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Suicide is not the answer

LIFE seemed so unfair. Nobody cared about me. My parents certainly didn't. They had put me up for adoption, and my adoptive parents were older; it seemed we had very little in common. I had few friends, and when my boyfriend and I broke up, I was completely devastated. The more I felt sorry for myself, the more depressed I got. Then the dark cloud began to spread. It covered much more territory -- the world. The threats of atomic warfare, germ warfare, nuclear weapons, seemed only added reasons to be depressed. I was convinced the world was an awful place and would probably be destroyed before I could even experience adult life!

There was only one answer, I thought, and that was to end it all right then. Get out while you still can, I told myself -- go where there's no pain, just peace and harmony. Tearfully contemplating how to take my life, I considered a long list of ways to do it. After all, no one would care. No one had ever said, ``I love you,'' which led me to believe I was a terribly unattractive person.

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I continued this line of thought until one day, while I was attending a Christian Science Sunday School, some scientific and logical facts were brought out that argued strongly against suicide. The fact that God loves me, for God is Love, flooded my thought. And I began to see that God is the only true Father and Mother of the universe--so how could I feel unloved or uncared for? Because God is Life and God is everywhere, Life is here right now. I am the reflection of God, and as the reflection of God, the Giver of all good, I have all I need forever. There is no place to go to make things better, for as Christ Jesus tells us, ``The kingdom of heaven is at hand.'' 1

The story of Joseph in the Bible seemed to me to parallel some of my own experiences. I realized that Joseph, even though he had been betrayed by his brothers and sold into slavery, had overcome the injustices done to him and become a great man. I was impressed with Joseph's ability to forgive his brothers. As I read the Bible account, I found no sign of his seeking revenge or becoming rebellious and frustrated at his situation. He prayed and trusted God with his life. Consequently he was able to overcome every obstacle and rise to a position where he was able to bless his family.2 God's will for Joseph was beyond anything he could have planned himself.

I began to wonder if I was trying to tell God what was right for me. Then I wondered if I was being as loving as I could be--or was I being rebellious, selfish? The turning point came when I was willing to correct these errors in my own thought. I began to look for my true identity--the beloved child of God, naturally receiving and expressing love. I began to remember the good and love that were being expressed all around me in so many ways. I listed some of the things I could see as manifestations of good: a room of my own, nice clothes, plenty to eat, a decent school to go to . . . . Believing I had been treated unfairly had been preventing me from seeing the good that was already present. Love was not to be found elsewhere but within.

In Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy3 says, ``Death is not a stepping-stone to Life, immortality, and bliss.'' And in the next paragraph she states, ``God, divine good, does not kill a man in order to give him eternal Life, for God alone is man's life.'' 4 I reasoned: if ``God alone is man's life,'' how could I take life away? It just wasn't possible. Suicide was not the answer. I saw that I had to trust my future and my happiness to the all-loving, all-powerful, all-knowing, all-acting, all-caring, ever-present God.

From then on, whenever I was tempted to feel frustrated or depressed, I remembered that God is the infinite source of love and life. Mrs. Eddy says: ``The present is ours; the future, big with events. Every man and woman should be to-day a law to himself, herself,--a law of loyalty to Jesus' Sermon on the Mount.'' 5

All this happened many years ago. The future was indeed ``big with events'' as it turned out. Love, marriage, wonderful children, a rewarding career, are some of the proofs. Yes, I still have problems to solve. But with each one I learn more about God and my relationship to Him. With each experience I learn to love more, to appreciate each day as God's day, and to put my life in His hands. 1 Matthew 10:7. 2 See Genesis, chaps. 37, 39-45. 3 Mrs. Eddy is the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science. 4 Science and Health, p. 203. 5 Miscellaneous Writings, p. 12.

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