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Posts Tagged ‘to save a life’

 

Statistics on suicide in the United States (These statistics are the most recent statistics available from the Centers of Disease Control as reported on www.save.org):

  • Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S. for all ages.
  • Every day, approximately 105 Americans die by suicide.
  • There is one death by suicide in the U.S. every 12 minutes.
  • Suicide takes the lives of over 38,000 Americans every year.

Statistics on suicide worldwide (These statistics are the most recent statistics available from the World Health Organization as reported on http://www.save.org):

  • Nearly 800,000 people die by suicide in the world each year, which is roughly ONE DEATH EVERY 40 SECONDS.
  • Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death in the world for those aged 15-24 years.
  • Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide.

 

“I don’t want to live anymore!” I never in a million years thought that I would ever feel that way, much less give voice to those words. But as I stood there with the door of my daughter’s car open I started sobbing and the words just came out. I completely shocked myself. I had not realized that my mind had wandered that far off the path. It scared me to realize that my mind had taken on a life of it’s own.

This was the middle of July of 2017. There has never been a time in my life when I didn’t suffer from anxiety. There have been times in my years of raising my kids as a single mom when I did feel overwhelmed, but it had never gotten to this point. There had been times when I wanted to hide, but I had never ever thought of not wanting to live. I had started becoming more anxious and overwhelmed around the end of April. I felt hopeless. I didn’t think that anything in my life was where it should be. My job caused me overwhelming anxiety on a daily basis. There were things on the home front that I was stressed out about and I felt a disconnect from God. I knew that God was still there, but I was struggling to feel His presence. I cried out in my despair, “hang on to me! Please God, don’t let me go!” I constantly prayed for a healing of my mind. I was aware enough to know that only God could make me mentally whole again. After that morning in July, when I uttered those words of hopelessness, I prayed with all of my heart that God would heal my mind. I was scared. I felt out of control and it terrified me. I was not happy. I felt alone and I cried tears of helplessness and fear. At one point during that time, I had had a rough morning at work and I sunk down in a corner in the dining room and sobbed. The dining room was empty at that moment and I was able to pull myself together rather quickly, but I was not happy and the tears flowed freely. It took until the end of October until I felt more like myself. I felt better and I wanted to live.

I still struggle with anxiety. I still struggle to connect with people. The constant chaos in my mind is real. But, I am better. I have my ups and downs, but I will survive. I will hang on to God and I trust that God will hang on to me.

There are so many ways that the Church is missing the opportunity to reach out to those who are suffering with anxiety, depression, mental illness, and hopelessness. When someone is suffering with any of these issues, they need a support system. There is a feeling of helplessness. There is a feeling of not being able to cope alone. And yet those who suffer don’t always ask for help. As helpless as they feel, they may not be able to reach out for help on their own. It is up to the rest of us to watch out for those around us to make sure that if anyone in our sphere of influence is suffering mentally, that we reach out in love and hope.

Love in Words– We won’t always know if someone we know or come in contact with is suffering, so it is important that we love those around us by the words that we use. When we encourage, build up, speak kindly, and use words of love, we give hope to those who may desperately need hope in their lives. Loving others through our words is such an easy way to let someone know that they are loved. Why would we not want to let others know how much we love them?

Love in Action– When we look for ways to show others how much we care about them, we might be giving hope in an otherwise hopeless situation. When we step in to ease the burden of someone who is overwhelmed by life, we may be saving a life. When we take some action to help someone who is struggling in their circumstances, we allow love to grow and God to work. It doesn’t have to be grand gestures. Little things matter just as much. Look around you and see where you can reach out and love someone by your actions.

