• Julie Busler

Suicide Anniversary

January 14, 2011: I woke up and God was with me.

When I read his suicide note in my email inbox, God knew that the shattering of my heart would eventually lead to my wholeness.

When the detective confirmed over the phone that he was indeed gone, God put it on the heart of my dearest friend to text me “there are no orphans of God” and that truth was imprinted on my heart.

When I pulled up to my childhood home, the home my mom died in, and now my dad too, God allowed trauma to change my brain - a brain He would eventually use to speak about mental illness because it understands it.

When I watched my dad’s remains be placed in the ground next to my mother, God knew that from that burial would grow passion I could not have attained any other way besides loss.

January 14, 2021, a decade after the death of my dad: I woke up and God was still with me.

I wish I could go back and take that twenty seven year old face of mine in my hands and tell her that God was with her as her life shattered. That one day she’d look back and see evidence of His love and care. That one day, God would use this trauma as a way to qualify her for the ministry He had for her. That the pain she loathed would not leave her heart, but would be infused with purpose as only God can do.

I am so glad that 27 year old did not give up and follow in her dad’s footsteps over the last ten years. You have no idea what the rest of your story looks like. Even last August, I still intentionally held close anything regarding mental health and lived in the shadow of shame.

But then came September.

In September, I knew God wanted me to start speaking out. In October, I began writing a book. In November, I spoke in person at an event about mental health. And now in January, I’ll be turning in a book proposal in hopes of publishing a book on mental health.

Do not give up if the darkness and pain feels as though it will overwhelm you. You have no idea of the epic redemption you will see if you will but trust God and hold on. You never know when your “September” moment will come. I have lived a lot of days of sadness, 3,650 to be exact. But even with a broken heart on this anniversary, I can say with truthfulness, that seeing God use tragedy for His glory infuses my sorrow with bright joy. There’s purpose in your pain as well….don’t give up and miss out

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