Cultivating the will to live

Focus: Why live?

Romans 8:28 (NIV) And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.

It’s hard to make sense of why some people have a passion for life and others don’t. There are so many things that contribute to a person’s emotional wellbeing and healthy development. I was well into my thirties before I had the slightest desire to live. On any given day before that time, if God had been taking volunteers to leave here—I would have gladly said, “Pick me.”

Now, you can listen and/or read!

God has a very creative mind and He was having a good day when He made me. I was not some random experiment that failed. --Christina Cook Lee, A Quest For New Strength
Link to New Strength Devotional, Audio Version
God has a very creative mind and He was having a good day when He made me. I was not some random experiment that failed. --Christina Cook Lee, A Quest For New Strength
New Strength Devotional Inspirational Statement of the Day

I still believe that ‘to die is gain’, according to Philippians 1:21, but these days I am able to enjoy life with the knowledge that God has a special plan for me that is continually unfolding—one that includes my ability to understand what it is like not to want to live.

At this point, I am able to talk about the subject I kept buried deep inside me for so many years—my suicidal tendencies and my ‘death wish’. When you are truly suicidal you normally don’t talk about it—you just think about it—a lot. It is a theme that involuntarily repeats itself in your everyday life. You are constantly faced with the subtle suggestion, “what if…”

If you have never had thoughts like these, it doesn’t mean you don’t need to read this or think about it. Everyone should know more about those who suffer with an emotional failure to thrive, because the problem is more widespread than people would probably imagine. As you study about the things that can contribute to this condition—you learn that it can affect people of all socioeconomic backgrounds, races, and cultures. It is not rare.

If you are depressed or have struggled with dependency issues, you have no doubt questioned why you were born, why you are alive, and why you couldn’t just die. You may have attempted suicide, or at least thought about it.

I’m convinced there aren’t a lot of people out there who talk about it who have actually had a problem with it. Searching for answers can give you the feeling that the people writing about it have never been near the dark places you have been by the way they approach the topic. The pat answers they suggest can seem shallow and cause you to lose interest in trying to follow their advice. A big part of the lie that feeds the monster in your mind is that ‘nobody really understands’. When the enemy throws that line to you at every turn—you start to believe it and you stop thinking there is a way out. You accept the falsehood that ‘this is just the way you are’ and that you ‘aren’t like anyone else’. You learn to live with the gnawing loneliness that never leaves…the feeling that life isn’t worth living.

I’m not a psychologist, but I have experienced some things that have helped me develop a more balanced attitude about life. They are simple things, but they have helped me find hope and encouragement in ways I wasn’t able to for most of my life. I made the decision to turn what the enemy of my soul intended for evil—into something good. I have learned to embrace the things about myself that used to bewilder me. Here are a few examples:

I used to think I was the ‘odd duck’ and had nothing in common with anybody else. Now, I have chosen to believe that God made me as ‘one of a kind’ with a completely unique purpose.

I used to feel that if people knew ‘the real me’, they wouldn’t like me—so I constantly tried to re-invent myself as whoever I thought they wanted me to be. Now, I know that ‘who I am’ is ‘who God created me to be’. God has a very creative mind and He was having a good day when He made me. I wasn’t some random experiment that failed.

I was never able to see any purpose to why I felt like such an alien on this planet. Now, I know that there are millions of people out there who feel like just as much of an alien as I felt most of my life. God allowed me to know how that felt so that I could give those people encouragement and help them have the will to live. In other words, your needs have helped me make sense of my own battle in this area.

Declaration: I will find new strength by embracing the fact that all things work together for good in this life to those who love God. I will live and not die until God intends for that to happen. I will not try to advance that event. I will find peace and thrive—knowing God made me ‘on purpose’. I don’t have all the answers, but it is enough for now to know He loves me, and that someday I will understand everything better.

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For music selections that will help bring hope and encouragement during your recovery from depression and addiction, browse:

All NEW STRENGTH posts are Copyright by Christina Cook Lee 2012. Please request permission to re-post or re-blog.


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