My Challenge To You

Look around you every day to see how you can use your words and actions to show love to someone you come in contact with who may be suffering. Don’t let the busyness of life keep you from reaching out to someone that you KNOW is struggling in life. Don’t let opportunities pass you by to love those around you. Don’t let your frustration in the check out line cause you to make nasty remarks to the cashier adding to the burden he or she may already carry. You never know what the people around you are dealing with. You have a choice. We all do. We can either save a life with our words and actions. Or we can destroy one. It is completely up to each one of us. Personally, I would rather save a life. There is so much death and heartache in this world. I don’t want to think that my words or actions caused someone to even think about taking their own life. We may never know when that harsh word we said in frustration or anger was the last word they heard, because it was that last straw that pushed them over that edge. Please be kind. Choose to save a life.

RESOURCES

If someone you know is struggling with depression or suicidal thoughts, please do NOT ignore it. Do not just chalk it up to someone being dramatic or wanting attention. Seek help for this person and urge him/her to seek help for him/her self. I have listed some resources below:

suicide prevention lifeline

Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide

National Alliance for Mental Illness

Recklessly Alive Ministries

If you are struggling with depression, anxiety or suicidal thoughts, please get help! Use any of the above resources or talk to someone you trust. Please get help! YOU MATTER! YOU ARE LOVED! YOU ARE WORTH SO MUCH MORE THAN YOUR MIND IS ALLOWING YOU TO BELIEVE! Get help!

 

 

 

 

 

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I received a call from Kiowa (my Air Force daughter) one afternoon, which is not unusual in itself, but she had an interesting story to tell me. She lives about 40 minutes from her base and along her route there is an intersection with stop signs that Semi’s don’t like to stop for. She had told me this before when I visited in May and had added that there are many wrecks due to the Semi’s running the signs and hitting other vehicles. She continued to tell me that on her way to work that morning, she realized that she had forgotten her rain gear and it was supposed to rain. She works outside and rain gear is a must. She was already half way to work, but turned around and headed back home. On her way back to work, as she approached the above intersection she realized that there had been an accident and clean-up was underway. A Semi had hit another car. She did the calculations in timing and realized that had she not gone back, that it could have been her. She drives a small Mazda Miata. Her little 2-seat sports car would not have fared well if it had been hit by a Semi. She said the other car was a larger vehicle and everyone was okay.

Kiowa knew that this was a “God-thing.” She recognized that God had sent her back and had probably saved her life. Many times when we are inconvenienced in any way, we become impatient. We rant and possibly become hazards on the road because we have been inconvenienced and are now in a hurry. We become angry with everyone in our way. We struggle to find God in the situation. I have learned two things from Kiowa’s story:

  1. Be Patient– God won’t always tell us why we are being inconvenienced. He expects us to trust Him and be patient. Our inconveniences may not always be to save us from harm. God may be putting us in a position to minister to someone else. God may be using us to save someone else’s life. There is always a reason for wild goose chases. Be patient when God sends you on one and look around you to see if there is someone who needs a helping hand or simply an encouraging word.
  2. Be Obedient– If Kiowa had not been obedient to the leading of the Holy Spirit, this story could have ended much differently. I thank God for keeping her safe! We need to be obedient in ALL situations. We may never know when God is saving our life or someone else’s life, but when the Holy Spirit starts to lead us down an inconvenient path, Be obedient. God knows exactly what He is doing and sees everything that is going on. Trust Him! He may be saving our life or using us to save a life. Either way, we need to trust that He is in control and be obedient to that nudging of the Holy Spirit.

I learned from Kiowa’s experience. I am not always patient when God sends me back for something I forgot or something comes up at an inconvenient time. I have a tendency to whine and complain. I need to be more like Kiowa. She saw God in the situation. She was able to see the bigger picture.

Dearest Lord,

Give me a patient heart. Help me to see the bigger picture when I am inconvenienced. Help me to see YOU in the wild goose chases of life. Help me be patient when I am inconvenienced and give me eyes to see the “someone” who may need a helping hand or an encouraging word. Give me a heart to love those who so desperately need someone to love them. Help me to realize when you are using me to save a life and more than anything, Lord, give me an obedient heart. Give me a heart that follows the nudging of the Holy Spirit no matter what. I long to do your will. Praise you, Father!¬† ¬†Amen

 

 

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