I got the news on the road to Florida. My family and I, along with my mother, are in Florida for the Gospel Coalition conference. After this, we will head directly to Dallas, where I will participate in the Christian Renaissance conference. News like this breaks me more than anything else. I fell completely apart. I probably should not be writing. I wept for a bit. We were already having so many other issues on the drive, and this nearly put me over the top.  I just wanted to turn around. The Gospel Coalition and Christian Renaissance conferences are incredible and so valuable . . . for a certain type of person. But for those who have a broken mind and broken spirit, where do they go? What conference is there for Christians who can’t find any peace? What conference is there for those who have all the right doctrine and beliefs, but find no healing from them? What conference is there for those whose hope has been asphyxiated?

As I typed “2013 minus 27” in my calculator to figure out when Matthew was born (1986), I realized I was too hurt to think deeply about that right now. How cold. For some reason, coming up with those numbers put me too close, so a distant calculator was better. But what good would these words be, if I selfishly let Matthew turn into just a set of numbers?  1986-2013. Let those numbers sink in.

I did not know Matthew Warren. I don’t know his father, Rick Warren (at least not personally).  I am very familiar with his ministry. Unfortunately, most of the time I hear about Rick Warren is when someone tries to throw his life and ministry under the bus just to drum up some controversy. I have never joined this crowd in the slightest. Rick Warren’s focus and heart are amazing. What he has done for so many to increase the glory of Christ is beyond measure. His book, The Purpose-Driven Life, is a wonderful book that lit a fire in the hearts of many stagnant Christians.

Yesterday, as I continued to drive after hearing the news, here is where my thoughts went.  Pastor Warren led millions to find their purpose in life.  Yet the one closest to him, the one for whom he undoubtedly felt the most responsible, the one whom he loved the most, could not find that same purpose to drive his life. I also bowed my head as I thought of critics, whose minds might be so poisoned as to make them want to turn the blame back on Rick Warren. I have not read or heard of any who have, but God help those who do.

You see, I know what it feels like, that darkness that led Matt to do what he did. I lived there for a short time. I know how easy it is to pull that trigger. I know what it feels like, the black hole that somehow drains you of every shred of hope you have. It is like hanging on a cross, where you cannot catch your breath anymore. Everyone around is quick to offer their “easy” solutions (which I did before I went through this), heaping shame atop the already insufferable pain. I came out of it, and I don’t know how or why. Matthew never did.

My sister never did. Angie yelled in pain every night as she called on me to save her. I had never heard screams of emotional pain before. I had never experienced the wailing that a tortured soul could produce. The sound and the hurt were apocalyptic. “Michael! Get back up here!! You are a pastor. You are supposed to be able to do something.” I walked downstairs each night for a year, lay my head on my pillow, and called on God to do something that he was not going to do—heal my helpless sister.

Put me in a den of atheists. Put me a room with people who hate me. Put me among those who deny God and my Lord, Jesus Christ. My faith will remain. But put me in the midst of people who are calling on God to save them from doubt, pain, and depression, and my faith will sink in the quicksand with them. Why? Because I don’t know what to do.

Francis of Assisi used to sit with lepers and wash their wounds. He looked for those Christians who were falling apart, inside and out. God called Francis to “rebuild my church” and where does he go? He goes to those who could not be built back.

Rick Warren’s ministry to his son was not unsuccessful. I am told he was with Matthew the preceding night. He was a devoted father. Even so, he will enter into a time of significant despair. Suicide is a death unlike any other. Those left behind imagine the thoughts, looks, and pain of the one who is finally finished. They picture the tears in their eyes and see them begin to pull the trigger. Angie died on the bed of a cold dark hotel room, legs folded, with Chuck Swindoll’s Day by Day open in front of her. My other sister now has that book. She guards it like a treasure. Why? Who knows? We don’t know how to process the pain and darkness of that moment, so we hold fast to a token that represents Angie’s last thoughts or prayers. We do it as self-flagellation, penance for failing at a task we could not fulfill.

