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Obedience… The Story Continues.

obedience

A few weeks ago, I posted a blog about obedience to God. I shared part of a story about a tough situation I was in a few months ago. This post picks up where that story left off. I’m sharing because I care about you all. Hopefully you’ll learn from my mistakes and never have to witness such pain as I did. Read, comment, and share…

I was going just going through the motions of life. Work became a task. I wasn’t enjoying it anymore; I was just doing it. Church wasn’t an experience; it was just another item on my checklist. I was coming in and leaving out the same. My relationship with God became very surface level, and it didn’t even register that this was happening.

God, sometimes, has to take drastic measures in order to “shock” us out of our complacency, to wake us up from the dream the enemy has slipped us into, in order to get us back on track. This is exactly what happened to me. I’m one of His prized children; he has story for me to tell, a testimony to share with his people. I’m too valuable to lose to the enemy. We all are.

One August night, a few weeks before my birthday, I was riding down the highway with this friend. We were having a discussion and I was telling him how I was noticing the change in myself. How I’d become less aware of things happening around me, less concerned with my friends and family. That wasn’t like me. It had gotten to point where I wasn’t taking calls from my family, nor my friends. I wanted to be in isolation.

When I realized this “friend” didn’t care about what I was saying, my depression grew deeper. The enemy took that as an opportunity to feed lies into my mind, yet again. No one loves you. No one cares about you. You will always battle with depression. I tried to fight those thoughts, but the hard I tried, the louder they grew. You’ll never fulfill your dreams. You’ll never break that family curse. You’re going to grow old and alone, your worst fear.

The well-crafted lies seemed to be my reality. Tears began falling down my eyes before I even had a chance to try and stop them. In that moment, I wanted it all to be over. I wanted those terrible thoughts out of my head. I wanted my pain to come to an end. The enemy’s voice softened and, again, began speaking thoughts into my mind. Open the door, jump. It’ll all be over. No more depression. No more running. You’re tired of living. Peace waits for you on the other side.

My mind created a vivid visual of what it would be like to be at peace, finally. To open that car door and jump to my death; a few moment of pain, but then eternal rest. I’d be free from the troubles of the world, I thought. It was a desperate lie from the enemy. He knows what lies before me, he knows that God has a bright future planned for me, so he wants to take me out. But his attempt failed. God kept me inside that car that night.

About a week after that incident, I found myself in a low point again. I remember getting out of bed after midnight. Sleep seemed like a distant family member, only coming around every once in a while. I walked from my bedroom into the living room and turned on the television. I found myself pressing the mute button. My focus couldn’t be on the television because there were so many negative thoughts swimming around in my mind.

Before I even realized what was happening, tears welled in my eyes; I was breaking down yet again Somehow, I ended up spread across my living room floor, uncontrollably crying. The enemy took another opportunity to fill my mind with his lies, to tell me how worthless I was… how I should just put myself out of my misery. Life would be better on the other side of death. His lies made no sense, but I believed them.

I found myself on the balcony of my high-rise apartment. Both hands grasping the rails of the balcony as I bent myself over the ledge. One Jump, he whispered to me. One jump and I would end my pain. Again, I wanted to escape reality. Death, at the time, I thought was better than life.

One Jump.

One jump would set me free.

One jump, then I could feel what the birds have felt since creation.

I’d feel the wind beneath my wings.

In those final moments I could fly.

I could be at at peace as every great memory I’ve ever experience flashes before my eyes.

Such beautiful memories.

 

One jump.

One jump would end the pain.

One jump, then there would be no more suffering.

In those final moments I could fly.

I could be finally rid of all my pain.

I could leave behind all worries and doubts.

I could fade to exist.

Because existing hurts.

 

One jump.

One jump, then I could go into eternity.

“Forgive me, Father. It was all to much. I wanted to be with You. The only one who truly loves me.”

I’m only one jump away from eternal grace.

I’ve served enough time in this hell called earth!

And the peace I seek is one jump away.

One jump from all the hurt and pain today.

 

One jump.

One jump would be so selfish.

One jump, then I’d rob my beautiful niece of her favorite uncle.

I’d rob the world of all the talents I have to give.

I’d rob myself of all that is and all that could be.

One jump and that would end my unfinished story.

 

One jump.

Is it worth it?

As I gripped the rails of the balcony, I closed my eyes; imagining myself gracefully falling through the night sky, ending my life and entering eternity with God. Ending my pain and misery. Those were the lies the enemy planted in my head. Committing suicide is quitting; it’s giving up on yourself. It’s robbing yourself, your family and friends, and the world of all the great things you have to offer.

