It's hard to have faith in mediums and psychics when they're begging you to pay them for a message a loved one has for you. If you're a believer in the Christian faith, you know that the only way your loved one can communicate with you is through God only. Everything else is coming through are what's called "familiar spirits," especially coming from someone who is into new age religions---those who do not believe that Jesus is their Savior. I had a moment where I audibly heard by mother's voice call out to me three weeks after her death. It was 3am and I was reading an article on the sofa because I couldn't sleep. I heard with a loud enthusiastic voice of my mother, "Debbie!" I put my phone down, went into my bed and put the covers over my head like a scared little girl. I didn't know what to make of it and it didn't feel right. It wasn't my mom. I still, till this day do not believe it was my mom, but the mockery of the devil. I even had mediums tell me it was really her, but I shifted my attention the other way, because mediums mostly deal with familiar spirits to begin with. So, I turned to God for answers instead.
Your loved ones can communicate with you, but not as you would imagine. You first have to have a strong relationship with God, and your primary goal is to make God first. Loving your family more than life, more than your own life---and even loving them more than God is a form of idolatry. In the Bible it states that if someone loves their family more than God, that God can turn daughters from their mothers, fathers against their sons---meaning He can tear up your family right before your eyes. You can lose your family in a split second, but you can never lose God. God is the one who created your loved ones to spend "temporary" time here with you. So why worship your family? Love them, appreciate them, but worship God. That's first and foremost.
While my mom was sick and during the times of my grieving after she passed away, I began asking what my purpose was now that she was gone. I began questioning if suicide was a sin or not. I even went so far as to have a plan if I ever did want to "go home." My other half would hear me say terrible things in my moments of intense grief. She heard details, plans and questions like, "Why am I even here?" She's heard it all. I would sway back and forth with these thoughts. Some days I wanted to live, while other days, I just wanted to go home---my eternal home.
The other day, I started praying about it. I asked God would I still go to heaven if I chose the time to go home? And where in the Bible does it talk about suicide being a sin---I see "murder" as a sin, but would that be considered murder? I also promised Him that I would stick it out down here, but I still wanted those questions answered.
As I was getting ready for our Thanksgiving holiday, I accidentally hit my phone, to where a video popped up and started right smack dab in the middle of the stream. It was a Joyce Meyer video.
It said, "I wanna turn to the people watching on TV or online right now. God put it in my heart right now that you are contemplating or seriously considering suicide. A lot of the reason people get to that point in life is that they just feel like people really don't love them or they feel like they just cannot event it right. And part of that reason why you get to that point is because you are trying to find worth and value in all these other things that never give you true worth and value. So you begin to feel like you're a big 'mess up'---you didn't make it through college, your marriage didn't work out, you weren't good at sports like your brother or you weren't good at something as your sister, so you always felt like the tail end of life...and you're just ready to give up. I want you to listen to me today. God is talking to you and He had you turn this program on at specifically at this time---even if you think you accidentally found me. And I don't care if it's 2 o'clock in the morning or 3 o'clock, here's the point: GOD LOVES YOU! And He has a good plan for you. And if you'll just receive that by faith and speak it out of your own mouth...this is where it gets hard...to sit somewhere by yourself and say: GOD LOVES ME! GOD THINKS I AM WONDERFUL!"
As I listened to this message blaring out from my iPhone, I was sobbing---as if God REALLY did hear me! He heard my cries for help. He heard me ask Him to take me home. He heard me say that I had no purpose here and that I was more of a burden than anything else. And even though I promised Him I would stick it out, these thoughts sometimes came seeping into the cracks of my mind, tormenting me and continually asking, "Why should I stay?" The one thing God did teach me is that people are human---unreliable and unpredictable. They sometimes hurt our feelings and don't live up to our expectations. Just last week, my own psychiatrist let me down. He sat there in his chair and laughed at me as I explained my fear and agony of living in this house. I fear the winters alone and I'm also tormented by the memories of this beautiful home. It has become a torture chamber more than it has a home. And as "easier said than done" ---I was explaining how I told him my partner promised me that we'd be out of here by the fall so we wouldn't have to endure another painful winter up here. We argue over it as well. Again, my psychiatrist chuckled and said, "What---did you just want her to admit that she had broken a promise?" That wasn't the point at all. It was the fact that I'm going to be (or in my mind) a repeat of last year, panicky and over-the-top anxious every single time we have a snowstorm. We lose power with even a slight breeze, so when it's below zero and there's no lights, I'm there by myself trying to feed the fire with whatever wood is left in the house itself, hoping that someone can make it to me if God forbid I have an emergency. Sometimes my panic attacks are so bad, that I'm carried out of the by ambulance anyway. Thing is, they cannot get to me because sometimes, there's more than four feet of snow blocking our driveway, so we have to call emergency vehicles from the town itself to get us out. I wouldn't call this an "irrational fear" ---an irrational fear would be me sitting here on a perfectly sunny day thinking I'm gonna have a heart attack. That's irrational.
