If you or someone you know are struggling with thoughts of suicide , please know you are not alone. If you are reading this, regardless of who you are, where you’ve been, or what you are facing, you don’t have to face it alone. Please call to speak to someone now toll free at 1-800-273-8255 or visit https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/chat/ to chat with someone online now.

As someone who has personally struggled with the thoughts of suicide, I know the pain and loneliness so many face each day can be overwhelming. Project: STOP is meant to serve as a resource to connect you with men and women who can help you during this difficult season of your life. As I look back at my own struggle, I can remember the devastation of thinking my life would never change, I’d always feel the pain and loneliness I faced then, but over 20 years later I am thankful that I stopped and got the help I desperately needed.

 The greatest transformation in my life came the moment that I began to understand that I have been created by a God who loves me and knows me. As someone who struggled through being abandoned by my own dad, abused by everyone who should have loved me, alone with no friends, I was almost convinced my life was pointless. As I sit here 20 years later, I pray you would hear this truth: before God created you in your mother’s womb, He knew you (Jeremiah 1:5). You are not a mistake. You are not an accident. Your life does matter and God created you for a purpose only you can fulfill.

Someone I loved used to say: “what a difference a day makes”. Today as I write this for you (trust that I wrote this with God knowing you would read it), I am a father of five wonderful children, married to my high school sweetheart, and living a life I couldn’t have even dreamed of once. All because of God’s great love and compassion for me… can I tell you something really really important? The same God loves you.

I can clearly remember someone I loved once destroying any self-esteem I had as he yelled: “you’ll never be anything but a trashman”. For so long I believed that lie and I worked tirelessly to prove him wrong. Has someone said something destructive to you like that? Even when something isn’t true, the hurt can find its way to the core of who we are. You know what? Even if I had become a trashman… my God still loves me in spite of what anyone else thinks. Guess what? He loves you too.

How much does God love you? Turns out… He is crazy about you. “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16 NLT) Think about this for just a moment… when the Bible says that “God loved the world…”, you and I are that “world”. If Jesus was speaking to me, He would say: “Daniel, God loved you so much He gave his one and only Son so if you would believe in him you would not perish but have eternal life.” You know what’s amazing? This promise is for you too. 

Fill in your name and read it aloud: “___________ (your name), God loved you so much He gave his one and only Son so if you would believe in him you would not perish but have eternal life.”

You might be saying… “ok, ok I get it Daniel… what’s your point?” Stop. You are so desperately loved that the Creator of the Universe knows your name. He knows the very number of hairs on your head! (Luke 12:7) You keep asking: “would anyone even miss me if I was gone?” The answer is YES. Even if you don’t think one single person in the world would miss you here, you are wrong. God created you to have an abundant life (John 10:10) in true freedom (John 8:36). So… how can you get free? Through Jesus, God’s only Son. (John 8:32)

Let me encourage you today… if you are struggling with thoughts of suicide, please reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255. You don’t have to face this alone. Don’t let pride keep you from making the call. As the old song goes… “we all need somebody to lean on”. 

After you make the call, I encourage you to know this truth: Jesus is calling. Right now in this moment the Son of God is calling out to you: Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28 NLT)

For additional resources, information and help about suicide please visit https://finds.life.church/can-overcome-suicidal-thoughts/.