Today a student at our local high school took his life. It happened at a park just off of school grounds. The school went on lock down. As a parent of two students in the district, I got a notice via text that the school was on lock down. Even though my children do not attend that school, in the back of my mind I was thinking back to Columbine, Sandy Hook: guns, angry children looking to relieve their pain by causing it. We have had a lot of teenage suicide in the region where I live. It feels isolated, though I know it isn’t. Suicide is like an infectious disease and I hate it. I hate it because I know the voices and the feelings. My heart breaks and my soul cries out when I hear someone has taken their life.
I am not a psychologist or counselor, just a person with experience. I truly believe that bullying, depression, and suicide is caused by a lack of value that makes it’s place in our minds and in our hearts. I want to yell over a loud speaker to bullies and the bullied, to the depressed and suicidal…”YOU HAVE VALUE!” It is my battle cry. We have value in good circumstances and bad circumstances. We have value that is not exchangeable, meaning no life is more valuable than another. We cannot lose value based on what others think or perceive about us. Just like security, personal value cannot be taken away. It is ours to keep for eternity. This is true because value comes from God. A God who knows us intimately. Who designed us intentionally. Who knows the number of hairs on our very head. A God who is loving, gentle, and kind. A God who is good.
Knowing my value has come through experiencing God’s love for me. It is a love that transforms. It changes you from the inside out. No human being can offer this kind of love. I often think of God’s love for me like a corset. The likeness is that His love is always there supporting me. I can feel it because it is tight, like a hug around me. It is always there whether I am near or far from him. Everlasting, no matter how I feel or what I do. Everlasting love is only divine, only from Father God.
God establishes our value through His Word. These words I hold dear to my heart. I hope they bless you as they have me.
- I am more precious than rubies (Proverbs 31:10).
- I am precious to Him, I am honored, and He loves me (Isaiah 43:4).
- He rejoices over me with gladness, he quiets me with His love, He exults over me with loud singing (Zephaniah 3:17).
- He cares more about me than the grasses of the field and the birds of the air (Luke 12:6-7).
- He loves me with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3).
As I finish this, I realize that one may read this and question why God would allow someone to take their own life. Why is there death? Why is there pain? I don’t have answers to those questions. I know God is always good. There is no darkness in him. Jesus lived life on Earth as God and man so that he could experience what we experience. He died for us so that we could know God (who is Jesus) and love Him. By knowing God and loving Him, we love in return because we experienced real love. Love is kind and gentle. Love is God. You are loved. You have value.