Last month was Suicide Prevention Month and this is a subject that is dear to my heart. Many of you don't know this but I've been suicidal in the past, yes…. It’s true!
Rewind to 2008, I was a married, 26 year old, mother of two boys, and a wonderful step daughter.
Sean and I were doing extremely well financially, we lived in my dream house, drove my dream cars, I bought whatever I wanted, wore all the best and most expensive clothes, and sported a gorgeous wedding ring!
I know “perfect life” right? WRONG!
If you could have taken a magnifying glass and looked into my heart…Well, you’d be nauseous. Don’t get me wrong; it did have a lot of good … juuuust buried under vanity, selfishness, arrogance, and pride…. It was like this dark, pus-infected, and rotten monster took up tent and was living in there, like a vicious tumor. Squeezing the life out of my heart, ripping out any trace of love.
Get the picture?
I really thought I could “love” anyone with writing a check, and that’s what I did. I wrote checks, lots of them. Sean and I were extremely giving people, we just loved to give! However, my motives were all wrong. I knew that in giving God would bless me, so I used it as a recipe to get more. And it worked, for a while… Money just kept coming in, and I just kept writing larger checks. I loved to give, or the feeling I felt when I gave, but I was most motivated by the “gaining” aspect of giving.
Then it happened… the worst thing that could possibly happen. In 2010 we lost it all. (That’s a whole other story in itself.)
We had done all the “right” things; we invested a lot, we saved a lot, we tithed a lot, (and a proud 25 percent) we gave extravagant offerings, we paid cash for most everything… But somehow everything was gone, and fast. In a matter of months, we lost it all…. ALL! It was hard, so hard, REALLY hard! Honestly, I don’t know how we didn’t kill each other.
Financial strain is extremely hard on a marriage. Communication, or the lack thereof, may be the number one reason for divorce, but money is number two! Anyhow, back to the story.
Have you ever noticed… Money goes, then all of the sudden everything you see has (invisible, but completely visible to you) dollar signs? Well, I had that and bad! There was a serious problem with my eyes, a tumor blocking everything in sight, replacing it with MONEY! Or more accurately, the lack of money. My eyes were focused on the things I no longer had, a constant reminder of how God no longer “Loved me.” My eyes became a vicious tool for this green monster to drown me in insecurity, inferiority, and each day nearer to suicidal thoughts.
Then to top things off, I became consumed with the thought of money. I would spend all day in bed and up all night as a result, crying about money. Afraid to live without it! So afraid, I would sob frantically in my husbands arms, for hours upon hours. My mind had become the address to yet another monster. This scary cloud, dark, malicious, surrounding my mind, like a mold growing, taking over every thought, consuming me with fear.
And for the first time in my life, I was suicidal! Yes, I was married. Yes, I had children, and yes I was a believer! But I was listening to the monsters. All I could hear was “You don't want this life where you’re homeless, living at your family’s house, you don't even have a single car! YOU HAVE NOTHING!”
Then somehow, through all the chaos…. I became pregnant!
Most people wouldn’t have been so excited, another mouth to feed and provide for…. But Sean and I were on cloud nine! We had tried to get pregnant, (before our world came crashing down) for four years we prayed for a baby girl. And even though it wasn’t our perfect timing, it was the perfect time. I was soooooo excited! Immediately I felt that the baby was indeed the baby girl we prayed for. I even had the name picked out … If the baby was a girl. There were two other “possible” names, but after everything we’d gone through … Only the name Adonai Grace would be fitting
Becoming pregnant did something to Sean and me. It was the beginning of the “monster surgery” on our hearts. As long as I can remember, I’ve wanted a daughter. I was blessed with a stepdaughter, but due to her living in California (with her mom), we only saw her three to four months out of the year. And I had my two oldest, but I didn't adopt them till they were older, so therefore, I missed out on all the “fun” years. I needed my lil girl fix, and God knew that.
The joy pregnancy brought, helped me tune back into God and drown out the interference from the monster. It was as though his tumor had been removed from my heart, and I could feel for the first time. I started to feel love, and therefore I could give love.
However, the fight wasn’t over. My eyes were still a big problem. Although I could feel in my heart again… Each time I saw “money” my heart would become open to the monster. My eyes held his key to this familiar home for him. Easy access … All I had to do was look…. then envy…. and he was in! Pulling me back, feelings resurfacing, making me angry, disappointed in God all over again. So, I had to change … And this was a conscious decision I had to make. I asked the Lord to change my eyes, to heal them, remove the “monster” to give me the power to see, rather than look. Then, very slowly, I could see what was in front of me: beauty, love, and happiness…. I had it all!
God performed surgery on my eyes, His power removed the monster blocking my sight, and finally I could see!
