A strange light glinted off the knife I held in my hands
as I peered into it. The words had come out of my mouth before I fully realized what I was saying. I am going to kill myself…I want to die…My 12-year-old sister stared at me with horror. Her eyes were pleading with me. “What are you doing? Stop!” she cried. Her child-like body then lunged forward and reached for the knife. Defeated, I handed it over to her. Then, I stood motionless and tried to wrap my head around what I had just done…
That was me eight years ago. It is hard to believe it now. I don’t remember much of what transpired in my younger years, but if there is anything that I have taken away from my past experiences, it is that God is merciful. That day, I heard the Lord Himself speaking to me through my sister; all throughout the years, I would come to see that He wanted me to live. He had been fighting for my life.
On a Downward Spiral
You may wonder how it got to the point that I was contemplating suicide. It is hard for me to understand myself. Growing up as a kid, everything had always seemed just right. I had two Christian parents who instilled in me moral values. As a result, I developed an appreciation for going to church, taking part in all of the youth activities and fellow-shipping with friends. At the end of a long day, I would even beg my parents to allow me to stay at church longer. We had worship as a family every morning and evening. I was a happy, obedient child, and hardly had a rebellious streak. Yes, everything seemed just perfect in my life.
Then in middle school, I became a target for taunts and jests from other kids. This was severely damaging to my already sensitive soul. People would call me all sorts of names, none of which were pleasant. I was an awkward, skinny, reserved, dark-skinned girl with a buck-tooth smile, and apparently that was reason enough for the abuse.
By the time I started high school, my insecurities had maximized; I had become my own worst enemy. The emotional pain I was experiencing would often unleash itself on some unsuspecting stranger, which in turn would make them extremely uncomfortable. As a result, no one would stick around for long; friends would come and go.
In my third year of high school, my parents were on the verge of getting a divorce, so I continued on a downward spiral. I started to express the pain I was feeling through dark poetry. I told strangers online intimate information about my life. I was lonely and was seeking anyone and anything to fill the gaps in my heart. Life no longer had any meaning for me, so I began making threats to kill myself. At this point, I had finally managed to establish a friendship with a close group of girls. When I announced these venomous words to these girls whom I considered my friends, I did it more for attention than anything else. I was crying out for someone to help me.
Because of this, the friendship ended poorly. Sadly, losing the only friends I had ever really known was detrimental for my psychological health. Further along the line as I seeped more into my depressed state, people everywhere responded with coldness and indifference; this set me over the edge.
After I recognized that I was truly all alone, I would sometimes run away from school and visit a park somewhere off the school grounds. I would not return home until late in the evening. My mother would be worried sick.
At the age of 17, I was standing in the kitchen in tears as feelings of hopelessness washed over me. With my little sister looking on, I took the sharpest knife I could find and uttered those dreadful words. I don’t think I had ever planned on actually going through with anything that day either, because I hated everything that had to do with pain. Yet, I wanted to end it somehow and not only that, I wanted the world to see how much pain I was going through as well. Still, nothing I tried seemed to be working. Somehow I stumbled my way through high school and ended up graduating with honours. Now in my 20s, I was in my final years of an intensive journalism program, and the pressure of the program added to the mounting hopeless feelings. I considered myself the underdog, and would tell myself that I was worthless and would never amount to anything.
In my last year, I fought the urge to drop out. At one point that year, I ended up leaving one of my elective classes in hyperventilation mode. I was gasping for breath, and the tears just didn’t seem to want to stop. I knew there was something wrong with me, and I desperately wanted to be better. I would make frequent visits to numerous counsellors, none of whom seemed able to help me. I remember one of them even agreeing with me once about how grievous my life was. I read Dr. Phil and Joel Osteen self-help books, yet I would only find as the years went by that I was retreating more and more into myself.
Touch of Faith
In 2010, I attended a Christian youth conference, more out of curiosity than anything else. I did not realize there were actually youth out there who were sincerely following Christ. I had considered myself a Christian all the while, and had always heard many beautiful truths about God’s love, yet for some reason it had not taken root in my heart. I would still come home crying every night, truly believing that no one loved or cared for me.
I didn’t actually think that attending the conference would make any difference in my life, but I thought I would check it out anyway. Although I did not get much out of the divine service nor the plenaries, I remember the Sabbath School session like it was yesterday, because this is what helped transform my life.
It was here that I would hear words of hope that I hungered for. In the lady’s presentation, she brought to life the story of the woman with the issue of blood. Instantly, I recognized this woman within myself. I had been pursuing so many different things in search of healing but had never found it. Tears sprang to my eyes. I wanted faith like this woman. I wanted to reach out my hand to Jesus and be healed.
Ever since that day, I slowly started on the road to recovery. During this period, God revealed to me ugly things about myself that I could never see before, because I had been blinded. But He didn’t leave me hopeless; He promised to restore me… And He did.
Today I can honestly say that I am not the same person. I still have my struggles, because it isn’t easy to forget the negativity of my past. The difference is I know who to turn to now. It is not about having a head full of knowledge, but about allowing Jesus to change your heart. I am thankful that Jesus cared enough about me to do just that.
For anyone battling an illness of their own, I want to encourage you not to give up. Hope is not lost. Reach out to Him in healing and He will give you the victory. He did it for me and He can do the same for you.
“And when I passed by thee, and saw thee polluted in thine own blood, I said unto thee when thou wast in thy blood, Live; yea, I said unto thee when thou wast in thy blood, Live.” (Ezekiel 16:6)
“But now thus saith the Lord that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. For I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee. Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life.” (Isaiah 43:1-4)
“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.” (1 Peter 2:9)
“And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any, came behind him, and touched the border of his garment: and immediately her issue of blood stanched. And Jesus said, Who touched me? When all denied, Peter and they that were with him said, Master, the multitude throng thee and press thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me? And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me. And when the woman saw that she was not hid, she came trembling, and falling down before him, she declared unto him before all the people for what cause she had touched him, and how she was healed immediately. And he said unto her, Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace.“ (Luke 8:43-48)
Glory Be To God
Never miss a story.
Sign up and get monthly updates of our latest features.When you do, you'll receive our FREE e-book with a story-gathering checklist.