When Death is Calling

Have you ever felt the call of death?

Not in a cry-for-help way, or even in a suicidal way…just a relief way. I have been carrying the weight of sexual trauma for almost thirty years now. I have been actively dealing with this trauma and seeking healing for it for almost a decade.

And I am very, very tired.

I am lonely from feeling that on my worst days, I cannot share my thoughts with anyone for fear of overwhelming my friends. I am exhausted from lack of sleep, because my body will not relax enough for me to rest at night. And I am heartsick for my husband, who helps me carry all this weight, even though it comes at great personal cost.

And in these low times, which come and go without warning, I find myself wanting to be done fighting this battle. I would like to sleep. I would like my childhood trauma stories to be something like, “My mom wouldn’t let me eat processed sugar.” I want an intimate life with my husband that is free from the sins of other men. I want freedom. I want peace. I want to be done.

Can you relate to any of this? Have you felt the calling of death, the release and relief from everything you’re carrying? The desire to just to be done and free?

I laid these raw thoughts in front of Jesus the other night, without edit. I said, “Here’s where I’m really at. What the heck do I do? I cannot quit. But I don’t want to go forward. Just take me home. If you love me, take me home.”

And graciously, immediately, lovingly, He answered me with the following:

You and I are not the only ones who have wrestled with thoughts of death. Paul in Philippians 1:21-23 pondered this: “For to me to live is Christ and to die is gain. If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better.

Paul understood wanting to be done. So did Christ, who on the eve of His crucifixion said, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death,” and, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me.” (Matthew 26:38-39)

If you have felt that calling of death, I get it. I so, so, so get it. But listen: it is a false calling. It promises instant relief, but it will grant ripples of destruction when you’re gone. Do you know how I know this? Right after Paul is arguing with himself about which is better, life or death, he says this: “But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account. Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith…” There are other people depending on us. There are stories of grace and glory that will be completely erased if you obey that deceptive beckoning to death.

Jesus went on to pray in Matthew 26:39, “Yet not as I will, but as You will.” And this is God’s will: not that we would offer our bodies to death, but that we would offer our bodies as “living sacrifices.” Living. And if God wills it, He will provide a way to fulfill that will. He will provide support, He will bring you out of this darkness, and He will turn all of Satan’s plans into glorious testimony that will then lead others out of darkness. That is the ripple effect of God’s healing.

Listen…hang on. Do not give in. You are precious, and important, and needed. You can do this.

Death is not what it promises. But a life lived for Christ is more than you could ever dream. My friend, choose to dream. You will see those dreams become reality and be so glad you did not give up.

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