I have considered writing this blog more than once. I have always chickened out, because there are some things that I would rather that people don’t know about me. The thing is though; God used some of those things to show me how He is real. In my weakness, He is strong. So here goes.
I would rather that people don’t know that I tried to take my own life multiple times. I had a very unconventional and difficult childhood, and I was a very unhappy girl when I was a teenager. When I was a freshman in high school, my dad was getting his second divorce. He wasn’t in a good place emotionally, and that was rubbing off on me. I gained 40 pounds over the course of a few months through unhealthy emotional eating, and then I got the flu, which gradually morphed into something like Bulimia. I sometimes vomit as a stress response, and I somehow started throwing up every time I ate. I never tried to gag myself or throw up on purpose. It just started happening. I didn’t want to, and I couldn’t stop it. I lost 30 pounds in 15 days. In a month, I had lost almost 50. I was sick. The thing is that when chubby people lose weight, no one suspects an eating disorder. Despite how pale and unhealthy I looked to myself, everybody just said “oh, you are losing weight. Good for you.” I didn’t want to lose weight. I just wanted to stop vomiting. I was afraid to tell anyone because I thought they would assume I had brought this on myself by inducing it, since I was overweight. I was scared, and very unhappy.
I decided one day that dying would be better than living. I know how to use a gun, so I got a pistol and loaded it. I turned off the safety. I put it to my head. My hand had what seemed like a violent spasm, and the gun flew across the room. I felt so incredibly frustrated. Couldn’t I even kill myself properly? I tried again and again. I tried my other hand. Regardless of which one I used, it would jerk back and the gun would fly across the room. I finally gave up and collapsed onto the floor in an emotional wreck. All I wanted was to die, and I couldn’t even have that. I felt so angry at everything. I was angry at life. I was angry at my parents for bringing me into this world. I was angry at whatever kept stopping me from killing myself. As my mind hit that thought, I heard a voice say “It was me” It wasn’t my voice. I wasn’t even sure it was a real voice. I heard it again. I was angry at this voice. So angry. I sat in the middle of my bedroom carpet and yelled “why? Why can’t I just end it? I don’t want to be here. I don’t want to live.” And I cried. I heard my own voice saying that I just needed a safe place. I needed to be held and reassured. I didn’t understand why I couldn’t have that. (There have been times in my life when my dad provided that for me, but my teenage years weren’t one of them)
I lay down on the floor and cried myself to sleep. I don’t know how long I lay there, but when I woke up I had the most amazing experience of my life. I gradually became aware of what felt like huge warm arms surrounding me. I felt a warm chest beneath my whole body. It was like I was a small child being cradled against an adult. I heard a loud heartbeat aside from my own. I felt warm and surrounded by the most profound feeling of hope and peace that I have ever experienced. My heart knew immediately that I was being cradled against God’s chest. It knew then that His was the voice saying “it was me”. I tried to question this, being the rational and cynical person that I am. But I couldn’t. It was a knowing that is beyond doubt. I knew at that moment that God is real. God loves me. God has a plan for me. In spite of all the difficult things in my life, there was someone who would be my safe place. There was someone who loved me and who was there.
I began to cry again, but this time it wasn’t in anger. These tears were healing. I became aware of the greatness of God’s love for me. I understood that even though my life was difficult at the time, there would years that were better. I understood that it wasn’t God’s will for me to end my life. I promised him that day that I never would try to do that again.
That was 9 years ago. It was an experience that I will never forget. It altered the way I see the world. It altered my reality. It made God real to me in a way that I cannot question. He was tangible. I felt Him. I heard him. My heart knew his presence. I know that he is real in the same way I know that trees are real, and grass is real, and I am real. God intervened in my life to the point where he physically removed my freewill for a period of time. I know a lot of people teach that God doesn’t ever interfere with free will, but for me, he did. “I will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.” I was tempted beyond what I could bear. God intervened. That verse holds true for me, but not in the way that many people interpret it. I think that the very nature of this life is overwhelming, and we are often tempted beyond what we can bear, but God is with us, and he intervenes. The verse is not a promise of a happy or easy life. It is not a promise to spare us from desperation and overwhelming pain. It is simply a promise to be there with us and provide for us when we are unable to help ourselves. For me at least, it is also a promise to intervene even with my freewill at times.
It has been a wonderfully fulfilling experience to see some of the reasons why God kept me here over the last nine years. Since that day, I knew I had a purpose for living. There are days where I don’t see any of it clearly, but there are others where I just know that an experience or a specific moment was one of the reasons I was put on earth. I have learned in the last few years that life also holds seasons of joy. This is something I didn’t experience as a child, and it has also altered my perspective in a very positive way.
The bible tells us we should be ready with an answer if anyone asks us what is the reason for what we believe in. This is my answer: I believe in God because he was there for me when no one else was. I believe in God because he literally saved my life. I believe in God because I have felt Him, and heard Him. I believe in God because I know Him. I believe in God because he is real.