August 06, 2012

Accepting Help

I had an unexpected meeting at church the other day.  A friend who had cut off all communication showed up.  I went to greet her and we started talking.  I soon learned that my friend had been in the hospital for two months (during which all I could do was pray for her well-being).  She told me she had been on suicide watch.

My heart is heavy.  In a way I'm not surprised at her situation.  She had been distancing herself from everyone around her for several months now.  And she had stress in her family relationships and in her job.  She is single and lives alone.  Its tough.

But what made me sad is that she chooses to believe that no one cares about her.  That is simply not true.  But when a Christian isolates him or herself from other believers... when a Christian believes that everyone else should be thinking about them and serving them... that's when the enemy has a chance to find cracks in the armor.

Listen friends, it doesn't matter how long you have been a Christian, it doesn't matter how much of the Bible you can quote.  If you don't obey what God says, if you don't get involved with any other Christians and find ways to serve than you are a sitting duck.  Prime bait on the hook.  And the Lion is always prowling for stragglers.

We are in a spiritual war whether we choose to recognize that or not.  And the enemy will not hesitate to attack regardless of our level of involvment.  When God tells us to obey Him it isn't so that we have no fun in this life.  It is to preserve our lives and help us live to our full potential!

My friend and I talked for a long while and during that time I strongly felt the Holy Spirit urge me to tell her this one truth:  If someone chooses to take their own life that responsibility ultimately falls solely on their own shoulders.  It is between them and God.  No one else.  

My friend was silent and nodded.  I was careful not to be harsh but I believe that no one ever spoke to her so frankly before.  And if she is thinking about killing herself, and gives herself the excuse that none of her friends care enough, than I will not carry guilt because of her choice.

I have already experienced the grief of suicide three times before with two friends and a past student.  It is a pain beyond words and I have learned through bitter tears that life and death cannot be carried on our own shoulders.  Beyond having done all I could to help and encourage I have learned that God does not hold me responsible for their choices.

But at the same time I have realized that it is a lie to believe you or I cannot comfort someone who is depressed or grieving.  It is a lie to believe that somehow something you or I say or do would cause someone to kill themselves.  Suicide is a selfish act.  It hurts everyone.  

Ultimately, all we can do for people who struggle with depression is to love them and help them as best we can.  Never judge them or berate them for feeling depressed.  But if someone doesn't want to be helped there is nothing anyone can do about that. 

I'm not saying I know it all.  I'm not saying my experiences are the best solutions for anyone.  All I'm saying is that God has sustain me through dark, deep waters in my life and He has been there for me when I lost people I loved.  Sometimes there are no answers but I refuse to be an excuse Satan uses to claim another life.  May God deal with him as he deserves.  Christ has already given me the victory and by the power of Jesus name I move forward without regret or fear of what could happen.

Oh Lord, only you know the inner turmoil in my friend's heart and mind.
Only you can heal the deep, broken places in any soul.
For you came not for the healthy but for the sick.
Please heal my friend Lord and spare her life, that she might rise above her anguish.
Lord I pray for victory in her life.
And please grant others and myself who know her, peace and endurance.
Whatever happens may you be glorified.
In Jesus powerful name,
~ Sincerity


Lizzy said...

Hi, I'm new to the whole blogging thing. Just wanted to say that I appreciate what you wrote.

Suicide is so painful and a lot of people don't like to even talk about it.

I lost a close friend to suicide and I always wondered if there was something more that I could have done.

But you have a good point. God doesn't put that blame on anyone's shoulders but the person who does it.

You gave me something to think about. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

This touches me. God bless you. Let us be a blessing for others.

BelovedBomber said...

Personally, I think more people need to have the courage to speak the truth in love.


Lizzy: I'm so sorry you experienced such a difficult loss. You have felt what so many people feel when someone they know kills themselves.

And guilt is one of Satan's favorite weapons. I am thankful that you are working through your grief by leaning on God.

He will is and always will be your rock. A friend that never betrays your heart.

Blessings to you and thank you for sharing.


Ima Troost: Thank you. Blessings to you too! And yes, every day we are given is a precious gift. Let's use the time we're given to bless as many as we can. :)

BelovedBomber: Amen! Its a tricky thing to do sometimes but God is gracious to help us find the right words.

