September 5, 2018
It’s been all over the news. Heartbreaking and painful. As many of you have likely heard, last week Andrew Stoecklein, pastor of Inland Hills Church in California, took his own life at age 30 after a battle with anxiety and depression. This is Andrew, his wife Kayla, and their boys, above. It’s hard to even hear about, let alone take in. It’s devastating. And suicide affects us all. All of us know someone who has fallen prey to the depression, defeat, and darkness. Many of us struggle with it ourselves.
September is Suicide Awareness Month. Monday, September10, is World Suicide Prevention Day. I believe as Christ-followers we need to be at the head of awareness, prayer, and help. I want NewPointe to be a force for pushing back this darkness.
Carey Nieuwhof has written a very personal and helpful blog about this topic, which you can find here. I encourage you to read it, for yourself and for others. We all have an Enemy who is very real. He has come to steal and destroy, and he attacks all of us. One of his strongest areas of attack is through our emotions. He does that to me. I am as susceptible as anyone. I want to say a couple of brief things to you:
- You have to realize your emotions are not reliable. Your emotions tell you lies as facts; they make temporary things seem permanent. When you make an emotional decision, you will almost always regret it. That’s one thing that survivors of suicide attempts frequently say: “The instant it was too late, I felt instant regret. I knew in that moment something could have changed.” A documentary was done in 2017 about survivors of Gold Gate Bridge jumps, and the statements of the men in the video were all the same. What you feel doesn’t determine truth. There IS hope.
- You are not the only one who is struggling, and your struggle does not mean you are bad or weak. Satan is like a lion chasing a wildebeest. He wants to isolate you and make you feel alone so he can devour you. Don’t pull away. Get involved in a small group, in the church, confide in someone. The worst thing you can do is try to tough it out and imagine in your mind that no one will understand or care. The people you admire the most struggle too. There is help and hope.
- Telling someone you’re struggling with being overwhelmed, or with anxiety, depression or suicide is the first step toward breaking the power those emotions have over you. You don’t need to be ashamed. Telling someone is the first step to breaking the power of depression. I’m a witness.
- See a good doctor, and tell him/her the truth. God’s Word says that every good and perfect gift comes from our Father. A good doctor can help you make some life changes that will help your health in every way. God made you on purpose for a purpose. Make sure you are able to fulfill it.
Let’s pray for each other and lift each other up. As my father loved to say, and he surely lived it: “Always be kinder than necessary. Everyone you see is fighting a battle.”