A former pastor shared some advice for people who may be thinking of hurting themselves.
In his article on The Christian Post, Rev. Mark H. Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League of North Carolina, Inc., noted that for the period of 2015 to 2019, the people who died of suicide in North Carolina are twice as much than those of homicide. Thus, he provided five lessons he learned as someone who once contemplated suicide himself.
First, Creech said that "life is a miracle in itself" and "a sacred gift of God." Regardless of circumstances, a person's life always serves a purpose. He then emphasized an individual's relevance, saying that God loves a person so much "that He determined this world would be incomplete without [him]."
Next, the minister pointed out that God is always there for a person, though one may feel that he is being forsaken. He also stated that the LORD cares deeply and understands man, even more than he understands himself.
"If you don't despair, but look to Him in faith, you will discover His presence," he added.
Third, he shared that God can turn "a hopeless tragedy into a magnificent triumph," recalling the death of the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross.
"Could there have been anything viler, more unjust, than the crucifixion of the Son of God? Yet God, the mighty alchemist, turned it into gold. He turned it into our salvation from sin and Hell," he stressed.
"Many times, our extremities are opportunities for us to know God and experience His grace in ways otherwise impossible. God can turn nothing into something. Waiting on Him and trusting in the promises of His Word never disappoints," he continued.
Fourth, Creech highlighted that "suicide is never the will of God" since it is only Him who has the right to take one's life.
Finally, he reminded that an individual's connections with people he loves are more important than his failures or achievements. He called suicide as an "intense self-preoccupation that blurs one's vision" of the people who will be most immensely hurt when a person decides to kill himself - "parents, siblings, spouse, children and friends."
According to Creech, he contemplated suicide when he experienced a number of negative factors which arose all at the same time, including physical and emotional exhaustion, as well as intellectual and spiritual conflicts, worsened by "a host of unrealized expectations."
Moreover, his assumption that people will never allow a pastor like him to express "feelings of depression" added to his burden, forcing him to keep matters to himself. Though he did think of killing himself a lot of times, he said that he did not really want to die, he just wanted to get past his struggle.
He was surprised, however, when he revealed his need to others and found that many people are actually "more than ready to help." These individuals assisted him through sharing their own experience, providing training and showing compassion.
"These were people who would help me correct my distorted way of thinking. They were people who would help me get my doubts, my fears, my resentments, my anger, and my anxieties out in the open," the minister added.
He said that though healing took a long time, the things that he did through the help of other people were his "first steps" in "purging his tortured soul."
He pointed out that if suicide came to his mind while being a Christian, one "who deeply loved God and His Word," such can also happen to anyone.
Creech then shared about the book, "The Complete Life Encyclopedia," which states that the threat of suicide should be taken seriously. In the book, the authors explained that the people who threaten of killing themselves often do it and that 10 percent who say such or attempted suicide unsuccessfully, "are later successful."
In conclusion, the minister encouraged those who may be contemplating suicide that "there are more reasons not to do it."
"You can get through this, I know. There can be a day when you're past all of it. Dusk will turn to Dawn, and everything will appear entirely different," Creech further stated.