My children were happy, even without the luxury of a home or cars…. as long as they had us; they were happy, truly happy. I could see my husband, this dashingly, handsome man, who was passionately in love with me, no matter what! Parents in front of me, there for me, come what may, praying for us! Amazing in-laws, who were gracious enough to share their only vehicles and home with our family for TEN MONTHS!!! Praying and fasting for us, loving us unconditionally. Seeing that I had it all, and all along. My heart was ready, full of love, and now I could see all the blessings around me. I could finally “see” for the first time! That caused a ripple effect; I became thankful towards God instead of being angry. I was thankful! Very thankful, full of gratitude, and love for all that He’s done for me.
It still wasn’t over! I had to do something about the battle raging between my ears.
Sure, I felt love, I could now see the blessings surrounding me…But, that didn’t stop the monster from attacking my mind. Sucking out any good thoughts or memories, a malignant tumor spreading, bringing his friends anger, unforgiveness and self-pity. Satan, (AKA monster) like the devious snake that he is, creeps into your mind. At first, he’s not so obvious. The “thought” might sound like “ God “loves” you buuut is He gonna provide for the new baby?” Then as you allow doubt, it turns into “You’ll never be blessed again, you’ll be living with your in laws forever! God doesn’t bless you anymore.” He goes on and on, never ending… The thing is, if the monster can get us to believe some of his lies…Then we do the rest by beating ourselves up. Finally I said “ENOUGH!”
2 Corinthians 10:5 “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;”
The Bible says “Take every thought captive.”
We have to know that we cannot change our lives by changing our behavior. Dealing with behavior will not change your life. For “As a man thinketh…” You have to change your way of thinking and your thought patterns if you are going to change your behavior. You change your life by changing what you think. Then, when your thinking is lined up with God’s thinking, (God’s Word) then that seals the monsters off … And they have no entrance into your life!
Monsters will try and come back, throwing accusations at you, trying to penetrate your mind and thinking, (that’s how they get their power in a person’s life). If they can get you to think evil thoughts, angry thoughts, hateful thoughts, vengeful thoughts, lustful thoughts, suicidal thoughts, and any thoughts contrary to God’s Word, they make tent. So… The Master Surgeon removed one last Monster.
I used to think you could measure the fruit of a person by looking at them… What they wore, what they drove, their house, jewelry, or children. As vain as that may sound …Let’s face it, we’re all guilty of it to some extent! Some of us more than others. But the Master Surgeon removed the monsters in my heart, eyes, and mind.
He changed me, now I can love, I can see, and I’m FREE!
What are the monsters telling you? Your situation may seem hopeless, like there is no way out, no light at the end of the tunnel … I know how it feels, and I can honestly say (with big crocodile tears pouring down my cheeks) “ I’ve been there!” The monster is telling you “It’s never gonna change!” Or maybe even “Just kill yourself and leave this all behind!” Now let me tell you something…. He’s a LIAR!!! There is a way out, there is hope and you can leave it all behind! Jesus is the way, the only way. And believe me, these monsters know that, and it scares them to death! Maybe your battle isn’t in your mind but your eyes? They’re blocking your sight? Blinding you from seeing the beauty God created you to be, but instead seeing the lies. You’re seeing your situation, a divorce, miscarriage, abuse, a death, sickness, depression, suicidal thoughts, or whatever it may be. Are the monsters preventing you from feeling love, from opening up to the greatest gift of LOVE (Jesus)?
Regardless of what your situation may be, the Master Surgeon wants to remove the monsters blocking your sight, your heart and your thoughts from the truth!
Jesus wants to be your surgeon, let Him! I did.
Sean and I made it through one of the hardest situations…With the help of a very good surgeon…I can give you his info, if you’d like?
I realized that no matter how much money I had, my husband, kids, parents, in-laws, and relatives all loved me. Besides you can have “everything” and have nothing if you don’t have Jesus. And regardless of what the monsters said, I now knew, I always had Him and He never forgot me.
Now here we are, years later and one beautiful, GIRL later…
Adonai Grace ( meaning: my Lord’s undeserved favor)
In the beautiful state of Wyoming! Mrs. International, making a difference in the lives of the youth in my community, and people everywhere, nationally and internationally. Happy, and in love. God has restored everything and more!
Had we not gone through 2010’s trials, we wouldn’t be able to be the humble, loving, and nonjudgmental, youth pastors God has called us to be. This journey helped us immensely for our calling to work with youth in Wyoming. When we moved out to Wyoming, (to the then, “Suicide Capital” in the US) 90% of our youth group had either attempted or contemplated suicide. We wouldn't have had the compassion and understanding, had we not experienced it for ourselves.
2010 might have been the worst, most “monster” filled year of my life, but I wouldn’t trade that year for anything.
I’m your Mrs. International reminding you- To choose love,