Sunday, October 28, 2007

Protect your situation - Tia
(I am so grateful for the free wifi in the Phoenix airport right now.)

I had to go to Phoenix for work this week. It was all kinds of hot out here. I actually forgot that it was October. It was an easy enough trip. I was having dinner with my team members and basically just enjoying the evening. Everything really did seem fine.

About an hour into dinner I found out that this guy that I knew and had crush on for a minute had taken his own life. I was utterly shocked. He was the LAST person I would have thought would have done something like that. He just seemed so strong. Physically and Spiritually.

He was a big block of man. The kind that I like. I remember the day that I met him. We were both on a mission trip in Australia and I remember thinking, "That is a big dude." He turned out to be one of the sweetest godliest men that I have ever met in my life. And by all accounts he really was one of those people that changed the lives of anyone he came into contact with. So I guess that's why no one knew what was really going on underneath the seemingly still waters. The outside seemed so perfect.

I had a hard time when I heard the news. We weren't even that close. But something inside began to inexplicably ache when I found out. The thing that I hate about suicide is that it leaves more questions than it answers. And the people who are left behind have no choice but to grieve and then move on because the answers that you so desperately seek will never come. You can't ask the person why and so you're left with speculation for the rest of your life.

Depression is an ugly thing. I battled it for a while. You don't have any answers and things, be they real or simply perceived, seem hopeless. And as a Christian, I was under the false impression that because I was supposed to have "the mind of Christ" that there should be no problems. That all I had to do was send up a prayer and everything should be fine. And if things weren't fine there was something that I was doing wrong. I have since come to realize that depression is no respecter of persons. And that though God wants us to walk in peace, there are times when that's just simply not easily attainable.

I had to realize that while there was indeed prayer and the prayers of a righteous man are powerful and effective(James 5:16), sometimes something more is needed. I needed people. People that I could look to and lean on for support and prayer. And eventually I had to talk it out. I had to find someone who was qualified to help me through it. While I love my pastors, they are just people and the answer is sometimes not just prayer alone. Ultimately I had to figure what was going to help me protect my situation so that I could be the person that God created me to be.

My heart is still really aches about what has happened. But I look to God for comfort. Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort who comforts us in all our troubles - 2 Cor 1:3-4. And I have no doubt that we'll meet again in heaven.

So protect your situation. Know that God loves you and that though things may be dark there is a way out. And the way out may not look like you thought it would but it is the way. It isn't hopeless.

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