Suicide is an all too common reality in the military community. In this week’s Monday Minute, Ashley bravely shares how God revealed his reality in her lowest moments to help her overcome suicide’s temptation.
Suicide: God’s Reality in Our Lowest Moments
by Ashley Saulnier
After one of my own Soldiers committed suicide, the morale within our unit sank to its lowest.
As a brand new 2LT, on my first deployment and as a leader, I became entangled with anger, watching his suicide take its toll in my unit. But not only was it taking a toll on my Soldiers, it was taking its toll on me. Emotional upheaval. Anger. Sadness. Confusion. Loneliness. These are some of the emotions I felt when I began having my own suicidal thoughts, as I sat in a tent alone with my M4.
Do these sound like the emotions sound like they are from God? If they don’t come from God, then who put them in my head?
Suicide causes you to reflect because it doesn’t leave much else. And often the most common question is, “Why would God let this happen?” The why questions and the list of perpetrators to blame often seem endless. We must be careful how we reflect, though. When we are not in a God-focuses mindset, it can be easy to make God a scapegoat. But like every other temptation we face, God has a solution.
No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.
1 Corinthians 10:13
Suicide is a temptation.
We focus on how, when, and think nothing of the future, because we feel stuck in our circumstances. God spoke these words over me, “There’s more than this.” He is right. Our circumstances are not permanent, but God is. Our circumstances do not define us, but God does. And there is much more than what we see in our present. There is an eternity we will one day see, in God’s timing.
Unfortunately, suicide is an all too common reality in the military.
If we or someone we know falls into suicidal thoughts, how can we escape with God’s help?
- We must know God’s qualities. When we do, we know we will not be confused about what is truth and what isn’t. This can help us personally, as well as those around us who struggle.
- We must pray through these situations. God has not only left us the Bible, but he also gave us the Holy Spirit through Jesus Christ. We can now pray to God, plead our case, and attain his peace. He is a good God and will see us through all situations, good and bad.
God knows our situation; He will not judge us as if we had no difficulties to overcome. What matters is the sincerity and perseverance of our will to overcome them.
Let us look beyond our circumstances. Let us realize the truth of God. And let us realize His will for us, that it is good, He is good and we can rise up to any challenge and temptation with His aid. He is only waiting to help!
Pause Take a few minutes to breathe, quiet your mind and realize that God is bigger than all of your circumstances. He has orchestrated all of your circumstances and also will see you through them all.
Remember God is faithful. All over the Bible, he orchestrates circumstances that end up being for good. He is a good God and loves us. Even at our worst, even in our darkest moments, he is still present and will see us through.
Pray Do not stop being in communion with God. We have his Word and most of all, we can talk to him. God has an open door policy and it’s open 24/7. Let us come to him in all circumstances so that we may be rejuvenated, healed, and know his love.
Father, thank you for always chasing after us, even when we don’t seek you. You really are the good shepherd who even though he has 99 more, still chases after the one lost sheep. Thank you for your faithfulness, love and mercy. You care for us at our worst and you bring all peace and comfort in all things. Help me to remember and pray to you so I can become closer to you, knowing you’ll never leave me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
If you or someone you love is struggling with suicidal thoughts, get help. Call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255). For more information you can also visit the Military One Source Resources Page for mental health and suicide prevention. Additionally, our Prayer team would be honored to pray for you. Submit your confidential requests here.