VOICES OF SUICIDE

By Aaron Harris: Early one spring morning, I awoke as light permeated the darkness. I felt like I’d fallen from my bed during the night, only to land in the bottom of a sewer where the filth soaked my DNA. For years I’d chosen darkness over light; lies over truth; doubt over grace. After a while I could no longer see which way was up and which was down.  I knew I was in a bad place on that day.

For some time I’d started to realize my life was heaped in sin and addictions. I couldn’t escape or manage them. They were loud and overwhelming. Hope seemed lost.

I’d struggled with depression and suicidal thoughts for years. Things would get better, and then I’d slip back into depression’s voices. On this early spring day I woke up with a voice speaking to me -- saying  I'd wasted my life and there was no hope for me. That my time had run out, my chances were used up and it was time to exit.

My head spun around like a pinwheel in a hurricane. I’d experienced the pain of a friend’s suicide and knew how selfish a choice it was. Still, the voice was so convincing, and the memory of my friend slowly receded into nothing.  It felt like God speaking to me, telling me that there’s no fix for me, and that I had no further value to him on earth.

Something told me this couldn't be God telling me to kill myself, but I was so immersed in darkness that I couldn't reason otherwise.  I’d feasted on lies for so long that I’d become totally deceived -- lies became nearly indistinguishable from the truth.

I asked God for a sign -- a phone call and a specific conversation.  That's how I'd know these suicidal thoughts weren't from him.  A trivial thing, but it's what I asked for in my anguish.

That voice continued, though.  It said to go to my parents' house to get a gun.  They were out of town so I knew I could get one.  It wasn’t that I wanted to die, but that I knew I couldn't keep on living like I had been. I was utterly miserable.  And the voice -- it knew me and my past so well.  It named off all my offenses.  It said, "there’s no future for you."

As I got in my car to head to my parents' house, however, I felt a vibration in my pocket.  Even as I pulled out my phone, hoping, I said to God “it’s too late for a sign now.”

But a small voice seeped through the darkness, pleading “please pick up the phone.

I did.  And the conversation came.  The exact one I asked for.  My sign.

I turned around and I hung up the phone.  I went home and collapsed. I heard God telling me that he loved me and knew my true identity. I heard him telling me that he had a plan for me and my brokenness.

My pain wasn't gone, but for once my hope ached stronger than the pain. I felt God telling me that in spite of what that voice knew of my past, that voice had no knowledge of my future.  He said, "I do, and I am the God of second chances."

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