prosperity, safety, hope, and a future (Jeremiah 29:11). God also wants to snatch you from the fire...but you must let Him. You must surrender to God's will for your life. And, to surrender, you must trust Him as Jeshua (Joshua) did.

5. This is not heaven.

When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am. ~John 14:3

God never promised us a pain-free life on earth. The place where God promises us that we will not experience any pain, suffering, or death is heaven, not earth. Jesus went to prepare that place for us and now we await His return to serve as our glorious escort. I know that is precisely why many of us are anxious to get there before our time, but taking your life will not get you there. Jesus said that only those who endure until the end shall be saved. Well, giving up is the opposite of endurance, right? God gifted us with miracles, signs, and wonders for a reason; humans need them, not angels. We love miracles, but we often overlook the fact that a miracle requires misfortune and misery. To experience a miracle of healing means that you were once sick beyond human healing. So, choose to look past your current condition with faith and see an opportunity for God to be glorified in your circumstances.

6. People will let you down.

Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your family of believers all over the world is going through the same kind of suffering you are. ~1 Peter 5:8-9

I know what it is like to not be able to get your best friend on the phone. I know how it feels when your mother does not understand why you feel the way you do. It hurts when your spiritual leaders belittle your hurt and pain. Listen, people will let you down. They cannot help themselves but to let you down. Understand that everyone is imperfect and flawed. We all make mistakes and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:10/23). Other believers are suffering. We all have your troubles. Perhaps, you are not in the best condition to be there for someone else who feels the way you do right now. Consider that. You never know what someone else is experiencing, so extend grace. More importantly, do not let the neglect of your loved ones add to your current misery. Besides, the times my people did not answer the phone - after the fifth or sixth call - I realized they were not the ones I should vent to. I needed to talk to God in prayer. I needed to confess my pain and frustration to the One who could do something about it; the One who could help me understand it. After you have prayed to God, I trust Him to show you the next steps you should take and the people you should ask to pray for you too.

7. Counseling is wisdom.

For you should wage war with sound guidance – victory comes with many counselors. ~Proverbs 24:6

War? Yes. You are fighting for your life and your purpose. You may have advanced into new territory, trial, or circumstance that you know nothing about. For this reason, it is important to not be prideful and seek help. This scripture reminds us to get wisdom and guidance from many counselors. Your counselors include the Word of God and the Holy Spirit, trusted pastors, experienced mentors, licensed professionals, and people filled with the Holy Spirit and have the gift of wisdom. James 3:17 says that godly wisdom is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, accommodating, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial, and not hypocritical. Be sure to vet all advice with this criteria. I have also included a number to the National Suicide Prevention Hotline below. Do not be ashamed to use it. Your victory is here.

8. This is temporary.

In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation.~1 Peter 5:10

From the scripture, four things are certain:

One, God intends for you to share in His eternal glory through His Son.

Two, you will suffer.

Three, your suffering is temporary.

Four, God will make you better as a result of your suffering.

Heavenly glory is eternal while earthly suffering is temporary. Let's focus on what is eternal versus what is temporary. Do not forfeit your eternity with God by giving up and blaspheming His sovereignty for temporary pain and tribulations. As you have heard, "Trouble don't {sic} last always"..."This too shall pass." Hold onto these assurances. The lady who fought through a crowd and crawled her way to Jesus knows this (Matthew 9:20-22). She bled for 12 years and yet in an instant - by touching the hem of Jesus' garment - she was healed. I can imagine, that once she was healed of her illness, her new joy overshadowed the shame and pain she had endured for so long. But that's just it, she endured. You will too.

Study the Word of God and pray fervently, and all of these realizations will be confirmed over and over again as you go deeper in God and understand His purpose for you. Now listen to "Graves into Gardens" to get a glimpse of the restorative and transformative power of the Holy Spirit. This is your future.

Eight is the number of new beginning. I pray, in the name of Jesus, that this is your new beginning of faith, endurance, and loving yourself deeply so that you can love God and others in everything you do and with everything you have.

National Suicide Prevention Hotline

Call 1-800-273-8255 or chat online (English/Espanol)

For TTY Users: Use your preferred relay service or dial 711 then 1-800-273-8255

Report: Mental Health, Substance Use, and Suicidal Ideation During the COVID-19 Pandemic — United States, June 24–30, 2020

Mental Health, Substance Use, and Suicid
Download • 226KB

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