After I hopped out of the shower tonight, fully comfy in my pajamas, my eyes fell on my covenant ring and its corresponding verse popped up in my memory: Psalm 116:9. For reference, the verse simply states, “I will walk before the Lord in the land of the living.” Just one sentence, one profound statement. That verse both strengthens and mocks me, but I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s back up a little.
A Covenant Made in Heaven and on Earth
On my 25th birthday, I decided to make a covenant with YHWH concerning not just my sexual purity—that’s what a purity ring is for— but all of me: good, bad, ugly, hence the term “covenant ring.” (For all you non-Hebrew scholars, those capital letters are used as the four-letter abbreviation for Yahweh, the Hebrew name for what we call “God.”) Specifically, the covenant I made with Him was that I would no longer self-harm, as that was a huge part of my life, and a destructive one at that. When I got the ring, which has a gorgeous amethyst stone to showcase my newfound royalty in Christ, I planned, and still do aim, to get Ps. 116:9 engraved on the inside as a reminder that I chose to live with Christ, to walk before Him and, you know, the rest of the world, until the day I die of natural causes; or in other words, I wouldn’t commit suicide in addition to the “no self-harming” clause. I’m not entirely certain, but I’m pretty sure I broke the covenant within the first six months.
The Relevancy of a Ring
I tell you that story, not to be random, but because it serves a purpose. I woke up late this morning, like almost noon, which is unusual for me, but is slowly becoming my new normal, as I did not fall asleep until 6:00a.m. I was up because I was having horrible flashbacks and in a heavy state of dissociation. For you psych majors and professionals, you know what that is. For those who don’t, it’s basically a state where your mind kinda separates from reality and you, essentially, lose a bunch of time. You’re basically a walking zombie and no, it’s not as fun as it sounds, but I digress. I can’t remember all of what happened this morning, but I do remember sitting on the kitchen floor, NF’s “Paralyzed” song blaring through my headphones, and an open bottle of Fabuloso adjacent to me.
Don’t worry. I didn’t drink it.
But I did inhale it. That I admit, which brings me back to the ring.
The Duality of Psalm 116:9
“I will walk before the Lord in the land of the living.”
As stated before, this verse both strengthens and mocks me. It strengthens me in that it reminds me of the covenant I made; it mocks me for the same reason. In times where I am strong in Christ, it is a rock for me to stand on and say, “Look how far YHWH has brought me.” However, when I am in a low place, like I am this week, I whisper, in a teary voice so quiet I doubt even YHWH can hear me, “Please put me out of my misery. Please kill me.” It is a strange thing to desire death, even more outlandish to outright ask the Creator to do it for you; and yet, I have.
And still, He does not answer me. Let me rephrase: He does not snatch the breath from my body, but He does give an answer: No.
In that, YHWH is merciful. He forces me to rest quietly in Him until He is all I see. It sounds peaceful and oh, so easy, but it is anything but. Trust me, you do not ever want YHWH to make you lie in green grass with your head on His lap. The end result is calming, sure, but the process is more like a wrestling match, especially when dealing with traumatic memories and suicidal thoughts you don’t have the energy or motivation to fight with the use of coping skills, or listening to worship music, or praying, or reading the Bible. Nonetheless, YHWH is wise. Instead of granting me my insane wish, He holds me, cares for me, and sings over me with His love until all that remains are the remnants of sad, pain-filled, and dark thoughts, mere leaves in the wind.
There will always be an attempted justification for suicide. Can you kill yourself? Sure. You absolutely can. Tomorrow. But for tonight, stay with me. Walk before the Lord in the land of living and see what happens. Breathe. I will not give you any Christianese platitudes or tell you that “everything happens for a reason” because it doesn’t help and could be wrong and potentially damaging. I’ve found many Christians say it because they don’t know what else to say and think they must be “on” all the time and give an answer to every problem, but I’m not going to do that. I’m going to be honest. This is a painful period and even though I know it will end soon, it doesn’t negate the pain and stress I currently feel. I will honor the covenant I made, not because I necessarily want to, but strictly for the sake of it. This too shall pass.