*This is written in a 3rd party voice because even though the story is true and some will know who is actually being spoken about, it is better that this person not be given away.
This past week I have had a heavy heart for something that hits close to home in many ways. I have a career working with children who come from really horrible backgrounds and sometimes I have to question how people are so cruel and how God can let someone so young hurt so much, but I cling to Romans 8:28 for why His plan is the way that it is. I know that his plan is not to hurt me and that he will never give me more than I can handle and when he does give me more than I can handle, he gives me people who are able to help carry the burden and pray for me and guide me in his ways.
Suicide has been laid upon my heart for the past week now and God is just not letting me go to sleep until I put his words on my heart in the world for people who need to hear them.
Someone who is 14 told me that he wanted to end his life, the fact that my job is at a residential treatment facility placed him on suicide watch with 1:1 staffing for 24 hours and in isolation. It broke my heart with things that I was hearing. I went home and cried because there is someone in my life who has been there. I couldn’t tell him any stories that I knew, but I could tell him that it gets better and suicide is not the way out of a rough life.
When a kid does not have parents because they are dead, a family who makes you feel worthless and does not want you to come and live with them, and you are in a facility for treatment for things that you are uncertain about in life and just trying to figure out, and you know that your ultimate goal and best case scenario is to go into foster care, you don’t feel like your life is worth living. When a child feels this way, as adults and family members, why aren’t we as adults asking ourselves what we are doing wrong?!!!
I have been asking myself a lot this week what I am doing wrong because this person should be a teenager, happy, and care free! Do I say things that make people hurt, do I tear people down with words and actions, am I making assumptions about someone else’s life, am I letting myself judge based on what others say and only what I see, am I being judgmental at all, do my actions, words, and thoughts reflect the same as Jesus? Does Jesus’ life shine through my life?
As this young man went through this, my heart broke because he hurt so much. It brought back some major parts of my own life. For a purpose of keeping the people the stories I will tell private, this will be in 3rd person.
There was a young girl who was only 15. She was hurting. She felt so alone and like the world hated her. She had lost her mother, not physically as in death, but her mother decided after 15 years that she did not want her. It made her feel worthless and like she wasn’t good enough. She moved in with her father and his wife. Her father worked a lot and her step-mother was never home. She moved schools and lost her friends and her extracurricular activities. She lived in the middle of no where and felt like she had been abandoned. Shortly after moving schools, her dad and step-mother decided to separate and she was always home alone after school, fending for herself. She had not made any new friends at her new school and her friends she had had since she was 5 no longer spoke to her.
She spent a lot of time on the internet and talking to random guys. She was just looking for love and attention. She wanted to be noticed and she found it in guys she met in chat rooms online. She made good grades, she worked hard, she done all that was expected of her, she went above and beyond what was expected of her. She did not feel like she was a teenager anymore. She felt like the world wasn’t at her fingertips and the world would just be a better place without her.
One night before her father got off of work, she decided that her life had to end. She could not take the pain anymore. She gave up the fight because it was just too hard! She took the bottle of NyQuil that she used to help her sleep most nights and found about 50-60 pills laying around the house (over the counter/prescriptions), she laid them out on the counter, bowed her head and begged God with tears in her eyes to take her life or save her life and make life better and easier because he had given her way too much to handle. God’s voice was not heard, so the pills were put into her mouth and a half bottle of NyQuil was taken. She said goodbye to all the people she was talking to online and shut the internet off. She cleaned up her mess on the counter and got her things ready for school the next day. She went to bed and was out before her father returned home from work. She never expected to awake the next morning, but when she did, she felt okay. She got out of bed, dressed for school, and caught the bus and said nothing to anyone about the night she had.
You would think this young girl would have fallen to her knees and praised God for saving her and for not allowing her to die or have her stomach pumped, but she went about her life like nothing had happened or was wrong with her. She put a fake smile on that day at school and made plans with people she was slowly becoming friends with.
