The God of Second Chances
"I sat on my kitchen floor and cried – I prepared to take my own life. My head was dark, but I looked for God again and started praying: “God, please. Help me see another way out."
Donna: My father was a minister who passed in 2000. After that, the struggles came. In a 5-year time span, I lost my oldest brother, many dear family members, my support network, my job and finally myself – lost in a world of depression that I still fight today. Rock bottom was reached when I began to believe God had abandoned me because of my faults. That thought was too much. After all, if God did not want me, what value was I to anyone else? One day in 2015, I sat on my kitchen floor and cried – I prepared to take my own life. My head was dark, but I looked for God again and started praying: “God, please. Help me see another way out.” For a few short seconds, my head completely cleared. I ran from my house and into a crisis intervention center – ending with a voluntary stay in the hospital. I cried until puddles of tears formed on the floor, not because of embarrassment, but because I finally found the strength to reach out, and because I knew it was God who intervened to show me another way. One year later, I quit a small chemistry job and entered seminary. God led me to the help I needed, and now was leading me to help others.
Tragically, one year ago, my twin brother took his own life in the same manner I had planned. He left behind four children and a devastated family. I wanted to quit seminary. It felt hypocritical to study pastoral care when I couldn’t even be there for my twin. But God intervened again. I found a network of support and am still in school. I may need help for a long time to come, but my wounds are slowly healing. I feel in my heart that all the hurt may show a bigger purpose. My passion and drive is to help others before they begin to feel worthless, broken, or outcast. Everyone is a gift from God, but the word stigma stings and weakens the soul. Too many feel alone, ashamed, and afraid to reach for help. I was in that darkness, but now freely share my story and testimony hoping that someone then knows they do not have to fight alone. The weakest point in my life, when I was prepared to take it, has become a second chance.
I saw myself as irreparably wounded and worthless. Learning to ask God for help instead of casting blame on Him freed me to believe in a future. God did not abandon me, but called me to listen, be still, and open my eyes. Now I see hope in where the journey of mending may lead me.
"The weakest point in my life, when I was prepared to take it, has become a second chance."
Depression is a battle. Sometimes it is compounded by circumstances, loss or tragedy. What factors contributed to Donna’s battle? What made the difference in her life and gave her a second chance?
Are you struggling today? If so, can you identify what has contributed to your struggle? Can you see God bringing hope into your life?
“I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” -John 16:33
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