“I can’t live with this pain for the rest of my life,” I thought as I lay in the bed. I can do a lot of hard things, but live with this level of constant, chronic pain was not something that I believed that I could do. I begged God to heal me of it. I lambasted Him for not healing me of it. I begged Jesus to take me now. And then I began to consider how to take my situation into my own hands. A few days later, I left a desperate message with my neurologist, “I’m in so much pain that all I can do is think of how to kill myself.”
Suicidal thoughts are something that we don’t talk about. When I mentioned my struggle to a few trusted friends, they replied, “I know how that feels. I’ve been there too.” I was surprised because I felt sure that only I felt that way at times. These friends had also faced seemingly hopeless situations that had no easy answers. They encountered situations where only God’s intervention would make things right. They had been in the war for so long that they were worn out and they had lost hope.
Have you lost your hope, too?
Have you prayed for years for your body to be healed but you are still sick?
Have you reminded God for decades that He is your provider but your pantry is still empty?
Do your grown children refuse to talk to you?
Did your husband die in the prime of his life, leaving you alone?
Is your womb still empty?
Is your life just a monotonous repetition of diapers, laundry, and dishes?
Are you throwing in the towel in your addiction struggle?
These are really hard situations with no easy answers. As I have personally grappled for hope, these four truths have anchored my soul:
1) God sends us friends to help us hold on to hope. God gives us friends to speak truth to us when we are believing lies about our situation. Friends hold us up when we can’t hold ourselves up. Friends have faith for us when we have no faith for ourselves. Support is everything. Be humble and willing to confess your struggle with a few trusted friends. Tell them that you are struggling with suicidal thoughts. Let them hold you up as you walk through the valley.
2) God will be with us in our future. When we imagine the things we just cannot face, we do not envision that God is right there with us, in our future. One of my favorite quotes is: “Worry is imagining the future without God.” God will be with us in the midst of our darkest night…even if it lasts forever. God is helping us in our future. So when we imagine the worst, we need to imagine God smack dab in the middle of it with us.
3) We have hope in heaven! Perspective is king. This life is just so temporary, and we will be in eternal bliss forever. This eternal joy means no pain, no tears, no sorrow, no death, and being in the glorious presence of God FOREVER. My heart gets happy when I start to imagine worshiping God forever. I can endure a lot of hard things here on earth when I keep the perspective that heaven is my true home.
4) God will use our circumstances for our good. God’s good plans are hard to discern when we are in the midst of our worst nightmare. But, when we come forth from it, and we will, we will see God’s plan and even thank Him for it. Yes, even thank Him for it. We will see how the hard circumstances truly did work out for our good…that good came from them. This has been true in my life over and over.
Can you hang on? Can you see your future and see God there with you in your struggle? Can you lean on your friends and let them hold you up as you go through your valley? Can you see your circumstances through God’s perspective, and know that He will, yes He will, eventually use them for good?
Can you forget the hell you are experiencing at the moment, and think about the relief that is yours in heaven? Every day we are one day closer to being with Jesus. Every day. Thank you Jesus!
There will be seasons where we struggle. Badly. There will be times when we just want to be with Jesus. Now. But there are truths about God that we can hold on to with all of our might as we weather our storm. And the beauty is that in our struggle, we are not alone. God is with us, and we have each other. Even in our weakness, we can give each other strength. And in our weakness, God gives us strength.
Weakness to strength. That’s the journey that we are on together. On sunny days and on rainy days, we are on this journey together, from weakness to strength.
I’m glad to be on it with you.
What about you? Is there an area of your life where you are holding on to hope by a thin thread? Send me an email or leave me a comment and let me know…I would love to pray for you.