“I don’t know what to do anymore,” he said. “Maybe it’s hopeless.”
“No, babe. It’s not hopeless,” I said as I turned my head to look at him in his eyes.
“I don’t know anymore,” he paused, “maybe it is.”
His shirt hung out. His pants worn. His hands and fingernails black from the assembly line work at his job.
“I think it just might be,” he said.
“I don’t know why God gave me a family when He knows I can’t take care of them.”
“That’s not true. You’re doing a great job. We have food. We have our house. The kids are happy. We’re fine,” I said trying to encourage him.
“No, I mean that. I can’t support y’all like you need me to,” his voice faded. He lifted his eyes to look at mine, “I think y’all would be better off without me.”
“No,” I said as I stood up, “you don’t mean that.”
“I don’t know, maybe I do,” he said. “Rachel, you’re beautiful. If something happened to me, you’d have someone else to take care of you and our kids right away. Someone that could really take care of you. Not someone like me.”
I ran over and knelt down by the couch where he was sitting, took his hands and looked in his eyes.
“No. You don’t mean that. I love you. You only. God has a plan. He does. You can’t say that. The kids and I, we don’t want someone else. We want you. I don’t want you to talk like that. God put you and me together for a purpose. He did.”
“I know. I used to believe that,” He said, “But He doesn’t open any doors for me. I’ve tried everything. I’ve asked everyone I know. You’ve sent tons of resumes; I’ve called for years for shows, the only job I have is not cutting it, and the ones that interview me don’t want me. I can’t take care of y’all.”
He paused, “If God doesn’t want me doing the things He’s put in my heart then I wish He’d take away the desire. Why would He give me talents and not want me to use them? But it’s more than that. I can’t take care of my family like I want to.”
“Yes, you can. We can do whatever, whatever you want to do.”
“No, we can’t. We can’t sell this house, I can’t get a job that supports us--we are stuck,” he continued, “Y’all would be better off with my insurance policy than with me.”
“God, no!” I yelled. “No, that’s not true! Please don’t say that Michael. We love you. I love you. I want you. I don’t care if I’m living on the street in a cardboard box. You’re my husband, they are my kids. This is our family. Don’t talk like that, please!”
“I want to be with you and the kids, just not like this,” he said.
“Don’t even think about suicide. It’s not the answer and you know it. Wait. It’s coming, babe. It is. God will rescue us. He will. Don’t lose hope. He’ll do it.”
“No, I know. I’m not going to take my own life. But sometimes it crosses my mind,” he said as he looked at me with watery eyes.
“Yes, I know. It crosses mine, too. But we know that it’s never God’s answer. Never. There’s always hope, there is.”
We sat in silence for a moment.
“Just keep reminding me of that.”
“Let’s shake on it. Let’s promise each other we’ll never take our own lives, no matter how bad it gets,” I said with all seriousness.
He reached out his hand and took mine.
“Promise me, we’ll never take our own lives, no matter what,” I said.
“Okay, I won’t take my own life.”
“No matter what?”
“No matter what.”
I wanted to add to this excerpt today. If you feel like all hope is gone, for whatever reason--it's not. It's never a hopeless situation. If you feel like you need someone to talk to, I'm including two phone numbers that came to my mind as I wrote this post today. Don't feel isolated. Don't feel helpless. There is always hope.
Focus on the Family 1-855-771-4357
The 700 Club Prayer Line 1-800-759-0700