If you have ever contemplated suicide, or are now, we have something in common. I would like to tell you my story and why I am here, 35 years later, to tell you about it.
First of all, I need you to understand where I was and where I am spiritually. I am a Christian. I believe in the literal fight between good and evil in the world. I believe in a God that is strict, but understanding and very loving, who knows me personally. I also believe that satan is real and wants me to be as miserable as he is.
I had a loving husband and six children to raise. The oldest was 15 and the youngest about 1 year old. Why would I even think about taking my own life?
We started a family publishing business that required a tremendous amount of work. We also had a convenience store and small motel to run, as well as a large family to raise. I was overwhelmed with the responsibilities. We decided to sell the publishing business. I prayed so hard for a buyer.
It wasn’t long before a potential buyer came to discuss the purchase. I was ecstatic. This was the answer to my prayers.
The interview with the prospective buyer was pleasant. We discussed the sale and when he left that night we thought he sounded very positive about buying the business. He stayed in our motel and we waited until the next morning for him to give us his decision.
The next morning the hours ticked by. At 10 o'clock we went to investigate. He left during the night. The bed had never been slept in. I was devastated.
I couldn’t work and went to the house to cry. Hard racking sobs. I felt trapped in a situation I couldn’t get out of. I felt there was no way out.
I was only thinking of myself. I didn't consider anyone else. I wasn’t thinking of my family — my husband or my children — only about being trapped. The business didn't sell. There was no relief in sight.
That's the moment the thought came to me, there was a way out. There were pills I could take that would get me out of an unbearable situation. The bathroom and the pills were only a few feet away. The temptation was strong.
I am so thankful for what happened next. Another thought entered my mind that saved my life. There was another way out of my situation. I realized that my love for my family was the reason I was there in the first place. I chose to stay and keep working at it until something could be arranged to relieve the work load.
That was not the end of the temptation. Satan does not give up easily. I used razor blades daily in my work, trimming columns of print before placing them on paste-up sheets. On bad days, when I was very depressed, the destructive thoughts came. The razor blade was in my hand. It would be easy. They were sharp. It was as though we had a spiritual stare down. My answer was no.
This did not just happen once, but repeatedly over the next few months. Each time I rejected the suggestion, I faced the spiritual showdown again. The suggestion was repulsive. My concern was whether it might wear me down until it became attractive instead of offensive.
Thankfully, that time never came, but it took months before the temptation abated. I learned that there is no sin in temptation, only in acting on the temptation.
I prayed repeatedly for strength, help and guidance. When I got the chance, I studied my scriptures and other faith related materials and attended church.
If you are facing this temptation, know that you are not alone. I believe my experience is a common one, and if so, the temptation will return repeatedly until Satan accomplishes what he set out to do or until he finally realizes that you will not give in.
As a Roman philosopher once said, “While there is life, there is hope.”
Realize that suicide is not the only way out of the situation. There is always a way out without killing yourself. You just have to search for it.
Remove yourself from your situation and look at it from outside yourself.
Find someone you can confide in and let them know what is happening to you. They may be able to help you see a better way out.
Pray always! Ask for strength to resist Satan and the wisdom to recognize your possibilities.
Recognize that if you give in to Satan's promptings you are letting him win.
Study God's word. Find his love and compassion for you. Attend church.
You know how much you love your family. Well, you are God's child and he loves you with a love that knows no bounds. The Bible tells us that prayer is the way out of Satan's temptations. Believe it. You are stronger than you realize. You can win your battle with Satan.