This week I celebrated a very unique anniversary - I have lived twenty-five years longer than I ever expected. As a early teen, I had made the decision to take my own life on my eighteenth birthday. My hollow, hopeless existence left me wallowing in a pain I couldn’t live with and so at the dawn of my teenage years, I wrote my suicide poem and planned out that fateful day. If my irresponsible teenage angst didn’t kill me first, I would.
Though I’ve learned many important things in those unexpected years, these are the three that top the list:
1) God loves me for me – just as I am. I don’t need to earn his love (thank goodness, because I can’t) and there is nothing I can do that would make him not love me anymore. Jesus’ sacrifice and resurrection has brought me into the Father’s presence with joy and thanksgiving and nothing can take me away from him. His Spirit lives in me, forming a living unbreakable bond in our relationship.
2) It’s the little things that make life worth living: the last I love you, the last hug. A cup of cool water, a warm coat, a hot meal. The look on the elderly neighbor’s face when you take out her garbage again this week. The two-page letter written to a soldier overseas. A shoebox full of toys and socks for a poor child you’ll never meet. The extra $20 spent at the grocery store each month for the food bank.
3) Life is a precious gift – don’t waste it. Live each day, take each breath knowing that God prepared it just for you and him to share.
If you find yourself identifying with the first paragraph of this blog, if you are considering suicide – please seek help immediately. Call the 24-hour National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or go to your local hospital emergency room. I promise you, living is worth it.
About the picture:
Pittsburgh, PA (June 2010)