Saturday, February 23, 2013

Jesus in the Room

When I was 15, I attempted suicide with 59 pills of ibuprofen.  I had just gotten in more trouble than I had ever been in before and to be honest, the thought of living scared me more than the thought of dying, and though I didn't know whether or not the amount I counted out would have what it took, I went to bed and decided to try and sleep. If I was lucky, I thought, I would die peacefully while I dreamed.  Things didn't go as planned.  Instead, after considering for what felt like hours that I might have made a mistake, I decided it would be a far worse fate to confess my error in judgment and the best decision at that point would be to let whatever happened happen.  Though I drifted off to sleep somewhere through the night, I woke up with abdominal pain so bad that death couldn't come soon enough.  However, I spent the remainder of the night and early morning fully alive in the fetal position as tears soaked my face and sheets.  It seemed I would have to face a new day, and though I can remember wishing then that the pills had worked, I'm so grateful today that they didn't.  It is one of various key times throughout my life that I know Jesus was in the room.

I suppose I could write on less uncomfortable topics, but I'm not here to cushion your couch.  I believe there are real life issues dealt with by people today in ways that just weren't on the map years ago, and by dodging the discomfort, we leave people's hearts and overall condition in a state of unnecessary brokenness.  While it's true that many of today's issues existed years ago as well, the scale on which they now exist has been grossly enlarged due to a number of factors such as what we eat, environmental pollutions, harmful radiations, increased stress, and the general misuse of the body.  As T.L. Cleave, author of a 1974 book called The Saccharine Disease, said: "The body is not built wrongly, but is being used wrongly," and had my own failed attempt at suicide been a success I wouldn't be here today, I wouldn't have my son, I wouldn't have married the most amazing man I know, and I wouldn't have come to know Jesus Christ on the level I have. I wouldn't have come to know Jesus in the room.

Though I don't recall praying specifically or talking to God that night, I know now beyond a shadow of a doubt that He was in the room with me, and throughout the course of my life, this was but only one instance when I know He was fighting for me to live when I had all but given up.  I have tempted death and flirted with disaster more times than I can count, but the result is an even greater awareness of my sweet Lord and Savior in the room.  Early on in my walk with Him, I used to plead with Him to just let me feel Him with me in the room.  I prayed, I cried, I talked, and I yelled, but it wasn't until I learned to just be still and listen that I finally looked through the window of my past to see the numerous other times He held my hand and stayed by my side. He was always in the room.

Today, I know He's in the room with me no matter where I am because my entire being is His beloved temple (1 Corinthians 6:19, 3:16; 2 Corinthians 6:16) and He is with me always (Matthew 28:20), but how precious it is to know that before I even knew Him, acknowledged Him, or loved Him, He was with me also then as He waited on me to invite Him in.  When I counted out the ibuprofen pills nearly 18 years ago, what was it that made me stop just short of 60? I remember counting them out and as I pulled the 60th pill over to my growing pile, I changed my mind and put it back thinking that surely 59 would be enough.  What was that?  It was Jesus in the room.  Or, what about the flipping car I was in at the age of 15?  Though my seat belt remained unfastened, my body had remained mostly in place by the time it landed upright.  What was that?  It was Jesus in the car.  Or, the time in college when yet another nearly life claiming accident found me seat belt free, bloody, injured, and unconscious, but alive nonetheless - it was Jesus in the passenger side seat who took the brunt of the impact for me.  Or, what about the time in college when I literally had an out of body experience and saw myself unconscious while people surrounded me, yelling for me to breathe.  Again, Jesus was in the room and I soon took another breath. The list goes on, and though He now lives within me, I know He has also always been in the room beside me.

What are you going though today that leaves you wondering where Jesus is?  A messy divorce?  The loss of a loved one?  An addiction or seemingly impossible recovery?  What about your health?  Have you received a terminal diagnosis and lost sight of all hope?  Has the stress of every day life finally taken its toll and made you want to give up?  Are you so far in debt that you don't believe you'll ever be free?  Whatever it is, and whether you know it or not, He's in the room with you, but if your heart is hardened to Him as mine once was then you'll go the rest of your life never knowing just what He has done for you and wants still to do. Close your eyes amidst the chaos of every day life and just know that you're never alone.  Jesus is in the room. 

  "Have I not commanded you?  Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." - Joshua 1:9



"Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own" - 1 Corinthians 6:19

"Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you?" 1 Corinthians 3:16

"What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: "I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people." - 2 Corinthians 6:16

"...and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." - Matthew 28:20

1 comment:

  1. I'm speechless (miracle!) but your testimony is so heartfelt and touched even the depth of my anxst. How I've thought of doing what you did; but something held me back... Jesus. I have cried out "I GIVE!" "I CAN'T TAKE" "I WANT TO DISAPPEAR"... One night my husband came into the kitchen late at night. I had a bottle of pills in my hand, vicodins. He asked me what are you doing? And I said, "I want to take this whole bottle and go to sleep and never wake up!" He cried. At the time I thought "Good. I hope you feel my pain. You are part of it!" Then I was shown HIS pain, the grief of rejection, betrayal where was the love that would never fail, was now failing. My reasons were selfish. I was overburdened. And it was my own making. I did not ask God to take control. I was in control, so I thought. But quite the opposite. I had forgotten about that incident until tonight. And it was a bittersweet reminder of Jesus in the room, even when I didn't let him in my heart! Thank you for being so honest and open, Heather. xxooD