Suicide Prevention Month
God bless you always, Carrie Stoelting and Stacie Stoelting Sisters and founders of Unite the USA
Suicide: How to Prevent It and How to Emerge from Despair
When celebrities or when anyone anywhere commits suicide, it makes my heart ache. This week, I heard of multiple suicides and felt my stomach flip and the grief begin. (Please join me as I pray daily for all grieving families.) And, as someone on track to becoming a Christian psychologist, I beg each of us to never close our eyes to a suicidal person. Pray and reach out. Always share Christ's love with the families in grief while never adding pain to their broken hearts.
With that stated, let's have a very honest talk about suicide. First of all, are you yourself in despair? Listen: What you are going through is NOT the end. You are NOT alone. God is NOT finished with you yet.
God made you on purpose for His purpose. You are not a mistake. You are so special and loved by Him! Open your heart to Jesus. He is real. He is good! He is God's Son and God's Answer to your/my heart problems.
Some despair-shattering truth is found in this direct quote from God Himself:"...'I will never [under any circumstances] desert you [nor give you up nor leave you without support, nor will I in any degree leave you helpless], nor will I forsake or let you down or relax My hold on you [assuredly not]!'" (Hebrews 13:5)
The enemy of our souls often tempts us to think that we're beyond hope, alone, or somehow singled out for disaster. Suicidal thoughts are lies: They're mental mirages. Our brains and thoughts can fool us.
It's like a person in the desert who sees a mirage that is very believable at the time. Yet, as soon as the person receives water and recovers in a safe place, he/she realizes that the mirage had been false. So it is with mental mirages of suicidal thoughts.
If you are feeling suicidal, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255. Do not believe the mirage of despair. Christ is there! Get help now.
Fact: Every thought that makes you feel hopeless is a lie. We must replace such thoughts. We can't just stop thinking them. The human brain is a fascinating scientific frontier with much yet to be explored. Only God fully understands it. But one thing is certain: We cannot stop one thought without thinking another thought. The way to stop letting bad thoughts rotate in our minds is to start fixing our thoughts on God's truth while also taking care of our physical bodies/brains. Helpful Hope-Booster and Prayer Tip:
Erase and Replace: Today, I urge you to write down your worst fear, erase it, and replace it with a Bible verse including God's promise from His Word which totally wipes out the lie. And pray. Bring the bad thoughts captive to Christ. Ask Him to help you change your thinking habits to that of His thoughts. (Do you know Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord of your life? The ultimate Good News is that God's Son, Jesus Christ, wants you to know Him personally, be with Him eternally, and to share Him publicly. He is the only way to Heaven. Click here to learn more.)
And never hesitate to get help. Go to the doctor to address physical health issues. Speak to a Christian mental health professional. You'll be amazed and surprised by the good things God has planned for you -no matter what.
-Stacie R. Stoelting Hudzinski
Bachelor of Science, Psychology (Biblical Counseling), Liberty UniversityMaster of Science, Psychology (Christian Life Coaching), Grand Canyon UniversityCurrent PhD Student, Grand Canyon University
Why Are You So Important to God?
National Suicide Prevention Resources
For other battles with less acute depression and anxiety,here are other free options which will help you talk, pray, and find a Christian mental health professional in your area:
- Schedule a free conversation with Focus on the Family's Counseling Department. Call them at (855) 771-HELP (4357) from 6:00am to 8:00pm (Mountain Time).
- Call Hope for the Heart at 1-800-488-HOPE (4673) Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.-1:30 a.m. CST; Closed weekends. Línea en español 1-855-867-0824.
- Utilize this web site to find someone in your region: https://connect.aacc.net/?search_type=distance.
And remember: Your life -every life- is special to God and has meaning. There is hope in Christ. Find out about God's love for you: www.peacewithgod.net.
This Month's Bible Verse
Unite the USA's
Featured Veteran of the Month: Michael Colalillo
Can you give me any reason not to take my own life right now?
Q: I've just gotten out of the hospital after trying to take my own life. Things are better with me now and I don't plan to go down that road again, but how can I be sure I won't? Will God help me?
A: Yes, God will help you as you turn to Him and discover what it means to walk with Him every day. The Bible says, "No good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless" (Psalm 84:11).
How does God help us? First, He helps us by giving us the strength to do what is right. When we turn to Christ and ask Him to forgive us and help us, He comes to live within us by His Spirit. We are never alone when we know Christ, for God now dwells within us! He is with us every minute of the day, and He helps us as we turn in faith to Him. His Spirit encourages and helps us when discouragement or temptation comes our way. The Bible says, "The Spirit helps us in our weakness" (Romans 8:26).
He also helps us by reminding us that He loves us, and we are His children forever. If you forget everything else I say, I hope you will remember this: God loves you. He knows all about your struggles and failures, but He still loves you-and the proof is that He was willing to send His only Son into the world to die for you. Your life will never be the same once you realize how much God loves you.
Don't face the future alone, or try to meet it only in your own strength. Instead, by a simple prayer of faith ask Christ to come into your life today-and He will. Then turn to Him every day and thank Him for His love and His constant presence with you.
Q: I've just been diagnosed with an incurable disease that will leave me weaker and in more and more pain as the months go by. Can you give me any reason not to take my own life right now? Not only would it save me from all that suffering, but it would also spare my family. I don't want to be a burden to them.
A: The greatest burden you could ever place on your family would be for you to take your own life. Their confusion, hurt and guilt would be almost endless (no matter what you told them), for they would constantly wonder what they could have done to prevent such a terrible act, and why you chose to reject their love and concern so decisively.
After all, one of the greatest ways we demonstrate our love for someone is to help them in their times of need-and there is no greater time of need than during their final illness. Don't deprive your family of that opportunity, and don't feel that you are only a burden to them. They love you, and these months could be a time when you and your family grow even closer together. Don't lose sight either of the positive impact your example could make on the young people in your family.
My deepest concern, however, is that you aren't ready to die-either now or later. Elsewhere in your letter, you admit you have ignored God all your life. But listen: God still loves you and wants you to spend all eternity with Him in heaven. And He has made this possible by sending His Son into the world to take away your sins. Turn to Christ today, for "now is the time of God's favor, now is the day of salvation" (2 Corinthians 6:2).
Q: Does life have any purpose? My friends all say the only purpose in life is to have a good time. But I've tried that, and if I'm honest I'd have to admit my life is kind of empty. Is this all there is to life?
A: No, this isn't all there is to life - no matter what your friends say. In fact, living only for ourselves and our own pleasures is a dead-end road that will never bring us lasting happiness - as you've discovered.
But God has given us another way - and my prayer is that you will have the courage to find it and follow it, because it alone gives lasting meaning and purpose to our lives. What is that way? It is the way of Jesus, putting Him (instead of ourselves) at the center of our lives, and learning to trust Him and follow Him wherever He leads us. The Psalmist put it this way: "You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand" (Psalm 16:11).
Begin by facing honestly your need of God. He made you, and He alone knows what is best for you. Then by a simple act of faith ask Jesus Christ to come into your life and make you His child forever. God loves you, and life's greatest joy comes from knowing Him and living for Him. God's promise is for you: "If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Then ask God to lead you to a church where you can grow closer to Christ and discover what it means to follow Him every day.