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  • sjwright2worship

OUT OF THE DARKNESS


Suicide is one of the leading causes of death in the United States.

It is one of those "silent killers" but not because we don't have the resources to help fight it. Because there is such a stigma attached to it that we allow it to kill.


***Before I go further - if you are currently struggling, you can anonymously reach out via text to 988 and get help.


In 2021, the statistics worked out to equal this:

1 person dies from suicide every 11 minutes.

You might think that this is a teenage-focused "problem".

You might be surprised to know that the highest rate of suicide falls in the age group of 85 years and older. (cdc.gov link)


It isn't a popular topic in Church. I believe that there are a couple reasons for this.

Here are the reasons I believe that this is avoided:


1. We don't know how to talk about what we don't understand.

Mental illnesses, including depression and illnesses often resulting in self-harm or suicide are so very INDIVIDUALIZED. There is no "one size fits all" definition. This can make it hard to relate well enough to feel adequate in talking about the subject.


2. We don't understand what the Bible says.

I think our focus is typically one of hope, which is good and it should be our main focus. However, there are many instances in the Word of God where different people have struggled with what we refer to in present day as "mental illnesses".

David was depressed. Elijah was suicidal. Hannah struggled with being bullied and an eating disorder stemming from that. Jesus was sorrowful and deeply distressed and, before He was taken to be crucified, He experienced great anxiety. The King of Kings felt our sadness and anxiety.

The Bible wasn't shy in talking about it - neither should you be.


3. We don't want to be caught in the delicate position where the physical and the spiritual collide.

This seems hard but it doesn't have to be.

We don't want to be held accountable for our words because we can sometimes be afraid of saying the wrong thing. That is why it is so important to be ready with wisdom.

There is a balance between the physical and the spiritual and the emotional and the mental. We need to acknowledge that ALL come into play when addressing anything - not just mental health. You can take any subject and break it down into those 4 categories Biblically, knowing that each, then, must be tapped into.

4. A lot of Pastors still think that it doesn't apply to enough of their congregation to be meaningful to talk about.


I promise you that one single life is meaningful enough.

Especially for so many Churches that are online now and available with their sermons online... you have no idea who is listening.


Pastors - here's what we're facing in this fallen world:

* Mental illnesses -

~ Depression Anxiety ~ Major Depressive Disorder ~ Bipolar ~ Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) ~ Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) ~ Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) ~ Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) ~ and many more battles



YOU CAN HELP in the fight.

  • RESEARCH what you don't know about.

  • STOP BEING AFRAID to reach into the "uncomfortable" to grab someone's hand.

  • IT IS OKAY TO NOT HAVE ALL THE ANSWERS! Some people just need to know that you care enough to talk about it. Let people know that your Church is there for the darkest times.

  • PRAY and PRAY MORE. Prayer against the attacks against our minds is the first and most vital of steps! Prayer can move mountains. It can help you minister to others. It can open doors. It can squelsh the arrows flying at the sheep you are entrusted to Shepherd.

  • THIS IS NOT JUST FOR PASTORS and TEACHERS.

If you are reading this - you can help.

Most everyone is on social media. Post something simple that says, "I am aware that mental illness is real. If you need help, please dial 988. Don't fight alone. Reach out to your Church. Reach out to a friend. YOU ARE NOT A BURDEN."

Be one of the ones who holds up a candle in the darkness for someone to find their way out.


A study was done not long ago and it stated these facts about Churches:

49% of Pastors say they rarely or never speak to their congregation about mental illness.

65% of Churchgoing family members of those with mental illness want their Church to talk openly about mental illness.

76% of Churchgoers say that suicide is a problem that needs to be addressed in their community.

4% of Churchgoers who lost a loved one to suicide say Church leaders were aware of their loved one's struggles.



"If there's ONE PLACE on planet earth that it should be okay to not be okay - it's the Church. If there's ONE PLACE where we shouldn't have to hide or pretend that we're better than we actually are - it's the church. And I would argue that the best place to bring ALL OF OUR PAIN our ANXIETY our GRIEF is the foot of the cross. We don't have to pretend to have it all together - to be doing better than we actually are."

- Pastor Ian Simkins, The Bridge Church



On October 14th, I and my two teens are walking for awareness in Derby, Kansas from 9-11am.
Just 2 hours of time.
You can privately support us via the link below or even join us (while they are trying to raise awareness and funds, the walk is free because one of the goals is to end the ignoring).
Know that you matter. Know that there are resources. Know that you can make a difference.

Sending you love and awareness,

Sarah Jane

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