TGIF

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33 Responses

  1. Michael says:

    Comments are open…just an oversight on my end…

  2. https://blog.uniongospelmission.org/the-impact/suicide-prevention-plan

    A friend/co-laborer of mine wrote this timely piece a few months ago. Real action steps from someone who has battled depression since childhood.

  3. EricL says:

    Well said, my brother. The Kingdom is now and not yet. Sometimes we see healing here; sometimes we have to wait until eternity. In it all, He is with us… and yet we still need others to be His hugging arms. We are called to be the caretakers of His creation and that especially includes caring for the hurting.

    I have much to learn on how to be a better friend, to notice others’ pain, and to be a comfort and encouragement instead of trying to provide answers and solutions. Usually that other person just wants to know that I’ve heard them and care about them more than they want me to “solve it”, and yet I’m a slow learner of that truth. I guess in these situations I’m called to be His embracing arms and not His brain…

  4. Michael says:

    EricL,

    I’m a “fixer” too…presence seems to be more needed….

  5. EricL says:

    Thank you, PH @ 10:13, for sharing that story.

  6. IN 2000, I was going through one of the toughest depressions of my life. I confided in a friend, and he gave me the old spiel about “Call me any time night or day”. One sleepless night, I sat staring at a pille bottle. I remembered his words and called at about 3am. We talked for hours, about nothing really, but he stuck with me til I was OK. That was the only such call I’ve ever made, but it absolutely saved my life.

    Just be there. Be on the other end of a phone, in person, whatever. You don’t have the answers or the cure. Don’t even worry about that. Just be there.

  7. Michael says:

    Amen, Josh…thank you.

  8. JM says:

    Being present shortly after a family suicide, I absolutely agree with the comments made by Christine. Knowing what I know also means that there were other deaths indirectly caused by the same entity that fed into the great loss she suffered. I wish they could all be exposed, but that’s a subject for another time. Her story will haunt me forever.

    If you are able, make sure about people who your gut tells you are struggling and need reassurance that they matter, have value and are loved. The person we lost was greatly beloved by many of us, but many did not know the cruel things she had suffered in her life. I was only 12 years old when it happened and it changed the course of our lives. Sadly, it was one of many suicides in the family.

    Please Take Note!!!–suicide is, in a strange sense, contagious!!
    Others, who are struggling will be more prone towards it if they see it sensationalized in the news.
    This is a critical time as evidenced by Kate Spade, etc.
    Again–if your gut is telling you something–make sure about people.

    May God give us all wisdom for these times.

  9. Duane Arnold says:

    Michael

    Well said. We can’t always “cure” depression, but we can be there to be present and to show love, not judgement. I’ve also witnessed through the years that depression is “no respecter of persons”. It can happen to anyone… it has happened to me.

  10. Michael says:

    JM,

    Thank you for that…well said.

  11. Michael says:

    Duane, amen…

  12. JM says:

    Am not as able to engage or comment as before, but really, really appreciate so many of your postings.

    Michael–THANK YOU!

  13. filbertz says:

    good words my friend. It was another difficult morning as another “high profile” person took his life. I’ve monitored a site for some time which honors soldiers and veterans who’ve died prematurely by suicide–these “low profile” deaths. It is a constant difficulty as so many continue to die by their own hand. Yes, there is a sense of contagiousness–as one’s suicide emboldens or gives permission to another who considers the act. Thanks for bringing it up and providing the platform for dialog about it. A friend who will listen and be there is a great measure for preventing the deep heartache that accompanies suicide.

  14. Michael says:

    Thank you, fil…I always remember you and yours on days like this…

  15. Em says:

    There must be a myriad of circumstances and influences that bring one to see death as the solution….. The Christian who looks down their holy nose to pronounce judgement is in sin… period… Suicides seem to be more prevalent today and that fact bears some thought by the Church and the rest of society as well

    Being there for someone experiencing despair may be the intended application of going the second mile or giving your coat and your cloak?

    As Xenia might say, pray for God’s mercy

  16. UnCCed says:

    Among all the Genesis studies I’ve heard, many highlight the interesting point that after the first sin, it took all of one generation until the first murder, effectively demolishing a lot of our folk theology – “we have all these problems since ____” (prayer taken out of schools, America turned from God, etc.).
    I wonder how long after Adam/Eve usurped God’s rule was the first suicide?

