I know this is sobering subject. Yet I also know it has touched so many lives including my own. Suicide has been romanticized and glorified by many a civilization. However, as a former spouse of someone who committed suicide, it is neither glamorous nor romantic. It can not give, it can only take.
Suicide is a complicated decision - it's not as easy as one might think. Nor is it an easy decision or at least from my experience with my late husband, I do not believe it to be one.
It is a decision people make when they feel all alone. It is a decision they make when they believe there is no other way out.
It is a decision they make when they are fighting within themselves as was my late husband, Jeff. He was fighting with his mental illness which had, over time, created another self for him - the Monster if you will. He had struggled with this Monster for many years. The Monster was destructive, abusive and irresponsible. He knew this I believe and he didn't know what to do about it. I also believe now he was ashamed of this other self, although I wish he known and believed that God was neither ashamed of him nor afraid to help him.
For Jeff, in his mind, the only way to stop the war and stop hurting me and others was to take his life. I will never forget his last text to me which I now understand was trying to explain this very thing. Hindsight and healing always help you see 20/20.
**Note: Please understand every suicide is unique and Jeff's reasons may not be someone else's reasons, however, I believe many times there is overlap and that is what makes suicide so very difficult for everyone.
Now you may ask where was God in all of this? Why didn't God stop him? You may also be asking did Jeff go to hell? I know for a long time the church has falsely preached that Christians or anyone who is saved right before they commit suicide go to hell. This may even prompt you to ask was Jeff saved?
I am going to answer your questions based on what I have learned and from the healing God has done in me.
First, where was God?
God was right there, even in the darkness. Always calling to Jeff, wanting him to make a different decision. He wants no one take their life because life is too precious to Him. We are worth far to much for him to wish death on any of us.
Why did God not stop him?
God does not interfere with our free will. He wants people to be free to make their own decisions, even if those decisions are destructive because He loves us too much too want zombies. And you can believe Jeff's suicide hurt the heart of God. I even believe He cried.
Was Jeff saved? Did Jeff go to hell? An abosulute resounding NO, he did not go to hell! And yes, Jeff was saved and yes Jeff struggled with mental illness. Christians and non-Christians alike struggle with mental illnesses and God loves them both the same. Just because a Christian makes a bad decision does not mean they go to hell. God is not counting our mistakes against us. God is not ashamed of you and he is not afraid or shocked by anything you have or have not done! Jesus took all of our mistakes and sins once and for all when He died on the cross. It it trully finished! One bad decision will not keep you from Heaven. I believe I will see Jeff and many others in Heaven one day who have taken their lives because Grace has finished the job!
I want to close by saying you are valuable, you matter. God loves you. Suicide is not His best for you. You have people who love you and want to help you, I don't care what the other voices are telling you. Please reach out to someone you can trust today if you are contemplating suicide or call the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-8255. You can make anther decision. You are stronger than you think and with God, you can fight anything.
I welcome your thoughts as always. I will leave you with a verse to contemplate how much God does love us, no matter what we are going through or what we have or have not done:
Jeremiah 31:3; "I have loved you with an everlasting love; with lovingkindness I have drawn you and continued My faithfulness to you."
Until next time,
**To read more about Jeff, my experience with suicide and the love of God please see my book The Road Less Traveled: A Story of Love, Hope, Pain and Everything in Between. You can find the book on Amazon.com; Barnes and Noble online, iTunes, Audible.com and Kobo.com or the Kobo app.