We all get down at times. However, when life pulls you down so far that it’s a challenge or even seems impossible to get back up, you must reach out to others for help. It is awkward and scary. For some it could mean the difference between life and death.
You may have heard that today, September 10, 2016, is Suicide Prevention Day, on both World and National levels. There are many sources for guidance out there, such as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. I recommend that everyone take the time to read the information and resources on their website, and by all means, please share their number (1-800-273-TALK) with anyone who may be at risk.
Sadness: No One Is Immune
Like many folks, I’m no stranger to seasons of sadness and even mild forms of depression. Just two years ago, and about this time, I was super depressed and down on myself, mostly as a result of the hurt and negativity that rubbed off of a person close to me. After church one Sunday (yes, depression can happen there too!), while agonizing about staying for a barbecue, a friend mistook my indecision for simple exhaustion, joking that maybe I needed a truck to carry me to the potluck. I responded by saying that a truck would be nice; it could just run me over and put me out of my misery. Whoa. Normally I’d quickly dismiss such morbid thoughts (if I had them) before they ever made it out of my mouth, but those words tumbled out so easily that it surprised me. I realized in that instant that things were beyond what I alone could handle. After furtive prayers and no small amount of internal struggle, I sought the wise, loving and godly counsel of a couple at my church. Thankfully, it didn’t take terribly long to recover, because I made a conscious effort to go “all in” with them and with God, trusting them to guide me.
However, some wounds cut wide and deep; the pain extensive and much more difficult to heal. Emotional scars are the worst — without a doubt, the loss of self-worth is more devastating than even the physical pain of abuse. Many in such extreme need simply lack the resources, self-awareness and the incredible courage to speak up and take that first step toward healing. Sadly, most may not even feel they deserve it. Seen from a spiritual standpoint, it’s obvious that the enemy uses depression and the confusion of discord to hold souls captive, all the while convincing them that no one cares (1 Peter 5:8). Worse yet, the people around them may not recognize the warning signs, or are too uncomfortable to get involved. So don’t be afraid to ask if anyone you meet seems “down”. Perhaps you aren’t equipped to help, but you can bring in others who can come alongside them.
The Greatest Counselor
In problems great or small, God, through the Holy Spirit, is the greatest Counselor (John 14:16). At those times when the weight is too heavy, and we can’t even find the words to pray, the Spirit prays on our behalf (Romans 8:26)! When we seek His counsel, holding nothing back, we’ll always find hope, strength and more love than any human heart can possibly contain!
Several years ago, God inspired me to pen this piece of encouragement that helped me though a bad day. Please feel free to pass it along to anyone who may be having a difficult time and who could use a little extra lift in a positive direction!
“In the Lord”
When you are tired and weary,
REST in the Lord.
When you feel you can’t go on,
LEAN on the Lord.
When troubles weigh you down,
TAKE JOY in the Lord.
When all would seem to be lost,
TRUST in the Lord.
When others put you down,
When loneliness overwhelms you,
When everything goes wrong,
Whenever you feel discouraged,
taken advantage of,
KNOW, in the Lord’s kingdom,
YOU ARE LOVED!
© Ladeena Ashley
Extra Credit (to the Lord!)
While composing this post, an awesome song was playing in my head. It lifts me up every time I hear it. Here’s the link: You Are Loved – by Stars Go Dim
Blessings to you, this day and always!
© Ladeena Ashley
2016 All Rights Reserved (blog content & photos)