I have mentioned the persistent presence in my thought of Ephesians 5:13
“But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light.”
-That even those things that bring shame can bring the light of God if exposed to the light.
But in this, as in so many things, I must confess that my thoughts are more persistent than my deeds.
There is an area that I have been reluctant to bring to the light. But a fellow blogger, whose comments I have greatly valued both here and on her site, has inspired me to make real this idea, which I so often profess.
I bring it up now only on trust that it might do someone some good; either to know that someone else has walked this path and come out the other side, or to know what I learned about my own dis-ordered thoughts, or just that they are not alone.
I have twice in my life been close enough to suicide that it was a real threat, and considered it as a real solution (it is not).
I am not going to go into the grimy details; I don’t feel any desire to pour them out, and to do so doesn’t fit my present purpose. The healing has been complete. If those details seem important, I may offer them, if I can do so in kindness to all concerned, but not now.
Many years ago there was a person who was part of my life with whom my interaction had become most painful. I could not get things to work as I thought they should, and was in great despair. That is the nut of my then emotional state, and as far as I’m going now. But I did become suicidal, to the point of making serious plans. Not owning a firearm, and in accordance with my pattern, I decided I needed to study up on suicide so as not to botch the job and wind up in a hospital shamed even more by my failed (another failure) attempt.
By getting me to delay action, God broke the spell. Things were still dark, but different. Here, I want to back up and highlight the thought –
DELAY IS GOOD!
Our enemy is in a hurry, because he knows our help is even now on His way. Keep delaying the final battle, and our victory is assured. Our accuser who counsels despair will claim that he is patient, that he will wear you down – but he lies. Our helper is on his way, and is able to rescue us. He did me.
Eventually, and this is my main point, I had a good friend get me to see something: I was ready to end my life over someone else’s behavior. I wasn’t dissatisfied with my own role, except in that I had failed to influence this other in ways I thought important. That is just plain nuts!
But I think it is probably very common.
I have no intension of re-visiting the conflict, the personalities, the issues, or even what the true points of right or wrong were. They are irrelevant, and I am sure my own thinking was faulty. But this was the way I thought at that time. My sole point here is that I looked for my own health and peace in the action and heart of another. I said, in effect, that what someone else did, thought, felt – or failed to do, think or feel – had the power to make my life worth nothing, or to make it meaningful. This is not only crazy, it’s idolatry.
Please don’t do that – Let my walking all the way up to the edge of the cliff serve for both of us! It is good to learn from mistakes, but there is no law that says you must make them yourself; you are quite welcome to borrow mine (I have more than enough to share).
No matter what the situation, the answer for our own health lies within us, not with the attitudes of another.
With one exception – and here is the preachy part – There is one whose thoughts and deeds have that power, to make my life meaningful. As my (and your) good fortune would have it, He is the rescuer who is even now on His way. The answer for our own health does lie within us, if only we allow Him to do as He said He would, and put a new heart within us. Jesus can do that. He has done it for me, is now doing it in me, and will at the last bring it to completion. The answers are within you, if God is within you. As He wants to be.
But those answers to your own health and peace are not in any other person.
They never have been and never will be.