Brenda Rees said...

yes,sadly,suicide can be the result of one of two things. Either the victim is a person who does not know the love of God and His power to help, or the victim is a christian who Satan is convincing that God can not or will not help. I have a friend who is going through a very depressing time at the moment, but who has seen the wonderful power of God transform her life in the past. She seeks God and listen and acts on what He tells her many times, but is going through a particularly testing time that seems to her to be endless. When we spoke the other day she was very down. After I reminded her of what she has told me God has been speaking into her life, and reminded her of what He had done for her in the past she completely revived and was filled with hope regarding her particular issue. Satan is a thief and a liar, and is able to rob us of our faith in God's ability and love for us if we do not encourage and build one another up. Sometimes it is just a question of time for God to answer our call for help, and that will seem like an eternity to the one who needs it. Keep encouraging your friend.
God bless

joy said...

I can relate to this story. You know, many years ago, i do tried to take suicude because of the miserable life i had, but God didn't let me die and I am so grateful. Many more year of abused and difficulties, but God helped me through it all. Now I am restored and have a happy life. So there is hope for everyone:)

Anonymous said...

Dear Sincerity, I am so sorry that you have known so many who have taken their own lives. But I think you are absolutely right both in your understanding that they are responsible for their own decisions and the need to tell them the truth in love. Neither is easy though and I know very often it is tempting not to be honest with them or often we become judgmental. Telling the truth in love - not easy but so necessary. I worked through my own period of depression and suicidal thoughts by meeting with God but it took a long time and during that period having friends who were there for me was a great blessing. They were just there, available and accepting and never tried to ask why or offer any advice. Their loving acceptance was such a rock for me.

Susan said...

Thank you, Sincerity. This is something I've ruminated about too. I like what you said, that it is between that person and God alone, and no one else...that rings very true. That we (me included) want to blame others for the way we feel is a lie from the enemy of our souls. We always have the joy of the Lord at hand, if we are grateful for life with all it's content: good, bad, and other shades of everything in between.

God says it is ALL for our learning; for our good (Romans 8:28)

When we forget that, when we want it all our way, is when we get depressed and ungrateful for what we do have.

Good things to ponder and pray about. :)


Brenda Reese: Welcome. Yes, we all need each other. The body of Christ was never meant to function with all its parts separate and alone.

Encouraging others with such deep needs can be exhausting sometimes. I try to balance how much energy I spend on any one person because I can then get burned out.

Thank you for your encouragement and thank you for visiting. Blessings to you.


joy: What an amazing testimony you have. God has done a precious thing for you. And you're absolutely right.
There is hope for anyone no matter what they're going through.
God bless you and keep serving Him.

Mr. LGS: Thank you. I agree with you that the temptation to just agree with them and "baby" them or judge them are strong. But you experienced exactly what so many people need... friends who just listen and accept you as you are.
Thank you for sharing.


Susan: " When we forget that, when we want it all our way, is when we get depressed and ungrateful for what we do have."

I agree one hundred percent. When we wander from the Lord, when we isolate ourselves, the tendency is to become self-absorbed.

I've seen that, to a certain degree, in my own life. It is so dangerous.

But God is so good to remind us of the truth about His character and our lives.

Thank you for visiting. Blessings to you.

T-Childs said...

I loved this post and like it when Christians are refreshingly and totally honest, instead of hiding behind a wall of 'niceness' or empty platitudes of one kind or another. I struggle with the fact that, although I have been a Christian, on and off, for over 30 years now, I have never gone to church as a believer. I don't come from a Christian family or churched community of any kind and none of my normal friends are Christians either. God's calling on my life has meant that I have taken a different path to my family and friends, and I still don't know what He has in store for me!

I even tried to join a group of Christians at my university but for some reason they didn't seem that bothered and never really got back to me; oh well such is life!

I have come to this conclusion; sometimes God calls people for His purposes, and no matter what happens in our lives, if we remain true and obedient to Him, He will make everything clear and set everything straight. Look forward to spending time on this blog and a big thanks again for joining mine; I've now joined yours!


T-Childs: Welcome to Sincerity. God has certainly set you apart for His purposes. I have a few friends who are also the only Christians in their family. Its not easy.

Keep close to the Lord. Keep trusting Him. Fight for your joy. In due time God will reveal more to you.

I will pray that He leads you to a group of believers who are mature and able to provide friendships where you live.

Thank you for sharing and God bless.

Ocean Breezes and Country Sneezes said...

