August 7, 2011

Your story isn’t over yet

It is after 11pm.  This has been pressing on my heart all afternoon, and I believe that for some reason, God wants me to write this post.  Not sure what the plan is, but perhaps it will be of help to one of you…

Your story isn’t over yet.  Often I see people who are at the end of their ropes.  They feel a deep sense of despair and hopelessness and many want to end their lives.  They can’t see a way out and want to end the suffering.  They seek a permanent end to a temporary problem, but to them their problems aren’t temporary.  We as humans have a difficult time seeing the big picture.  We have what is called mood congruent recall—when we feel bad, we think of all of the things that make us feel bad.  Those thoughts reinforce our despair, and we feel more and more hopeless.  Clinical depression, grief, anxiety, and loss can all greatly impact our ability to see hope in our lives.

Often people suffer in silence, not sharing the depth of their feelings with anyone else.  Often they feel alone and abandoned and that no one cares about them.  They turn to the only answer they know and seek to end their lives. 

I once heard a story on the radio about suicide.  Many people who had jumped off of the Golden Gate Bridge in an effort to kill themselves and who had survived were interviewed.  I think that the reporter said that in almost every case, or maybe it was every case, the people said that half way down they realized that it wasn’t a good idea.  Half way down, jumping into oblivion, they realized that their problems weren’t really that bad after all.  They realized that there was some glimpse of hope and that maybe they had some reason to live.  Every time I think about that story, I think about all of those people who didn’t survive and who must have thought the same thing. 

See, life isn’t over until it is over.  God has a plan for you, whether you can see that plan right now or not.  He works for good, and your live is part of His plan.  No matter how bad things seem right now, there is hope

Ever stop reading a book before it is over?  I’ve had that happen a few times.  Either I have to return the book to the library or lose it or some other thing happens where I can’t read the ending.  Ooooh, that is tough!  I want to know the ending.  I’ve committed a lot of time into reading the book, getting to know the characters, and for that matter the author, and I want to see how the story unfolds.  Well, I believe that your life is like that, too.  There is a reason you are still here, even if right now you don’t think that you have any meaning or purpose.  You will never know how your story unfolds unless you live it out. 

Watch for the God-moments and you’ll find them--Maybe it will be a realization that you are one day able to help someone else because of the suffering that you have gone through. Maybe God is using whatever trial you are facing to help you through another one later.  Maybe your actions will be of help to someone else. Maybe it is your children or your family who need you in their lives. --  God is using your life in ways that you may never fully realize.  You’ll get glimpses of them every now and again, but you have to be willing to see them.  God isn’t done with you yet. 

If you or someone you know is feeling a sense of despair, I encourage you to seek help.  I’m not offering counseling or professional advice here, and I encourage you to speak with your doctor, a therapist, or in the event of imminent harm that you phone 911.   More than that, though, I hope you’ll speak to someone who knows God about what you are going through.  In many churches there are programs called Stephen Ministry where laypeople are given some training to know how to reach out and help those in need.  If your church doesn’t offer such a program, you might be able to find a church in your area that does.  Help is out there.  Hope is out there.  God is out there. 

Check out Romans 8:28. This is one of my favorite verses because to me it means that God uses whatever we are going through, whatever this world is going through, for His work.  He uses it all, He uses all of us, for good.

Thanks to all of you who read.  Forgive all of the typos.  It is way after my bedtime, but God wanted me to write this before I went to sleep.   Blessings to all of you!

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