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Today is International Suicide Survivors Day. It has been a day full of the ups and downs of emotions. I had some “therapy” babysitting my new grandson. What a cutie! I have had countless hours of grandchildren therapy over the past two years. They help me to smile and laugh again, as do my other family and friends.  I am thankful for them all!

On the downside, it snowed and I went to calling hours. Thankful seems somewhat out-of-place to say, but I am thankful it was by natural causes. No matter how death occurs, it is a stab to the heart; a kick in the gut. It causes us a to have a belief crisis – what do I believe? The questions may vary depending on where we are in our Christian walk and the circumstances surrounding the death. In general we may ask what happens after death? What about heaven and hell? Is there really a God?  Where was God when this happened? Why didn’t He stop it? And maybe, thank you God for sending your son, Jesus, so my loved one can be with You.

While I am not going to get specifically into answering each of these questions, I will say God has been there to bring me through all the deaths of loved ones. He has tried to draw me closer to him through every tragedy, hurt or disappointment in my life. Anymore, I draw closer to him without much resistance. I have learned every time I have felt a distance from Him it has been my doing, not His. He never goes anywhere. He is always there with me, waiting for me to reach my hand up to grab His. To cry out to Him and ask for help. I have fallen on my knees, tears flowing down my face, in gratitude. Gratitude that goes deeper than words. All in praise for my loved ones salvation through Christ. Nothing, nothing brings more comfort than that.

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world [each of us] that he gave his one and only son [Jesus] , that whoever believes in him will not perish but have everlasting life.”

I did not know my friends relative. I did not know his spiritual heart. I do not know if he had come to Jesus in earlier days or if he cried out to Him in his last moments here on earth. I do know it is not mine to judge. I do know we all need the hope of heaven, especially when we come to truly understand what eternity is all about.

My heart goes out to many people I know who have lost loves ones in the past few months. And on this Day, I realize the bond I have with others who have lost to suicide. Those who take one step at a time through the forever unanswered questions, the hurt, the shame. I continue to pray for those I know who struggle with depression and suicidal thoughts. I walk alongside those who need my help, and allow others to pick me up and encourage me to take another step on this challenging path. I ceaselessly go to my Lord to show me the way. He brings me Peace and Comfort.

May you all find Jesus, a friend that never leaves and find a way from darkness to sunshine.

Here is a link from a video made for today by Saddleback Church. http://saddleback.com/newsandevents/suicideprevention/

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