Sad news I recently read reminded me of a revelation I wrote in my journal this month. It also reminded me of something from my past that even my family of origin doesn’t know about. As grief’s words appeared on my computer screen, a pang of pain pierced my heart. Yes, I’ve been where both the writer and the one written about have been. I’ve been at the bottom of a hopeless pit that wanted to snuff out the last breath of hope barely flickering in my veins.
I’ve been there.
I’ve also been the one to hear the awful news that someone close to me had taken his own life. And I still recall the last time I saw a friend before he took his life a few days after I saw him. I’ve always wondered if I’d stopped that day instead of waving hello as I drove by, would something I said or a hug I gave have staved off his despair from ending it all so soon.
No, I doubt it.
Those who are serious about suicide are often secretive about it. At least I was. I’ve been there. I understand how easy it is to give up on life and give into death. Without hope we’re hopeless to survive depression, despair, or their evil cousin, loneliness. I know because I’ve written the note and readied the rope. But by the good grace of God I backed out of ending my life way-back-when because my fear of death overrode my fear of living without hope.
COVID provides the perfect conditions for suicidal ideation.
I suspect those who were barely hanging on to hope before the epidemic are now grasping shredded ropes threatening to snap any second.
If I can offer a thread of hope to a listener who is in the dark place I’ve described, it is this: tie a knot using any of the verses in today’s post and hang on. And believe God loves you too much not to hear your hurting heart.
Each time now when despair rears it’s ugly lying head in my life, I grab onto the knots I’ve tied through memorization and through notations in my journal, and I fight back with tears. I allow myself to feel the depths of sad instead of despairing about how bad I feel. I allow the hardness of life to press me into the softness of His hands.
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18 NIV
Did you hear and notice that beautiful five letter word?
- C. L. O. S. E.
- God is close.
- God is close to us when we’re broken and at the bottom of ourselves.
And now I’d like to share a special-to-me sentence—a revelation—I composed and wrote in my journal: The gift of suffering is God’s amplified Presence.
The COVID season provides a perfect opportunity for deeper intimacy with God.
Trials aren’t meant to drive us into suicidal ideation; they’re meant to drive us into the arms of the God of creation.
Psalm 34 is full of hope. Let’s look at verse 18 again:
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18 NIV
- God is close.
- God is a hope giver.
- God is a spirit saver.
- God longs to lift the brokenhearted.
- He can’t help those who don’t or won’t lean into Him.
The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their cry. Psalm 34:15 NIV
- God listens.
- God longs to hear us cry out to Him for help in our time of need.
The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. Psalm 34:17 NIV
Our deliverance from despair is only a call to Christ away. We may or may not be delivered from our trials as soon as we’d hoped, but we will be given His hope to hang on to in the meantime.
The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them. Psalm 34:7 NIV
I like the idea of the angel of the LORD surrounding us with His protective Presence.
Dear friends, it’s not just a lovely sounding idea, it’s a present reality that began the moment we repented and trusted in Jesus Christ. The lying serpent slithers across the earth searching for souls to poison with his lies that God doesn’t really care about us. However, we have a Savior who spread His arms wide on a cross to tell us we can trust Jesus to not only save us from our sins, but His Spirit enters each one who believes on Him.
- We’re loved.
- We’re listened to.
- We’re longed for.
- And we’re saved and surrounded by the Lord Himself.
Verse 5 tells us something else we also are: Radiant.
Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame. Psalm 34:5 NIV
God knows we’re made of dust. That’s why He wants to shower us with His grace when we trust. And when we look to Him, we’ll glow so others will know there’s a source of hope available for them too. Even if the glow is faint, we’re still counted as His saints. Don’t let your down times become a source of shame. God doesn’t wag His finger at you; He’s waving welcoming arms in the hopes you’ll run into them for His comfort.
Hang in there, dear child of God, He’s encamped around you yesterday, today, and tomorrow. And if you’re struggling with thoughts of suicide, be sure to let a trusted friend, family member, or a crisis line worker know you need some extra help right now (Or email me a private prayer request at firstname.lastname@example.org ). God can create a miracle out of dust, through dust, and in dust—us.
And now I’d like to close with a poem:
The Lord saw me at the bottom
Of a pit that was too deep
For me to climb out of on my own
And so He rescued me
The Lord heard me weeping
At the bottom of my despair
And so He took me by the hand
To show me that He cares.
I’m nosy-to-know of any blues busters Bible verses you recommend?
Revelation Blessings ~ Wendy Mac
18 thoughts on “A Revelation to Hang on to When Struggling with #MentalHealth”
Thank you for sharing something so personal. “The gift of suffering is God’s amplified Presence” I hadn’t thought of it like that before but looking back i can see that some of my lowest points was when i felt closest to Him; because I had no choice but to “press into His softness”. “I’ll never leave you nor forsake you” from Deuteronomy (and Hebrews) always comfort me.
