Don’t say goodbye. A post for the heartbroken.

I saw you today.

Your head was bowed, your shoulders slumped, your eyes to the ground. Your backpack looked like it weighted a thousand pounds.

You crossed in front of my car at a stoplight – your shuffling steps made me wonder.

Is your heart broken?

Who hurt you?

Why are you so sad?

The light turned green and I drove away. But I haven’t forgotten you. I wonder if you are still sad. I wonder what has gone through your head. I wonder, have you thought of ending it all?

Suicide.

It’s entered my world recently in different ways. An old friend, a distant family member, a local high school student. a loved one who considered it just recently.

Oh God, please don’t.

Please don’t go. Please don’t say goodbye.

I watched a show that’s been popular among teens – just to try to understand. Thirteen Reasons Why. In it a high school girl takes her own life and then leaves behind cassette tapes implicating her friends for her death. I might have loved that show as a teen. I may have thought there was something poetic about it. After all, she gets back at all those who have hurt her by laying the guilt at their doorstep. Not only is she free from pain, she has exacted revenge on those responsible.

But she’s still gone.

Gone.

Never to experience her real first love, the joy of climbing a mountain, the exhilaration in conquering a fear and beating her depression. Never to hold a child, a grandchild, a great grandchild. Never to swim in the ocean, taste homemade ice cream, laugh till her belly hurts… ever again.

There is nothing poetic about suicide. It robs life. It’s based on lies. It takes light and hope from the world and from far too many lives.

But the feelings are real, aren’t they? The depression so deep it can feel impossible to ever surface from it. The lies run rampant, choking hope from the best fighters, the most valiant ones. And they let go, thinking that’s the best and only option.

But it’s just not true.

Let’s look at it.

Lie number one: They will be better off without me.

No. They won’t. They would much rather have a broken you, then no you at all. Your kids, your family, your friends. You are not a burden, a mistake, a weight. You are hurting, yes. Maybe you’ve been hurting for a long time – but they still need you. They need your presence. Your touch. Your light. They need to see you fight so they will fight. They need you to do whatever it takes to find help, fight for hope, believe in a future. The best scenario is you paving the way to healing so they can do the same.

But she left me. 

But he left me. 

Yes, maybe the important someones have walked out of your life. That does not mean everyone will. Maybe the people who were supposed to stand with you and believe in you failed in every way. That does not mean you shouldn’t stand, walk and believe for yourself. You were created. You have a purpose The greatest tragedy would be if you ended your life before you got to see the good you have to give – the good you were designed for, the good you’ll receive in return. No one is ever better off without you. They are only better off with you fighting, never giving up, believing there is hope. Please, please don’t give up.

Be that one. Be the one who fights. Don’t give up. Don’t say goodbye.

Lie number two: As in Thirteen Reasons, I will make them suffer for not being kind to me.

Ill show them. They’ll be sorry they didn’t _______________fill in the blank (love me, see me, accept me). Or They’ll be sorry they ________________ fill in the blank (were cruel, didn’t accept me, bullied me).

They may. They may be sorry, and they may not. You will never know. There’s no poetic justice in taking your own life to get back at those who have let you down. If they have let you down in life, they will let you down in death. Their expected reactions will be different than you hope for, their responses not poetic at all. Just real. Broken. Human. Unique to who they are. Some tender, some uncaring, some sorrowful, some not. But you will never know. 

It’s a lie. A big fat lie that taking your life is somehow the perfect revenge. The perfect revenge is actually living your life, fighting for hope, becoming that person who leaves depression in the dust to find purpose, strength, love and beauty. And that is both possible and doable. There are scores who have done it – who were once suicidal and now full of life. Who once knew heartache, and now stand strong. It is possible, and it is possible for you.

Lie number three: I just can’t do it anymore.

Getting up. Taking another breath. Facing another bill, another angry word, another broken relationship, another painful memory. It’s just too hard and you want to give up.

My mother lost hope. When I was young, she lost hope as PTSD took over her world. She had been imprisoned in a concentration camp as a child. She experienced torture, abuse, starvation. When the memories, nightmares, flashbacks started invading her every sleeping and waking moment, she wanted to end it all. She wanted to quit. Be done. It was all too much.

She didn’t do it. But the ache didn’t just go away. She sought counseling, sought God, worked to forgive. She had dark days and darker nights. She let people in when she wanted to shut them out. She believed God would help her when nothing seemed to point to that truth. And ultimately, through time, love, prayer, hope, she was healed.

And generations are different as a result.

We have no idea how much suicide will ripple through and impact lives around us. Even more so, how much staying, fighting, living, healing – will influence generations with hope and life. Yes, it’s the hardest thing you will ever do. But it’s so worth it. If my mom had chosen suicide, how different my world would have been. Ask every broken heart who has lost a loved one to suicide. What they would give to have that life back – that smile, even in pain. Those eyes, even with tears. That voice, even in heartache. Choosing death ends hope. In choosing life, in fighting the good fight, you can radically change generations for the good.

Lie number four: There’s no way out.

