If you haven’t heard this lately, or ever, YOU MATTER. Your life matters. Last week another pastor was tragically lost to suicide. I don’t begin to understand or have all the answers, but my heart broke for his wife, for his children, for all those who looked up to him and followed his ministry. A little over a year ago, this was the same story for another well-known pastor. The cause – depression, anxiety, not being able to cope.
I have to be honest, I personally don’t struggle with depression, or haven’t yet to this point in my life. So when I hear about someone taking their own life because of depression, I cannot wrap my head around it. Someone who appears to have a great life, on Instagram anyway. An amazing wife, beautiful children, an impactful life. What was he missing? Why did this happen? What could have stopped it? What will be the lasting effects on his family? All of these questions come to mind immediately when hearing news like this. If I’m honest, I immediately begin to judge. I have to stop myself from getting really angry and at least try to understand something I do not understand.
I think it’s important to acknowledge that we can avoid judging something we don’t understand by practicing empathy. I don’t know what happened at some point in his life that caused him to think it would be better if he didn’t exist. What I DO know is that there is ALWAYS hope. You do not have to die to end your pain. There are answers here this side of heaven to help you walk daily in freedom from anxiety and depression.
I don’t know what you may be struggling with today, it could be something truly awful. Someone may have deeply hurt you, to the point where you don’t think you will ever walk in freedom or joy. Please know that there are people to talk to. There are licensed counselors to walk with you down the darkest of roads. Something that Fred Rogers (Mr. Rogers Neighborhood) used to say really stands out to me right now: “Anything that’s human is mentionable and anything that is mentionable is manageable. When we can talk about our feelings, they become less overwhelming, less upsetting, and less scary. The people we trust with that important talk can help us know that we are not alone.”
The Word of God has much to say about where to go with our hurts.
Philippians 4:6-7 – “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”
Matthew 11:28-30 – “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Psalm 55:22 – “Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.”
If you are experiencing feelings of hopelessness today, talk to someone. Seek help. It is there. Your life is important and you are needed here on earth. YOU MATTER.
Angi Flatt – Project Manager – Engage Media Partners