Away from home and heavily involved in a series of meetings, I only planned to quickly scan the prayer requests emailed from our Sowing Seeds Ministry website. But my heart skipped a beat as I read the following three letters. All arrived within hours of each other their intent very clear. Names have been removed to protect their identity and the stories have been shortened somewhat but you are reading their very real pleas for help… their cries of anguish… their desperate need for hope.
Letter #1: “I’m not sure why I’m writing this. I went online to look up information on suicide: statistics, methods and all that stuff. I was raised in a family where I went to church every Sunday and was taught the importance of faith and God in our lives. It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t help me. I got hurt…. bad… when I was a child. I was hurt in a way that no person, no little child should be hurt. I think about suicide on a daily basis… sometimes it’s all that I can think about. I’ve been hospitalized for attempts before. I’ve been put on medications to help the depression… the mental disorders that doctors are so quick to diagnose. I’m sick of it all. Why should I bother trying anymore? I’m not even afraid of dying. I’m not afraid of pain. I just want to leave this world. Please pray for me. I’m tired of trying.”
Letter #2: “I am writing this letter because soon I will hear what I have not wanted to hear. I wrote you a letter about my son who is charged with capital murder of his father. Well, I found out two days ago that his case is going to the circuit court. He is charged with both robbery and capital murder. Before I see my son get the death sentence I will take my own life. I can no longer go through this any more. I keep trying but can’t hold on any longer. I am hurting inside deeply… I am all alone, since nobody has ever cared for me. I no longer want to live in this world full of hate and hurt. It is me that has to watch my son and I would rather shoot myself. Like I told my counselor today, I don’t want to live anymore.”
Letter #3: “As I read your story on suicide, I think it is so easy to sit and judge those that do kill themselves… I know how bad I feel and totally hopeless and that I am not doing my kids any good… so why not commit suicide? I guess I am writing for prayers because I know I shouldn’t kill myself but I just cannot get the strength to go on anymore. I read the verse you had (“If I walk in darkness without one ray of light let me trust the Lord, let me rely upon God.” Isaiah 50:10) but I also believe that God would not give us more then we can handle and I have more than I can handle.”
I carefully wrote a reply to all three writers pleading for time to forward their message to other members of our prayer team. To each, I offered no answers but promised to begin praying for them immediately. After clicking “Send Mail” and seeing the last reply leave the computer and head toward the recipient, I poured a fresh cup of coffee to calm my nerves and earnestly began to pray.
More than 32,000 Americans commit suicide every year and over a million suicides occur worldwide or one person every 40 seconds. Attempts are estimated at over ten times that amount. The Sowing Seeds Ministry website articles on suicide regularly receive more than five hundred visitors a month and our worldwide prayer ministry website processes several letters each week contemplating suicide.
What motivates someone to consider the ultimate act of desperation? Other letters offer a few clues:
- I was suicidal all of my life. I had a tape playing in my head that said “I want to die”.
- My husband left after 31 years and I really reached bottom.
- I was physically abused by my parents as a young child. So when the man next door started doing things to me when I was four, I didn’t trust my parents to tell.
- I’m 22 years old. I don’t trust anyone. I am diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, major depressive disorder, and post traumatic stress disorder. I rely on medication to keep me happy enough to stay alive. I forgot to pray. I haven’t prayed in a year.
Why would God want to hear from a wasted miserable loser like me? When I was a child, I used to pray to be allowed to die. It didn’t happen.
Hours later, I was still fervently praying for three miracles yet I had no idea what to do or how to begin. This was a life and death situation with no “safe” answers. Throughout the evening I continued praying and worrying. Later, I discovered God provided those three precious miracles. It’s a great story you will not want to miss next week. Meanwhile, if you’re thinking of committing suicide? Please, think again!
If you are considering suicide or know someone who is… call for help: 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or click on www.suicidehotlines.com
Our website has helped many who have considered suicide. Click here to read more.