Thank you for stopping by my blog today, and for your kind words about my friend. She is deeply missed.

I'm sorry your friend feels so isolated, but if you keep reaching out to her, maybe she'll see that she is of value. Your words to her were very matter of fact, and I had to use those words once too, it was many, many years ago, and thankfully she is still with us.

Have a wonderful day!


Tracy said...

Hi Sincerity - I am so glad I visited back and am now following. I love the words you have used here. I am trying to train myself when I think of someone who I haven't seen or heard from in a while, if they come to mind to pray for them instead of just wonder how they are or what they're doing. Its a challenge because praying does not come naturally to me, its more an act of my will (although when I'm in hot water praying is easy :) ) Great post
God bless

Daisy said...

Thank you for visiting my blog today. This is a very moving post. The mother of one of my son's friends committed suicide. I had the hardest time trying to understand how she could be so selfish as to do that and leave three young children behind. It was more than I could comprehend. All I could think was that she must have been in such a deep, dark depression that she was unable to see or care about what pain to others her action would cause. I agree with what you say here. We can't make choices for others, and we can't be responsible for the actions of others either.

Reformed rebel said...

Nice to meet you Sincerity and thanks for visiting. I like your post what you say is good. Suicide is an act of selfishness. Only GOD can change a persons outlook but we can always be HIS voice and HIS ears. Even just to give a hug when people seem down is so important. We are in a war and satan wins too many times when it comes to depression and suicide. Thank you again for visiting.I am following because I think you have many good things to say.



Ocean Breezes and Country Sneezes: Thank you for visiting. I will keep you in my prayers. Your experience with speaking truth to friend is encouraging to me. Blessings to you.

Tracy: That is a wonderful habit to nurture! God has been teaching me to do the exact thing this past year. Interesting. God bless you too.


Daisy: Very true. It can be so incomprehensible when someone takes their own life. There are so many things going on in everyone's heart and really only God can know it all. Thankfully He doesn't mock us. He desires to stand beside us and at times even carry us. Thank you for visiting. Blessings.

Reformed Rebel: Yes it does seem that Satan is busier than usual with the depression and suicide attacks. But the best defense is to put on the armor of God and be ready each day.

I totally agree about hugs! I wonder if we can all still hug in heaven. It is something I really cherish. :) Can you imagine getting a hug from Jesus?!

Blessings to you.

A Cozy Cottage in the City said...

Hello there! Wow, what a refreshing and honest post. I know how you feel - I've been on both spectrums before (not me killing myself, but feeling otherwise depressed), so I can value both sides. I'm glad you offered her your spiritual help - it will help her more than you know. :)

Anyway, thank you so much for stopping by my blog. :) Take care and have a great night.



A Cozy Cottage in the City: Thank you for the encouraging words. Have a blessed day. :)

Furry Bottoms said...

It is really hard to "know" or even to "remember" that someone does love you in your darkest moment. You start rationalizing your relationships... Oh but if I was gone, she would still have so and so for support... oh but if I'm not here, he wouldn't have to put up with so much drama.... etc etc etc. You rationalize everything away until you've got yourself convinced that nobody cares.

Personal experience... I've been there so many times. Something odd is what snapped me out of it and I never felt alone again. It wasn't so much being alone that hurt or worried me. It was a mental illness on my part, still is. Medication helps, but its not the only thing I needed. I don't necessarily believe in reincarnation, but I did hear something once that totally turned me around. If you commit suicide, you'd come back like a boomerang into a life as somebody else, with the same set of circumstances, same type of people in your life, same mental and chemical upbringing until you learn how to deal with it God's way. That made me think. Do I want to live my life over? No. I most certainly do NOT. Its not been a good life. I want to go on into God's arms at the end of my life, so I will wait the whole thing out. All in God's time.

Meanwhile? I've learned so much. I've allowed myself to open more and let more people in. I've allowed change. I've branched out. This wait is well worth it now.

Told you it was odd.


Furry Bottoms: I'm sorry that you have suffered so much. Mental illness is a difficult thing to experience and even more difficult for those who don't have it to understand.

But I'm glad that you are determined to live! Life is so short for anyone anyhow that it seems such a waste to cut it any shorter than it already is.

God has been my rock and strength. Keep close to Him. His Word, The Bible, has filled me with so much hope in my darkest hours.

God bless.