I remember very vividly the day I was going to kill myself.
I was in high school, and had been asking people what they thought would be the best way to die. "I don't know," one guy said, "I'd like to get an axe in the chest, that would be cool."
Obviously he didn't know my intentions, and I didn't blame him. I didn't blame anyone.
I was what some might call a loner in high school. I think most people thought I was a bit creepy but it's not good to assume. It's also dangerous.
After all of the past experiences that had happened, and with the loneliness I felt then, I didn't feel much will to carry on in life. Please don't get me wrong, it has a been very long time since I thought about actually comitting suicide. Had I gone through with it then, it would have been an incredibly selfish act. That is not the reason why I backed out of it, however.
When I finally decided how to kill myself, I concluded that headache pills would be the best way. I didn't know why, it just seemed awfully convenient. I decided to do something first, however. Just one last thing. So I got up and walked out of my room, leaving the pill bottle there.
What happened then would save my life.
I walked through a neighborhood that I went to often to watch the sun rise. There were large hills, covered in trees, rolling in the east. The sun would slowly ascend behind them, making for a beautiful and magnificent sight. At first I thought I would come out here for one more sun rise. Then something inside of me felt the need to speak to the sun's Creator before taking my life. I yearned to have an audience with the King of creation.
So I did.
Please keep in mind that my part of the conversation that is to follow was based on my feelings at the time. Feelings can be evil things that get the better of you, and certainly many of the things I said I do not believe now. They were merely cries of desperate saddness. As I said, suicide is an incredibly selfish act, and I was being selfish then. I must be honest about what happened though, to the best of my memory concerning the conversation. I do not believe that I was completely corrected by God in my thinking then, because God's will at that time was to show me what I'm about to describe, and make sure that I sincerely knew it before He continued my walk with Him.
What follows is something of a conversation, as best as I can remember it.
"Dear God," I said, "I really am alone. On Friday and Saturday, when everyone's out having a good time and partying, I'm sitting alone, in my room. No one invites me anywhere, no one gives a flip."
"Really, if I killed myself right now, no one's going to care. I mean, it'd be interesting to see my funeral but, so what? Some might cry or whatever but no one's really going to miss me."
"It seems like everything I touch dies. It's like everyone I come in contact with hates me."
"Why is that? Why does everyone hate me? What did I do?"
"I love you," He said.
I stood there, perhaps blinking but otherwise silent.
"I love you," God repeated.
I frowned. "But, I mean... you're God, you're perfect. You created everything. You created the earth, the universe, the galaxy, everything. You're in charge of absolutely everything that happens, all the time. I'm a sinner."
"I know, and I love you Ryan," God said.
There was a pause, a chance to let me comprehend that.
"I have loved you since before time began," God continued. "I have loved you since before I made the earth. I have loved you more than your mind can imagine. I love you so much that, knowing absolutely every sin you would ever do, every crime you would commit, every evil thing that you would ever say, I still sent my Son, my only Son, the only thing I did not create, to die for you."
I remained silent as He spoke.
"I sent Him to die, the most horrific death humanity has yet created, so that you, Ryan, could be with Me. As He died, He died for you."
I did not mutter a word.
"I love you Ryan. I love you, and it is my will that you belong here right now. I want you here."
As He spoke those words, in me ignited a hope that I had never felt before. I knew at that moment that God had plans for me, plans to give me hope. I did not know very much of anything else concerning my walk at that particular time, only that the Creator and King of all of creation loved me, and wanted me. Nothing else mattered then.
When I got home I put the pills back where I found them, and went to bed. I was very much ready to die. Now, I was very much ready to live.
It would be some time before I walked that neighborhood again to watch the sun rising on the earth. After graduating high school, I started keeping a journal, something I still continue to do now. I wrote a quick entry, on the night of September 9th, 2001.
I believe this was a gift from God, to help me through what was about to happen to all of us, and to help me be a desciple to my family, my friends, my neighbors, to my grieving community.
It was my last journal entry before September 11, 2001.