Depression, Self Harm, Thoughts of Ending the Pain {Part 2}

A few weeks ago, I shared my own very personal and painful experience with depression and suicide. What I did not tell you, is the other way that suicide has directly affected our family...

...I do not have a father-in-law, and never have. Because The Preacher's father committed suicide when he was eleven years old.

So we have been deeply touched by these things. When we speak to the issues, we aren't speaking from borrowed experience. The pain is first-hand.

After I hit "publish" on that post, I did get emails with just first names, taking me up on my offer to mention those names to the Lord. I received Facebook messages from more women than I expected...each one telling me in her own quiet way that she, too, has fought a battle for joy.

But here is, by far, the most moving story I have ever heard:

A mother and her son read my blog post, and decided to tattoo the semicolon and cross on their wrists...and do it together.

Only, they improved on my version, by adding the Scripture reference "Jeremiah 29:11" underneath.

For I know the plans I have for you, declares The Lord. Thoughts to prosper and not harm you, so that you may have a future and a hope."

See, I have known my friend...and she is my friend...for over ten years. Yet, when she shared her story with me, I was stunned by the magnitude of the Finished Work of Christ in the life of this quiet, beautiful lady and her son. And I never knew. No one knew.

She had attempted suicide many years ago, and had never even told her husband until recently. Back then, after her attempt at suicide, she spent some days in a psych hospital, and there heard God speak to her, very real and personally. She made the decision to never again try to end her life.

But she has lived in such shame over the fact that she tried...she has never told a soul about that powerful part of her story.

Her son grew up, not knowing how his mother had fought and won. He also made several attempts on his own life.

She has kept her story hidden, buried in shame, until now.

Until today.

She took the blog post, a few weeks ago, and showed it to her son, and shared her story. They made the choice to get tattooed together...a promise to one another and The Lord that they will forever value their one precious life.

When I got this picture-text today (the "deed was done" in time for Mother's Day), tears filled my eyes, at the power that this one woman's story is going to have...the Spirit of God is going to use her courage to set others free...

...our stories matter to God, and when we can overcome shame and tell our stories, the grace of God can touch lives in supernatural ways.

Grace and Peace,
Sheila Atchley

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