I Tried to Commit Suicide

My Attempt to Exit

If I can accomplish anything with this blog, I want to let people know that Christians aren’t perfect, just forgiven. Part of that is allowing myself to be as transparent as reasonably possible.

In recent posts you have read about my personal struggles with depression, and thankfully that has been an encouragement to more than a few. Granted, some of you might have been confused, for you may be under the impression that a pastor of a church… a man of God… a “reverend”… should never get depressed. However, people from all walks of life – including those who have faith in God – can find themselves depressed, the reasons for which are not always easy to determine.

But what many, if not most of you may be unaware of, is that I actually attempted suicide when I was a teenager. I was within moments of pulling the trigger of a loaded 12-gauge shotgun that I had placed under my chin when my father (I believe prompted by the Holy Spirit) knocked on my bedroom door. That was the only time I came that close, but it was not the last time I seriously considered taking my life.

In the late 1990’s God had to do major surgery to remove the cancer of legalistic pride that had infected me. I had become self-righteous, religious, and prideful of my career, money, and stuff. However, in one fell swoop the Lord took it all away, leaving me with nothing but a faithful wife who I didn’t deserve, and a worried, scared family. Where I ended up was not rock bottom, but a depression that nearly put me six feet under. Suicide was an option in the past, so it became an ever-present option once again.

This is not the place, nor do I have the time, to go into every detail, but it wasn’t the friends and family who begged me to see the light; it wasn’t the multiple times every week of sitting with counselors, psychologists, and psychiatrists; it wasn’t the anti-depressants I regularly consumed; and it certainly wasn’t the alcohol I began to use for the first time that released me from the “dungeon of despair.”  What changed it all for me were three main things: first, believing that God still loved me! – despite the times I cursed Him; second, believing the promise that God still had a plan for my life; and thirdly (but most importantly), the unmerited, undeserved, matchless grace of God.

Don’t misunderstand, I’m still recovering. In my personal opinion, based on what I’ve experienced and witnessed, when one crosses that line of attempting suicide, the Enemy will forever keep that temptation in reserve. Therefore, just as I sometimes act judgmentally and legalistic, even though I try not to, faint remembrances of the “suicide option” sometimes filter through my defenses. But it is in those moments that I remind myself of the Truth that set me free from the bondage of sin and death, and it is that golden key – the faithful promises of God – which is big and heavy enough to squash down any intruder.

EXIT, the Movie

This morning I took a few moments, not even 40 minutes, to watch Ray Comfort’s short new film, EXIT: The Appeal of Suicide”. Tears began to fill my eyes as I empathized with the familiar feelings of hopelessness and despair expressed by individuals interviewed in the movie.

However, toward the end of the movie I was able to wipe from my eyes tears of joy as some, not all, came to the realization that life is worth living.

Please, PLEASE!… if nothing more than to help a friend… take a few minutes to click on the link and watch the film below. It’s free, it won’t take long, and might just save a life… maybe even yours.

If you need help, or someone to talk with, please don’t wait. You are not alone in your pain, despite how you feel. There is always hope, always a reason to live, and your life is far more valuable than you realize. Think about it, Someone even allowed Himself to be ripped apart and nailed to a beam of wood so that you wouldn’t have to die!

If you don’t know anywhere else to turn, call 800-273-8255 and speak to someone who can help, or click on their website SuicidePreventionLifeline.org right now!

Your life is priceless, so live it.

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8 Comments

Filed under Christian Living, Christianity, Depression, Life/Death, self-worth

8 responses to “I Tried to Commit Suicide

  1. I really wish they hadn’t taken this approach. It offers little comfort to Christians struggling with depression that the Gospel didn’t magically fix. Since he said that a person’s faith is proportionate to the parachute that will save them – he fails to take into account Christians whose parachutes aren’t brand new, have taken potshots over the years, and are torn. I can see how one might view themselves as “not truly saved” is their depression hasn’t been vanquished even as a Christian and wrestle with the very doubts that he says makes them lose their faith.

    This is why I don’t like his ministry, it’s quite tone-deaf and lacking compassion for the people that he interviews. They’re all pawns that he’s trying to manuerver to get them to say the lines he wants them to say so that he can give his spiel like he’s supposed to. Suicide is too serious and important to take this car salesman approach and call it good enough.

    What gave me hope – was my light in the darkness was remembering my family and how much they need me. Christianity needs to focus on building up support systems for people – to telling them that they’re beloved.
    The whole “humans are worthless disgusting sinful worms” speech should also be re-examined. It probably doesn’t help.

    • Jamie, thank you for your comment. I understand your concern. However, I would not go so far as to equate Ray Comfort with a “car salesman”; he is truly concerned for the souls of those he tries to reach, and I wouldn’t consider them “pawns.”

