I recently had a conversation with a close family friend of mine. We were talking about our weekends, the weather- typical Monday-conversation topics. She told me about a graduation party for her nieces, one of which was a foster kid. Although the party was nice, there was undoubtedly a gloomy cloud over everyone’s minds. Just about a month before, this young girl tried to commit suicide. I can’t and won’t try to begin to understand the pain and suffering that she has gone through, being a foster child and having the life that she has had. But by talking to my friend I had dug up a chest of memories that I hadn’t thought of in a long time.
I was suicidal too.
It was spring of sophomore year, in the rut of high school. Waking up early to go to school all day, going to soccer games and practices, and after that finally coming home to fall asleep on my bed while trying to finish my homework. My parents had some bumps in the road and we had just moved churches after over 8 years of growing up around an amazing group of people I considered family. My grades were slipping, I was burnt out, and I was discouraged by trying to find a new church week after week. I was even loosing my eyesight more and more everyday.
Things became blurry, everything that was important to me in my life was falling through my hands.
For a few months (seemed like eternity), I woke up everyday with the lack of purpose, of a need to live. I didn’t get what I was doing here, living this life when I could be in heaven resting through a perfect one. I was saved, and had Jesus in my heart. Some of you may think, “Well how can you be a Christian and be suicidal?” I thought that too. Questioned my salvation, beat myself up for thinking the way I did, and wondering if God saw, if He heard my cries late at night.
I put on a smile, pretended everything was okay. My own family and friends didn’t even know any of this until it had passed. But it was real, it was scary.
Then one night my family and I went to Lodi to see Christ August, Big Daddy Weave, and a couple other Christian artists. During the end they had what we sort of would describe an “afterglow”. It usually is a quiet time, with soft music in the background, where we go to the Lord in prayer. To open and soften our hearts and let the Lord in, surrendering into His open arms.
I can only describe this moment as divine. I was praying (and crying), asking Him why I had to go through these things, why I couldn’t be with Him in heaven, why I couldn’t just end my life on this rotten earth. He answered, and I heard Him crystal clear.
“To be with Me, is better for you, but to be here, is better for everyone who doesn’t know Me.”
I knew it was Him because everything in me was telling me it was. I felt an overwhelming sense of peace, of comfort. An enormous weight was lifted off my shoulders.
OH! So, it’s not me I’m living for?
I know where I will end up when I die, this life, is only a glimpse of time compared to the eternity that I get to spend with Him in a perfect place called heaven. But there are so many out there who don’t know that yet! Who don’t know that comfort, that peace, the complete satisfaction of a heart being filled by the Holy Spirit.
Matthew 28:19 says to “go therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”. That is what I am called to do, that is why I am here!
Yesterday at church the guest speaker opened up the Old Testament book of Habakkuk. The prophet (Habakkuk) cried out to the Lord in dismay, asking Him why He wasn’t doing anything about the people of Judah’s sins. God replied that He is! And to live by faith. We have to understand that His plan is not always going to be what we wanted, nor something we understand. But remember who is in control! Not you, an imperfect, faulty person. But a holy, gracious, merciful and perfect God who loves you! You are in perfect hands, literally.
Habakkuk ended the book with these verses.
17 Though the fig tree may not blossom,
Nor fruit be on the vines;
Though the labor of the olive may fail,
And the fields yield no food;
Though the flock may be cut off from the fold,
And there be no herd in the stalls—
18 Yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will joy in the God of my salvation.
19 The Lord God is my strength;
He will make my feet like deer’s feet,
And He will make me walk on my high hills.
Thank you Lord that You are stronger than I! That in my weakness and lack of faith, that you are perfect, and that you have an unconditional love for me. I may not understand what you are doing, or even the things that you have already done, but keep doing it. Don’t stop working in my life, help me to be comforted in my lack of knowledge. Thank you for your mercy you have poured out on me, continue to do a work!