Recently in my country, there has been what can only be described as an epidemic of suicide cases. There is no other word that I can possibly use to describe what I’ve been feeling about this situation but “heartbroken”.
For me this is such a personal issue and it really hits home because struggling with suicidal thoughts was something that I went through in my early teens. It was such a difficult journey and I know that if it had not been for the Grace of God I would not have been able to overcome it. It is a journey that I would really love to share with all of you, but that’s not what this post is going to be about.
This season has really caused me to pause and ask myself a question that I haven’t asked in a very long time: “Baby girl, how is your heart doing?”
I think it’s interesting that many of us habitually go to the doctor for check-ups to make sure that everything is okay but how often do we do self check-ups?
When was the last time you really ‘searched’ your heart?
It’s important to remember that unlike every other part of our body that can get physical treatment, the heart is not just a physical thing: it lives in spaces created by experiences and breathes an air, filled with so much vulnerability, but can also turn all its weaknesses into its strength. Sometimes I think our hearts are entities independent of our thoughts and life’s reasoning.
It’s a shame that so many of us walk around thinking that we are completely okay when there are bruises and scratches all over our hearts covered with bandages of reason and “that’s life” excuses. Its true, life is can be rough and unapologetic but feeling pain doesn’t make you weak and allowing a painful bruise to heal is not the same thing as pushing it to the side and hoping that not thinking about it will make it go away.
Too many of us have unresolved hurts lingering in that hollow cavity in our chests, and although we think that we’re strong enough to just ignore the pain, forget about that person, block out the memory of that one situation and everything will just be fine afterward, that’s often not the case.
It’s okay to acknowledge the hurt as long as you don’t allow the hurt to control you. It’s like building a pile of rocks. Every rock represents something bad, and self-preservation urges you to put the worse things at the bottom so that they are farther away from the surface of your thoughts. The pile keeps growing and the more rocks you throw, the more unsteady the heap becomes, until there is a tremor. We’ve all had tremors; that one thing that you never thought would happen, that was far from your wildest imaginations. And the size of that one thing, that one rock, is usually much bigger than we can carry on or own, but that doesn’t stop us from trying. And with our failing muscles and weak arms we unceremoniously drop that rock on the top of the pile and the whole things just comes crashing down.
This is where pain starts making its presence permanent because not only do you now have to deal with that one tremor that you were trying to close the eyes of your heart to, but now you have to pick up all the other little pebbles that you never dealt with before. The load becomes too heavy for your arms to carry, and the nostalgia of the past clouds your vision, and suddenly all the things you thought you got over (but you really just pushed them aside) now present themselves in a stream of salted droplets soaking your cheeks.
These little things have a way of eating away at us, little by little, like parasites feasting on the host of our fears. Because it is fear that causes us to block out these things; fear that we may have been to blame, fear that others will see the cracks in the facade of happiness we portray, fear that hurt makes us look vulnerable and that vulnerability will just bring with it more pain. Fear – it cripples, and suffocates and stunts any hope we can ever have to grow. Grow past the betrayals, grow past the landslides and earthquakes we have no control over, grow past the sticks and stones, past the hurtful words, past all that other stuff. But the Bible says that we were not given spirits of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7).
For so many people, suicide is not an escape from life, it’s an escape from pain. Dying is not the desire, the desire comes from a desperate need to be rid of the pain. Because pain can cripple even the most beautiful heart.
Don’t allow it to!
Deal with the hurt. Address the issues within yourself that you’ve been running from; the nagging thorns that keep drawing even the slightest bit of blood from the punctures in your finger tips. Learn, with all your might, to forgive the ones who never said that they were sorry, who never asked for forgiveness, who don’t deserve forgiveness; remembering that you didn’t either, but God still extended it to you.