Standing there on the balcony with my eyes clothes, breathing in the night air, God’s voice began speaking to me. “You are chosen. You are blessed. You are the head, not the tail. You are favored. You are loved. You are gifted. You are great.” He started to remind me of all the things that I am, not my shortcoming. He reminded me that everything I need, I have. He’s already instilled in me every talent, every skill to accomplish every dream He’s placed inside my heart.

I found myself pulling away from the balcony and slowly moving back into my apartment. Again, tears burst through my eyes. How did I get so low? How did I get so far away from God? How did I let the enemy so cleverly deceive me?

I was at a crossroads: Do I continue to allow myself to be led further away from God, the gospel, or do I take back my rightful place in the Kingdom? Do I tell the enemy that he has already been defeated and kick him out of my mind, my actions, my life? By this time, it was almost 2am. There was no one I could call, at least that what I felt like, so I grabbed my laptop and typed “suicide hotline” into the search engine. I reached for my cellphone and felt my fingers dialing 1-800-273-TALK.

A young lady answered the line almost immediately. Although I didn’t know her, I felt myself opening up to her, telling her everything that I had been experiencing over the past months leading up to that very moment. She listened intently until I was finished before following up my conversation with some questions.

I felt myself calming down. My breathing became normal again and my heart pace began to stable. God was still speaking to me. He was reminding me of all I had to live for, His purpose for me being here on this Earth. He reminded me of the testimonies I have to share, the things he’s brought me through, the blessings he’s bestowed on me.

After about twenty minutes, I ended the conversation with the young lady on the phone. Although I was still a bit sad, I was able to pull myself up from the floor where I sat and make my way back to the bed. I remember laying down and instantly falling into a deep sleep.

The next day, my cousin reached out to me. She started by asking how I was doing, but then started to probe. She asked me tons of questions about my personal life and what was going on.  Initially, there was an uneasiness because we’d never had a conversation like that. But eventually, I was able to open up to her and tell her everything that I’d been experiencing at that time. She listened and offered advice, but most importantly, she listened. She told me if ever I needed to talk, I could always count on her. It was God’s way of negating the lies of the enemy. There were people I could count on and talk to; all I had to do was reach out.

Not even a few hours later, a good friend of mine who lives in Dallas sent me a text. He’d read some of my Facebook posts leading up to the point where I wanted to commit suicide and he got concerned. I honestly hadn’t noticed that anyone was paying attention to my posts. I wasn’t posting anything for attention, but just out of the way I felt.

He opened up to me and shared his own personal story, his battle with suicide at one point. He told me he was at a very low point in his life and that he’d never had thoughts of suicide before, but just like me, they came out of nowhere. He shared how he was able to overcome it; how God helped him get his life back on track. It was refreshing to hear that I was not alone, as the devil tried to make it seem. Again, God was strategically sending people my way to encourage me and support me when I needed it most. I was very thankful, and still am. Where would I be without God’s grace?

That same weekend, my parents surprised me by coming to Houston from Arkansas. They drove seven and a half hours through the night to be with me in my time of need. I knew why they were there, but I never brought it up – until months later. I was just glad to have my family around me in those desperate moments. I felt God pour his love and joy back inside me, filling me up with gratefulness and thanksgiving. He was re-establishing my purpose for living and thriving. Death was not an option.

Writing and reflecting back over that time period in my life teaches me a few things:

  1. Never take your eyes off God.
    1. This is when the enemy can sneak into your life and have his way. John 10:10 says the enemy comes only to steal, kill, and destroy. He wants to steal our joy, kill our dreams, and destroy our relationship with Love (God, friends and family, and self). Don’t let the enemy rob you of anything God has purposefully placed in your life. Never take your eyes off of God, not even for a second. We all go through things, but stay on the narrow path of righteousness. Surround yourself with people who love you and care about you, that will encourage you.
  2. Don’t harden your heart when you hear His voice.
    1. I think about how difficult I made this situation for myself. If I had only listened to God the first time, it would have saved me a world a trouble, a ton of tears, and a lot of heartache. If I had listened, I would have never considered suicide. I would have never felt unloved and underappreciated. Through it all, I am thankful God brought me through it. Now I have a testimony. Maybe my story will stop the next person from making the same mistakes I have.
  3. Keep your loved ones close.
    1. John 16:33 says, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” God is very clear about the troubles we will face in the world; however, he has overcome the world. Our loved ones make navigating through a troubled world me easy. Because of them, we have something to keep fighting for. We have people we can depend on. We have people to believe in and who believes in us enough to encourage us and keep us on the path of righteousness.

If we’d do those three simple things, then the enemy wouldn’t have access to us, to play with our minds, to have any footing in our lives. I’ve learned the hard way, but I am grateful for the lesson. I am grateful that I overcame that difficult place in my life. God built my endurance and my temperament for strenuous situations.