A Youth Pastor’s Perspective on Teen Suicide

Message StonesIn light of a recent teen suicide tragedy, one of my students said, “I don’t understand how someone could be so upset to do that to themselves.”

Sometimes, no matter how together a person may seem on the outside, the inside may be full of hurt and pain. This pain can be completely consuming, overwhelming. It feels like there is no hope, no one cares, there is no reason to go on.

What could possibly make someone feel this way, especially at such a young age? Well, there are many things that can trigger these feelings. For instance, bullying, abuse (physical or emotional,) a broken family, just to name a few. True, these are all things that someone could seek help for. But sometimes, asking for help is just too much. There can be shame, sadness and fear. The thought of asking a stranger (and sometimes even a trusted adult) is too much to bear.

Why would God allow a thing like this to happen? Something that we as humans struggle to understand is free will. God loves us so much that rather than making all of our decisions for us, he chooses to give us free will. Every decision in this life gives us freedom to choose. We must also remember that God does not “allow” death to happen. In fact, the bible tells us that God only brings life. You can read more about that, here.

The truth is, we may never know what goes through a person’s mind when they make the choice to take their own life. But we do know this: because of our faith in God, we are never alone. No matter what we feel like today, what troubles surround us, God has promised us a grace and peace. BUT, we have to trust and believe in Him to accept that peace.

“So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever.” 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

Does this scripture tell us that life in Christ will always be full of fun times and warm, fuzzy feelings? Absolutely not! Without trials, without pain, without doubt, the need for hope and peace would not exist. We cannot fully experience God’s grace and love without the need to find it! We will never know and fully understand God’s plan in this world or understand what He’s doing and why He’s doing it. However, we DO KNOW who He is and that if we trust in Him, He has an eternal reward for us. That friends, is worth the wait.

A great movie about teen suicide is called, “To Save A Life.” It follows the life of a student who thought he had it all, until his friend takes his own life. This movie explores the guilt and pain that comes along with those left behind from a suicide. It also covers things like peer pressure, dating and relationships, and bullying. You can check out the trailer, here.

If you or you think someone you know needs help, don’t be afraid to speak up. If there is no one in your life you feel you can talk to, please visit our  resource page, or visit help4mdyouth.org , which features an online chat option.

“There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever.”MdYouthCrisisNetwork

Concerned about the effect of violence on young people in our community? At 7 pm on Monday, February 25, Memorial Recreation Center is hosting a candlelight vigil for our community’s young people as part of a STOP the VIOLENCE/STOP the ABUSE campaign.

About Branda Yeargan

Branda is the youth pastor at Christ's Reformed Church in Hagerstown, Maryland. She holds a bachelor's degree in Psychology and is an Ordained Minister through Alliance International Ministries. When she isn't here sharing her thoughts, you can find her playing outside with her husband and her boxer pooch!

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