What was your purpose for writing and who is the intended audience for Destined To Live, Despite Me?
I thought my intended audience was solely attempted suicide survivors, but as the book progressed, it became clear that absolutely every person has a breaking point. Another’s breaking point just may not manifest itself the same way.
My purpose for writing this book then became to simply use my testimony to assist others, regardless of their story. Assisting others in choosing to deliberately live life in abundance ... I am not speaking of an abundance of things or money ... but I am speaking of abundant joy, peace, and hope found in Christ Jesus.
You discuss having a breaking point. Will you share more about that?
I definitely had a breaking point. We all do. My particular one is not the important issue. The important issue is … that everyone has one. It can be any emotional event that leaves a person broken and destroyed. For someone else, their breaking point can be:
- a car accident
- a divorce after 20 year and the wife has to find a job
- a child blaming themselves for the divorce
- financial difficulties
That is why it is so important to understand the signs. Understanding the signs to save your family members, your neighbors, and your friends; obtaining knowledge in order to allow God to use you to help another. I have a list of warning signs on page 131 of the book.
In your book, the stats reveals that suicide is the third leading cause of death in the age group 15 to 24. What message of encouragement would you give to our young people today?
Know WHO you are and WHOSE you are. If I can elaborate, I want our next generation to NOT define themselves by the standard of this world, you know – not by the cars, clothes, only the tangibles – let’s consider our whole-man: mind, body, and soul. Chose to use the standard in which God defines you.
If you have surrendered your life to Christ, you are His child, a co-heir with Christ. You can stand on all of God’s promises in the Bible because you are sons and daughters of the Creator Himself. So do not walk defeated!
Chose to live this life deliberately – know that each morning you are alive, God has purpose for you.
Suicide should not be an option ... it is a permanent solution to a temporary problem! If you’re hurting now, let God love you back to wholeness.
Now if you have not surrendered your life to Christ, I encourage you to not simply dismiss the fact that you are hearing this message right now – God is calling you personally to live this life and the next to come in His presence. Stop dismissing Him.
Will the struggle ever end for people who have survived? Or, is it always a constant that they could fall-back into feeling the hopelessness?
Struggles are a part of life. What matters most, is how we learn respond to life struggles!
For anyone still considering suicide, first there has to be an elimination of this mindset as a workable alternative. Assistance is available by contacting a mental health professional or by calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
For those who have survived a previous attempt and no longer struggle with thoughts of suicide but continue to live under the guilt and shame associated with their past actions; I am here to say that there is freedom in Christ Jesus! It is time for you to build a spiritual foundation for deliberate living. Pick up my book, learn how to shake off the unnecessary baggage, and gladly receive the Lover of your soul ... Jesus Christ ... who offers you hope, joy, and peace.
For those who have not considered suicide but are trapped in feelings of constant negativity, pick up my book as well. We are a hurting generation and people who have been hurt tend to hurt others; let’s chose to receive healing. I am a living proof that one can overcome the battle with feelings of hopelessness to the point of despair.
How would you sum up the book?
The book is my story, written for you. I am sharing my private life, my disappointments, my fears, my un-loveliness. Yes it started out hard for me, but the Lord poured out of me some of the things that had been holding me down.
- I know now, that I can be alone; but I don’t have to be lonely,
- I sometimes feel unloved; but God loves me unconditionally.
- I can be financially broke; but God will provide.
- I can be friendless; but Jesus is longing to be my friend.
- My life can be broken; and He will put it back together again.
- I can be a sinner. Jesus died for my sins, and your sins. He already paid the price
I will sum it up…….BUT GOD!
Where can we find out more about you, your ministry, and your book?
Please visit my website at www.YolandaShanks.com.