Several years ago, I received the following email through our Sowing Seeds Ministry prayer website.
“Please pray. I know God is my Savior. I know nothing is impossible without Him but I am overwhelmed and knowing just isn’t enough right now. I know suicide is a sin but I hope that God will know my heart and forgive me.”
“I hold the pill bottle in my hand knowing it is wrong but not having the strength or courage to live. I have a good husband and a teenage son who needs me but right now that isn’t enough. I just want to die and go home to my Savior. Please pray God will forgive me and take me home.”
I have changed her name to Janice to protect her privacy but the email was very real.
The second email arrived minutes after the first: “I know I just sent in a prayer request but I am scared. I am not afraid to die. I am afraid to live!”
I wrote her back telling about the suicide that occurred within my own family and how much we were all devastated by the tragedy. I hoped and prayed this would help her. Later that evening Janice sent me a reply:
“I know the devastation I will leave behind. I know my child; husband and friends may never forgive me. I just can’t put into words the pain inside: Both emotional and physical. I have seen God use me even in my darkest moments. I have felt the blessing that he would choose someone as unworthy as myself to reach someone in need.”
“But I am just so tired. I cannot find the hope that once gave me the will to trust in God. To really believe he will take care of me. My life and self-esteem are scattered in pieces and I cannot find the strength or courage to let God finish what was started. I am tired and alone and I just don’t want to die without knowing people will pray for my husband and child.”
“I have a wonderful counselor who has been with me through these dark nights of my soul. He promises to stay with me until God finishes but I have taken so much and given nothing back. I am so broken. It hurts so deep inside and all hope is buried in darkness.”
“I wrote this poem but I can’t seem to finish it. It describes what it feels like inside:”
It’s in the silence of the night that I hear my heart cry
When I wish the days of life would just pass me by
I don’t know what I’m feeling… just emptiness inside
The place where lies of darkness go to run and hide
It’s a sadness that comes over, a fear of things unknown
I pray to God my Father “Let Your light be shown!”
Yet the darkness all around me, the shadows of the night
Overtake the truths I know in my mind to be right
My intense desire to live… to continue to try
Is now overpowered by a longing to die
Can I trust in You completely to carry me along
Can I believe what You say “In You I am strong”
I’m so afraid to believe that You are standing right there
With Your arms stretched out saying “My child I care!”
That kind of love my empty heart just can’t begin to hold
I’m told that I’m unlovable, broken and cold
I long to wrap my arms around you, climb up upon Your knee
To find the strength within to say that I am free.
Janice went on to write: “I want to finish saying I can give God all of me, give him my life, that I trust Him, that I am worthy of His love but I feel none of these. I just feel dark and empty. I want to take the pills.”
“I’m tired. I want to finish and go home. I don’t understand why this is a battle. Why can’t I just die? It’s like I can’t even do this right. Please help me. Pray for me. Pray with me.”
According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, over 34,000 people commit suicide in the United States each year. Many more attempt suicide. Janice needed help badly.
What should do?
How can we help?
What would you say?
Next week: Answers