There’s no way I can beat this addiction, this pain, this loneliness, this feeling. It’s just too much. I’ve tried everything and nothing works.

Jesus.

No, not religion.

Jesus.

Don’t tune me out. It’s not a pat answer. It’s not a religious fix that simply sounds good. It is a HE who loves YOU.

Think of the kindest person you’ve ever met. Do it. Think of him. Think of her. The eyes, the smile, the tenderness. Multiply that by a million and you have Jesus.

Think of the strongest person you’ve ever known or heard about. Got him? See her in your mind? The tenacity, the endurance, the passion and courage. The fight-for-it kind of attitude. That’s Jesus, times a million. Only he focuses all that strength into fighting for you. YOU. He’ll do it. He wants to. It’s who he is.

Yeah, but a lot of Christians are jerks, we think. They’re part of the problem! I get it. Some of us are not very smart. We get it wrong. Holding up signs of everything we’re against and forgetting that God is FOR people. He loves. He saves. He corrects in loving truth. He fights. He will never abandon… HE WILL HEAL.

Jesus literally went through it all – rejection, loss, grief, pain. He lost it all. People who loved him left him. People who hated him wanted him dead. Not just dead. Dead by the cruelest of means. He never did anything wrong and yet he lost it all. He gets pain more than any other human. The tears he cried before his death were so intense, blood mingled with them. He gave his life – not for the perfect human who gets it right. For you. For me. To give us a way to hope. He took it all on his shoulders so we wouldn’t have to. And he fixes things. He doesn’t fix things by looking at you and saying “Buck up – pull it together!” He doesn’t shame you. He takes it. He does it. The only thing we have to do is be with him. Sit with him. What does that look like? Be still. Ask him to help you have faith. Choose to believe. Let him love you. Ask him to show you his love. Then look and see. Take that sunset personally, that song, the flower to heart. That’s his voice, his light in the darkness. He will change you. He will bring hope. He will take the depression and replace it with life. Not overnight – because he is doing something in the healing. He will use people, strong, safe people who will walk with you. They are out there. Ask him to help you find them and then seek them out. He will use resources – books, groups, studies, to educate you on addiction, abuse, depression. He can use medication to help mediate chemical issues in your brain. He can and will help because He loves you. I know this because I’ve seen it. Over and over again. in my own life. in other lives. He is real and He changes it all.

Maybe you don’t know what to pray, how to pray, what step to take next. I don’t know if I can, but I so want to help. Will you share your story with me? Trust me with your pain? I can’t fix it. I can’t offer advice, but I can help you pray. Tell me what you’ve been going through and I will do my very best to pen a prayer for you to pray. Would you let me do that for you? I don’t want you to leave this world. I don’t want you to say goodbye. I don’t want you to go.

Chester Bennington, from Linkin Park, sang a song called “One More Light” in honor of a friend he lost.

Not too long after that, Chester took his own life. What a heartbreak!

The lyrics still haunt me.

If they say

who cares if one more light goes out?

In a sky of a million stars

It flicker, flickers

Who cares when someone’s time runs out?

If a moment is all we are

We’re quicker, quicker

Who cares if one more light goes out?

Well I do….

 

Well friends, I do.

I care if your light goes out.

Your life matters. 

Please don’t say goodbye.

And so if this blog post didn’t convince you, will you write to me and let me send a prayer back? Then please just promise me you’ll pray that prayer every day. It’s not magic, not at all. It’s just words. But I’m hoping they will be words that will connect you to the one who made you and loves you beyond all words.

If I can do this one small thing for you, I’d be so honored. Please send a note to prayerforhope@outlook.com.

 

This blog is dedicated to the families of Aaron, Lisa, Richard, Alex… I think of you so often. And this is for those who are still fighting. You know who you are….

To receive more blog posts from this author, sign up here to receive them by e-mail.

Advertisements
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Like breathing and eating and peeing.

Exciting news!!

GodhasDimples will go away soon. I now have a permanent blogging home. If you have enjoyed my writing over the years, will you please join me there? The blog post title you just read… you’ll find it there.

Click here to stay with me and check out that post – or to paste in your URL, it’s http://www.godkisses.com. I’d love your company!

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I watched you today.

 

img_0917-jpg

I watched you.

Sometimes with my heart in my throat, sometimes with tears in my eyes.

I wanted you to connect, to feel welcome, to make a friend. I wanted people to be nice to you and you to be nice to them. I watched. I watched you as you giggled nervously and then as your smile broadened the safer you felt. I watched as you high fived one of the girls, laughed out loud, inhaled a piece of pizza.

And I nearly started balling.

Right there at a bowling alley with hundreds of 5th and 6th graders.

I didn’t. And you can thank me later for the way I covered the tears in my eyes with a hearty sneeze and shrug.

Darn allergies.

IMG_0914.JPG.jpeg

I delighted in you. In the moment. In the fact that you are our daughter and I get to be here, right now, with you.

I had the same feeling today when you performed in your first baton march. They called your name and pronounced our last name wrong, like they usually do. Our last name. OUR last name.