But I regress, my psychiatrist laughed at all of this and I turned to him and said, "What's so funny? I just lost my mother and learning how to cope and also learning how to live in this big house by myself---and this somehow amuses you?" I said a couple of choice words to him and then before I slammed the door, I told him, "When I leave here, I'm going up to that tower I spoke about and I'm going to end it. That's on your head."
Not only did he sit there and say absolutely nothing, but he didn't even call for help. It's strange how you're supposed to feel "safe" in a therapist's office, especially one that calls himself an M.D.---but you're not. They're human too and unfortunately, carry a whole lot of flaws just like we do. How many other people walked out of his office threatening suicide who actually did it, and the doctor didn't make that one call to save their lives? And honestly, I'm not sure if I wanted him to call. I knew he wouldn't. He knows that my faith in God is much stronger than my constant thoughts of going home. In my mind, I just believed nobody cares. In fact, it would make other people's lives a little less stressful if I was gone. Like, why am I here? What purpose do I have? And then God hits me with His very own words that He loves me. He sends me messages to me like, "hold on, endure just a little more,"
and He has also impressed on me that my purpose is far greater than I can even imagine. And I can't imagine. This is why we need to trust God.
The next day, I heard, "Start cooking!" But I'm like, "For who?" So I started cooking my famous meatballs made with sweet Italian sausage and ground beef. I started chopping all the veggies and herbs and making my marinara sauce for the raviolis. I live stream my cooking as well, so people around the world can see my recipes. I also made roast beef, mashed potatoes, and some veggies to prep for the next day. Then I got a phone call from a friend. She came and ate dinner with us and then we went over to the Bronx to visit my partner's grandmother and it fed the whole family. My meal had a purpose. Every morsel was gone. Then I made a chicken soup and it went faster than I could even grab a bowl. On top of that, a viewer of mine on the internet who watches my cooking shows cooked my recipe exactly how I did it. I was so honored someone cooked my meal! Then other people started saying, "Hey Deb, I cooked your pasta fagioli last night!" "Hey Deb! I cooked your roasted chicken with potatoes the other day!" "Hey Deb! I cooked your marinara sauce and it came out great!"
In my heart, God said, "You have purpose." Things like that make it all worth it. If I know I'm helping someone, then yes, it seems like it's worth it.
For all of you who see me on Periscope Live---thank you for taking interest in my recipes. I'm also going to update my cooking website over at DebsCucina.com.
Anyway, back to what I was saying... I don't think it's uncommon for someone to feel purposeless. In fact, while I was praying this morning, God put an impression on my heart. I was listening to the ambient music channel on my TV on low. The song, "A Mother's Love" came on, along with "Paradise," from the "Sailing" album. But what struck me was the word "Sailing." Do you remember the song, "Sailing" by Christopher Cross back in the 80's? I felt my mom talking to me. She put me in a memory that I had forgotten about---and she also told me something that I never knew before. A long time ago, when I was 7 years old and my mother was 43 years old, around my age, she was going through a depression. She and my dad were fighting a lot. After their arguments, she would go out to the outer living room, which she called "the porch." But it was closed in, with a fireplace, sofas, TV, plus a large dining room table. I sat down on the sofa chair next to her while she was lying down on the sofa watching TV smoking a cigarette. A commercial came on playing the song, "Sailing." She looked over at me and said, "When I die, I want you to sing this song near my grave." I stared at her, speechless. My eyes welled up with tears and I felt a huge lump in my throat. The thought of losing my mother was the worst thing that could ever happen to me. NO! NO! NO!
