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Remain: World Suicide Prevention Day, 09/10/2015

Today is Suicide Prevention Day. If you have ever struggled with self-harm, thoughts of suicide, or any other mental health battle that leaves you feeling hopeless, I pray you know that you are loved more than you realize in your darkest moments.

Remain. Your life matters to others and you have such a mysterious journey ahead of you, filled with dreams, hope, and wonder. Don’t end the story of your life. Instead, fight in the face of pain and darkness, holding on to hope that daylight is coming soon.

According to the American Foundation For Suicide Prevention:

“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) collects data about mortality in the U.S., including deaths by suicide. In 2013 (the most recent year for which full data are available), 41,149 suicides were reported, making suicide the 10th leading cause of death for Americans (Figure 1). In that year, someone in the country died by suicide every 12.8 minutes.” 

Such a horrible void is left in hundreds of thousands of lives each year when loved ones end their own lives…A heart-wrenching tragedy.

Recently, a reader wrote me, telling me that they lost someone to suicide and they were encouraged by these posts…But I had no idea how to respond other than to say that I was thankful my words encouraged them. What incredible heartache, to know someone you loved left your side far too soon.

Don’t assume you know someone just because you talk occasionally. Don’t assume that laughter means internal peace; often it can be a sign of desperation and brokenness. Be willing to ask the hard questions, to love someone when they are hurting, and to remain silent when they just needs to talk.

Healing is always available. I am living proof that the darkest days have no right to define us.

When I first began seeking professional counseling I was blown away by how my counselor knew what I was facing before I could even go into detail…He knew what I was living with, he reminded me that I was not crazy, and he showed me that healing can be my future.

Seek help from those who have dedicated their lives to leading people just like you towards healing. Don’t be ashamed to be honest about your brokenness, because your story matters – even the painful chapters.

Many people struggling with depression, anxiety, and other mental health battles live with the fear that their best days are behind them. That is a lie from hell. Rather, the greatest stories told are of those who face great darkness, only to overcome it through hope and perseverance.

During a TEDxSF conference, a speaker by the name of Mel Robbins spoke on “How To Stop Screwing Yourself Over”. During her 20 minute presentation, she cited scientific research that there is only one in 400 trillion (1:400,000,000,000) chances that you would be born (including factors of time of birth, DNA, and parents).

In other words: YOU ARE NOT A MISTAKE.

I don’t know what you’re going through today, but I know this: you are not alone. You may feel alone, but that is not the same thing as being alone. There are many people who feel the same way you do. There are many people who want to help you. There are many people who love you.

You are not alone. Seek help. Always hope.

And by the way: God loves you, even if you don’t believe in Him. His existence doesn’t depend on your belief; neither does His indescribable love for you.

We love you.

Please remain.