Thank you, dear Wemi. Yes, I’ve also noticed that “some of my lowest points was when I felt closest to Him.” I’ve also noticed that when someone allows me–invites me–in to their sorrow, I have never felt closer to that person than in those intimate moments. I feel honored to be trusted with such vulnerability.
By the way, I love the verse you quoted. It’s my fave one for when I’m scared or when I’m at the dentist. 🙂
So beautifully written. I have been there as well and love your description of tying a rope and clinging to the God of hope. I pray this inspires many!
Thank you, dear Collene. I love how you worded your tweet: “When you are at the end of your rope, tie a knot and cling to the God of Hope.” Yes. He longs to lift us up. <3 Always.
Amen. God is close. He is waiting to share conversation with us.
Thank you, dear Melissa. Yes, “He is waiting” for us. <3
Oh my, has God given you His words in this season, Wendy. I’m coming up on the first year’s date of the sudden loss of my husband of 43 years.
These past months have been a trial and a struggle and I had never thought of those knots of scripture in the manner you described, but that’s exactly what they have been and are to me… so the strength and His presence doesn’t slip through or be yanked from my fingers by the enemy of my soul.
But I’ve been close. A befuddled, weeping, frightened heap of fear. The scripture in Proverbs 15:25 leaped off the page late one night. “The Lord will tear down the house of the proud, but He will establish the boundary of the widow.” God has established my boundaries! I stopped and reread that verse several times while the truth of those words penetrated my mind and heart. I am not alone. God knows right where I am. He has drawn a boundary line around me…around my life. He stands guard over me. And nothing can come across that line that He does not cause or allow. Glory!!!
During those days of isolation when the trauma of aloneness threatened to suck the life out of me, I clung to the Word…that and snuggling under the covers at night singing “Jesus loves me this I know. For the Bible tells me so.”
And I’ve come out the other side, with His help and care, singing “I am determined, to live for Jesus, ’til He has finished His work in me. Nothing can shake me. He’ll never forsake me. I am determined to live for my King!”
What a beautiful testimony, dear DiAne. I got goosebumps as I read your words. God cares deeply about widows. God cares deeply about you. Hugs.
Yes: “Nothing can shake me. He’ll never forsake me. I am determined to live for my King!”
I will remember your hope when and if my turn comes to lose my man on this side of Heaven. I can’t imagine the depth of your loss. But each time I read testimonies like yours, it gives me hope that even in the valley of widowhood, God is good. <3
Thank you, my friend, for sharing this. It will bless each person who reads it.
Thank you Wendy for sharing your story. I can feel the compassion in your eloquent words. As the survivor of two separate suicide deaths (my son and later husband), this topic hits close to my heart. Unfortunately, it occurs way too often and wreaks havoc on family and friends left behind. I have lived through it and only by the grace of God.
As Wendy said, if you are struggling with thoughts of suicide please reach out to someone. The enemy of our soul lies, often whispering that others will be better off. That is NOT true. There is unimaginable pain and trauma to friends and family.
Scriptures that have been “knots” for me to hang onto are:
“Your mercy, O Lord, will hold me up. In the multitude of my anxieties within me, Your comforts delight my soul” (Psalm 94:18b-19, NKJV).
This verse helps me realign with God when the enemy is stirring my anxious thoughts.
“For your Maker is your husband–the Lord Almighty is his name–the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth” (Isaiah 54:5, NIV).
This verse has given me comfort on many occasions in my life, particularly as a widow.
“Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you; I will help you; I will hold on to you with my righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10, CSB).
This has become a recent favorite and new memory verse. My pastor shared it when I was feeling overwhelmed by some recent trials. What comfort it gives me to know God will hold on to me.
Blessings and healing be multiplied through our Lord Jesus Christ. ~MK
Thank you, dear Manette, for generously sharing kind words and wisdom from your heart. Yes, the suicidal often think (perhaps always think) others are better off without them. I know that was the lie I believed.
The following verse you shared is a soul <3 hug: “Your mercy, O Lord, will hold me up. In the multitude of my anxieties within me, Your comforts delight my soul” (Psalm 94:18b-19, NKJV).
Blessings & hugs back to you, my friend.
I will affirm your words, and respect your story. Ironically just today I posted the suicide helpline number on my Facebook again. May people accept the strong and healing hand of God when they read your words.
I’ve noticed people sharing helpline numbers more than usual. It warms my heart when I see posts about mental health. Each person matters. To others. To God.
Blessings and thank you, my brother. 🕊️
I love your deer photos. They seem to be as cute as our reindeer!
Have a wonderful day!
Thank you. Your reindeer pictures are delightful. 🙂
Powerful message, Wendy. Especially how you brought out the word “close” in Psalm 34:18.
Thank you, dear Karen. The gold of God’s closeness is spun when we’re distressed. This hope can help us hang on when we’re suffering.
So encouraging, Wendy. I love the poem.
Thank you, Bill. I’m praying this COVID season draws people to the Lord. We all need a strong and loving hand to hold. 🙂