Shortly after the incident, she started talking to a guy she had many classes with at school and they talked online only for a week and she confided in him about what she had tried to do. He asked her to promise that she would never do it again, she promised and she kept that promise up until today still, but now for different reasons. Then, she was keeping her promise so that he did not break up with her. Her self-worth and value and salvation was found in this young 15 year old boy. She thought she would spend the rest of her life with him and he would be her saving grace. A few months later, they broke up and her life was devastated again. She began to call him and tell him that she was going to end her life for real this time and that she was sorry for how she had acted and wanted to give things another chance, but it didn’t happen and she didn’t try to kill herself again either. Instead, she quickly moved onto a new boyfriend for a short period, then after him, another boyfriend, and then another boyfriend.
She started to make bad decisions with poor judgement. She lost the trust of her father. She did not care much though because she loved the choices she was making at the time.
A year after she attempted suicide, she confided in a friend and then in a counselor, who still to this day is someone she can confide in and trust and is a good support system to this young woman. Her father was notified and she was better at this point for the most part, but she scared her family and they realized she just wanted attention and they didn’t have a clue what was going on in her life for a whole year.
(During this girl’s senior year of high school, 2 people she knew took their own lives within small communities. It was heart breaking, but she realized how their families were affected by these individuals decisions in a split second. She wondered how people would have reacted if she had actually died because she didn’t feel like people cared still, but she didn’t find her worth in men anymore and was seeking for someone or something to find her worth in at that point.)
This girl after several more boyfriends, decided to stay single for a while and prove she didn’t need a boyfriend to satisfy her. During this 2 years, she was all over the place. In high school for the first year wasn’t as bad as her first year in college and being a single freshmen with no prospects. She found some good friends, but after a summer back at home, she started making the same old poor decisions and it went on for about 8 months before her life changed for good.
Then one day during her sophomore year of college, she found herself waking up and feeling like she had no reason to be alive. She was ready to give up. She gave up! She wanted her life to just be over! She went to classes, came back to her room, and thankful her roommate wasn’t in the room, she fell to her knees and cried for almost 2 hours. She arose, slept for a couple hours, then awoke and she felt like a different person.
She changed! She gave her life to Christ! She found grace, mercy, love, and joy in Jesus Christ! She took on Galatians 2:20 and became a new creation. She had fruit coming from her life and she knew she no longer carried the burdens she’d been carrying for 20 years!
Life seemed to be going really well, but it all came crashing down in her dorm room in February of her Jr. year of college. Her father called her and said he had been going through more of a rough time than she had known and he tried to kill himself in a similar way to how she had tried only years before. She held back the tears on the phone, but as soon as she said “I love you, daddy!” and hung up, she started to bawl and thank Jesus he was alive! She had no idea what was going on in his life and she felt horrible, but now understood how he had gone a whole year without knowing what was going on in his daughter’s life.
God saved this young woman and her earthly father from death! God saved her from the pain this world was bringing her. She has been set free! God is amazing and always able to move mountains when we move out of the way and let him. She surrendered it all to God and he showed her what he could and does do daily.
This kid that I care for daily, broke my heart because I have heard his story before. He is from a small town and family. He doesn’t have anyone telling him he is loved, cherished, and worthy of love. He doesn’t have anyone showing him what love looks like from his family or in his life in general. He has a mindset that he cannot change.
I want to change his mindset. I am trying to show him love, grace, and mercy, but I can only do so to a certain point. At that point, I can only pray and cry in intercession for his soul and life. God changed this girl above even though it took time and he can change this young man’s life as well, over time. I just want to sit him down and tell him I can empathize with him and tell him the story laid out, but I can’t. He will never be able to know what I know until he has overcome it.
It is possible to overcome these feelings. God is able to work in everyone’s lives! It is okay if you are at this point in your life and you feel this way. Just tell someone that you feel this way because you are loved! You are a chosen child of the King Jesus who is sitting at the right hand of his heavenly father, God! Fall to your knees, give up, surrender it all, stand up, lift your head up high, and be FREE!! God will set you free!
Open your heart to God’s word, love, joy, grace, mercy, and saving powers!
We cannot do this on our own. We were not made to do this on our own. God sent Jesus to help us do it!
This has been something that has personally affected my life in many ways and through different people, but the identity of the individuals in the story here need to stay discrete. No one should go through this, but they do.
Show God’s love one person at a time. Start with a hello, Merry Christmas, or maybe even a simple smile! You never know how God will use your simple gestures to impact someone’s life in a mountain moving way!
Till next time,