And you smiled brave and strong, lifted your knees high, gracefully navigating your 8 step routine.

IMG_0918.JPG-3.jpeg

Tears came to my eyes again.

I wanted you to succeed, feel joy, be proud of yourself. I wanted it for you and with you.

And in these things, in all these things, you didn’t know. You were completely unaware of the intensity of my emotion.

Then my breath caught – if this is how I feel in all my incredibly frail brokenness – how much more does our God feel that way about me, about us? When we risk, when we connect, when we make a friend, be a friend. When we stretch ourselves, test ourselves, live big and brilliant.

I think we are completely unaware of how much he is in every moment – how deeply he feels, how much it matters to him, how he is for us and with us, all the time.

Oh my word. Sniff. Sniff.

Darn allergies.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments

They’re home! They’re home!

Two of our babies are home… Thank you Lord! https://youtu.be/Vkv1HShitrs

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Perfection is overrated!

If you ever feel like you mess up as a parent, take comfort from this. 🙂

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Taken by ambulance – you won’t believe what happened next!

IMG_2399

It started with a ferocious leg cramp.

Like a  charley horse on steroids, it hit the muscle in my shin. Never felt anything like it. Whined like a baby as Brian tried to stretch and massage it.

I stood up and hobbled around the room. Finally sat on the steps leading upstairs and planted my feet on the tile floor. Tried to gently stretch the muscle back out.

We’d been hiking that day, but nothing too strenuous – three miles out and back. It had been hot though. Really hot. So maybe I just needed some water?

Brian gave me some electrolytes. Fancy stuff from the runners store. Tasted horrible, but I chugged some down.

Then I started feeling dizzy. Cold sweat. World fading in and out.

Cassie and Savannah had been out jumping on the trampoline. They just walked in when my world started going woozy. They tell me I turned shades of green, blue and finally ashen. Cassie grabbed frozen potstickers from the freezer and put them on my neck (we were out of peas – she made do). Mom got a cool wash cloth and put it on my forehead. Savannah went to a side table, pulled out a kleenex, sprayed it with water. She brought it over and pressed it into my neck. “This will make you feel better, Mama.”

Oh baby girl…

I started to come back around. Brian ran for the blood pressure monitor and they placed it on my arm. It tried to read my pressure two times before saying “error.”

The world started fading again. I was drenched in sweat. Brian was holding the phone in his hands. “You better call,” I said, before I dropped my water and crumpled down another step.

I could hear Brian talking into the phone as Cassie cradled my head – I was in and out. Although I do remember having the wherewithal to hope the EMTs might be handsome, young and single since I’d messed everything else up for Cassie’s second day in town.

The ambulance arrived. The guys asked me a ton of questions and hooked me up to an IV. I’d had some arm pain so they were concerned about my heart. They suggested I go in to the hospital to get some more tests. I was scared enough to comply.

They loaded me up on the gurney and into the ambulance.

Brian would follow close behind while Mom and Cassie kept an eye on Savannah.

The ambulance started moving and the EMT asked me more questions. I knew I was a little slow in answering, but I tried to stay focused.

Then he raised his arm to adjust something on my IV. His forearm was directly in front of my face and he had a very large tattoo.

The grim reaper.

Big. Shadowy. Dark cloak. Skull. Reaper thingy in his hand.

Death.

On his arm.

Facing me.

In an ambulance.

Suddenly I was no longer at a loss of words.

“Nice choice of tattoo.” I managed, quite clearly.

“Oh,” he said, as if it were no big deal that he has a GRIM REAPER on his arm in an ambulance with a potentially dying, delirious woman on his gurney. “I got that before I started in this job.”

Oh, you mean back when you were working as… a murderer? 

I kept my eyes open. Alert. Aware. Watched his hands. Don’t move a muscle mister. I watched Karate Kid 1, 2 AND 3. I got moves.

We arrived at the hospital and I was never so happy to be wheeled in to an ER.

They ran some tests. It seems it was all just a perfect storm of going hiking on a hot day with one kidney and little water. My calcium was low too, and that seemed to intensify it all. Follow up with the doc and maybe a few more tests, but all in all – not near as bad as it could have been.

It was not my heart. I didn’t die.

No thanks to the grim reaper.

So here’s the thing, I know tattoos are really popular these days. But if you have any type of cloaked figure, skull and crossbones, poison symbols – anything dark and deathly and you happen to work in the health care field – cover it up. Masking tape. Gauze. Paint. Long sleeved shirt. Anything.

Please cover it to avoid giving a perfectly healthy dehydrated human a heart attack.

So that’s the story. Oh, and while Cassie didn’t find the man of her dreams in the EMT crew, we did manage to have some fun for the rest of the week. And we also received some adoption news. to check that all out, you can watch the YouTube here.

Be safe my friends! And may none of you encounter a grim reaper this week!

Posted in Uncategorized | 12 Comments

When broken things get fixed

It doesn’t always happen.

Sometimes broken things stay broken for a million different reasons.

But our God is working, He is always working – and hope, life… and even sweet, godly romance are possible!

Check our story out here.

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments