It is difficult to describe a situation while you are still living it. It’s like being in the middle of a tornado and trying to tell someone else what it looks like from the outside. You wouldn’t be focused on the details, but instead trying to ride the waves and get out of it in one piece. This is true for both good and bad situations.
I am not at the end of my life, so I’m still going through things, but I feel like I’m climbing up a very steep mountain, and I’ve reached a ledge where I can rest and look back down at the the climb that I’ve made so far.
Here is what I see.
My life was broken. I was living a broken life. I did not do drugs, or sell my body, or do myself bodily harm, or lie/cheat/steal habitually, or physically/emotionally abuse anyone or any of the other things that ostensibly represent brokenness in a typical Law & Order SVU episode (love that show by the way). No, my brokenness was invisible and internal, which made it all the more difficult to diagnose. On the surface, everything was fine, but there was something profoundly wrong with me, and I couldn’t figure out what it was. I just knew that I didn’t want to continue living because it was too painful. I waited several years to die. But death did not come for me. Death did come for friends, classmates and cousins, but each time, he left me behind. And so I decided I would no longer wait for death; I’d set out to find him myself. And find death I did.
As I prepared to embark on my journey with death, I was pulled back, like I’d been lassoed. I remember thrashing and screaming silently (because even in my worst moments, I’d hate to make noise and cause a scene) that I did not want to live. God heard me. So, die I did.
But not as you’d think. The day I attempted suicide, I died, or more specifically, the broken me died. The person who continued living is not exactly the same person who tried to end her life. The person writing this is a new person. You see, God heard my cry, saw how broken I was, decided to take me apart, and put me back together so that I am not broken now – I am fixed and I am whole. I was like a car trying to function without an engine; I was a person living without the will to live. I was a walking carcass. It did not occur to me in my wildest imaginings that this was something that could ever be fixed. In my mind, I was doomed to this empty, meaningless existence until death came to my rescue, or until I chased and caught death. But God had other plans.
Imagine jumping off a cliff and knowing that this is the end, but before you hit the ground, a great big hand catches you and carries you gently to safety. I don’t know how else to describe what happened to me.
I thought that was the end, but it was only the beginning. The day I died was the day I came alive. Truly alive. I was healed from all the pain that pushed me to the edge of that cliff. It was not instantaneous, but a process that has taken two and a half years and counting. In this time, I have bid farewell to depression and purposelessness, my travel companions for the last decade. I have accosted anger and bitterness, who had replaced my sense of purpose, and asked them to kindly exit my life. I have God now.
God is my purpose.
God is my will to live.
God healed me when I didn’t imagine that I could be healed.
God fixed me.
I am alive.