Happy Anniversary!

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Gentle Reader,

I had an anniversary with God yesterday, though we’re celebrating today. Two years ago, on September 19, at around 6 o’clock in the evening, He stopped me from committing suicide.

I’ve heard that it comes off a bit morbid to celebrate a day like that, but I can’t help it. September 19 will always be important to me. I think it’s important to God, too. That day marks a change in our relationship. I’m not any less of a sinner than I was two years ago. I’m not in possession of some secret to living a great life. I still miss the mark, sometimes intentionally. I still struggle with those dirty words, “obligated” and “perfect.” I still experience conflict, anxiety and dark moments of sadness.

But that day…I came to the end of myself. Staring into the pit of evil, I saw with striking clarity just how much I didn’t know, how much I didn’t understand. I knew that I couldn’t pull myself up. I had to start talking – to God and to people. I had to start being honest about how clouded everything was. Most importantly, I had to learn how to punch the Devil in the mouth. I had to learn to stop buying into his garbage, his lies, and start standing on the truth of what God says. It’s a process. Some days are better than others. But I move forward. And that’s what counts.

September 19 also reminds me of the way the Lord has preserved my life throughout the years. I could have died in utero. I could have had a negative reaction to the anesthesia used during my first surgery and never woken up again. I could have died in a school bus accident. But I’m still here. Bless the Lord, O my soul!

This is a happy day. This is a joyous day.

Dear reader, whoever you are, I want you to know that there is hope. If you feel beyond the reach of light today, please know that you are not! I know that it hurts. I know you are tired. I know that you don’t know where to turn and you feel every emotion so intensely that you’re actually numb, and that confuses you. I know that you just want it to stop. From your place of hiding, where you lay curled up in so much pain, cry out to God, even if it comes out as a whisper. He WILL hear you. He WILL respond.

I don’t know what the path will look like for you. Each person’s story is different. But you are alive for a REASON. Have you been prescribed medication? TAKE IT. Are you seeing therapist? KEEP THE APPOINTMENTS. If you don’t have medication or a therapist, GET BOTH. Journal, sing, go for walks, sit in silence. Sleep. Eat. Most of all, listen to the Spirit. Listen to the Voice of the One who made you, who knows you intimately. He WILL be faithful to guide you to a place of healing. He WILL take all this sorrow and fear and use it for something good; your story will touch and influence others.

If you don’t have anyone you feel comfortable talking to, call this number: 1-800-273-8255. There is someone on the other end 24/7. Please, my friend, don’t let the inky waves take you down. I know you have no strength – God does, and He will pour into you exactly how much you need for that day, even that second. Despair is NOT the end!

My journey to faith. (15)