I don’t know how Rick Warren and his wife (please don’t leave her and the rest of the family out) are going to handle this. They may do like I did, and stay strong for many years for others’ sake. But at some point, subconsciously, the dam will break and they won’t know why (at least that is my experience). They may handle it like my mother did, with endless sleepless nights until the  pain eventually took her mind. They may handle it like my dad, who is plagued by unending guilt.

The questions are always the same: What did I do wrong? What could I have done differently? Once they are exasperated and find no rest, they will have to find some other footing, or else remain completely adrift, without anchor in a sea of faith.

With regard to Angie, the anchoring conclusion for me is not the conclusion many others reach…yet I don’t know where else to go, biblically. Who is at fault? God is. Not me. Not my mom. Not my dad. And not even Angie. For some reason, in this fallen world, God allowed darkness to rule her life to such a degree that she left this world in tears, crying to a God who did not show up in the way we all desired and prayed he would. His ways are not our ways. He is the one who works all things after the counsel of his will (Eph. 1:11), including leaving countless people in pain as they cry out to him for relief.

I would imagine it was the same with Matthew. I don’t suppose that God was a cheerleader in his pain, hoping that he would listen to the right advice or finally find the right pill. God took him violently. God took him darkly. And we have to accept this sometimes dark, violent, God as the one who loved him (and Angie) more than we can ever possibly imagine. If you can have that type of faith. . . if, by some miracle, you can drop that anchor quickly, you can continue your ministry in the hopes that you will join him one day.

I don’t know what kind of advice or hope to give those who have lost someone who was outside of the faith. I am sorry.

To all of those like Matthew: I do not give you permission to die. Don’t mistake my understanding for permission. The darkness that will overshadow the lives of the ones you leave behind is a darkness so terrible, no sun can fully break through it this side of heaven.

To Rick Warren and family: I am truly sorry for your loss. May Matthew rest from his pain, finally. May your pain one day turn to joy. Until then, may the Francis of Assisis of this world break through the judgment you feel, whether from within or without. May you be able to forgive all. May the asphyxiation of hope that Matthew felt be relieved in the arms of Christ, who loves you and gave himself up for you.

C Michael Patton
C Michael Patton

C. Michael Patton is the primary contributor to the Parchment and Pen/Credo Blog. He has been in ministry for nearly twenty years as a pastor, author, speaker, and blogger. Find him on Patreon Th.M. Dallas Theological Seminary (2001), president of Credo House Ministries and Credo Courses, author of Now that I'm a Christian (Crossway, 2014) Increase My Faith (Credo House, 2011), and The Theology Program (Reclaiming the Mind Ministries, 2001-2006), host of Theology Unplugged, and primary blogger here at Parchment and Pen. But, most importantly, husband to a beautiful wife and father to four awesome children. Michael is available for speaking engagements. Join his Patreon and support his ministry

    131 replies to "The Asphyxiation of Hope: Matthew Warren (1986-2013)"

    • Mo

      @ Steve #112 –

      Thank you for saying all of this.

      I understand having these feelings while we are in the depths of despair. Believe me, I have been there. But this did sound like God just abandons his followers and for no reason.

      As I said in previous comments, people make choices. People choose to kill themselves. It’s not God’s doing. That’s hard to hear. I know that. I wish I didn’t have to say it, but I must.

      It’s easier to blame God for “taking” someone than it is to face the fact that they did this to themselves.

      It’s also easier to blame mental illness so that there is no personal responsibility involved. I’m not saying some mental illness doesn’t exist. But EVERYTHING is not a mental illness. Nor can we use that as an excuse to deny other issues that may be going on in a person’s life.

      And again, no one wants to hear this, and will instead choose to be angry at me for saying it. That is painful, but I understand that’s the way it will be. The truth is more important than my own personal feelings.


      I also find it frustrating to hear “Now is not the time…” to say this or that. (Especially theology, and among Christians! What other recourse do we have, other than the truth of God’s teachings to get us through these horrible difficulties?)