But the imagery of me kneeling besides her grave singing this song tormented me for years. Every time the song, "Sailing" came on the radio, I would immediately turn it off. I couldn't listen to it. It reminded me of mom's death. She kept giving us subtle hints that she wanted to die. Shortly after this incident, she ran into the woods after another argument took place and we didn't know where to find her. Mom never left the house without telling us where she was---in fact, she never left the house with me in it!
I ran outside yelling out, "Ma!!! Ma!!! Maaaaaaaa!!!"
I went inside the dining room where my father was still sitting and yelled at him. As scared as I was to yell at my own father, I yelled and screamed at him! He didn't say a word. "WHERE IS SHE?"
Nothing. No response. I even called him a jerk. Later that evening, she came home. She had walked down this old path deep into the woods and just sat there for a while. I'm not sure what she was thinking or contemplating, but I know it wasn't good. I do remember one thing, but years later after my died passed away... Mom explained why they were fighting and I totally understood everything. It made sense and it took away her self-worth and purpose. She felt she had no purpose anymore. But she did, and yet she couldn't see it.
So as I was praying this morning, I felt my mother all around me. I said, "I hate how that song makes me feel. It traumatizes me every time I hear it." In an instance, I heard, "This is exactly how you make Madelene feel when you say you wanna go home." I can't imagine someone I love wishing they were dead all the time, but that's what I was doing and didn't realize the impact of it. Whether someone is serious about suicide or not, the words, the threats, the planned out scheme of how it's gonna go down is traumatizing for a loved one to hear. It's like saying you don't care enough about them to live---even though you're suffering internally, emotionally, or even physically, it's still a traumatizing thought to throw at someone who loves you with all their heart. It's not fair to them. It also brings us to the actual suicide itself: think about your loved ones. Think about all of the "what if I could've helped them more"
type of thoughts running through their minds for the rest. of. their. lives.
And you know what else I found out while praying to God about this? We'll never know our real purpose in this life until we are back home with God. The mystery is far too great to even comprehend. It's like fish trying to understand algebra. So my biggest advice to anyone contemplating suicide is this: if you need help, reach out. If you feel like nobody's there to listen, reach out to GOD. God hears every prayer, every cry, in fact He collected every teardrop you've ever shed. If you would just believe it...receive it...and trust in God's promise, you'll be surprised over how easy the answers are and why 'this' is that way or why 'that' is this way. Some answers will be revealed, while others will remain a mystery.
Keep trying. Keep living. Keep doing what you love. For me, I had to keep praying, keep taking notes, keep cooking for my loved ones, keep playing guitar, keep going to church---all things that lift my spirits up. I had to give up drinking, eat healthier, welcome more people into my life without the fear of being let down or disappointed. I had to change my attitude about everything and just trust God. I also had to stop complaining. Your words are very powerful, and sometimes my words can tear my entire spirit down, or tear someone else down if I don't use them wisely. As it says in the scriptures, life and death are in the power of the tongue. Which way are you going to use yours? The old "Sticks & Stones" is a fallacy. Don't be deceived, because the devil is a liar and he wants you to believe that words are meaningless and that what you say can always be forgotten. Some words can never be forgotten. I'm not perfect and I know that without a doubt, there are people out there in the world who still remember my words of poison, and hopefully one day, there'll be forgiveness for my sins. But for now, I'm still learning. We all are. I coming to terms with the fact that I'll probably never know why I'm here or what my purpose is, but I'm going to try my hardest to make somebody's day, maybe even life much better. I'm going to try my best to put a smile on someone's face who's lost all hope. Maybe I can help somebody who lost their favorite person like I did, and maybe...I can help someone who wants to go home just like I once did. I still do, but I'm going to wait on God and His timing. To anyone reading this, hang in there. Don't give up. Pray. Believe. Expect answers. God has proven to me that I still have work to do. Through my perspective it's cloudy, but to Him, the view is perfect. His ways are always perfect.
"Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight." --Proverbs 3:5-6
For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com or join her on Facebook and Twitter. Check out her cooking blog for some of her famous recipes!