Brittany’s StoryJuly 24, 2012
Life as I knew it
In the mind of a ten-year-old girl, there is not much that can make her world turn upside down expect for transferring schools, moving to a new town, and living in a broken home. All of these events can truly take a toll on a young life, and they definitely did on mine. This is the story of my life and my fall to depression, but since you are reading this today, I consider it a brighter ending.
The depression started to make itself known throughout my pre-teen life; although it escalated when I hit the age of twelve. Not having a stable home and the media pressurizing girls into what they should look like, made life difficult. So whether I was at home or school, my world seemed to be crumbling.
Faking a smile became much easier than having people ask what was bothering me. The depression was not only sadness as some would imagine; it was more the weight of life I could not carry on my own. It grew so intense that one day I decided to finally end it.
The date was Wednesday, March 28, 2007, when I attempted suicide. I grabbed a light blue headband from my sister’s bathroom and took it to my room where I looked the door. No one was going to disturb me or try to change my mind. The note I left was actually a video in which the audience would not be able to see the tears on my face, but they would be able to hear the anger in my voice. I blamed the people who had hurt me.
After the video had been recorded, I started tightening the band around my neck. The room around me grew darker and darker as the headband became tighter and tighter. Then right as I was about to lose consciousness, a word suddenly came to mind. That word was “Carly,” my little sister. How could I leave her to fend on her own? She was not strong enough to deal with the loss of her best friend and the continual fights at home.
I immediately let go of the headband allowing the air to flow through my lungs once more. Not only was that my first step to recovery, but it was also the first time I had truly heard God’s voice. I had grown up going to church and trusted Jesus as my Savior, but that had made dying look more satisfying than living. Believing in Him and knowing Him (I came to find) are two different matters entirely. God saved me that day in more ways than one.
Although the thoughts still lingered in my head, the pressure was not as great. I went to counseling and grew to love Jesus through the help of the people around me.
Did this mean life became easier suddenly? Of course it didn’t, and it may even be harder now. But this wasn’t the end because God hasn’t finished writing my story. He may have kept me around so that I could tell this story to you or maybe it was to glorify Him; either way I am glad He did. God lifted the weight off my shoulders and gave me a new perspective in life. Each new day is a blessing from Him, and it is up to us to make the most of it.
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What do we say? What do we do? Who do we refer them to?July 6, 2012
The loss of a loved one is a very traumatic event in a person’s life. The loss of a child is one of the most horrific losses any Mother or Father could ever experience. The pain experienced can best be described by this statement, “He/she hurt so bad that you could see the pain flowing out of them!”
Recently we’ve had a number of people reaching out to us: What do we say? What do we do? Who do we refer them to?
Let’s take these questions one at a time:
· What do we say? “We are so sorry for your loss; we hurt for you and will pray for you.” Please don’t make promises you will not keep.
· What do we do? Be there for them, love them, care for them and listen to them. Do little things for them; send cards, flowers, take them out to eat. But most of all, pray for them!
· Who do we refer them to? HeartBeat is an excellent program offered in many Colorado counties. Let us know and we can direct you to one. This is a group setting made of people who have lost loved ones to suicide. Yes, it helps to talk. They are given skills to cope as well as the fellowship of others who they can walk this long journey with. There are similar programs on a national basis.
o These programs will often know of skilled counselors in your area that can be used. Don’t think they can do it alone!
o Another resource is centerforloss.com. Dr. Wolfelt is one of the leading experts in grieving.
o Some churches have grief groups. The fellowship in these groups can be very helpful.
o Do not expect them to get better! This is a long painful journey, five years later we still hurt and we still grieve.
o Please put them on our Prayer Line. We will have Prayer Warriors praying for them from all over the world.
Links to these resources are on the website under, “Lost a Love One?”
Thank you for being sensitive to the needs of your friends and loved ones. Be sure to walk patiently and lovingly along this journey with them.
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The Devil and His PreyJune 26, 2012
The Devil and His Prey
By: Marla D. Daniels
To my eight year olds delight, our domesticated house cat caught a bird during her afternoon romp today. The cat lay with that bird and kept her paw right on it while it panted and writhed. She, seemingly calm, just watched us as we watched her.
She’d get up and walk away only to return and check on her reward.
At one point she decided to carry her trophy to the back patio door and declare to her family what a warrior she was. As she grabbed the helpless bird by the throat to transport it, the bird began flapping its wings with all its might. It fought a valiant fight to no avail.
In the midst of the battle it would seem that every bird in the neighborhood joined in a cacophony of squawking and screeching as loud as they were able. They all gathered together for the benefit of their fellow.
This imagery brought my mind to the battle of suicide. We’re told in 1 Peter 5:8 “Be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” The cat is like the devil – prowling; waiting for the weakness of the prey. At the most unexpected moment – when complacency sets in, the cat (like the devil) attacks.
As we lose sight of all that we’ve been blessed with, we become dissatisfied. Ann Voskamp says in her book One Thousand Gifts, “Our fall was, has always been, and always will be, that we aren’t satisfied in God and what he gives.”
The moment we take our eyes off of Him and focus on SELF and that which we think we are entitled to or that we perceive we are lacking, we give the devil an open opportunity.
I have been spurred to be like the congregation of birds. We, as a diverse community – just like the birds – need to surround the prey and PRAY. We need to yell and make noise and bring attention to the schemes of the devil in every attempt to shed light and make him flee.
But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light. (Eph 5:13)
The problem with the bird struggling with all its might is just that, it was relying on its own strength. This is all too familiar to us. Those contemplating suicide often run out of strength and feel they can’t fight any longer. They’re like a dry and empty well.
There is hope! Jesus said, “Whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will come in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.” (John 4:14)
We can combat the lies of suicide by remembering to be thankful, (Eph 5:20 always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father), filling up on the Living Water of Jesus, and finding our strength in Him not ourselves.
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. Eph 6:10
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