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DivorceWise Newsletter
Issue 8 - 2001 by Kari West - Garden Glories Publications

Welcome Survivor!

You are among friends who feel your pain and know the journey through the valley.

If you have ever said, "I have had enough, Lord ... Take my life ... (I Kings 19:4-5)," you are not alone. The topic of this newsletter is suicide. This silent scream for help ricochets across the heavens more times than we think. Every 94 seconds a woman in the United States attempts suicide. Every 86 minutes a woman commits suicide.

The relentless emotional and mental stress of divorce can drive any of us to the brink of despair. The dissolution of marriage is "more destabilizing and wrenching than any other emotional crisis, including death," says New Mexico psychotherapist Joan Rossman, who has practiced for 20 years.

Helen Richards, who survived the Dachau concentration camp during World War II puts it this way: "Divorce was worse than Dachau had ever been. In the camp, I was young. It was not a personal thing. There was everybody else. I wanted to survive. But during my divorce, I wanted to die." Married for 24 years, Helen says she was afraid, hurt, with no place to hide and nobody who understood what she felt.

But take heart! You are loved. You are safe. There is hope for the here-and-now, whatever you face and however you feel.

Here's what's new:

Kari's article, "When My Garden Is Disturbed," originally scheduled for the March-April 2000 issue of The Plain Truth is now set to appear in the September-October issue under the title "Replanting Your Faith. You can view this issue of the magazine at the web site http://www.ptm.org./

In this 8th issue of the DivorceWise newsletter, the featured survival story from a woman just like you comes from Jane of South Dakota, whose story on pornography appears in Issue 4. With great courage and transparency, she shares her suicidal thoughts and how she decided to head to life.

Personal reflection ... by Jane in South Dakota

Years ago, our pastor's wife shared with our Bible Study a conversation she had with a young woman she was counseling, who was considering suicide. I have never forgotten the advice. She said that she told the young woman, "Of course you will go to heaven, but you are forcing your way in; and your room isn't ready."

You see, I related to her advice because I too considered suicide--several times. It is hard to admit now, but it's the truth. Life had handed me some unexpected challenges. The disappointment was overwhelming. I experienced some devastating things. (Reference DivorceWise Newsletter Issue 4 for Jane's story on pornography). I wasn't prepared for the feelings of being a failure as a woman and a wife.

The first time I thought about suicide was after my husband had informed me that he had cheated on me. Somehow at the time God allowed me to look into the face of my precious two year old son, and I realized that I didn't want him to grow up without a mother.

The second time I thought about it was after I realized that my husband had been involved in pornography for years. This time, suicide was definitely an option.

I felt like I was being sucked down into a whirlpool of depression. I was fighting for my life. I even went as far as driving over 400 miles to ask my older sister if she would raise my two children in the event that I couldn't take it anymore. I also made an audio tape outlining my requests.

When I was served with divorce papers, that was the third time I considered taking my life. I knew I needed help immediately. This time I went to my doctor, who put me on an antidepressant.

Then, one year ago, the thought crossed my mind again during one of the hardest periods in my life. I had just received a call from my ex-husband informing me that he had remarried the day before to someone who had been a co-worker. He had known her for years. I was shocked to discover that my two children were there with both of them and had known his plans for months.

I really felt that I was being pushed over the edge. All my hopes and dreams dissolved before my eyes. What was the point of going on? These feelings were confirmed to me by two Christian friends. Today I believe that if they hadn't shared their feelings with me, I would have been in serious trouble. They affirmed my feelings that my ex-husband had orchestrated this to harm me. But God used what was meant to harm me and turned it upside down into something good. God used my friends not only to confirm my suspicions so I could lay them to rest but also to intervene and support me in my anguish and fears.

Thinking about suicide is the devil's work. He wants you to believe that your situation is hopeless. Satan keeps coming at you with lies, as he is the "Father of Lies." He knows how devastated you are. He also knows you have been betrayed and deceived; this was his plan! He wants you to keep yielding to his lies. He wants you to be confused, discouraged and isolated. He wants you to dwell on your broken dreams. He wants you to keep looking backwards.

I plead with you, do not yield to the devil. Remember: he has been defeated at Calvary. The devil's goal is and has always been to destroy you and your family.

But God has another plan for you. Cry out to God. Find a friend to share your feelings. Go to your doctor and ask for an antidepressant. Get into a support group or counseling. Read books that deal with your problem. Be faithful with your devotions. Pray.

Please don't force your way into heaven. God loves you. He still has a plan for your life. Do not be afraid to ask for help. I am very thankful I did. Today I am looking forward to what God has planned for me.

Help for today ... by Kari

Suicide is another taboo topic we seldom discuss. If truth be known, most of us give pause to thoughts of taking our life during the dark night of the soul when we feel there's no place else to go. Some of us attempt it. Others plot it. Maybe for a few, the word has never crossed their mind. Perhaps you know someone who has committed suicide. Wherever you are, you know that the cycle downward into the pit of despair is real. Hopelessness fuels helplessness. Helplessness ignites more hopelessness.

When you feel bottomed out to the point of wanting to end your life, please take Jane's words seriously. Her wisdom learned in the valley can save your sanity and enable you to head back to life. You are a good woman. You are a woman of great worth. God still has plans for you! Hang on. Reach out to Jesus--our hope of heaven and our get-through-the-day hope for the here-and-now.

A promise you can trust

"You have allowed me to suffer much hardship, but you will restore me to life again ... ---Psalm 71:20 NLT

"Save me, O God, for the flood waters are up to my neck. Deeper and deeper I sink into the mire. I can't find a foothold to stand on. I am in deep water, and the floods overwhelm me. I am exhausted from crying for help....But I keep right on praying to you, Lord, hoping this is the time you will show me favor....Pull me out of the mud, don't let me sink any deeper!...Turn and take care of me, for your mercy is so plentiful....I am suffering and in pain. Rescue me, O God, by your saving power....For the Lord hears the cries of his needy ones; he does not despise his people who are oppressed. ---Psalm 69:1-3; 13-16, 29, 33

Please stop by again soon

Please let me hear from you. I answer every letter and e-mail. Also, be encouraged to share what helped you through your divorce so others know they are not alone and that they too will survive. E-mail by Clicking Here or write Kari West, P. O. Box 11692, Pleasanton, CA 94588.

Copyright 1998 - 2002 by Kari West