Happy New Year Blessings!

Exodus 40:34-38:

Then the cloud covered the Tabernacle, and the glory of the Lord filled the Tabernacle. Moses could no longer enter the Tabernacle because the cloud had settled down over it, and the glory of the Lord filled the Tabernacle. Now whenever the cloud lifted from the Tabernacle, the people of Israel would set out on their journey, following it. But if the cloud did not rise, they remained where they were until it lifted. The cloud of the Lord hovered over the Tabernacle during the day, and at night fire glowed inside the cloud so the whole family of Israel could see it. This continued throughout all their journeys.”

Suicide.  We read about it, know people who have tragically succumbed to it, and some of us have contemplated it.  You may be wondering why I chose this grim subject for a Happy New Year message.

On this day—January 3rd—some years ago, I intended to take my life.  One week prior, my home was broken into during the wee hours of the morning.  What transpired during the break-in resulted in post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

In Romans 8:28 we read: God uses all things for good in the lives of those He loves and those who are called according to His purpose for them. 

And He did.  God used the life-altering invasion for life-altering-good. 

A week after becoming a victim—victim—a word I had never before used to describe myself, I was overwhelmingly consumed by fear.  I was traumatized to the point of taking my life rather than existing in a world of harmful people.  

I slipped into a suicidal state very quickly.  I was conclusively and irrationally convinced it was the only solution for my fears.  Though my thinking seemed rational, it wasn’t.  But suicidal thoughts aren’t known to be rational.

I tearfully told my loving sister my intent.  She was my champion—my support—my lifeline.  I couldn’t let her suffer torturous thoughts of missing warning signs or possibly even causing my decision.  I wanted her to know she’d always been a supportive and devoted sister.  

God had another plan.  Within a few short minutes my sister held my hands and led me to Christ.  Instantaneously I was like the Tabernacle.  The cloud of the Lord covered me and the glory of the Lord filled me.  I was transformed from hope-less victim to hope-filled victor.

I’m not saying I was jubilant—rather, I was redirected, strengthened, and purposeful about keeping my eyes on Jesus.  There were many difficult moments after that day, but the thought of taking my life never resurfaced.  My almost life-ending-decision convinced me I couldn’t rely on my waning strength and faulty wisdom.  I had to depend on His strength and perfect wisdom.  The more I did, the stronger I got and the more sound my decision-making became.

I’ll be forever thankful for my sister saving my life, for God filling me with hope for a future, for memories I didn’t miss, for years of countless blessings and deep and meaningful relationships with family and friends.

Leviticus 16:2 tells us, God said to Moses, “…I myself am present in the cloud….”. Father, thank you for filling us with Your glory, as You did the cloud and the Tabernacle.  Thank you for leading the way and directing our paths.

If you or a friend is thinking about giving up, or is suffering from loss, grief, betrayal, illness or any other life-altering, joy-robbing circumstance, please hold up the white flag of surrender.  

Let His “cloud” direct your steps, and let Him fill you with His glory.  It’s not a Pollyanna-assurance of happiness, it’s a God assurance of His presence.  You’ll be amazed at what this year holds for you because He holds this year.  You won’t want to miss it and neither do I!  Let’s go!

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