      The only thing this does is shut down discussion. Again, it’s a desire to not hear the truth – a truth that may be painful.

    • Rebecca

      Greg (Tiribulus)says,”Don’t even get me started Rebecca. You are absolutely correct and one of the horrible consequences is that people with real physiological issues that are actually legitimately helped by medication are swirled into this mix and it makes the situation a hundred times harder for the body of Christ to discern what ministry approaches to take with a given individual. Rebecca says,”That’s what tics me off the most. The real victims of mental illness get exploited or fall through the cracks”

      Greg says,”MANY times SIN IS the problem for which no pill could ever be the answer. There was a Saturday Night Live skit when I was kid 30 years ago called “TAKE A PILL” that was obviously intended to be funny, but turned out to be almost prophetic. No matter WHAT the situation “TAKE A PILL” is the immediate answer. The pharmaceutical companies would step over their own mother’s body for 10 bucks. Doctors, all kinds, can be hazardous to your health, REALLY hazardous sorry to say. All that said, we still cannot lose sight of the fact that by the common grace of our God their does remain honest caring doctors in this sick dying society who DO prescribe invaluable medications to people that DO work wonders on their psycho-physiological selves. I know some.” Rebecca says,”As do I. The ones that refuse to be wined and dined by Big Pharma are just as discouraged by it all. But they are getting fewer and far between. Even so, God love ’em, they’re there somewhere.”

      Greg says,”One of them in is an associate pastor in my church who is tremendously helped by the responsible usage of one these drugs, The right medication prescribed the right way does work.” Rebecca says,”I believe that.”

    • Rebecca

      Greg says,”Voddie Baucham Rebecca? You n I are REALLY gonna get along. He came to our church in Detroit a while back. I listen to him all the time. Great stuff on marriage and family. There’s a rock solid reformed southern baptist I wish we could clone about 10,000 times.” Rebecca says,”Voddie was formerly a pastor at my church. Missed him by about 2 years when I joined. My church is in the south part of the county while Voddie’s is in the north part, about a 50 minute drive. I am determined to visit his church one day…..soon. Yes, indeed, he is rock solid!”

      Greg says,”Here he is with our senior pastor.”

      Rebecca says,”Yep, that’s Voddie alright. Can’t miss him.”

      Greg says, “I am pale white, blond n blue before anybody wonders”. Rebecca says,”And they let you in? Just kidding”.

    • C Michael Patton

      Yeah, Greg got it. One can say Christ murder was Gods fault at the same time as saying that the ultimate cause which made the cross necessay was the sin of man. But when we are talking about a fallen world that God has lovingly chosen to remain involved in, God does very often bring about evil (though not as the ultimate cause) to accomplish a greater good.

      God was at fault for the death of my sister in so much as he is choosing not to rescue a torn broken soul who cried out to him day or night for deliverance. He sometimes does. But this time he did not. To say that God was not in control (though not meticulous) of events such as these creates an impotent God who has tied his hands until we are good enough, smart enough, or spiritual enough to meet him halfway. We are completely helpless, all of us. The reason why we have not alll pulled the trigger is because God’s purpose stayed our hand. His will works through sin or it does not work at alll.

    • Jesse B.

      Oh what a tangled mess Patton is creating… No wonder you wanted to avoid theology. Don’t worry about me – I’m getting out of this conversation!

    • Mo

      @ Jesse –

      It really is becoming a mess. A frightening one, at that.


      @ Michael Patton –

      Once again, I am truly sorry about your sister.

      But please, please, at least for the sake of the other people here who are also struggling, do not say that this was God’s doing! It’s not as though she was passive in the situation, as one would be in an accident or as victim of a crime.

      As difficult as it is for me to say or you to hear it, your sister made the decision to kill herself. God did not do this, or even allow it in the sense that He allows other things over which we truly have no control!

