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I'm Rachel. Take your shoes off and stay awhile ...

In The End

In The End

After hearing the shocking and incredibly sad news about Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington I immediately wondered, "Why?" 

What many of you do not know is that I struggled with suicidal thoughts most of my life, even since I was a kid. It is not currently a struggle and has not been on my radar for a very long time but I can empathize. However, it's never ok to end your life. It might end pain and nagging voices in your head but the pain doesn't go away, it merely seeps into someone else's heart and the voices grow louder around them. The daunting, "why." It just doesn't evaporate because of the solution you selfishly choose. 

I can say it's selfish. I've been there. It's incredibly one-sided. Though in that capacity it's difficult to distinguish any other possibilities. When you're scared, broken, feeling alone or unworthy it's not easy to decypher another way out. 

When I was six, my uncle first introduced me to pornography and began grooming me for nine years of sexual abuse. He called me explicit names that you'd be ashamed to hear even at a bar or locker room. But worse of all he conditioned me for many years to make me believe that he was God. Now I never remember actually believing he was the creator of the universe but I did have enough fear inside of me to believe that he was bigger and more powerful than anyone else. And he made sure to tell me that too. 

Needless to say, this false idea of who God is bred a deep hatred for anything religious/spiritual/etc inside my heart. I found myself often curious about this church place the kids at my school were going to and perhaps that's why they had friends. But, I also knew I didn't want any part of that. People who commit suicide are far from the Lord. They are hurting people with little or no faith. I was that girl. At 12, I had my first "idea" to end my life. Eventually, I remembered friends I had and my sister that I wanted desperately to protect. I numbed my hurts and stuffed anger with music like "In the End" by Linkin Park and many others including songs from Simple Plan, Greenday, Sum 41, Blink-182, Good Charlotte, and Papa Roach just to name a few. I was that angsty teen that thought; "I've tried so hard, but in the end it doesn't even matter." I actually wrote that on the walls of my closet. 

I dabbled with the idea of suicide again when I was 16 and even drew a picture representing that I was "undecided." Later, I began to write a note on my computer and moments (literally minutes) later I got a text message from an unknown number. **Spoiler alert, it was my husband!**

There were times into our relationship that I hit walls of depression and felt I could never turn away from. But I guess I'm lucky. I never went through with those actions or intentions. I came to finally understand who God truly is, His nature and His goodness. 

I am heartbroken that some people will never understand the name of Jesus or even know His all-consuming love. This ordeal has proved to me that it will never matter about money or fame but having a relationship with a Counselor, Savior, Redeemer, Healer is better. I am aware that the majority of this demographic is not one looking to have a faith let alone hear about it from some non-rocker girl (who can definitely rock with the best of them). And I am also aware that prayer and knowing Christ does not take away mental illness. 

Mental and Behavioral Illnesses are products of a broken world. I can take heart knowing that when the King comes these problems will be erased and each one of us will have a renewed mind and body. I share all of this with you in hopes that if you are struggling with some really tough thoughts or difficult problems there are people to talk to. There are places to go and people who want to see you get help. You never ever have to suffer alone. Suicide Hotline is available for anonymous help. I think about how different many people's lives would be today had I chosen to ignore that text message. I don't say that to be narcissistic but standing for my life back then has given me the great blessing of standing boldly for the lives of my children today. 

I would just add: in the end if you try hard enough regardless of how far you end up; your life will absolutely matter to someone.

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