Have you ever met someone that you fell in love with? I'm not talking about romantic love. I'm talking about someone who makes you smile when you are around them or just see a picture of them. That was Hannah.
Beautiful inside and out. She had a smile that would light up a room. She was no MY friend. but my daughter's friend. She was my daughter's mentor in a way. My daughter considered Hannah her best friend.
She was smart and funny. She was talented, playing saxophone next to my daughter. Hannah was a girl you knew had a bright future. I never heard an unkind word spoken about her not that she was not like. In a small Christian school, she was known by everyone.
From the outside, she was an amazing, like (loved), well adjusted girl. Learning to drive, going to dances, even entering the art exhibit at school. Yes, she could draw like someone who had studied art for years.
...Our world shattered.
I was at school one afternoon waiting on my child to finish practice, when I heard a scream outside the school on the other side of the street. Because I was on the opposite side of the street, I was not privy to what was going on. Not until the next morning. I couldn't bring myself at first to go to the school. But then I thought of all my band kids. I helped with band camp during the Summer each year. I considered several of these kids mine. I walked into the band room and was engulfed by emotions and also with kids. Hannah ended her life, almost six years ago.
During the following week, I had the opportunity to share my failed suicide attempts and the affect they had on my faith. Later in the week, I found out she had confided in my daughter her thoughts of suicide. My daughter made her promise not to do it. Hannah made her promise not to tell anyone of her thoughts. That was a lot of responsibility for a 14 year old, but she did not say a word until after Hannah died. I had to explain to my child that Hannah could not have kept her promise, if she wanted to die, she would keep trying until she either succeeded or got help. I also told her it was wrong of Hannah to make her promise not to tell anyone. If she had told, then possibly she could have gotten the help. But possibly would have still ended her sweet life. Tough position for a child.
Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary pain. Some people handle bullying better than others. I didn't handle the constant humiliation at the hands of one girl who had been my friend. Nor did I handle the shaming I experienced at home. I developed a defense mechanism that is till in place, never allowing others into close. But God doesn't want that for us. The relationships we have in life influence our relationship with God. It should be the other way around, but that isn't the case sometimes.
Others hold us accountable for our behaviors; God holds us accountable in scripture. The joy of fellowship is a reflection f the joy we can feel when we are in fellowship with God. Psalm 37:4 "Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of you heart." When we look deep down, we all want the same thing...love (to be loved), accepted and valued (needed). By spending time with the Lord in scripture, prayer and worship, we find joy, peace and love. But we also find HOPE.
Hope was hidden from Hannah that day in November. But God wasn't. I believe God was weeping with her. I believe God held her until He took her home. Our God understands more than we do. God wants to give us Jerimiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not evil, to give you a future and a hope." Welfare (health, happiness & fortunes), a future and a hope, those are what makes up God's plans. Hannah could not see those thing because of the darkness she felt trapped in. I have been where she was, I failed where she succeeded. I am here to help others understand suicide. God wants to give you a HOPE. Hope gives you a future.
Rest in the loving arms of your Savior, Hannah. "The Lord is near the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit."