Guest Post by Haley Berg – she is an absolute delight! I met Haley 3 years ago when I was working for our former church. Haley and her husband were our small group leaders for about 2 years and it has been a joy growing in faith together. I have never met anyone with as much charisma and energy as Haley. I am so thankful to call her a friend.
Warning: This post takes on a very honest look at suicide and how it can effect others. I understand that this is a sensitive topic. Please read on with an open mind and prayerful heart.
Success is a term that I always considered to be positive. This word took on a new meaning a few weeks ago when a police officer told me that my friend was not successful in her suicide.
My friend is alive by the grace of God. In my mind, it’s a success that she is alive. In her mind this is a failure. She perceived it a failure that she has to stay on this earth a bit longer. But I know that God has a purpose for her.
Suicide is one of those terms that is empty until it happens to someone close to you, then it fades until another attempt and then it gets raw again. These attempts are a cry for help. And a successful suicide can effect so many people surrounding the person who tries to take their life.
Why, how, who, where? We had so many questions.
Grief and fear gripped my heart as I sat at this friends house in prayer, waiting for police to find her body. Thankfully, she was still alive, but barely. At that point all the answers didn’t matter, she was safe.
No one can fully understand how mental illness effects each person. We all get to put as many pieces together as we can and yet nothing takes away the pain. Despite our pain and attempt to control, God commands us to follow His Word.
In some ways I am thankful that I can move on with confidence that God is in charge. I am only human and only He knows the plans for my friend. Mental illness and depression is common and I pray things change so that more people get help sooner. I also pray that God breaks through the darkness to let His light shine to those in need.
Note from Mara: In 2004, I attended one of the most difficult funerals for a friend that was, unfortunately, “successful” at her suicide. She was 19. If you or someone that you know needs help, remember that it’s never too late and, above all, that God loves you.
About the Guest Writer: Haley Berg is happily married to her husband, Martin, and raising their 4 children in Northeast Wisconsin. When she’s not at dance, soccer, choir concerts or bible study, you can find Haley praising God in everything she does and living life to the fullest. She loves art and celebrating God’s blessings in all things.