The Other Side of Suicide  

0 comments Posted on December 1, 2014

by Lacey Sturm

The first story in the Bible is all about the importance of words. The whole first chapter of Genesis repeats:

“God spoke!” And it happened.

“God spoke!” And it happened.

“God spoke!” And it happened.

Then God makes a human, gives him breath from his own mouth, and tells him to speak. But I never needed the Bible to tell me how life and death lay in the power of the tongue. I could feel it for myself when certain people spoke to me.

“You’re ugly.”

“No one likes you.”

“You’re stupid.”

“You’re always in the way.”

“I hate you.”

I felt myself begin to die. Then God would send another voice along.

“You’re beautiful.”

“I like you.”

“You’re smart.”

“You’re a good helper.”

“I love you.”

Lacey-Sturm-The-Reason1Then I felt myself coming back to life.

I don’t believe bullying is the main thing that makes us want to die. I believe that it can be a trigger for people like my young self who already feel unsure about their purpose and identity—people prone to sadness, people restless with a world that seems to offer so many shallow answers to the deep questions that make their hearts heavy.

Late at night, my restlessness, my strange, deep aching felt like it came from somewhere beyond my body, my mind, and even my emotions. There was this eerie nagging I didn’t want to face that maybe there was more to me than I understood; maybe there was something in my life I was hiding from.

Though I felt numb, the insatiable desire for something still existed in me. I was seeking something beyond me, beyond you, beyond the gross pain in the world. This deep desire to be known, to be loved, to be healed, to be satisfied through and through drove me to places I never want to visit again, dark places. I wanted to disappear or find that thing to satisfy my deep desire.

It’s like that for us all, really. You and I experience a deep thirst for satisfaction. But this satisfaction does not come sexually, or through material possessions—though that is how we try to quench that desire.

Let me say this about suicide: it’s a liar. It will whisper to you and fill your mind with just the right amount of evil mixed with something resembling truth. Suicide will tell you to cling to the drama, to the people who hurt you, to the tough circumstances of your life and say, Look at all this! It isn’t worth it anymore. You aren’t helping anyone. You only make everything more inconvenient. You will always feel empty and achy. Living is too painful, so why are you doing it? You just need to sleep forever.

The truth is that we do need rest, but not the kind that sleep gives. And believing that suicide and sleeping forever are the same thing is to believe a lie. Dead bodies only look like they are sleeping, and our bodies are only temporary vehicles anyway. Our vehicle may feel worn out, but our soul is the thing that needs help. And at a certain point the only help it can get is for the marrow of the soul, the spirit, to come to life.

We need rest for our souls.

Lacey Sturm, The Reason (Baker Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group). © 2014 Used by permission.

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