It’s been a few of weeks now.
And I’m not really sure if I’m really ready to talk about this.
But I don’t know that I’ll ever be ready if I don’t at least start to TRY to be ready.
A few weeks ago I, and many others, lost someone that we cared about to suicide.
She wasn’t just anyone.
She was someone special….different…..UNIQUE.
She was a light.
You may be saying: “Well isn’t everyone?”
The answer is YES….of course.
But acknowledging this in one person does not mean that another is not.
When I speak of her unique qualities, I’m speaking of qualities that God invested in her that are not only worthy of admiration, but worthy of being missed, and furthermore, what makes a loss of this magnitude, a loss of this magnitude.
She was the type of person that gave genuine love, encouragement, assistance, and would go out of her way to help you, without seeking anything in return.
She was extremely gifted, playing multiple instruments, and being able to work a sound system like a skilled engineer.
She easily made friends. And she knew how to make people feel special, and wanted.
She was young, had her whole entire future ahead of her, and many more miles left on the car.
What would make someone like this take their life?
Isn't there a type that you would expect to make that choice?
Because we're all prime to believe that there is a type.
Perhaps someone with NOTHING to live for, or at least the one's that we can visibly see have nothing to live for.
We are not as good with expecting that there is more than what we can see.
I think that this is the question that plagues everyone left to sort through the ‘how’, ‘why’, and ‘what’.
I’ve wrestled on and off to answer a million questions that shot through my mind in the days since receiving the phone call that she was gone.
At first I was overcome with grief, crying for days, and feeling my soul torn in pain.
Then I was numb, with no tears left, or words to articulate what I once felt, and now was unable to know what I felt at all.
I was silent, unable to sleep, and very much shocked to my core.
It took me a second, but I found a way to be distracted, busy, and push the feelings down.
It wasn’t just the feelings that I was looking to escape.
It was the unknown.
I was not running from what I knew.
I was running from what I didn’t.
And I realized that if I was ever going to journey into understanding, I needed to sort through what I did know.
As beautiful of a person as she was, she did not see that.
She was able to give love that she could not receive.
Somehow a lie found root in her heart that convinced her that she was not worthy of it.
She believed with all her being that you were, and I was, but not her.
(There are many layers to why she felt this way, most of which I will not disclose out of respect and honor for her.)
And because of this belief, she could only receive love at a very minimal level, but not enough to remove the fear, inadequacy, and unbelief.
This is one thing that I knew.
She also knew the word of God….in depth.
Did I mention that she was a Pastor?
That’s a whole other layer huh?
Yeah. She knew the word.
And I think that THIS is what stings people in ways that they cannot articulate.
With everything that we think and know about God, his word, and what knowledge of him is supposed to be able to do, HOW could someone with this much leverage spiritually feel like this was a possible choice.
Because it was a choice.
It was her choice.
This is another thing that I know.
Then I started thinking about how we even met, and the nature of our short-lived relationship.
I’d met her in passing at church.
She slid into the back of our service while I was leading worship.
We met briefly after church at Red Robin.
But she spoke with my husband more than I.
That night, at a little past three in the morning, the Lord woke me out of my sleep.
I saw her face first, then her entire figure.
The Lord spoke to me and said: “SHE IS GOING TO NEED YOU.”
I responded and said: “Okay Lord.”
Shortly thereafter we had another brief exchange at a rehearsal.
But I knew enough about God and these types of experiences to wait for him to reveal why a person would need me, or the opportunity/invitation to meet the need.
Shortly thereafter she came to my home for a musical rehearsal meeting.
After the meeting, everyone left and went home.
But she stayed behind.
She spoke with me for an hour about key things in her life.
I realized in that moment what need God wanted for me to fill.
I’d never felt such brokenness and anguish in a person.
She never admitted that was what she felt.
She did not have to.
Some of her confessions over herself in conversation spoke of it.
And I felt such a level of heartbrokenness that I’ve never felt in a person.
She left and went home, smiling, and as if everything was okay.
But she was not.
And I knew it.
But I never shared my assignment with her.
I knew that I was to help Mother her.
A week later we spoke on the phone for two hours.
This conversation was in depth and in detail.
She shared her heart, her history, and her struggles.
She was broken and hopeless concerning God’s ability to help her deal with the mental fight that she’d lived with for quite some time.
In this moment I loved on her.
I told her of the Lord speaking to me concerning her.
I told her that a God that would interrupt my sleep specifically for her was a God that was present, and who cared.
She told me that she was honored of my faith that God would help her.
She also told me before getting off the phone: "YOU REMIND ME OF MY MOTHER."
I think that this is what haunted me initially.
“God, why would you interrupt my life to have me help someone that you knew would choose otherwise? Why would you let me connect with that level of pain, and allow me to believe that I was aiding in helping to heal it, knowing that she would choose another way to try to heal?”
I felt like I failed.
I questioned the validity of the power and authority that I thought that I carried to “help” others and encourage them into healing and sustainment.
I realized the genuine nature of my thoughts, and how "real" they were.
But I also realized that in some way, they were proud.
I had never lost anyone on MY watch.
I saw in that moment that it was not my watch.
IT WAS GOD’S.
I’d made myself available to her.
I invited her to events we had, some of which she came to.
I watched her meet others who offered their love and support, and would genuinely care for her.
I watched God surround her with multiple relationships from different circles that offered hope, love, and support.
He supernaturally took his time hand picking people that he trusted to care for her, and then led her to these people without her even knowing that she was being led.
Each person gave genuine love, concern, care, and PRESENCE in her life.
After crying my eyes out for days, and asking many, Many, MANY questions, I was left with one question answered:
GOD HAD DONE HIS JOB.
That was something else that I knew.
I know that statement can be offensive to some.
If God did his job, why is death the outcome?
If there is anything else that I’m left with as I sort through this loss, I am left with the truth of human will, and human choice.
God’s job is not only to allow us to choose, but to provide us with enough knowledge and guidance that His hope is that we will choose what he has chosen.
Even with all of the people he sent,
All of the words spoken,
All of the love given,
All of the faith displayed,
SHE STILL HAD A CHOICE.
And her choice was to no longer fight.
Her choice was to choose what she perceived as an end and finality.
And though this was her choice,
God still did his job.
He did not leave her as an orphan.
He did not abandon her.
He gave himself through every member of her community that he literally sent and orchestrated connections.
He gave her options.
He gave her His hands and feet.
And though I cry deep inside even writing this, wishing that she knew how deeply she was loved, I know that God gave her what she needed to continue fighting if she so chose to.
HE DID HIS JOB.
And even still, I know that I have a million other truths waiting for me to arrive to.
But knowing this ONE really important truth has made getting to the others a possibility.
Though I still have a million questions that linger,
Whether or not God cared, or was involved is not one of them.
GOD DID HIS JOB.