Don’t worry, the semicolon is not a typo.
A semicolon is an interesting punctuation mark that can mean a few things. It can mean a sentence is not over or it can be used to mark a distinct separation between to items. Typically, it’s used to separate a sentence and indicate that one half of that sentence would not be the same without the other (end of grammar lesson, mainly because it’s boring but also because that’s all I know #noshame)
The semicolon is also used to symbolize a change and continuation of life. Project Semicolon is a movement that is centered around people who struggle or have struggled with suicide, depression, addiction and self-injury. Essentially, the punctuation mark symbolizes that one’s story is not over yet.
Although I have at one point or another struggled with all of those concepts, for me the semicolon is specifically connected to suicide. I tried to end my life, more than once, but God intervened.
One of the gifts He has created from my experiences in dark places is the ability to speak to people in those same places, with credibility. I know what it feels like when giving up seems easier than facing another day. I know the numbness that replaces the desire to keep going. I know the moment when all of the pain turns into desperation.
I also know the incredible freedom and love for life Jesus can give in place of that fear and hopelessness. I know because He has given it to me.
Jesus knows what it feels like to want to give up, too. Hebrews 4:15 says He has been tempted in every way, just as we are. When He was on the cross He felt the full weight of our struggles. He gets it.
How did I pull through, and how do I keep going? Grace.
Grace — the unmerited, undeserved favor of God — pursues us even in the darkest places and moments.
If He had not pursued me, I would be dead. I am not dead because God is not done with me. If you are reading this, God is not done with you. Instead of escaping this world through numbness, denial, or by ending it all, we can escape this world by falling into the arms of a God who can turn pain into greatness.
You and I were created for more than barely making it through each day.
These days, I love life and I can’t wait to keep living it. Satan’s still a jerk who doesn’t like to shut up. I still have scars and some scary memories. But I also have something worth way more than any darkness could ever cover. I have the gift of a story that can help others who are in the same place I once was, and I have an appreciation for a God who is truly a lifesaver. I have more grace than I know what to do with.
Life is GOOD. Not because of circumstances, but because I am held every single second of every day by a God who is bigger than my worst moments. Do I have it all figured out? No way. Do I still have pain? Yep. Are there days when it seems easier to throw in the towel? Sure. But I don’t, and I never will, because thanks to His grace I am more than a conqueror of anything this life can throw at me (Romans 8:37).
You are too, friend.
Hang on, the best really is yet to come, I promise.
“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” Philippians 1:6