Suicide – 10th Leading Cause of Death

Suicide

It has been fifteen days since the incident and ten days ago when I found out.  The news devastated me when I heard it… a loss of a great individual.  That individual was a past boyfriend.  To be exact, my high school sweetheart.

The last time I contacted him was back in 2002.  However, when I read his obituary and saw his picture, my mind transported me back to our relationship.  All the highs and lows that we experienced as young teenagers in our year and a half relationship.  He was romantic, attentive, kind, highly intelligent and good-looking… everything I wanted in a guy.  Unfortunately, the relationship did not last due to my move to San Antonio.

So, when I read his obituary ten days ago, I was stunned.  How can someone so well-educated, career-oriented, social and a follower of Christ be gone so soon?  The obituary stated that he died at his home.  No further description.  Of course the worst goes through my mind… suicide.  When I spoke with some mutual friends, they confirmed my suspicions.  How come no one noticed the warning signs?  How come he didn’t receive mental health assistance?  Why would a so-called Christian commit such an act?  So many questions and no answers…

I felt numb, sad, anxious and concerned, all rolled into one.  I lost countless hours of sleep, experienced panic attacks, lack of concentration at work and clung to my husband as if he was going to die next.  As a counselor, I listen to numerous accounts of suicidal attempts from my clients (and yes, I take them seriously!).  However, this is the first time that suicide has affected me personally.  The loss of someone who I had a deep relationship with is no longer on this earth.

So, in telling my personal account, I’d like to extend to all FFC readers the facts on suicide.  I wish I was the only person that has experienced this loss, but unfortunately, suicide is too common in our society.  Let’s take a stand by educating ourselves about the facts and advocating for those that have had suicidal attempts before it is too late.

Suicide Facts from www.SAVE.org:

– Suicide takes the lives of nearly 40,000 Americans every year.

– Over half of all suicides occur in adult men, ages 25-65.

– Suicide rates in the United States are highest in the spring.

– Over half of all suicides are completed with a firearm.

– For young people 15-24 years old, suicide is the second leading cause of death.

– 80% of people who seek treatment for depression are treated successfully.

– There are an estimated 8 to 25 attempted suicides to 1 completion.

– 1 in 65,000 children ages 10 to 14 die by suicide each year.

– Substance abuse is a risk factor for suicide.

– The strongest risk factor for suicide is depression.

– An average of one person dies by suicide every 13.3 minutes. (CDC, AAS).

– There are four male suicides for every female suicide. (CDC, AAS).

– Research has shown medications and therapy to be effective suicide prevention.

– Suicide can be prevented through education and public awareness.

– There are three female suicide attempts for each male attempt. (CDC, AAS).

– According to the Violent Death Reporting System, in 2004 73% of suicides also tested positive for at least one substance (alcohol, cocaine, heroin or marijuana).

Parenting a Special Needs Child

Parenting a Special Needs Child

Having a child with special needs can be very overwhelming and life can be uncertain. When my son was first diagnosed with Autism, I was so lost and confused as to what will happen to him. As a parent, we all envision our children growing up, going to college, getting married and having children but when you have a child with special needs, your dreams for them are changed. I can remember feeling like a failure of doing something wrong while I was pregnant to cause his autism. Every birthday, I would get depressed because all of the data and stats stated that early treatment is the best outcome of curing or reversing autism.

The past few years, I have been really praying and walking in faith with GOD. I know now that GOD made my son this way and chose me to be his mother. I remember praying to GOD to heal my son of autism because this is what I wanted. I now pray to GOD to make him the best person he’s sees fit. I know that GOD is in control and as long as I have faith that GOD will allow my son to be the best he can, autism or not, he will be fine in this world. I am here as his mother to allow GOD to use me to help him navigate the life he has and help mold him to be as independent as GOD sees fit. Last week my son celebrated his 13th birthday. Instead of being depressed about how far behind he is of “typical” children, I looked at how far he has come and gave all the GLORY TO GOD for blessing me with an awesome child.

 

Is Divorce Possible Before Marriage?

