I hesitate as I write this. I don’t really want to write this. This day makes me want to stop doing this 30 day challenge. It’s not so much that I don’t want people to know about events of my life, or thoughts from my past that have shaped who I am now. I think that I’m more so hesitant because I don’t know what others will think of me after they read this. I don’t know what my friends will think, I don’t know how they will look at me afterwards. This topic is one that I don’t usually talk very openly about, and I think only a few people do know about it.
So if you haven’t guessed, the topic for today is “a time when you thought of ending your own life.” There are two points in my life that I believe still echo in my head. The first time was in Gr.8 and the second was in Gr.10. Both the times I couldn’t really give you a clear cut reason why. Both times (and really the thoughts of ending my life came and went throughout those two years) the reasons seemed so important, whereas now in retrospect it wasn’t at all. In fact, I don’t think I really remember the reasons, I do remember the emotions I felt during those times though. And for both years.
I grew up/have grown up in an environment that is as loving as a broken, fallen sinful world can allow. I have been blessed with incredible parents, who even though they are not perfect, have loved me and God has used them to show me His incredible love. I have an older brother, who annoys me and teases me sometimes, but who also encourages me and challenges me to pursue God with passion…not only through his words but also through how he acts as well. In all honesty, I couldn’t ask for more. I have been blessed more than I could imagine and far more than I deserve. Yet that still didn’t change my thought process in Gr.8.
In Gr.8, I was angry, like hair-trigger temper, snap at a drop of a hat angry. I had so much rage in me, I didn’t release it, all I did was bottle it up. I let it fester, and grow. I let rage eventually turn to hatred, and hatred eventually turn into bitterness. I was just an angry kid….really like the group of my friends that i hung out with. I was angry at everything and everyone, and for some reason I thought that the best way to get back at people would be to take my life. I don’t know where I saw the logic in that. And I’m thankful that I never went ahead with it. I don’t know what stopped me, I had no reason why I shouldn’t stop. With no reason that I can think of, I can only think that Jesus stopped me before I even knew Him.
The second time happened in Gr.10. It was my second year of being a Christian. It was at this time that I began to get depressed. I do remember the central cause of my depression. It was because I began doubting if I was saved. The reason I began having these doubts was because sin was owning me. I was praying SO hard to be free from my sin, and yet I never seemed to be free from it. Unlike so many of my brothers and sisters, who seemed to taste instantaneous freedom…and who seemed to taste God’s Grace so vividly and mightily. I felt like I was standing still. Wondering if accepting Christ in Gr.9 really all was just a sham. In my head, it was like I could hear a little voice telling me that “this life wasn’t worth it. There really isn’t any point to following Christ, you are nothing but weak, God doesn’t love you. Instead all He is is frustrated at you…” just day after day, month after month. Again there were times that year when I did think long and hard about taking my life. And again, I just never went through with it. Once more, I attribute it to God’s Grace. I am thankful that somehow, in a way that I am still unaware of (and of which I don’t need to know), He convinced me to struggle through that year. And looking back, as far away as He seemed, He was always there. For that I am always thankful.
I know that if you are reading this for the first time, and you have only known me from university, you maybe a little bit surprised. I have changed a lot over the years, and it wasn’t because of me. All the changes that have occurred have been from Jesus changing my heart. Of course there is still the occasional time that I am just frustrated and angry that I can’t seem to get freedom from sin, however I believe fully that Christ has freed me from being full of rage and also freed me from that depression that I felt in Gr. 10, bits of 11 and 12.
There is freedom in Christ, there is freedom in the Cross. I’ve realized that sometimes it takes time…and sometimes it doesn’t, but it is always on His time, because through the events that we experience, the emotions we feel, He shapes us into who we were meant to be. Again I am thankful for it. I’m not necessarily joyful for feeling how I did, but I am thankful for it.