From Suicidal to Healing

From the age of 17-20, I was extremely suicidal. Most people were unaware of this because I hid my inner turmoil behind a big smile. But the pain was real and it eventually became more than I could bear….. but just when I was ready to throw in the towel, I had a profound God-encounter that fueled my broken heart with healing and hope.

Armored with newfound purpose, I finally began to speak of the trauma that I had been raised to be ashamed of. I spoke of how I had lost hope, but how my faith had brought me back to life. That is….. until my pastor called me into his office and said, “John, you can’t be talking about those things, or else the guys are going to think badly of you.”

I wish that I could tell you that I had ignored him. But sadly, I allowed his words to echo in my thoughts for the years that followed.
Part of me wishes that I could go back in time and backhand that man for making me feel so small.
Part of me wishes that I could go back in time and backhand myself for listening to him.
But the “me” that is now grounded in reality, understands that what was said to me that day was wrong.
Today, I give myself permission to feel.
Today, I give myself permission to grieve.
Today, I give myself permission to tell my story.
Today, I give myself permission to heal.
Today, I give myself permission to be.

Today, I pray that you give yourself permission too.

Unapologetically yours,

John Eli
𝘊𝘰𝘢𝘤𝘩 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘏𝘶𝘮𝘢𝘯𝘴
⁣⁣⁣⁣[𝐁𝐃²] • 𝐁𝐞 • 𝐃𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐦 • 𝐁𝐞𝐥𝐢𝐞𝐯𝐞 • 𝐃𝐨 •⁣⁣⁣⁣

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9 Comments

  1. Thank you for having the courage to share this powerful testimony. I am sure that it will give the people who read it hope…. never be ashamed of your story, it’s a part of who you are. God gives us beauty for ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of heaviness and you are a living testimony of that. God bless you abundantly my brother 🙏

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow. I’m sorry that happened to you. Sometimes I think every pastor or counselor should have a disclaimer on their door:
    “Caution: The person working here is a human being. Not every opinion coming from said person should be assumed to be 100% reliable. For all advice on life, read your manual (Bible) regularly.”

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I have so many thoughts about how the church, and society, should handle trauma. I’m a former pastor (still ordained) with a MS in Psychology and I’m about a year away from completing my MS in Counseling. I may sound like a heretic, but I don’t believe that reading the bible alone will bring healing to a traumatic wound. I do believe that healthy community will. In like manner, I believe that healthy Christian community is restorative and does not cause additional harm.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I agree, but if someone advocates or counsels me to do something contrary to Scripture, however well-meaning, I believe I have to go with what Scripture tells me. (And Scripture tells us we need one another in many different capacities.)

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for sharing this testimony. Too many churches and pastors do not know how to deal with issues of mental health, suicide (some only “know” that you are absolutely doomed to hell if you succeed), trauma, etc. The Body of Christ should be a place where we can bring everything that binds us so that we can find healing and freedom.
    A lot of us have these issues in our past and need to experience God’s healing mercy through His people.

    Liked by 1 person

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