Is divorce possible before marriage

If you live together with someone before getting married, your chances of divorce increase significantly. Also, almost every problem people think they are avoiding by living together actually increases — abuse, infidelity, breakup, etc.

Even though cohabiting with someone might seem like a good idea — it is a practical disaster. The worst thing about cohabitation is the mindset that drives it. To understand this mindset and how it sets up a relationship for failure — you must first understand the mindset that is necessary for success in marriage.

Marriage is a covenant relationship that is a every important relationship that God has with man or we have with each other. The word covenant means “to cut”. The idea is sacrifice and total commitment — just as Jesus instituted the New Covenant with us in His blood.

We must enter into marriage with a covenant mentality. When we say our vows, “…for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health…until death do us part…” we must mean business. Covenant commitment lays the foundation for lasting love and mutual care.

In cohabitation, covenant commitment is absent. In fact, the spirit that drives cohabitation is the opposite of covenant. You see, in covenant, when a man and woman are getting married, the spirit of the vows they are making is one of assuming responsibility to “love and to cherish” each other in a sacrificial manner.

The spirit of cohabitation is the opposite. The primary reason people choose to live together is to see how good someone is at taking care of them before they will commit. This is why the divorce rate is so high if they marry. From day one — self was at the center stage of the relationship.

Today, half of all couples getting married have lived together before marriage. As I already stated, their chances of having serious problems or divorcing are much higher than couples that didn’t cohabit. But are they cursed without remedy? No. However, to avoid the consequences of cohabitation, there must be a real change in the orientation of the marriage.

Here is how you change things: You must make a covenant commitment that focuses on obeying God and serving your spouse sacrificially. You must get the focus off of yourself and get your foot out of the backdoor.

Because of their fear of marriage problems or divorce, our society has taken the approach that the best way to solve the problem is to live together without formalizing a commitment. In sociological terms we call this cohabitation. On the street it’s called, “shacking up” or “living in sin”. Whatever you call it — it just doesn’t work and it actually produces and multiplies the problems it fears.

God’s way is best. If you are living together — my advice to you is to either split up or get married. If you’re married and lived together before marriage, change the orientation of your focus from yourself to God and your spouse in a covenant commitment. This will remove the flaw in the foundation and give you a solid chance for success in marriage.

Retrieved from Marriage Today

Financial Fasting

Financial Fasting

We are just a few weeks into the new year and most of us are trying to recover from all of the Christmas spending. I was reading an article in the Washington Post by the columnist and now author of the 21 Day Financial Fast, Michelle Singletary. Ms. Singletary spoke about how people want to lose weight in the new year but never think about getting their finances in order. This 21 day financial fast is not going to get you out of debt, but will help your re-examine your spending habits. During the 21 day financial fast, you should avoid using your credit cards, going out to restaurants and shopping. The only time you should spend money during these three weeks is for paying bills, grocery shopping and paying for the basic necessity. This will teach you how to keep count of your money.

It is also important to have an accountable partner. If you are married or in a committed relationship, it is important that you work together during this fast. Money is one of the top reason why relationships end. If you are needing assistance with getting your finances in order or you are having trouble in your relationship, give me a call. I would love to assist you.

Lets start the new year off right!!!  Are you ready???

Faith

Faith

He who has faith has…an inward reservoir of courage, hope, confidence, calmness, and assuring trust that all will come out well–even though to the world it may appear to come out most badly.   B.C. Forbes

What is our responsibility as Christians to pray for and believe in the best for ourselves, our loved ones and even our enemies?  This week, my personal goal is to cease all negative talk, complaining, etc. and to give those concerns over to God.

Love is HOLY

Love is Holy

When two people marry, each person becomes holy to the other by way of holy matrimony. This means that no other person is supposed to enjoy this level of commitment and endearment other than you. Your heart should be bonded with your spouse. When you start to share your heart with someone else affairs can become a quick reality. This happens in the most unintentional opposite sex friendships. Set up boundaries in your marriage so that only your spouse is sacred to you. I challenge you this week to show your spouse honor and respect that is outside of your normal everyday routine.

Marriage must be respected by all, and the marriage bed kept undefiled (Hebrews 13:4)