“Love or Fear”
Most Saturday mornings you can find me at Starbucks. No, I’m not there writing. Instead, I’m most likely deep in discussion with my good friend Nick.
We meet weekly to share our lives and encourage one another. This past weekend he shared a story with me about a pastor name Louie Giglio whose ministry deals with young people dealing with anxiety and depression.
This particular pastor had his own bout with anxiety and set out to encourage those going through the same struggles. His ministry is credited with saving many young people from committing the darkest of acts–taking their own lives.
Over the last summer there was a wave of high profile suicides in the news. It’s hard to understand how seemingly successful people like Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade could take their own lives. It seems like there are more and more of these types of stories. Maybe it’s because, in fact, the suicide rate has increased 28% since 2001.
How can folks get into the mindset where this type of act is even a possibility?
Sometimes you just can’t see a way out of your situation.
2009 was a very tough year for me. I had purchased a small cabinet manufacturing business in the spring of 2007 and 15 months later a financial crisis hit the country.
My real estate business and my new cabinet business were devastated. At the time, I had four full time employees and income from both companies was slashed overnight. I had no idea how I was going pay my bills or how I was going to pay my employees.
One of those employees was my older sister who helped run both businesses. One day I walked in and said, “Veronica, I feel like I could just fall over dead.”
I meant it. She knew I meant it. I felt like my body was just going to give out. The stress was too much. I just wanted the pain to go away. Truly, I couldn’t see past my circumstances.
Although I just wanted to get out of the situation, I never considered taking my own life, but, in those dark moments, I got a glimpse of how someone could be seduced by the idea.
Something had to give, the pain just seemed too much to handle. Failure was at hand and many of the people I loved were going to be hurt. It was almost like watching a wreck in slow motion. I knew the crash was coming.
Ultimately, my choice was to focus on love or fear. My love for my family overrode any fear of what was about to come. Their well being overrode the pain I was experiencing, so I made the decision to keep moving forward, despite the impending doom.
Love or Fear. These are the two filters with which to view our circumstances. Choosing one produces hope and faith and infinite possibilities. The other produces anxiety and depression and sure destruction.
One is authored by the Creator of life and the other comes from the father of lies.
The father of lies tells a particularly evil lie to folks in the midst of depression–your life doesn’t matter.
He’s wrong. He’s a liar.
Your life matters to everyone who knows you. Your life also matters to those who need a friend.
If you know someone who is going through something difficult try sharing with them something Nick shared with me this Saturday. It’s just three words, but these just three words can make all of the difference.
I’m with you.