      He DID give her options. If she knew Christ, she had the truth about Life, the Universe and Everything. She obviously had a caring brother and I’m sure parents or whoever else. And I don’t know the full situation, but I’m guessing she had other kinds of help offered to her. She chose another route.

      I’m sorry, but that’s the bottom line.

      No, I can’t figure out all of God’s ways in this world. But the things you keep saying make it sound like she had no part in it, couldn’t help it, and had no other choice because God had abandoned her. Maybe she felt that way and maybe you do too – it’s understandable, believe me! I have felt that way so many times during the horrible 6 years I’ve been without full time work!

      But it’s simply not true. And I have no right to take my own life in anger or anything else, and put upon my loved ones the pain you are now feeling.


      No one makes you murder anyone else. No one makes you murder yourself. No amount of claiming illness takes away your own responsibility in that choice.

      People here need to hear this, because believing that they have no responsibility in the matter is a lie – one that they dare not give in to, because there’s no turning back from it.

    • Mo

      Looks like I’m going to have to just remove myself from this post. It’s just gotten to be too much.

      All I can say to Christians is that if we don’t have hope in Christ for this life – as unbearably painful and difficult as it can be at times – then truly, what good is our faith? What do we even have to offer to the world?

    • Rebecca

      1 of 6. “There but for the grace of God go I.” I am grateful that I accept God is in control. I am grateful that I accept that God’s ways are higher than mine. I will always struggle with children who have cancer, with parents who lose their children to drunk driving accidents, with toddlers that drown in the family swimming pool, with fathers who have fatal heart attacks before the age of 40, with adults & children that burn to death in a house fire, with children that are kidnapped only to be found decapitated, with a baby girl that has her mouth & nose duck taped in order to suffocate her so mommy can party hardy, with little children that are abused and terrorized their whole childhood by some adult, with little girls that are sold into sex slavery, with children eating dirt because they have no other food source, with children who are abandoned by their parents, with children that are bullied and never protected or defended….and on and on. I’m glad God’s ways are superior to mine. I need that. We all need that. If we knew what God knows, we’d have a problem. A serious problem.

    • C Michael Patton


      No offense taken. But you could hardly except me to change my view based on what you have said as 1) I can’t expect you to have insight into the situation with my sister, 2) this fits well into my theology of the two wills of God, and 3) it is by far, for me, the most emotionally satisfying of all the options.

      I do have two or three blog posts where I argue specifically for the view of the two wills of God (definitely nothing novel about this). This does not mean that human responsibility has no part. It simply means that often the best place to end is to say that God brought it about for his own glorious purpose, using the fallen condition of man to do whatever his hand had predestined to occur.

    • Rebecca

      Part 2 of 6 There was a time I wanted to know. But then I matured & in that maturity, I knew God would be seriously flawed if I understood what we call the “mysteries of God”. I need the Creator of the Universe to be all knowing & all powerful. I can recognize now that for me to share the same intellect as God would not be a good thing. So I’m glad I don’t understand Him much of the time. I expect not to understand. I’m not surprised at all I don’t understand. I am surprised that others expect to understand or to have God somehow explain it to them or reveal the answer to them by some supernatural means.

    • C Michael Patton

      1 comment at a time. This is why we have to have character limits.

    • Rebecca

      Part 3 of 6. I understand grief. I understand loss. I understand anger. I understand not wanting to let go. I understand & believe with all my heart that tragedy is as God ordained as grace is. I cannot be at peace with all the evil in the world and CAN be at peace simultaneously with the fact that God knows what he is doing & I don’t. No, God does not have fault and no blame can be found in Him. But He is responsible for the outcome. He is responsible for not restraining evil. Heck, He’s responsible for not restraining us and our vulgar ways! And He accepts that responsibility.

    • Rebecca

      Part 4 of 6 There is a master plan that I am not privy to. I don’t know when my number is up. I don’t know if I’ll get that dreadful phone call. I don’t know if I will get the tests results that say “positive”. I don’t know if I’ll bury a child, a grandchild? I don’t know? At times it terrifies me. But in my anguish, I know it’s to be expected. And why? Because God’s kingdom is not reigning here on earth yet. Would we be blogging about suicide here if paradise was restored? Evil exists and because it does, it will visit somebody in the form of a tragedy. Hey? I’m a somebody.

