By Lisa Copen, this is a reprint from http://thinkingaboutsuicide.com where Lisa is a contributor. The web site is a good place to turn during those rough days to help you remember that God cares about you and is here beside you even when you don’t feel like it.
Have you ever wondered where God is when no one seems to hold your hand through those tough times? When you cope with health problems, you hold on and fight to stay positive, but there are days when you can easily wonder, “Why bother living when I am facing a serious infection without a hand to hold?”
It was the seventh day of being hospitalized with the flesh eating bacteria and I felt so alone. The couple of people who had visited were friends my husband had emailed or called and pleaded that they stop by to say hello, since the original announcement of my hospitalization had not resulted in any visitors or calls.
Sitting there feeling so alone, I refused to cry. If I started, I knew the tears wouldn’t stop. My husband had to work. My mom was flying to town to help once I was released from the hospital, but now I had to have the big, painful procedure of debriding the dead skin that had turned black on my ankle.
I may live with painful rheumatoid arthritis daily, but the truth is, I am a wimp when it comes to painful procedures where I have no control over someone else’s actions.
The nurse came in and helped the surgeon prepare, and then she grabbed my hand. “I know it is scary, honey, but I am not going anywhere. I will be here the entire time and hold your hand. Squeeze if hurts. Just pretend I am your mom.”
I squeezed when the pain of the procedure became unbearable and tears flowed down my cheeks without a sound, but having that hand to hold made the difference.
So often we feel like life is just not worth living anymore and it is not unusual when you are dealing with a serious infection or illness to have suicidal thoughts. If we have to go through the tough times alone, and the people who know us and love us cannot even be there, why bother hanging on? When you love with daily chronic pain and then additional infections threaten to take your life, why not just give in and end the pain?
Because someone will hold your hand. Pray for a hand to hold, whether it be a stranger or a best friend. In Genesis 21:17, 18 we read that when the fourteen-year-old Ishmael cried, God heard him and sent His angel to tell his mother, “Do not be afraid; God has heard the boy crying as he lies there. Lift the boy up and take him by the hand. . .”
And those times when no one appears? God is there to hold your hand.
When you see someone who is hurting, ask them if you can take their hand in some way. You may find purpose in your life today by just holding the door open for one who is struggling, taking a box into the post office for one who is in need. Lift someone up by taking your hand and offering it to someone in need. You may never know the difference you have made. They may have been wondering that very day, “Why bother living?” and you have let them know there is hope.
This song below, “Hold Her Hands,” is written by Carolynn Grace who shares, “I wrote this song about a close friend of mine who went through a stage of depression, but God pulled her through. He is always faithful and his love never fails.”
Lisa Copen has lived with rheumatoid arthritis for nineteen years, and has found purpose in her pain by reaching out to others with chronic illness through her organization that serves those with chronic illness or pain through daily devotionals and other programs at Rest Ministries.