Her grandmother fell to her knees at the side of the coffin and in front of the whole crowd wailed from the bottom of her lungs‚ “Why‚ Jennifer‚ why?” Her granddaughter‚ my friend‚ had committed suicide a few days before. It was our senior year of high school. At that age life is a plastic adventure where realities of tomorrow‚ especially death‚ are not allowed to enter. Her funeral was too much reality for those of us who went. It freaked me out when her grandma screamed like that‚ calling out her granddaughter’s name. Her shrieking voice touched my bones. I will never forget it!

Suicide has four basic stages:

  1. Suicide thoughts
  2. Suicide plans
  3. Suicide attempts
  4. Suicide success

I was between stages two and three. I had made mild plans of what to do if and when I attempted suicide. I never came to the point of actually trying to commit suicide, but one night I came closer than I ever want to again. It was the first few months of my recovery from childhood sexual abuse done to me by two strange men. I was abused at the age of 10 or 11. Now‚ here I was‚ a 34-yr-old man who had everything basically stripped from me. The Lord had revealed to me that I was to sell my townhouse in Denver‚ close my ministry cubicle office in a beautiful ministry complex‚ and move where I did not want to go: back to New Mexico. Once in NM, I had no real choice but to live in and work from an old‚ isolated apartment I call “my dungeon.” God had shut these doors so that the pressure and stress of all the circumstances would finally bring me to a point of choosing to move out of denial and into accepting the facts of all the extreme sexual abuse done to me. I was not functioning well at all because I was in what is called Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (C-PTSD). As a result of all this taking place, my preaching ministry was cut to the bare minimum because I couldn’t be around people. It hurt too much. Now‚ back to that dark night at the beginning of my recovery. I could not sleep. The pain‚ rage‚ depression‚ grief‚ and memories were at such a high level it felt like the implosive pain was splitting my chest cavity open. I was in a dangerous place mentally and emotionally. I was thinking‚ “Should I call my counselor or an ambulance?” I could not think clearly. I went into the bathroom‚ grabbed a bottle of aspirin‚ sat on the bathtub edge‚ poured over one hundred pills into my hand and sat there.

Well‚ I am still here and did not attempt suicide. Only God knows how close I really was to trying to take my life. I just could not do it even though I was in one of the worst forms of pain a human being can ever experience. Thoughts came into my mind‚ “What would my mom and brother do if I killed myself?”, “Am I really ready to stand face-to-face before my Lord Jesus Christ?”‚ “I never got to meet and marry my future wife‚ the woman God created to spend life with me…I never found my rainbow?” What rainbow?

One morning, while I was in the midst of the recovery from sexual abuse, out of pain, frustration, and loneliness I said to the Lord, “God, it is easier for you to make a rainbow than it is for you to bring me a wife!” Later that day, while driving down the road, I drove into an enormous full rainbow swooping over the city! That rainbow gave me the hope I needed! Then weeks, or months, later, remembering that rainbow helped me during the horrible suicide temptations. As I sat there on the bathtub with the handful of aspirin, those thoughts I just mentioned above ran through my head…not seeing my mom and brother again‚ standing before my Lord prematurely‚ and never having married my future wife‚ my rainbow. I just couldn’t take my life! Somehow those thoughts got me through the suicidal episode that night. Are you thinking of and planning your suicide? Perhaps you are hurting deeply? All your hope may be used up. Please don’t attempt taking your own life! Honestly and literally‚ the world wouldn’t be the same without you! There is at least one person on this earth who needs you! And‚ there is at least one person who loves you—Jesus!

If you are struggling with suicidal thoughts and suicidal plans, please go and talk to someone immediately. Also‚ if you know people who are either seriously or humorously saying they are going to kill themselves, you need to talk with them or better yet, allow them to simply talk to you and share the pain and struggles they are going through. The following are some things to do if you or someone you know is struggling with suicide: