I know a lot has been said about the devastation of the suicide of Robin Williams. Any of us who are fans of his talented work have grieved knowing that we will not enjoy his talent again. A few days after the announcement, I overheard in the grocery story, a woman commenting to her friend, “I just don’t understand how anyone could take their own life.”

I didn’t hear all the conversation but I was tempted to become a part of it. Because I almost took my own life. I wanted to express to the woman that anyone, if they are hopeless enough might consider suicide as the only possibility for relieving the pain. And of course, suicide is Satan’s wicked tool for all sorts of destruction to that person and those who love him or her. 

I can only give credit to God for saving my life from that destruction. It was many years ago now–about 38 years, in fact–and I hated my life, was deeply depressed, and took my depression and anger out on my toddler daughter. I was a Christian yet my prayers for relief seemed unheard. I was praying for an instantaneous deliverance of my anger; it wasn’t until later that I realized God would answer that prayer but through a process of growth.

But my despair in the meantime brought me to the point that one day as Larry left for work being a policeman, he said, “I have to leave my off-duty service revolver today; it’s in the dresser drawer. Make sure Darcy doesn’t get a hold of it.” Thankfully, there was little danger of that since the drawer was far too high for a two-year-old.

Larry had no idea of the degree of my problem. He was seldom home and that was one of many sources of my anger. My hopelessness was largely fueled by that rocky relationship and how I feared I would kill our toddler in my next rage. I’d already choked her and was completely out of control. My tortured thoughts became, “If I don’t kill myself, I’m going to kill Darcy. Better I’m gone than she.”

So that day after I mistreated her again, I remembered the gun in the dresser and pulled open the drawer door. The gun seemed to glint at me, as if beckoning me to use it. It seemed to offer peace from the pain and safety for our daughter. 

But then one thought entered my mind, “What will people think of Jesus if they hear Kathy Miller has taken her life?”

That thought stopped me that day because even though I didn’t care about my reputation, I did care about Jesus’ reputation. The gun no longer glinted and I closed the dresser drawer. 

In time, God delivered me little by little from my anger, brought peace within our home by me becoming a calm mother, healed the relationship between Larry and I, and opened doors for sharing my story which began my ministry.

I don’t know what compelled Robin Williams to take his life. I don’t know why I responded to the Holy Spirit’s leading, but I do know how someone can take their own life. At the time, even though suicide is the most selfish thing you can do, someone can easily be persuaded that it’s actually the only way and the best way for everyone. 

How like our Enemy! 

Yes, I can relate to the helplessness, despair and depression that can cause a suicide. But I also know that there is always hope and help with God.