A woman emailed me to beg for permission to commit suicide. She said, "I can't catch a break. The battles never stop. I don't want to live anymore."
My heart goes out to my hurting friend. I well understand where she's coming from. Besides, who can't relate to even an occasional feeling of discouragement? The truth is many of us have received our share of blisters as we've walked an unintended path of pain. If you've ever found yourself standing in the middle of a road called despair, know there is a shortcut to freedom, a shortcut that has everything to do with life and nothing to do with suicide.
That way is Jesus. He is the path that can take you safely through a world of difficulties. Not only does he provide a way through your troubles, he walks through your troubles with you. In fact, if my friend will give him permission, he will also walk with her and lead her to peace in her storm.
In Next Door Savior, Max Lucado wrote, "The Fort Knox of faith is Christ. Fellowshipping with Him. Waiting with Hm. Pondering Him. Exploring Him. The heart-stopping realization that in Him you are part of something ancient, endless, unstoppable and unfathomable. And that He, who can dig the Grand Canyon with His pinkie, thinks you're worth his death on Roman timber. Christ is the reward of Christianity. Why else would Paul make Him his supreme desire? 'I want to know Christ' (Phil. 3:10 NCV)."
The words that could help you start your journey to peace could include a prayer like:
Jesus - thank you for taking the blame and punishment for my mistakes. Forgive me for my sins. I give you me. I give you my burdens, my troubles, my despair and worries. These are now your problems because I choose to rest in you.
A prayer like this can change everything. It will take you to peace. To life. To freedom. To Christ.
Whatever happened to my friend who wanted my permission to commit suicide? I shared with her this same prayer that I shared with you She prayed it and decided not to take her life.
That was four years ago. Today my friend is not only no longer suicidal, she has learned how to count her blessings and trust the Lord, and has even discovered new God-given life purposes.
She wrote me a letter this week which in part said, "Thank you for believing in me and teaching me how to pray during my battle with suicide. Today, I am glad to be alive."
If you are struggling, please know God is for you. He is holding his loving arms out to you and is ready for you to trust him through this time. You will be glad you did.
Linda Evans Shepherd is a nationally known Christian speaker and a best-selling author of over 30 books. She's the president of Right to the Heart Ministries,founder of the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA) and the founder of GodTest.com. Her latest book is Winning Your Daily Spiritual Battles.