I want to answer the celebrity suicide question that so many are struggling with: "If a celebrity such as Kate Spade, Anthony Bourdain or Robin Williams should kill themselves, why shouldn't I?"
Here's my answer, an answer I would have loved to have shared with our recently departed friends.
Depression is like a living monster built on lies that parade through your mind, lies built for one purpose, to steal, kill and destroy the wonderful person you are. Dr. Keith Abow, a psychiatrist who has dealt with many who entertained this monster, said in an article that addressed Robin Williams, "I would have told you to fight against the invader with everything and every resource, without pride. Deploy every weapon. And because the truth is the mortal enemy of every lie, I would have told you to get to an emergency room or call a suicide hotline or 911 and tell someone the absolute truth about all the dark thoughts you were having—yes, even the one about leaving the planet. Especially that one. Because that one is the big lie implanted in your mind by the Godforsaken charlatan, scum, named major depression. Your enemy. And mine."
I applaud Dr. Abow's wise words, but I'd like to continue to shine truth on the lies that come with depression. The idea that you should kill yourself is from the pit of hell. We know Satan has come to steal, kill and destroy the very ones God has gifted with the most purpose and potential. First, he blinds them to their future and hope; then he whispers lies into their hearts about how the world would be better off without them, and only death will stop their pain.
If you are hearing such lies, do not believe them.
If I could have said one thing to Kate or Anthony or Robin prior to their deaths, I would have told them, "You are loved not only by God, but you have also brought joy to many. If you choose to live, not only will you continue to bring joy to others, but you will find happier moments yourself. Plus, you can find God's peace here in this world."
The sad truth is that many will be influenced by these celebrity suicides and will choose suicide as well. Kate, Anthony and Robin could have chosen life and in time, walked out of their depression. They might even have experienced God-given purpose as well as love, joy and even peace. Sure, in continuing life, these dear souls may have struggled from time to time, but much could have been done to manage their depression, and they could have lived out their lives in peace and even joy. The problems these celebrities may have struggled with such as self-loathing, financial woes, fear of the future, loss of relationships or even mental illness could have been survived or even carried by Jesus himself.
If these celebrities had only trusted in the God who loved them; if they had pushed back against their depression, even one more time. If they had called 911 or gone to the emergency room, they could have lived through the darkness to find life once again.
Kate, Anthony and Robin are gone, but you are here, and I'd like to say that if you are depressed, you can fight back. You can recognize the lies of depression, which may be trying to coax you into a tragic decision that will not only hurt you but those who love you. Don't do anything rash while you are in the depth of your hurt or despair. Live, so you can have a hope and a future.
As the word says in Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT), "'For I know the plans I have for you,' says the Lord. 'They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.'"
You do not have to give into the temptation of death. You can choose to live. Just as the Lord told his people,
"I call heaven and earth to witnesses against you this day, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live" (Deut. 30:19).
Live! God loves you and will get you through the darkness.
Please pray with me:
I come to You with my depression and thoughts of suicide. I break the spirit of suicide off of myself in the name of Jesus and in the power of His blood. If Satan has sent his lackeys to pepper me with thoughts of suicide, I say—you must be quiet! You may not speak to me again—in Jesus' name!
I declare that I will live because God has plans for me. Plans for good and not for disaster, to give me a future and a hope.
I declare that this day, I choose life and blessings so that my children and I may live.
Also, Lord, I ask that You heal the grief and trauma of my wounded heart and exchange my pain for Your peace, love and joy. I ask that You, Lord, carry my burdens so I may have Your peace.
I pray this in the powerful name and through the blood of Jesus Christ my Savior!
If you would like to know more about God's love for you, go to: GodTest.com
Linda Evans Shepherd is the author of The God You Need to Know; Discover His Story, Experience His Love, a book that recently hit No. 1 on Amazon in several categories.
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