What is this blog about?
Life can be hard. Living can seem impossible sometimes. “Having depression,” “feeling suicidal,” and other such terms are ways that we seek to describe something that deifies description, yet can also be summed up in two words: life hurts.
I have been down the road of depression. I have dealt with suicide in my own life. I am familiar with at least some ways that these phenomena can manifest themselves, simply from my own experience. That experience tells me that struggling through things like depression is very painful. I’ve also spent time learning from other people about different ways that dealing with the challenge of life can manifest itself. I’ve seen how many other people struggle with life in ways that relate to my own struggles.
This blog is meant to be a place where these pains that many of us face can be discussed freely, as different topics that relate to the burdens of our lives are explored. My hope is that as these issues are addressed, I can also share some of the helpful things I have found throughout my journey since my struggle with suicide began.
My deepest desire in writing here is to offer you hope. I want to see you find comfort. I want you to know that you are not alone. But I want you to have better comfort than that. I will be offering something else in my posts, which is the thing that has been my ultimate comfort: my faith. It is what got me through my darkest times, and it’s the reason why I am alive now. I believe in the Christian God. Below you can find out different information related to him that some of my posts will be referring to. It might help you understand some of my content as you read about some of the topics that I decide to address, since my faith has been integral to how I have understood and journeyed through many issues.
All the best to you as you face your journey of life, taking it one day at a time, if needed. And may you find comfort!
“Don’t Be Afraid”
My God is the one who has said these words to me. He says them many times in the book He wrote, the Bible. In the Bible he tells me he loves me and has the power to make sure I’ll always be strong enough to face my troubles with courage and peace from him, if I’ll look to him to help me. He says he’ll never leave me. His presence reassures me, as I sense it in the times when I’m afraid. Knowing someone always loves me, no matter what, gives me confidence. If you want to know more about what I believe about God, and how he helps me, please keep reading below.
Failure – The Different Views
Mankind views failure as a shortcoming, most commonly in areas such as work, sports performance, the plans parents have for children, etc. God has a very different view. Certainly He knows that sometimes we don’t meet our earthly goals. That’s inevitable…but it’s also not the end of the world, not by God’s standards. He says true failure is ultimately this: failing to love God. If you want to know what exactly loving God means (or want to know more about who God is) please check out this wonderful resource by John Blanchard: “Ultimate Questions.”
There is a common perception of peace that is circulating in our world today. This perception tells us that peace is an elusive, dreamy thing. It mostly happens on trips to the beach, when we have no work to do, no family to take care of, no responsibilities whatsoever… Peace has become about little more than a tranquil environment.
Is this what peace really is? I do not believe so. It is true that it is nice to have a tranquil environment and quiet moments. However, the deepest and truest peace has to be something that can last no matter what is going on outside of us.
As time has gone on I have found more and more of this sort of strong and lasting peace. I found it offered to me in the Bible by someone you may have heard of: Jesus. He offers true peace to all who will believe in him (see below for more of a discussion about “belief”). The peace Jesus gives me is founded on promises that I know he will keep. He has promised to give me strength to face my circumstances. He has promised to love me forever and ever. He has promised to use the difficult things in my life to make me a better person. He has even promised that at the end of my life I will go to be with him in heaven (see more about “heaven” below).
This is the deep and wonderful peace that has been such a blessing to me. I would love it if you could experience this peace too. If you scroll down to the section below that talks about “heaven”, you’ll see information about how to learn more about peace and other such topics related to Jesus and what he offers us.
Also, if you are journeying through some difficult times in your life, I would highly recommend looking into resources by Dr. Edward Welch. He has written on shame, anxiety, depression and various other topics in a helpful and compassionate manner. If you don’t have the time for a book, New Growth Press offers a variety of mini books on topics related to numerous life struggles.
True hope, unlike fleeting hope, isn’t just a wish. It’s a guarantee. It’s comfort. It’s an anchor for the soul. It dwells on the promises of a God who tells us He will be with us, love us, cherish us, guard us, and ultimately save us from this sad and broken world, if we will humbly entrust our souls to Him. If the ruler of your country promised you he’d provide you the best care and protection available, think how you would feel! If the love of your heart told you he or she would always cherish and be there for you (and actually delivered on that promise), image how you would be warmed inside and strengthened to go on!
Well, the promises of God are like these imaginary promises, but infinitely more glorious. They are meant to tantalize our souls. They are meant to give us peace, the peace Jesus Himself offered those who put their faith in Him and follow after Him. “Peace I leave with you,” He said, “peace I give unto you…I give you a peace not like any peace this world offers you…”
I believe that when I die I will not simply cease to exist. This life is not all that is. Death does not end everything. I believe there are things that whisper this truth to us. CS Lewis put it this way: “If I find in myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world.”
Heaven is the place I was truly made for. It is one of only two places I believe people can end up once they die (the other one being hell ). It is a good and beautiful place, a place that I long for very much. It is a place where my pain will end, and there will be no more struggle, no more pushing through one day at a time to endure. There will be no more depression, no more anxiety. It will be peaceful.
Joni Erickson Tada, a woman who has lived most of her life paralyzed and in a wheelchair, often battling chronic pain, has written some absolutely beautiful lines about this heavenly home she looks forward to. The hope of seeing it is part of what keeps her going when things are difficult, for she knows that when she has “run her race”, something very good is waiting at the end. She says about heaven:
“Heaven is rock-solid real. Much more real than anything we can see, touch, or taste on this earth.… The most beautiful, pleasurable things one could enjoy here on this planet are only hints and whispers, and omens – mere crayon scribbles on a grocery sack – of even greater, more glorious things. Pleasures on earth are just shadows of their realities in heaven.”
Sometimes when we face pain on this earth we try to cope by embracing pleasures down here. Often times when we do this we get ourselves into even worse trouble. Good pleasure in moderation is one thing, but pain very often does not want to settle for that. If we let pain steer the ship, bad things are likely to happen. What starts out as searching for a haven turns into getting shipwrecked. We abuse alcohol and end up with health problems; we sleep around and end up with an unplanned pregnancy… The possibilities are endless. As it turns out, our ideas of pleasure are fractured and tainted. If we could only glimpse what true heaven is, we would begin to see what real pleasure is.
Real pleasure is perfectly beautiful, perfectly peaceful, and never causes any trouble or any pain. Heaven will be full of this sort of pleasure. To quote CS Lewis another time
“It would seem that our Lord finds our desires not too strong but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling around…when infinite joy is offered to us. Like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the seashore. We are too easily pleased.”
In heaven, we will understand true rapture for the first time.
And how does one get to go to heaven? All one has to do is believe something called the Gospel. If you want to find out more about it, a perfect resource is Ultimate Questions by John Blanchard. if you are searching for hope and for answers, this is a perfect place to start. The hope of heaven is the perfect light to brighten your life.