      Now, to your concern about old parachutes, I can sympathize. As a more mature Christian I can find ways to rationalize myself out of the simple arguments. For example, 18 years ago, when I was at the depth of my suicidal depression, the arguments that “you have a family who loves you” didn’t carry much weight with me. Also, for part of the time I didn’t care that God loved me, because I frankly hated Him for letting me get to that point. Nevertheless, those arguments for living were certainly true and needed to be repeated, for eventually they made their way through my hardened heart. Now they are the ones I hold most dear.

      To the “worm” point, all I would add is that in the light of God’s holiness we are truly nothing better than “worms” in our sinful state. Yet, God created us out of worm dirt; therefore, we should never get to the point where Satan himself got and think ourselves equal with our Creator. Aside from that, I understand what you are saying – if He knows each sparrow that falls, how much more does He care for us?

  2. Thank you so much for sharing your struggles and triumphs. They have been a blessing to me in ways you will never know. Sometimes suicide plans can be subtle, unrecognizable, and creep up on you unawares. I will always keep in mind the period of my life where I too was lost within the ways of legalism, and trying to be perfect in my own strength…sigh. It was not pretty and the Lord slowly stripped away all the idols I was so proud of. Anyway, that is off point. During that time I found myself planning my escape. I was putting in place things I thought would help my children after I was gone, I was slowly accumulating money to get me far away, and so on and so forth. Until one day I was cut to the quick by the realization that once I tied up all the lose ends, and left to hide away in room by myself somewhere, I would have no reason to continue and would be happier in heaven, thus I was actually planning my end. See how subtle that is. I am so thankful for the Lord’s intervention.into my thought process, because the revelation was swift and sharp, but loving. I very quickly went and told all my loved ones of what was going on with me and to please help, and to this day, I am very open when the dark days come, and I let others know, because this way, not only do I cut myself some slack during the down times, now they see how imperfect I am, the pretense is gone, and they not only rally round and show tenderloving care, they have been given the freedom to be imperfect in return. I am not sure why I share all this, and I apologize for the lengthy comment, I just felt the need to say beware the sneak attack, and always always share with someone, because feeling foolish is the least of your problems. In Christ, Belinda

    • No need to apologize for the length. I much prefer “realness” when it comes to these things. What we write will be here for a long, long time, and hopefully it will turn on the light for someone who thinks all Christians are hypocrites and have it all under control.

  3. Reblogged this on A Blog About Healing From PTSD and commented:
    I am reblogging this post because I, too, tried to commit suicide when I was a teenager. My life was so painful and hopeless at the time, that I hung myself when I was 15 years old.

    Like the author of this post, I have also battled with recurring thoughts of suicide over the years. But today, nearly half a century later, my life, although not perfect, is the best it has ever been. I am so thankful that I did not miss out on all the good times in my life!!

    If you ever have thoughts of wanting to end it all, please read this post, and watch the linked movie.

    Here’s a safe virtual grandma’s ((HUG)) if you want one. Thank you for stopping by and God bless. ❤ ❤ ❤

  4. I thought this was a good film for those who think about committing suicide. I tried taking sleeping pills to die twice in my life. Both times, there weren’t enough in the bottle to kill me. I have found life extremely painful at times, but I have also found it to be beautiful. I will say it took many, many years of me being a Christian to find how to win against depression.

    As he said in the film, belief is one of the answers. I believed in God, that he was there, but I was tired of feeling so sad all the time. It was Joyce Meyer who helped me with those feelings and also spending much more time with God in prayer and reading the Bible. I did that before, for years, but somehow didn’t get better. When I finally realized no human being could help me and went to God as if he were a counselor, that I got better. I poured out my feelings about everything to him, as the Bible says to do. I quit relying on people to help me because they couldn’t and usually said the wrong thing to me anyway. Joyce said, “Just believe God is working for you.” I’d never heard belief stated that way and I could understand that kind of belief. We don’t have to believe God will do a certain thing the way we want, but we can believe he is working on the problem and will come with a solution. I totally believe that way now and I have peace with Him.

    My nephew, whom I loved so much, killed himself a week ago. He had paranoid schizophrenia. The wonderful thing is that he came to visit me just before he did it. While here, he told me he believed in God now. He had been studying all kinds of religions but ended up believing in God. The other things he talked with me about were not very sane, but when he talked about God it was in perfect sanity. I know he is saved and I will see him again, which gives me great joy. I was able to tell all the family what he told me about God and now we all have that peace about my nephew.

    I was a legalist once too. Many years ago. I’m so glad God saved you from that and from suicide. How wonderful God is and how mercifully he works with each one of us.

  5. Amen, Anthony. I’m so glad the Lord convinced you to stick around. God loves us dearly and he does not want to see us too soon. 🙂

    One thing I really like to see in the church is realness, people speaking the truth of our lives. You never know how many other people really need to hear your words, to know they are not alone. Sometimes we dress up for church, we speak of how blessed we are, but this can really present a false front to others who don’t see us the other six days of the week,who don’t realize we all have our own struggles.

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