    • Rebecca

      5 of 6 I have known fear. I have known heartache. I have known plenty of anger. I have been on the receiving end and I have been on the giving end. I have worked hard to protect my family. I have been able to recover from my foolishness. Today, I got a hug from my daughter who tried to commit suicide in one of those dark hotel rooms four years ago. She failed. Today she is doing better than OK. Why was she spared? Why was I spared the grief of burying her? There’s only one word for it. Grace. Like you, I deserve nothing but God’s wrath. If I have a sliver of good, it’s ALL owing to God. Let’s get this straight. I’m not good. I’m bad. And every now and then my badness escalates and God has to hold me back from doing harm. He blocks me. He jumps in front of me. He tackles me. When I appear good to you, it’s because God restrains my bad. He holds me back and protects others from me and it’s all counted as grace. It’s not what I do. Even when I’m obedient, He enables that. He makes that possible. I need God to do good. I am 100% dependent on Him.

    • Rebecca

      Part 6 of 6 So why didn’t my daughter die? Why did we get grace? God is selective.There are times He selects some to have many second chances while others have but one chance. He gives grace to some parents who never provided good Godly parenting and then withholds grace from some parents that were wonderful examples of good Godly parents. None of know how and whom God picks and chooses to spare and whom not to spare. God does not restrain someone’s child from committing mass murder only later to foil the same heinous attempt of another’s child, sparing many lives. One parent has to live knowing that the child she held at her breast is a destroyer and crippler of many lives while the other lives with the agony and relief that the only life that day lost was her child’s. Different results for different folks. But one thing we all have in common, God does the picking. For those that have lost their children in horrifying ways, one of those ways being to suicide, all this sinner can reason is, “There but for the grace of God go I”. My daughter is alive. The glory is God’s.

    • Rebecca

      Rebecca has a hard time capping off on a subject that clearly has pushed more than a few buttons including mine. I’ve lost a son in law to suicide. My husband helped remove his remains that day. He didn’t want a stranger picking his pieces up. The paramedic lost her father to suicide and struggled greatly alongside my husband while cleaning the shed. I watched my grandsons grieve for years. I can’t say enough about that that was like. Ten years later my daughter tries to kill herself with an overdose. This is such an explosive topic and it has opened some wounds and made them fresh again. I see it good that we talk it out and read what others are feeling. I see this topic quite different from your norm in that it is up so close and personal to so many of us as the evidence shows from many that commented. Sorry I did not honor the character count or rules. I truly mean no offense and normally I’m not this rebellious but this was just a time when Rebecca didn’t really care.

    • Yvonne

      I have read your article Michael and the many desperate comments in reply and my heart is grieved and deeply saddened at what I read about our God.

      Yes I have known suicide in my family and am struggling to lift up a sister who has come close many times.
      I have also walked that path of deepest darkness and despair. Drowning in a sea of darkness with the waves overcoming me without any hope.

      UNTILL the day I met with Jesus. Ohh what a glorious light came into my life. Oh what a glorious power dispersing the darkness that overcame me. I learnt for the first time that God is LOVE and God is LIGHT. Ohh how I devoured His Word like a sponge believing it to be true.

      When those darkest moments try to descend upon me and I CRY OUT to Him His Word rises up within my belly dispelling the darkness. when lifes trials try to bring me down I lift up my voice as David and cry Why are you so downcast Oh my soul TRUST in the Lord.

      When the darkness comes i lift up my arms to heaven and i start to sing and glorify my King. Oh what a Joy what a strength comes from my love for Him. And the more I lift up my arms to Him the more He pours out His love to me.

      No Michael Our God is NOT a God of darkness but a GOD OF LIGHT and of HOPE and of STRENGTh and of Power and COMPASSION His Mercies are new every morning for those who will call on His Name.

