As I read the story for day 6 of the GFA challenge "Engulfed by Shame", I was reminded of an old saying: 'you can't judge a book by its cover'. How often do we read a news report about a terrible crime, and as family, friends, co-workers or neighbors are interviewed the common response is "I can't believe it", or "he was such a nice, friendly, helpful guy" or "I could never imagine her doing something like that."
Sometimes things are not what they seem on the outside. We see a couple in church or in the supermarket, and wish that our marriages could be that perfect, until the next week when we hear that one of them has filed for divorce. Or you laugh with the ever-smiling cashier at your favorite restaurant on Sunday and when you return on Thursday for 'date night' are stunned to hear that she took a bottle of pills and no one found her until it was too late.
Sometimes life gets overwhelming, and one of the hardest parts of all is maintaining that look that says 'everything is all right', but it's not really all right, alright, or even semi-okay. We feel discouraged, hopeless and helpless, and are ashamed to let anybody know. We are simply
Everyone has their own preferred way to deal with those feelings, and many of them involve poor choices: binge drinking, drug abuse, overeating (pigging out on Doritos, icecream and/or M&Ms is one of my favorites) sexual acting out, or even some criminal activity. Unfortunately, as we keep reading in the papers suicide is also a preferred way to deal with the combination of those negative feelings, and the shame of the poor choices that are made when it seems that there's no one there.
Face it, most of us have known someone who attempted or committed suicide. And I imagine that if you haven't been there there's no way you can know what people are thinking or feeling as they get to the point where it seems that death is the best option. Survivors are left to imagine what they should have seen, should have said, should have done. Sometimes we have a second chance. And that's what happened to Saachi.
Saachi had the perfect life, or so it seemed, and then everything fell apart when her husband started acting differently, started beating her, wouldn’t even give her enough money to buy food for their children. The truth finally came out that he was having an affair, he left her, she worked, and along the way made some poor choices, choices that left her engulfed in shame.
She made a suicide attempt, a very serious one, and during her stay in the hospital, she met Jabeen, a GFA sponsored woman missionary. Because she met Jabeen and heard her story Saachi was able to make some better choices, including reconnecting with church and accepting Jesus as her savior.
God wants all people and peoples to return to him, to come to him, but sometimes we have to be at a dark place in our lives before we're willing to hear the message. My prayer for all who read this today is that instead of listening to the lies of Satan and of the world, you will listen to God, a loving God who loves you with a love deeper than you can imagine.