Yesterday was the tenth anniversary of the day my late husband chose to walk out of his pain and end his life.  This was the day I started another journey of incomprehensible pain and suffering. The day I didn’t know what my future could or would look like. It was the start of a journey of torment, pain and unbelievable darkness.  I hear so much about how a person is struggling with pain and how we need to understand their need to leave.  They claim the pain is too much to bear and they just can’t muster up the strength to go on.  I struggle with this because the burden of the pain then falls on the shoulders of the loved ones that are left behind.  The black abyss I was left in was impossible for me to climb out of on my own.
 Today I was meditating on what it means to leave a legacy. The dictionary would define Legacy as a gift or a bequest, that is handed down, endowed or conveyed from one person to another. It is something descendible one comes into possession of that is transmitted, inherited or received from a predecessor. We are on this earth for a short time.  Everything we say and do affects others.  Good or bad it has an impact that transcends into future generations.
My late husband was the son of a WWII veteran who suffered the wounds of war. What we call PTSD today.  His mother suffered from depression.  My husband spent many years of his life suffering the wounds of abuse, rejection and a hardened heart. He never found it within himself to forgive those that had deeply hurt him. He battled his own depression. In the end, he lost his battle and the legacy he left his family was suicide.
Suicide is growing in our military and youth at an alarming rate.  My heart grieves every time I hear of another person taking their life.
I have spent many years ministering to our military veterans from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.  Although I can never begin to understand what they experience in the war zone or all the baggage and pain they bring home, I can see into their hearts and clearly see the battle.  Their struggle is real.
There are many programs, non-profits, and professionals who have stepped up to the plate to try and help.  Those who win the battle are the ones who surrender their hearts to the God above, the only one who can heal their wounds.  The One who sent His son Jesus Christ to fight the battle for us.
Our lives are in his hands, and he keeps our feet from stumbling.
You have tested us, O God; you have purified us like silver.
You captured us in your net and laid the burden of slavery on our backs.
Then you put a leader over us. We went through fire and flood, but you brought us to a place of great abundance.
Psalm 66:9-12 NLT
I chose a different route out of my darkness. Like the author of this Psalm,  I trusted the God above to fight my battle. I put my life in His hands.  It hasn’t been easy and it has been a long battle.  I have lost friends along the way but God has given me many more friends and family to come alongside me. A Godly husband who chose to step into this journey with me.  Slowly and surely the light overcame the darkness.  It always does.  You see the true light is from God.  God is true and we can stand on that truth.  I stood on that truth and He brought me through to victory.  In that victory, He taught me to forgive and when I found that forgiveness he gave me a new heart and new beginnings. He kept my feet from stumbling, He purified me like silver and gave me a new legacy for my family.  A legacy of truth, love, and joy.
Come and listen, all you who fear God,
and I will tell you what he did for me.
For I cried out to him for help,
praising him as I spoke.
If I had not confessed the sin in my heart,
the Lord would not have listened.
But God did listen! 
Psalm 66:16-19
Statistics show that suicide is much higher during the Holiday season. They also say a child of a parent who commits suicide is three times more likely to take their life.   It is so important that we be the “light in the darkness” for those who are struggling.  If you know someone who is having difficulties take the time to reach out to them. You never know you may save a life. #suicide

4 thoughts on “Legacy

  1. I stand in awe before God as I watch Him work through you and the suffering and pain you surrendered to Him. You bring a hope the world cannot offer and evidence of what God can and will do for anyone who will call on His name. He has kept His Word to you, He has given you hinds feet and caused you to stand. He has brought you up from the valley and made you able to go down and help others travel up that path to restoration, light and freedom in Christ.

  2. Wonderful message & beautiful words – thanks for clearly writing this essay for all of us to ponder & process. You have a God-given gift.

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