It’s easy to judge those who have contemplated suicide from a pious standpoint. But I’ll be the first to admit, there were times in my past that I no longer wanted to live. Now please hear me when I say that was long ago and God has brought me far…far from that place. But anytime I hear of a suicide I am reminded of the suffocating emotional bondage depression brings. It knows no boundaries. No limits. And no one is immune.
Maybe that’s why the “Genie you are free” tweet after Robin Williams death bothered me so. Because I know what freedom from depression looks like, and it does not look like death. In reality, there is only one death that ever brought freedom to anyone and that was the death and resurrection of Christ Jesus.
And maybe you struggle with depression too. And maybe you are a Christian too. And maybe you believe as I do that when you die you will go to heaven and spend eternity with your Savior. So maybe you are wondering if the way out of this depression, these rotten lies in your mind, is to rush the process and head home eternally. Oh but sister, the process is not and never will be our process to rush.
The gift of depression is not the choice to end your life. The gift of depression is to choose life through the worst of it all knowing that there will be freedom on the other side: not just in heaven, but on earth.
Had I not experienced the lowest of lows I could not see the depths from which I have been pulled. Pulled back into life not by escaping my pain but rather being pushed through it by forces I cannot describe. He can give us a new reality where we see the lies of depression for what they really are and the joy of salvation for what it really is, all surpassing truth.
So what I’m not doing is condemning those who have pondered death. I myself would have done nearly anything to escape past mental bondage. But freedom from depression was not mine to give by taking my life or trying to escape in countless other ways. It was and remains the Lord’s job to set me free. It didn’t happen on my timeline. And may not happen on yours. But please do not rob yourself of His freedom promise in life for what you think will be freedom in death. The Lord gives and He takes and despite our desperate attempts to control it all, we must submit to the truth that He knows better, cares better, and loves better…and you will live better…He promises…when you wait on and in Him.
If you are struggling with depression or suicide please ask for help…from someone…anyone…you do not have to struggle alone. And if you know someone who you think is suicidal, ask them about it and offer to help them find help. Most people who have survived suicide admit they would not have gone through with their attempt if someone would have just asked them about it or even took the time to talk to them. You may not know what to say, but it doesn’t matter, just speaking to someone and showing you care instills hope and life.