  17. Steve says:

    UnCCed, interesting point. One could make some sort of statement that the first kind-of suicide was in fact eating of the forbidden fruit by Adam/Eve that God commanded them to not eat or else they would surely die.

  18. JoelG says:

    Good article. AB’s show is one of the best on TV. I pray he’s exploring “Parts Unknown” in the presence of His Savior.

    And Michael I hope you’re getting pleanty of rest and giving yourself a break. Glad your friends are there to help you.

    Peace

  19. Cash says:

    I attempted suicide once, many years ago. The only reason I didn’t succeed was that my wife found me in the garage with the car on before I passed away. I’ve been battling with depression for over 20 years and I’m still in the middle of it. It’s hard to see God when you are steeped in darkness. In fact, I wouldn’t describe my relationship with God as very close. I try to pray but sometimes it’s impossible given that I also suffer with an anxiety disorder. It’s kind of hard to explain. I’ve been suicidal many times since my attempt. I’m not trying to make this about me. What I want people to know is that you’re not alone, there are people who understand and love you anyway. The world is a better place with you in it. And that’s true because God made each of us like snowflakes, no two exactly the same. If you’re feeling depressed and just want to talk about it with someone who understands, my email address is mikey2008@comcast.net
    God bless you all.

  20. Michael says:

    Thank you, Joel…it’s one day at a time, but I’ll be fine.

  21. Michael says:

    Cash,

    Mine is a better world because you’re in it.
    Thank you for that and for your words here today…

  22. Cash says:

    Michael,
    😊

  23. Captain Kevin says:

    Thank you for this post, Michael. Every time you open up your heart here on the blog, I come to love you even more. I have battled depression for about 10 years now. I take an anti-depressant for that as well as Fibromyalgia pain. It helps keep my ship from capsizing.

    I love Jesus, read my Bible, and pray, which according to some “theologians,” is the only necessary antidote for depression. For the time being, God has not healed me. There are times when that has been a good thing…first, because it keeps me more humble than I would be without it, and second, I have been able to listen with an empathetic ear to others who just need a friend.

    Thank you everyone for all the wonderful comments above.

  24. Michael says:

    CK,

    Thank you for choosing to be vulnerable so others can know they’re not alone.
    This is what the Body of Christ has to look like if we’re all going to make it through…blessings, my friend.

  25. pstrmike says:

    I am often acutely aware of my own aloneness as I walk through life. Yet the idea of our personal isolation was unpacked for me last summer in the wake of four deaths of family, friends and acquaintances. Two of them were suicides.

    There is life in the midst of the darkness of depression. John of the Cross, Teresa Avila and other mystics understood the apophatic theology in delving into the unknowing, even if it is nothing but understanding that the “unknowing” of God exists.

    There is also the sense of solidarity with Christ in our suffering.

    “Do you want it always to cost me the blood of my humanity while you do not even shed a tear?”

    ~ The Mystery of Jesus, Blaise Pascal.

  26. Captain Kevin says:

    Thank you, Michael. I forgot to mention that although I’ve never tried to commit suicide, the thought has crossed my mind on more than a few occasions.

  27. dusty says:

    I have battled depression my whole life. Thought seriously about suicide more than once. Starting at the afe of 7. Just in the past 4 years I have sought professional help. The depression is still with me. I think that is why i love you all so much, we identify with each other.

  28. Michael says:

    pstrmike,

    Well said…great quote…

  29. Michael says:

    dusty,

    We’re all broken in some way…and we seem to be able to accept each others brokenness here…that’s one of the reasons I keep this thing going…

  30. Captain Kevin says:

    Dusty and Michael, much love to you both.

  31. The New Victor says:

    There’s a disconnect in society where this is a tragedy, while there is also a feeling that not only should we approve of suicide by the elderly or physically sick, but that it should be assisted and validated.

  32. Dan from Georgia says:

    I know of more than a few believers that have either pondered or actually tried to commit suicide. In my early believing years I was of the school of thought that if you have Christ in your life, then everything should be fine and dandy…you know…like the Bible tract says “God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life”…

    Funny.

    Tell that to the believers mentioned in Hebrews 11.

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