I met a young woman who was admitted into the hospital because she was at the end of her rope, literally. She had tried to do the unthinkable by deciding to end her life in an attempted suicide. When I heard the surface details of her life, she should have been proud; her accomplishments would have made anyone proud. Yet somehow she became so disconnected from God that taking her life seemed her only option.
The day I met her, she had already received counseling, medication, and some much needed attention from more healthy souls. When I made an attempt to pronounce her name correctly, she smiled a beautiful shy smile, and said, “Perfect!” “What a beautiful name,” I said, “What does it mean?” She looked at me for a moment and quietly said, “A river runs through heaven.” I repeated the words, “…a river runs through heaven…, how beautiful!”
My eyes began to well with tears; I knew why she was there, and although I wasn’t supposed to get involved, I looked at her and said, “You are a blessed child and well loved. When you were born, your mother looked into your eyes, saw your beautiful face and declared… a river runs through heaven.” She beamed with the innocent smile of a young girl. I continue to remember her beautiful smile even now as I write this, and my eyes easily well up with tears. Think of it; a river running through heaven—holy replenishment from God. Not simply well water, or rain, but clean refreshing water moving rapidly to find you and replenish your soul—a river running through heaven. I came home with her on my mind and have decided to take the time to pray for her every day until the burden leaves me.
Young people are more prone to suicide than most people are aware; they are especially sensitive to their surroundings, to other people, and those they love. After her suicide attempt, the counselors asked her what prompted her attempt to take her life. She told them that she missed her home and the love of her family. So remember, just because someone seems to have it together, does not mean they do. Take the time to ask young people about their feelings. Share God’s Word of Life with them. But more importantly, remember to open your heart and share God’s Love with them. L.
Study Reference: Psalm 69:1-3
From: "A River Runs Through Heaven." In The Master's Hands; 365 Daily Devotions for Everyday Living
Copyright © 2014 by Lavona E. Campbell
**I recently watched two short videos concerning this topic on TED.com that I would like you to watch; JD Schramm, “Break the Silence of Suicide Attempt Survivors;” and, Kevin Briggs, “The Bridge Between Suicide & Life.” You can watch both videos on our Media page. When I wrote this daily, I truly felt led by the Spirit to write about this topic. At the time, I did not know that every 30 seconds in the world, someone attempts suicide. So, if this person is you or someone you know, please, please, please, talk to someone—friend, family, clergy, or anyone you believe you can trust for help. Scream…”I need HELP!” And, if they still somehow cannot understand that you are truly spiraling downward, please call a taxi, walk into the emergency room of a major hospital and personally tell a nurse or physician the truth about how you feel. Check yourself in for the night; they will take care of you until you are ready to leave. You really have no idea how many people truly care about you, and how much they can help you. Know that you are stronger than depression or suicide! YOU can get better!
Be aware, medication is not for everyone. Although I am not a physician; I believe some medications make those that are depressed, worse than they were before they began taking them. So, be wary. Talk to someone! Speak up! Share how you are feeling with someone! You are not alone! God truly does love YOU! And He meant for YOU to LIVE! -L.C.
*In the U.S. call the: National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or click the link below.
This is a free, 24-hour hotline service available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress. If you prefer to be online, or you are outside the U.S., you can talk with someone directly on their website. Just click the link: www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org
*Also, if you need to learn how to help someone that you believe may be in distress, check out the NSPL website: www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org