There is true help for anyone.

Three classmates by the age of 22.  Almost one per year since my son graduated high school.  That’s how many of my son’s school friends have committed suicide or fatally overdosed since high school.  The count is four if I also include my cousin’s son in those numbers.  These were all good kids from good families with promising futures.  I’ll never forget the look on my son’s face the day he came home from that first funeral.  He was 18 and just starting college, not too long after having listened to a hope-inspired send-off from his high school graduation ceremony, and now he was suddenly thrust into the real world with real-world consequences.  These classmates of his earlier school years had all eventually gone to different schools, but there is something agonizing about looking back on your youth, remembering those cub scout days together and playing Star Wars, and wondering how did it get to this?  Suicide has become an epidemic, especially among young men age 18-25.  In each case, there was something troubling each of them deep within, something no one could reach or know what to do with.  I don’t understand it because I have never been there, but for those family and friends left behind to deal with it, they know that suicide is not the answer.

There is something attacking our society, attacking us, our families and our friends.  It should not be so casually blamed on things (fill in the blank).  It’s more than that.  It’s evil that is invading our society.  Period.  Jesus warns us in John 10:10 that “the thief comes to steal, kill and destroy”, and by any means possible.  The closer it gets to Jesus’ return to earth, the more evil activity Satan tries to stir up in a last-attempt effort to destroy mankind.  And while I don’t pretend to know what someone may be personally going through, I do know there is only one answer that will truly work.  Jesus mentions it in the second part of John 10:10 when He says, “but I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”  Jesus promises you life, and peace and rest, no matter who you are or what you’ve done.  Jesus doesn’t look at your past.  He is only interested in your future.  No one else on this earth offers the love, grace, forgiveness, help, and wisdom that Jesus does, and no one else promises victory over evil.  Why wouldn’t you want to follow His promises?  I cannot think of any better option on this earth, so I hope you’ll give Jesus a try.  You just might be surprised at what He can do if you let Him.

I hope you will join me as I continue in my study series, In Jesus’ Words, where I look specifically at the recorded words of Jesus, by going directly to the source and blocking out all the other noise out there.  For if Jesus is who he says he is, then His words matter, a lot.  They are the most important thing we have.

1-800-273-talk(8255)
suicidepreventionlifeline.org
Find a counselor to talk with. Most health insurances and churches can recommend someone.
Sometimes it may take a few tries to find the right one, just like with anything else, but keep trying. 

Time in a bottle

time

If you’ve lived more than a few years into adulthood then you probably remember the old Jim Croce song, Time in a Bottle.  If I could save time in a bottle… as the old song goes. It’s a beautiful song, but I’m glad it’s not true. I’m glad we can’t keep time in a bottle. The wonderful thing about time is that it is constantly changing and always renewing.  The old washes new again, storms calm down, and the tide goes back out.  Things do get better over time.

Last week I heard the unfortunate news of another 15 year-old boy in my community who committed suicide.  There is nothing that gives me chills more than hearing that.  I did not know the young boy personally but I know that he came from a good and loving home.  No drugs or alcohol were involved.  Those things certainly do not make a person immune to life’s challenges, but it does make you want to question why.

If I could go back and tell my 15 year-old self, or even my 25 year-old self one thing about life, it would be this:

You have lots of time.

Don’t rush. Don’t worry. You have plenty of time to make mistakes and start over again.  You will have lived 3 or 4 different life times by the time you reach 50.  No one ever stays the same person they are at 15.  The world evens out after a while – the popular ones, the pretty ones, the smart ones and the ones that don’t fit in – it all works out in the larger world.  So, take your time to figure it out, however long you need.  You’ll be glad you did.

If life still seems too much, at least give yourself the time to talk to a neutral person.  Call 1-800-273-8255 or click on Suicide Prevention Lifeline

If you ask God, He will give you all the time you need to figure things out.  Because God will never tell anyone they are worthless.

little feet

Author’s note: I wrote this post the day before Robin William’s suicide. For all of those who have been affected by a loved one’s suicide, I pray that you will feel God’s loving arms around you and know that He grieves with you.  Reach out to God and He will meet you.

ASK4HLP

On my daily commute to work this morning, I began to think about the day’s work and all the problems I needed to solve; that is, until I saw a truck in the lane in front of me that changed my focus.  The truck had one of those stickers on the back window which starts with the words “in loving memory of..”.  Whenever I see one of those stickers, I immediately calculate the age of the person from the years displayed, and then say a little prayer.  The age is always of someone who is a teenager or in their early 20’s.  Suffering a loss of someone at that age is probably one of the most painful things a person can go through.  This person was 18.

But on the other side of the truck’s back window, there was another sticker.  In large letters, it gave a web site for suicide prevention.  Then I looked down at the tag and saw the personalized license plate which read “ASK4HLP”.  My heart sank. 

This truck had a message to tell.  The driver was wearing their heart on their truck.  There wasn’t much I could do from my car, except remind myself that the next time I have an urge to honk my horn at someone, I should think twice.  You never know what they may be going through.  And for a couple of seconds’ difference in time that it takes me to get where I am going, it could make a world of difference in that person’s day.  What if we could all see what the other person was wearing on their car or truck?  Would we act differently?  What would your license plate say?
little feet

honoring the request of the person in the truck
http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/