As the anniversary of my mother’s suicide draws near I’m filled with a great many thoughts and emotions surrounding the details. Occurring in early December 2001, this 17 year old event has affected me in ways I am yet to fully realize. It certainly broke me and set me on a dangerous path of pain, suffering, and heartache. If anyone has taken the time to read a bit about me regarding my walk, they might realize how her suicide had hardened my heart for many years. Though I am grateful for those who offered comfort and support, particularly from my first wife Jackie, words given by some about God and His rest fell on deaf ears. Yet seeds were planted.
I often think about the condition of my mother’s soul when I’m rolling these thoughts around in my head. In life I do not recall her verbally acknowledging much about Christ or anything related and considering the circumstances of her death it’d be logical to assume the worst. Yet I’m left thinking about the patience, kindness, love, and grace she demonstrated while raising this intolerable wretch. Something I witness daily in my wife Aunna as she raises our eldest son, who is certainly ‘a chip off the old block’. Scripture tells us that we judge only in righteous judgment (by God’s standard) and we may know those who are “of us” by their fruit. My mother may have demonstrated such fruit but her suicide reflects either no faith at all or at least very little faith.
Knowing that God is sovereign over ALL things I know that not ONE single thing happens outside of His divine will. Every single event, even the smallest, has it’s place and purpose to fulfill all that He has decreed. There is no pain, nor suffering, and not even death that is without a purpose. God is sovereign over His creation, including the souls of men (and women). While, from a human perspective and in understanding salvation, my mother did nothing that might have earned her a place in Heaven, yet I know that it is by God’s grace alone that anyone is snatched from grips of Hell. So I hold onto the hope that, while it seems entirely impossible, God may have shown mercy on her.
I think about myself and how undeserving I am of any grace or mercy whatsoever. I spent a good portion of my life with no shame of my unfaithfulness, unkindness, and cruelness in fulfilling the dark desires of my hard heart. I was (and certainly still am in many ways) a chief sinner among men; an adulterer, a liar, a cheat, a thief, a drunkard, etc. etc. Yet God saw fit to show me my sin and convict me of the things that held my life captive. He led me to someone that showed me that my mother’s death was not in vain, to make me realize that suffering is not without meaning. These ideas began to change how I had viewed the world. Almost 10 years after my mother’s death my hard heart of stone had been replaced by a heart of flesh. The seeds that had been planted over the years had been given growth.
My mother in comparison to me, though I may be a bit bias, was a saint. In life she had a kind and selfless heart doing her best to shield me from her own sins and struggles. She had an incredibly good sense of humor, and often used it to hide her pain. My mother needed to hear the same things I did, maybe not the exact same words, but at least an affirmation that suffering in this life is temporary. She needed to know that being nice or doing good is not enough to find peace but only by trusting in the promises of God does this truly occur. She needed to repent of her sins and give her life to Christ. I pray that she did these things, even if it was in secret. It’s troubling to consider the alternative.
I know that the skeptic or unbeliever, like I once did, will look upon my words with anger and disgust. Neither my words nor my life will be enough to convince anyone of the Truth of this world. I ask only that those who I have wronged and those I may continue to wrong would forgive me and Lord willing that they too would find the peace I have been given in Christ. Let my story and the countless others be a testimony to the majesty, power, and glory of our Sovereign Creator. As we prepare for this upcoming holiday, I beg that you consider the words of better men than I regarding the miraculous incarnation of the very same God I speak of. May grace and peace come upon you and yours, thank you for reading.