I’m 48. Really?
I can’t necessarily remember what I had for lunch or why I walked into my kitchen five minutes ago, but I remember 30 years ago. Actually 31 years ago. I remember hating my life. I remember sitting in class and feeling like a failure because we lost a basketball game…a lot of basketball games. I was the captain so it was my fault. I wasn’t good enough. I never was. I had already started coping with all of my depression and anxiety with booze my sophomore year. I was leading two different lives. A few people, two of my teammates in particular, knew that I was leading a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde life. They tried helping me, I was going to counseling. Um, I went to the counselor drunk one day just to prove to myself that he was clueless. He was. 31 years ago I was a junior and my junior season in basketball was coming to an end and I remember thinking, ‘this is it.’ I had one year to earn a scholarship and I had better pick it up. The pressure I felt, from myself and no one else, was so intense. And at times, I just couldn’t take it.
I thought of suicide.
“Let the day of my birth be erased, and the night I was conceived.” (Job 3:1)
“Curse that day for failing to shut my mother’s womb, for letting me be born to see all this trouble. Why wasn’t I born dead? Why didn’t I die as I came from the womb?” (Job 3:10-11)
“Why wasn’t I buried like a stillborn child, like a baby who never lives to see the light?” (Job 3:16)
“I wear burlap to show my grief. My pride lies in the dust. My eyes are red with weeping; dark shadows circle my eyes.” (Job 16:15)
“My eyes are swollen with weeping, and I am but a shadow of my former self.” (Job 17:7)
“Where then is my hope? Can anyone find it? No, my hope will go down with me to the grave. We will rest together in the dust!” (Job 17:15-16)
Then, 31 years ago in the spring of 1989, three friends did take their own lives. I had no idea there were others that had the same thoughts I had. I knew then that I would never do it. They saved my life…and they didn’t even know it.
Where is my hope? Well…it took some time, some mistakes that thankfully I lived through, but God saved me (He sent people to intervene on behalf many times.) My hope is in Him. Here I am, 31 years later. I am thankful I have those vivid memories. I am thankful because I can use my experiences to try and give others hope. This. This is exactly why Reason 4 Hope was started. I had no idea there were people in the Bible, like Job above, that had the same thoughts I had. I had no idea that God loved people who were so lost…so so lost. Just like me. The love of God covered my sins, my immense sorrow and gives me a hope that I can’t describe.
Where is my hope?
“I look up to the mountains – does my help come from there? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth! He will not let you stumble; the one who watches over you will not slumber. Indeed, he who watches over Israel never slumbers or sleeps. The Lord himself watches over you! The Lord stands beside you as your protective shade. The sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon at night. The Lord keeps you from all harm and watches over your life. The Lord keeps watch over you as you come and go, both now and forever.” Psalm 121
Do you need hope? Do you need prayer? Do you need encouragement? Reach out to us. You are not alone.