Ashton Ray2 Comments

Dear Friend, You Are Not Alone

Ashton Ray2 Comments
Dear Friend, You Are Not Alone

Friend,

I am proud of you for being alive to read this. I am proud of you for every breath that you’re taking. I am proud of you for living.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of us that know what it’s like to want to die. As we both know, I’m one of them, and if you’re reading this, so are you. This is not a fun thing to have in common, but, as we are both alive right now, it is a powerful thing. We get the chance to tell people about Hope. We get the chance to tell people that it gets better. We get to prove that it's possible to stay alive. 

Friend, that is why I am writing you today.

Let me say the most important thing first: you are not alone. You are not alone in your fear of yourself or your fears of tomorrow. You are not alone in your feelings—even when you feel that you’re drowning in them. You are not alone in your sadness. You are not alone—even when that seems to be the only thing that is true.

I’m going to repeat myself one more time: you are not alone.

And when I say that, I don’t mean that there are people who will always be there—because that’s not true. We both know that. The truth is that people, even the ones who love and are the most, will sometimes miss what’s going on. The truth is that your Maker, your God, your Abba, God Almighty, He will never leave you. He promises.

I used to think that God cared about everything—but He would turn His ears off when a suicidal thought crossed my brain. I thought He would be disappointed or mad at me for not wanting to live anymore. I thought He’d stop listening to my prayers, because that's definitely what it felt like. I honestly believed that my hopelessness was too much for the One who made me, the One that gave me this heavy heart and seemingly broken brain. Amidst everything else that depression had convinced me of, it began to scream, “You’re too far gone for God’s love! He can’t save you from this.” And my brain faded into the gray, my suicidal thoughts grew louder, and I believed no one would miss me when I was gone.

And it was all a lie.

But, here’s the Truth, for you and me and everyone else—

“God is greater than our heart and He knows everything.”
1 John 3:20

“The Lord is near the broken hearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:18

“For everyone who has been born of God has overcome the world. And this is the victory that has overcome—our faith.” 1 John 5:4

“In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loves us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, not angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers , no height nor depth, nor anything else in all Creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:37-39

“And you will know the truth and the truth will set you free… So if the son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” John 8:32, 36

“When Jesus had received the sour win, He said, ‘It is finished’ and He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.”
John 19:30

This scripture, this God breathed truth, proves every lie that I believed about my depression wrong. According to His word, He gets everything I feel. He is never far from me. His word tells me that my faith makes me victorious over everything the world could throw at me. He tells me that nothing can ever stop Him from loving me or separate me from His love. He has set me free; this battle has already been won.

I will be the first to tell you that there is a difference in knowing what scripture says and believing it. Tonight, I am praying that that belief becomes second nature for the both of us.            

You are alive, friend. You are a miracle, a fighter, a inspiration.And your Maker is so proud of you.

Things will get better. Life will get easier. God will always be good. And remember: you are not alone.

 “We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame.” Romans 4:4-5

You are loved. Keep breathing. Your story is not over.

Your friend,
Ashton

If you or someone you know is struggling, please find help. Please have the conversation that could save your life or someone else's. 
The National Suicide Prevention Hotline is available 24/7 and their number is 1-800-273-8255. You can also use Crisis Text Line to be connected to a trained counselor by texting "Connect" to 741741. Go to twloha.com for more resources.