I always find it so humbling every time I see this memory come back around on my Facebook feed. It was posted in August 2010, during a very pivotal time in my life. A time of absolute uncertainty that felt hopeless at the time. But it is very clear now that God knew the plan and He was speaking to me…guiding me. I didn’t realize He was right there until much later, whenever I could look back and truly see His hand in it all.
I remember sitting on this rock that day, feeling a bit unsafe as the waves crashed and the water shot far into the air. At the same time…it was so peaceful and rhythmic and I knew that, where I sat, I was in no harm. Still, sitting next to the sea has a way of putting things into perspective and helping you to see just how small you are in relation to the world. Humbling.
This quote by E. E. Cummings was on my mind that day, and for the weeks to come, although I didn’t make much sense of it. “For whatever we lose, like a you or a me, it’s always ourselves we find in the sea.”
The days to follow that peaceful day on the shoreline were anything but peaceful. More like a movie or a sad country song (complete with a cross-country greyhound bus ride, that ended in an ambulance ride. But that’s a story for another day.) In fact, I vividly recall thoughts of giving up on life altogether and feeling completely betrayed and alone. Everything and everyone I’d put my hope, love, and trust into for years had abandoned me and I felt broken. But the truth is, I was always broken. It was only masked by superficial things that clearly had an expiration date and would not stand the test of time, and certainly any trials.
Looking back on that day at the ocean, I now know that I felt the Holy Spirit stirring me. Warning me. I just didn’t know how to listen yet. The signs were all there and so very clear. Even in that quote. I lost “myself” that day and began shedding all those necessary things that had to go in order to make a path for the life that was intended. It hurt deeply and I held on tightly to a life I thought I wanted, without realizing the life I had waiting for me.
Only a week or so later, I met the man that would become my husband and the father of my children. His last name…my new last name? Mariner. It means, “One who lives by the sea”. Makes sense.
Its been 8 years now and life has not always been easy. I’ve not been the most happy or easy person to live with. My past still hurts me often, which is silly. It’s over. It’s done and it’s just a lie from the enemy that I have to keep recanting it. The stress takes a physical toll on the body, internally, that we don’t even realize. Organ failure has come very near to taking my life on two occasions now and I am thankful to be alive.
Overcoming mental health obstacles can be tricky, but it’s just that…a trick. The devil playing tricks on your mind. PTSD is cruel and it is unfair, but I do believe that it can be beat!
I share these parts of my story today because I know without a doubt that God has walked me through the darkest days of my life and has pulled me from the grips of pure hell to set me on the right path. I see now that my life was headed the wrong way before and He saved me from death and destruction. He didn’t save me from all of that, just so I can give up here and be tormented by my own mind. The Bible says that He FIGHTS for us (Exodus 14:14) and He is our refuge (Psalms 62:6-8). It also says He has plans for us! (Jeremiah 29:11). And most importantly, He is always with us. (Matthew 28:20).
So don’t give up hope! If I had given up all those times and believed the lies that life couldn’t go on, I would not have made it to this part of His plan. The part where I get to be a mother of two beautiful children, despite being told I’d likely never be able to have children at all. I still catch myself taking this for granted and have to remind myself that things could be worse. I am not perfect, but God says I’m worth fighting for. And so are you!
When things look hopeless, just try to look around for Him. He is there. Even when you don’t feel close to Him. Even if you don’t believe. I wasn’t talking to Him in 2010. I wasn’t praying for help. I knew of Him but I was away from Him. I didn’t have a relationship with Him. I was angry with Him, at best. But He still saw me right where I was and He fought for me because He knew I was worth it and He knew what was ahead for me, even though I couldn’t see any light at all. Whenever you have negative thoughts, remember where they are from and send them right back!! Copy these scriptures that I have given you today and study them. Remember them. Post them on your mirror to see daily! Equip yourselves to protect your mind.
The rise in the suicide rate is no coincidence, especially in the younger generations. It’s so important that you know that those thoughts are not real and they are certainly just temporary!! More importantly, they are a LIE! You are so precious and worth so much! You were created for a purpose that ONLY YOU can fulfill! If the enemy wants you gone then he can prevent you from reaching that purpose. Remember that. DO NOT LET HIM WIN. I know that every day is new and it feels like you start all over with the battle, but you can and you WILL WIN. Speak it. Declare it. You have been given the authority! USE IT!
You are loved.
You are more than enough.
You are beautiful.
You are forgiven.
You don’t have to take my word for it because THE Word says it. Look it up!
If you or someone you know needs help, please share this with them. Also, here is the number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255
You are not alone.