was so introverted in high school, I didn't have a single friend – no one to talk to, and no reason to live.
If I did kill myself, I thought, who'd even care? Whose life would be affected if I ended mine?
Because my dad was at work most of the time and my mom would often be away from home for months at a time, I knew it could be days before they noticed I was gone. And that scared me.
Our family had just moved, and as a junior in high school my whole life seemed uprooted and unsettled. There I was, the new kid in school and so shy I couldn't talk to anyone. I couldn't even raise my hand in class.
My dad said I was ugly, and I believed it. I felt I had to apologize for my existence every time someone looked at me. When the photographer asked me to smile for our class picture, I broke down and cried.
What do I have to smile about? I thought.
In a family of nine, I felt lost in the crowd. One Christmas everyone received gifts but me. It was just an oversight, of course; my mom had to buy for so many. But no words could ease the pain I felt inside when the presents were all opened and none were for me.
One of the more cruel members of my high school class enjoyed making fun of my timidity by drawing attention to me with comments like, "What's the matter, can't you talk? Do you have a voice?" Then he'd laugh when he had made me cry.
I finally felt I could no longer hold the pieces of my life together the day a squad car pulled up and took my mom away in a straitjacket, with five men trying to hold her down. And although she had often been removed from our home for "an extended rest," this time I thought,
If this is all life has to offer, forget it.
One night, unable to sleep because of the turmoil within me, I wished I'd die and never wake up. I decided I would either find out what life was all about or call it quits. Although I'd attended church all my life, I'd never really talked to God. In my desperation I complained to God of all my troubles and somehow sensed that he understood. It felt so good to tell someone how I was feeling.
"No one loves me," I cried.
He said, as clearly as any voice I've ever heard: "Remember that I love you." "But how can I know that?" I pleaded. Then he reminded me of the cross – the picture of perfect love. Now my tears were filled with hope. His was a love I could not deny.
The next day a girl in school told me how real God was to her and how she found comfort and guidance by reading the Bible. She invited me to go to church with her, and when I heard the message of God's personal involvement in people's lives, I wept uncontrollably. In all my years of churchgoing, never had I heard such words of life and hope.
Several young people came and put their arms around me, telling me they loved me, that God loved me, too. They also invited me to a youth retreat that weekend. Early one morning, sitting on a rock by a quiet lake in Georgia, I gave my life to Jesus Christ.
Over the next few days I pored over the Scriptures. As I read, God's plan for my life became clearer to me. I read that "all have sinned" and "there is no one righteous, not even one." (Rom. 3:10, 23) But I also read, "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – not of yourselves, it is the gift of God – not of works, lest any man boast." (Eph
2:8, 9) When I returned to school the next fall, the boy who had always mocked me because of my shyness approached me in the cafeteria. "What happened to you over the summer?" he asked. "You're so different!"
I told him about God's love for me and about his mercy, how I had found meaning for my life. And this same boy who had so enjoyed making me cry was now nearly in tears himself as he told me about his own family problems.
It wasn't easy for me, however. Even though I was only 16, my dad kicked me out when he found out about my faith in Christ. But I found in the family of God a love and acceptance I never knew as a child.
It's been [30 years] since I gave my life to Jesus Christ. I still struggle with feelings of loneliness and self-acceptance, but God always meets me there. He has given me a new security and stability. "Though [a mother] may forget, I will not forget you!"
(Isa. 49:15) I have a friend in Jesus Christ, someone I can always talk to and with whom I can be myself.
Knowing that God, who is perfect, loves and accepts me as I am, has also given me new confidence and self-acceptance. He valued my life so much (a life I was ready to throw away) that he sent his Son to die in my place. The inferiority I felt so strongly as a child is now gone, replaced by a sense of self-worth, in Him.
"Therefore, if anyone be in Christ, he is a new creature; old things have passed away, all things have become new!" 2
This testimony is available in tract
form from Pilgrim Tract Soc., Randleman, NC 27317
- or from Diane Dew, PO Box 340945, Milw., WI 53234.
Tempted with suicidal thoughts?
"You are not your own; you have been bought with a price: the precious blood of Jesus." (I Cor 6:20) You can't "take your
life"; you belong to God! The war within is the enemy's attempt "to kill, rob and
Suicide Statistics (CDC)
and the Bible Annually,
Americans kill themselves. A million attempt
it. Suicide kills more Americans than
was amazed by how much the Bible says on this topic!