Posted by: Judy | October 17, 2019

Suicide Prevention

I hadn’t planned on addressing this, but I couldn’t stop thinking about it.

Godly Chics posted this, as September is Suicide Prevention Month:

https://gcdiaries.wordpress.com/2019/09/11/suicide-prevention-day-should-be-everyday/

The holidays are coming, and they are brutal. People feel alone, left out, separate from the happy world around them. Many are faced with horrific memories. The family drunk who now had a reason to drink even more. The molester who reminded the abused that they were naughty not nice, and they better be nice or Santa would forget them. The abuser who trashed the decorations for spite. The family member who had to have everything, the parties, the cookies, the dinners, the church services, the service, the need to be involved in everything, regardless of age appropriateness, time, or finances. The family member who always managed to make the holidays all about them. The well-meaning people who loaded on guilt.

The handsy relative that everyone knows is too handsy, but they must be invited to Thanksgiving dinner. Because it’s the holidays. The nasty neighbor that must be included in the party, and one must never call them out on their nastiness because it would ruin the party. The inappropriate gift that must be graciously accepted or the good mood would be ruined. The slights. The invitations that never arrive. The invitations that are ignored. The tragedies created by irresponsible strangers in their effort to celebrate.

Adding to the nightmares, the world has created an impossible standard. Movies, TV shows, commercials, store windows, and more all depict the perfect parties, the perfect gifts, the perfect decorations, the perfect emotions, all required…demanded in order to have the perfect holiday.

Perfection. They keep using that word. I don’t think it means what they think it means.

Here’s the thing: God’s definition of perfection is not our definition of perfection. For the record: God’s definition is the only one that matters.

I know I struggle with the holidays. I’ve had my falls into the darkness, feeling like I’ll never escape, never see light again. I think I’ll do better this year, but I know I have to let go of what I envision. I love decorations. My parents saw them as clutter. Parties are not on my list of favorite things to do…I don’t think it would make the list at all. I love the presents under the tree, but again, my parents have always talked about the evils of materialism.

For me: Gifts are not about materialism. Mindless, spending money to spend money is materialism. Asking someone what they’d like and giving them what they wanted is not materialism. We’re allowed to want things, things that make us smile, things that make us enjoy life a little more, things that make life a little easier.

God gives us gifts, every day, every hour, every breath. He gives us each an every breath. God delights in blessing us. He encourages us to follow His lead and give good gifts.

Life is an awesome gift. It’s also a gift to not be taken lightly.

Taking care of my body, or at least learning how, is my gift to God for His gift of a body to me. God’s circular that way. You can never give Him more than He gives you.

The power of gift giving is an opportunity to see someone through God’s eyes. Do some people mindlessly give gifts? Definitely. However, when a gift is given with God in mind, the gift is multiplied in ways you may never see, at least not in this life.

The desire to be winked out of existence as faded into the past, mostly. Times still occur when weariness begs for a rest not of this world. I remind myself of Job, Paul, and others who’ve endured faithfully. I’m practicing: When the wish to quit blares front and center I listen to “Even If” by MercyMe and sing to myself, over and over, “It is well with my soul.” I’m astonished and inspired by how those simple words ease the troublesome thoughts.

God doesn’t hate us for our failings. He understands. Our failings are why Jesus Christ came to earth. Jesus understands everything, to a depth we never will. He was betrayed by a friend. He was betrayed by church leaders. He was betrayed by his countrymen. He knows what it is to stand alone. He knows what it is to be weary. He knows what it is to not want to go forward. He asked God to change the circumstances. He also submitted to God: “Not my will but Thine.”

Part of the difficulty of struggling with suicidal thoughts is that there’s the feeling one is completely alone. Sometimes, it’s about not wanting to pass on abuse. Sometimes, it feels like no other way exists, especially when one has been stuck for a long time.

And then the holidays come along, all cheerful and merry and bright, and it feels like an affront, a betrayal, hopeless. It’s difficult to see that the holidays offer the opportunity to create something new, different, and maybe even wonderful. I think I’ll give it a try, this year. I’m not sure how I’m going to go about it, but now I’m thinking about it. I think perhaps this would be a good question for my Daily Devotional time. Lord, how do I make the holidays a season of blessing instead of a time of mourning?

I won’t let the adversary win. I won’t give up. I won’t give in. I make the choice no one can make for me: I choose life, in all its messiness. Praising God in the storm. It is well with my soul.


Responses

  1. Most people struggle with holidays, even the ones that “seem happy,” struggle. I”ve learned that there is no perfect holiday when you bring a lot of different personalities together. I suggest doing seasonal work at Crate/n/Barrel, Williams Sonoma or Sur La Table. It’s fun, good exercise, keeps you from thinking about your own holidays, because you are helping other people buy different items, packaging them up and hearing their ho hum or funny stories about Xmas at Aunt Joe’s or Thanksgiving at the sister, etc.

    Seasonal work anywhere will give you a whole new outlook on “the holidays.” TRY IT

    • Two years of retail during the holidays is enough for me. Too often, people had caviar tastes on a mac and cheese budget. đŸ™‚

  2. The holidays are definitely messy, even for those who enjoy them. I have found that letting go of any expectations and trying to focus on Jesus, the whole reason for the season, is helpful for me personally… I pray that you are able to find peace that surpasses understanding this holiday season!

    • Thank you, Bridget. Amen.


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