“It’s hard to save the world when you can’t save yourself.” Author Carrie Jones
(Some references at the beginning are from the past couple of blog posts.)
Hearing the saying for myself – “a turn of events” – left me questioning how to help other people who struggled with depression and suicidal thoughts, how to help them have their own turn of events. I wondered why Harriet, Jenna, and others like them didn’t get their turn – a question I still can’t answer.
What came to mind, though, was what my friend Betty said, “You have to find your own lonely way.”
Going it alone wasn’t what I wanted to write about here, and Betty certainly wasn’t suggesting we don’t need each other. In fact, she showed up for me countless times. However, at the end of our day and at the end of our lives, she reminded me, “It is you and God. It is me and God. No one else can save us.”
No matter how hard we try …
“Finding our own lonely way” came to mind when I watched author and founder of Proverbs 31 Ministries Lysa TerKeurst interview Kayla Stoecklein, Andrew’s widow.
Kayla talked about how she and others came alongside Andrew to help. The two went as a couple to counseling and took a lengthy vacation just the two of them. They spent family time together with their three little boys, as well as making sure Andrew had alone time and time with his mentor. The morning Andrew attempted suicide (he died the next day), Kayla and Andrew’s mother were outside the church making calls to get him more help.
Kayla said, “We thought we were doing all the right things.”
Hopefully knowing that no one else can save us will help families and friends who have a loved one struggling or someone they love who died by suicide. Or if you’re struggling yourself.
Do what you can. Ask for and offer help when you can. Talk and listen all you can. Pray. But know that at the end of the day and the end of their life and ours, it’s you and God. It’s me and God. No one else can save us.
With all that said, I wrote down a few things that flew in the face of trying hard, and they helped. Not overnight, but over time.
- Getting better had a lot to do with prayer (begging). I lay in bed for hours trying to fall asleep and repeated thousands of times, “God, help me. God, help me. God, please help me.” I felt like I didn’t have an ounce of faith, but I prayed because I didn’t know what else to do.
- Getting better had a lot to do with acceptance. I had compassion for people I used to judge, the ones so depressed they couldn’t get out of bed. I accepted there was no quick fix and, just like every home renovation we ever did, I accepted my life would probably get messier before it got better, and it did.
- Getting better had a lot to do with giving up. I couldn’t keep up with looking good. I couldn’t keep up the roles in my family like refereeing relationships, reminding everyone about special occasions, and taking responsibility for every get-together. I couldn’t heal myself.
I hope you’ll join the conversation in hopes we’ll help each other stay and get better. #pleasestay
In This Together,
Parts of this story are excerpts from a blog post I wrote in 2019
FYI: I’m blogging my book titled On The Other Side of Trying Hard: Healing, Happiness, and Holiness. Because these blog posts are a manuscript instead of stand-alone stories, some posts may leave you hanging. I hope you’ll hang in here with us anyway ‘cause a happy ending is coming. My blog post title includes the chapter title first. The phrase in parentheses is the subheading. I’m over-the-top grateful to have you here. I’d love to hear your reflections, questions, and comments.