      May all who are reading and feeling without hope and strength LOOk to Our God The Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ and only believe his promises. For He is not a man that He should lie and He has promised to be WITH US.

      PEACE PEACE PEACE to him whose MIND is stayed upon the Lord.

    • Diana

      I suffer from depression myself – I believe due to my physical pain, my use of prescription meds for that pain, the overuse of Xanax (which I have gotten under control and extreme remorse and conviction for past sins. That is the hardest part – dealing with the guilt and remorse. However – I may point out that part of my problem was too much navel gazing. Our culture has it so easy. Hot and cold running water, microwaves, dishwashers. There was a time when you may have been grieving but you had to get up and about or starve to death. I’m guilty of this – too much self absorption. This is not pointing fingers at anyone – just adding to the conversation. My sympathies to the Warren family.

    • @Irene: Surely, for the Christian, being ‘In Christ’, (with the Cross) is a spirituality of “redemptive suffering.” Sadly a lost spiritual art and application in the postmodern “church” today!

      “Man achieves the fullness of prayer not when he expresses himself (so much of this blog post), but when he lets God be most fully present in prayer.” (John Paul II)

      Narcissism (self) has become “the” object.. even in the visible church!

    • Rebecca

      So many dynamics at play with suicide. All of us that have experienced depression long enough that it could be diagnosed as clinical depression, know what category we fall into, now or in the past. We have some that are diagnosed as clinically depressed due to behavioral changes brought on by medications prescribed for severe physical pain. There are those that truly have chemical imbalances creating depression and loss of reasoning. There is depression that is situational due to a traumatic experience , ie, divorce, death, etc. There are those that are angry & as they say, if turned inward it produces depression. Then, there are those that are more comfortable with the negative than the positive. They don’t want to get well & yet, nothing you suggest will work for them, so they say. I know. It’s hard to believe that some people who’s lives are of such poor quality & allow themselves to be stuck in it & don’t want out. That’s the elephant in the room. They are the person you avoid because the conversation is all about them. Their accomplishments lie in their failures. They can be church goers, they can cry out to God & they tell you that God is punishing them. Is that mental illness? Or is that conditioning? Those people are afraid to be overcomers because there is no guarantee. They want a guarantee they will be successful before they do the work. Of course, you can’t guarantee them that. They claim they are victims to everyone & taken advantage by all they meet. So, of course, they have no responsibility for their circumstances that bring about their depression. It’s everybody else’s fault. Depression is an old friend. Then there’s the over achiever. The person that raises the bar really high. I wonder how many people depressed can’t get past a failure? Do over achievers have more trouble putting their sins in the past? “I’m better than that. Failure is not an option!” Point is, you know who you are and what category you fall into, if you’re honest.

    • Dorothy

      just a comment on Michael Pattons remark about sometimes God not hearing our cries… what about the case when some one has any other terminally ill disease and God takes them inspite of prayers.. God always does the best.. the reason we think something is dark is becasue our affections , relationships and hopes are only tied to this world.. Sometimes God wants us to look beyond, before we consider ourselves ready for it….. This world is very important for only as long as God lets it be for an individual..
      From my experience i feel actions of people with mental illness is beyond there control.. but NOT ALL who commit suicide are mentally ill.. Let us leave it to the infinitely loving God to decide each case.. As long as we are here let us help care and encourage our loved ones .. i say encourage them lovingly and sometimes very firmly , continously, never give up. .. IT is very important for the CARE TAKERS to NEVER loose Hope. Take the help of church , friends freely as you cannot bear the burden alone. Ensure the loved one gets a healthy diet, buy them good clothes even if they refuse. Take them out doors. It they wont budge bring plants into the house. When i went through it for my son i think God was teaching me so many things and changing me ,not really anything much to my son. He was just being carried by God.. though we didn’t feel it that way at that time.. But now i KNOW if for sure.

