no life without love

*Before I begin, I just want to say that I know this is a sensitive topic. I am not trying to make light of it, nor am I trying to draw any attention to myself by writing about my own experience. It’s a real issue and I think it’s something worth thinking about. I pray that the love of God would always be in your heart. I pray that you would never shut Him out, and if you have not opened that door yet, that you would let Him in.

Suicide. Ever thought about it? Why do people do it? What do they feel that compels them to take their own life?

The answer, I think, is nothing. They feel nothing. Most importantly, they fear nothing. Not death. Not hell.

I was feeling particularly morose tonight (that’s probably an understatement), feeling like my life had no meaning, like I was a mess, like everything I did somehow went wrong, like there was really no point in my continuing to breathe. I looked at myself and hated what I saw, disgusted and angry at myself for allowing myself to come to this point. I was tired and my body weak. Too tired to deal with something that felt like it kept cropping up no matter how hard I tried to make it right. The air outside was warm, for a Minnesotan winter, adding to the feeling of numbness. Apathy. Just a lack of emotion, really.

I reached home – my better sense keeping me from sleeping in the snow – and thought very calmly about why I shouldn’t just kill myself right now. I knew that I wouldn’t, because I know better than that. But I couldn’t see any reason why not to. Someone who wanted to encourage me in that direction (thankfully no one like that exists in my life) would say that the only thing holding me back is what had been drilled into my head from young: you’re just not supposed to kill yourself. And that person would say that that’s rubbish. I obviously don’t believe in it, so why adhere to it? And that would be that. But really, if life seems as bleak as it must seem to all those who contemplate suicide, if there is no vision of hope or anything good, what is there to keep them from death? It seems to me that there is nothing except the fear of death or hell, or perhaps the pain of killing oneself. But if you fear nothing, then what is there to stop you?

As a Christian, I know the textbook answers. We’re playing god by killing ourselves because God is the one who gets to decide the length of our life. We’re taking matters into our own hands and refusing to acknowledge and give into His sovereignty and power. We aren’t supposed to kill. Period. We would make God sad. It’s selfish. God loves us. And so do many other people.

But anyone who has been there will tell you that none of those reasons seem very compelling when you feel like you’re falling into a black hole of nothingness. Nothing is scarier and more dangerous than that empty vortex. That numbness to fear is deadly.

As I sat and prayed and asked God what in the world was going on, a loyal friend whom I had fought with just before (part of the trigger) kept showing me love. Quietly, without saying anything. Bringing pillows to prop me up so that I could sleep semi-upright to help with my cough. Covering me with a blanket. Bringing another cushion when I continued to sit hunched over in a cross-legged position.

I resisted sometimes, telling her to go to bed, then giving in when she persisted. Still numb, still emotionless. I knew she was being kind. I knew she was going beyond what humans expect. I knew she was loving me like Jesus would. I wanted to say thanks. I didn’t want to speak. I hugged her, very lightly.

And the tears started flowing.

This happened a few times, until I finally realized what was going on. Kind of. I have this defense mechanism that shuts people out when I am hurt. Press the button and the walls go up around my heart. No one can get in. No man, no woman, no God. Well, God could if He wanted to, but He doesn’t force His way in. I was keeping love out.

But love is what we need to survive. Love is what gives us a reason to keep living. Beneath the numbness and everything is very often a scared, little child who just wants some love. We need to know we are loved. We need to know that someone thinks we’re worth loving, even when we’re on our worst behavior. When we can’t love ourselves. When we think we’d be better off dead.

Life is not worth living if no one thinks that you’re worth the time, effort, energy, love.

Good thing for us, Someone thinks we are.

Thank You, God. May I always trust in Your love, even when I don’t feel it, because You say it is always there, and Your Word is true. Help me to know Your love, God. Help all of us to know Your love. Let it run deep in our hearts. It is the one thing that cannot be taken from us. It is our security. Our life. Thank You for loving me.


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