I used to spend the majority of my days in darkness. Seeing nothing but dark clouds was my daily bread. No matter how brightly the sun shined through my window pane, all I saw was dark skies. I used to hear the words of friends, that I felt were well off than I, say things to me like, “It’ll get better” and “Cheer Up! Count your blessings!” But no matter how hard they tried, I could never just “cheer up.” I would use the typical excuses of “you don’t know what’s it’s like” or “you’re not in my shoes” or “well you have a job/husband that supports you” etc. etc. etc. You name it, I’ve been there, done that, said that. It wasn’t until I was at my lowest point and wanted to end it all that I suddenly “saw the light.”
It didn’t come to me as a bright flashlight filled with pretty colors and sparkly things. No, it came to me as the crap I was dealing with; it just was a different day. My what a difference a day can make!?! That day, the night after I tried to commit suicide — yet here, lying in bed, I was still alive. The only question going through my mind, ‘How the heck am I still alive today?’ I’ll have you know dear friend, it’s the same question I ask myself everyday. Surely, with all the heavy grief, pills & NyQuil, that I took and drank, it should’ve done me over. So imagine my surprise when I woke up in my same room and not at the pearly gates of heaven that everyone always talks about. No the groggy pain of despair was all I felt when I noticed I was back in my Hell on earth.
But things were different this time around. It appears that somehow, even though logically I should’ve tried again, this time I didn’t. I suddenly didn’t feel that despair to end it all. Instead, I felt I was on a different journey. I had a newfound mission or rather a mission renewed to achieve. Unfortunately friend, I must admit, this wasn’t my first suicide attempt in my short lifetime. Though I’m only 29, there had been many other past seasons where I had felt a sense of darkness, hopelessness, loss and disappointment come over my life. The only difference this time around, was that I had never felt despair. Well, guess that’s now officially off the check list, LOL!
Ok, back to this chapter of my life’s story at hand.
So I woke up! Big deal, right?! Wrong. I never wanted to wake up! I never wanted to live again! I didn’t want to keep dealing with the same pain, heartache, drama from losing my grandparents and the family and financial fallout that had ensued thereafter. I was drained, wounded, scarred, and empty. I had no more money, no savings, no job to even support myself let alone my precious dog Max, nor could I take care of my late grandmother’s estate bills, hospital bills and court fees. I was also up to my neck in student loan debts (still am actually), and worst thing, for the first time ever in my life, I barely had any food left in the cupboard. I did not know how I would survive the day nor did I know why / how it had gotten so bad to begin with.
Now grant it, I didn’t have an accountant, which would’ve been the smartest thing to do; however, I did try my very best with the degree, knowledge and tools I had to manage and maintain the large finances implanted on me by my grandparents. So surely, that coupled with my own money I had saved from my many jobs including working in the fashion, tv and film industry in New York City, there should’ve been plenty left over for rainy days, right?!. Wrong, again. With all my calculations, budgeting, saving, prepping and planning, I didn’t factor in one thing. I didn’t account for final life expenses: like hospital bills, lawyer fees, funeral costs, burial costs, estate charges, court fees, etc. See in my mind, my grandmother was going to live forever — or at least until my “big break” happened.
Yes, I’ve felt the harsh reality of death before but never on this scale. In my past, when death came to take a loved one, I wasn’t in charge of the family’s financial affairs. So I had no idea the turmoils and outcomes that were to play out once somebody’s life ends. So in my mind, the money we had (or rather my grandmother’s money she gifted to me and left me in charge of, would suffice until my “big break!” By then, I would have even more money to fulfill hers and my own needs. Yup, we would’ve been rolling in the dough — this according to my plans.
But just as it did that fateful morning when I woke up from my final suicide attempt, life showed me that my plans weren’t always God’s plans. I had to learn that it’s up to him whether we rise or fall. It’s up to him whether the sun wakes or sets. It’s up to him whether the flowers blossom and bloom. It’s up to him whether I lived or died. No man can take a life! Everything is according to God’s time, plan and purpose. It’s all predestined.
So while I may not fully know why I lost everything IN my life, I knew enough to understand the bigger scheme of things. God must have a plan FOR my life! Otherwise, why bother keeping me where I did not want to be kept?!
My friend, things may not be going so well in your life. You may find yourself dealing with the same struggles I endured. We are not perfect and life doesn’t always deal us a fair deck of cards. But just know that God has a plan. It’s all designed for a greater story. Your destiny isn’t to end here. It’s to live on and thrive singing the Good News of Jesus Christ. Someday, you’ll look back on the drama and matters at hand, and you’ll laugh. Laughter not at the fact that you went through it, but laughter at the fact that you survived above all odds. I too can’t wait for that fateful day to arrive when I can laugh at the past pain I’ve endured. I know it’s in order to get me to where I need to be in life according to God’s grand master plan. Trust me friend, I’m not where I want to be now; but I’m where I need to be. All things in God’s time!
It’s not up to us to worry about when; we just need to stay focused on the journey at hand embracing the path we’re on now. Know that it won’t always be easy. You’ll want to give up like I did; but keep trucking ahead! You got this! You’re going to arise a winner!
So don’t worry about what you’ll eat, what you’ll wear, how you’ll survive another day / another bill pay period. For Jesus says in Matthew 6:25-26 NLT, ““That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are?”
If that’s not enough to help you gain perspective, consider what He goes on to say in versus 28-34, “And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith? “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.” Matthew 6:25-26, 28-34 NLT.
We must all focus on the things we know to be good and true. I know that everything isn’t how we may want it nor desire it to be; but we must hold onto that little seed of hope that things are as it should be — that it’ll only get better from here. It may take some time, but you’re not going to die in your pitfall. There’s light at the end of the tunnel. You just need to learn and utilize effective prayer. In Matthew 7:7-8 NLT, He says, ““Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.”
Lastly, I leave you with this prayer of encouragement. I pray we all feel the spirit of encouragement and perseverance through the storms. Though the waves seem too shaky and we may think the boat will topple over, but I pray to God we of little faith amass and come together with the greatest spirit of FIGHT not FLIGHT that the kingdom of God has ever seen. I pray we continue to grow, learn and blossom into the beautiful vessels and creatures God intended us to be. I pray that He not lose another soul to the darkness and despair known as the Devil. May His light shine and pierce every broken heart, withered soul, hopeless person in the world. In Jesus name, I pray, AMEN!
With humble love, your friend,