    • Dorothy

      There are no verses in the Bible that condemn suicide in black and white but there verses that tell us that we can be tried for murder if we hated our brother wilfully..

      I know my son felt anger towards some people who really did him no harm in real life, but he had so called ” false memories” due to OCD and he found it very distressing that he actually was very angry with some people and couldn’t help it, he felt God will put him in hell for it.. so he felt no hope.. Clearly this is not logical thinking..( He had very clear experience of salvation through Grace before his illness). This is a clear proof that sometimes we really can’t hold the person responsible.. i think it should be a wake up call to those who are in the right mind to reach out as much as possible. If i know a brother or sister who is going through this terrible illness and i don’t reach out, i have more chances of being tried for murder than anybody else for actions which they commit because it is apparently too difficult for them.. May be it is an opportunity God is giving the fellow believers to practicaly demostrate their Faith and very humbly encourage those in distress.. we do our job and not worry about anything more than our job…

    • Dorothy

      Agree Greg. Example Judas Iscariot.. we know his suicide did not lead him to heaven..
      To further your point.. remember Jesus said ” if you were blind you would have no sin.. but since you claim you can see your sin remains” to the pharisees..

      The bottom line Suicide is SIN.. whether a person is made ACCOUNTABLE for it or not is only for GOD to judge.

      Since we cannot judge, it is best for those suffering the illness to be made to understand that God may hold them accountable… as a deterrent ( if they can understand or are able to reason). As for those who have already passed through the phase, we do not have to say that their loved one may not have gone to heaven if they had simply been rebellious..( and not really mentally ill) We just need to bow our heads in Grief and be humble that we do not deserve Heaven but for Grace.

    • @Greg: Amen on #131!

      Of God’s eternal decree, and Predestination.

      11. God from all eternity did by his unchangeable counsel ordain whatsoever in time should come to pass: yet so, as thereby no violence is offered to the wills of the reasonable creatures, and neither the liberty nor the contingency of the second causes is taken away, but established rather

      (Irish Articles, 1615)

    • LeeAnne Carlson

      Thank you. An online acquaintance shared this blog with me. She came to know me due to our family’s struggles shared on our blog and website of a Christian family living with (among other things) the depression and anxiety of my husband. I shared most intently on this subject from Feb-Mar of 2012 but the struggle remains as it has for the past 28 years. I have found myself an unwilling spokesperson for the Christian family trusting and loving through the dark times. Reading this post, while devastating, also gives hope that perhaps there might be a time when more believers understand the nature of this, and other related illnesses.

    • Chanel

      Sometimes I wish the Angie in my life would end it all. 20+ years of dealing with their anguish. Continual circular conversations 24/7. Mental illness is hell on earth. I not afraid of hell. It is God’s plan for all in my family apparently. I can not minister of hope of Jesus to others. When there is no hope there is nothing left in this earthly life.

    • Febsky

      I cried when Matthew Warren died. I wished I had met him. I wished I could have told him to hang on. I wished I could have told him “go ahead! Cry! Weep! Wail! Go hit rock bottom. I already soften the landing for you. Been there! Ugly place though.

      Now funny man Robin Williams’s suicide again reminds us how this overwhelming despair can manipulate a person to become too immobile, to stop living.

      I hate depression. I hate it so much and I hate the hell it made me go through.

      I am one of those who was able to crawl out of the pit. Scarred. Broken. But alive.

      The healing process was painful (I got separated from a bf, from my country, from my mom and dad, from my friends, ministry…) As I would always say “well, I feel stripped off everything! Am totally naked and poor right now”

      Little did I know then that – That was God’s healing process.

      I was destroyed first by God’s heavy hand so I can be built up by the same heavy hands.

      It is funny how I can tell my story without weeping now. Sometimes I shock myself – am I jaded or what? But when I hear other people going through what I went through, my heart breaks for I know the kind of turmoil it can do. But I also know that there is a light at the end of a very long, dark, pathetic tunnel. Healing is so possible.

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