I had my hands clenched on the steering wheel, tears streaming down my face, and anger raging inside me! I was driving down a two-line highway with a grassy median separating me from the oncoming traffic. It was the summer of 1997 and I was in San Antonio about to start my sophomore year in college. It was just a week away from the dreadful day that marked a year since my brother, Keith, took his own life and I was experiencing a darkness I had never felt before. I was so angry at God and had questioned Him every day for why my brother was no longer in my life. As I drove down the highway, I cursed God for stealing my joy, my friend, and one of the most beautiful people I knew. I screamed over and over at the top of my lungs, “I hate you!!!!” until my voice was just a whisper, and my throat was stinging from pain. I continued to clench the steering wheel to get a grip on the anger that burst through my soul. I was done. I wanted out and I considered for a few minutes how easy it would be if I just drove across the median into a guard rail head-on. I imagined the quick death and the loss of pain forever. I desperately wanted the guilt, resentment, loss, and heartache to go away! My broken heart couldn’t stand another day.
Nevertheless, I kept driving. I look back on that day often, especially when I’m experiencing new pain or extreme grief. If I had jerked the steering wheel to head into the median worse things would’ve happened, and many more people would be hurting. I would’ve left our mother childless, my friends with broken hearts, and possibly hurt others in the act of killing my own pain. God heard my cries and cursing that day but He had a bigger plan for me than I could ever imagine.
Suicide is now the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, 2nd leading cause of death for ages 25-34, and 3rd leading cause of death for ages 15-25. The #1 main cause of suicide points to depression, anxiety, and hopelessness. 93% of Americans surveyed believe suicide can be prevented. So how do we do that?! We start by creating an awareness of the problem so that people understand risks, signs to look for, impact on suicide survivors, and how to communicate with those who are struggling with depression, anxiety, and hopelessness.
Join me in September for National Suicide Prevention month. Watch for more information as it’s posted and share with your friends and family. Spread the awareness so we can stand together and fight the mental health disease that is robbing our young people of their lives. Let’s make a difference!
Ginger Turner is the Founder and Director of Warriors for God Ministry. She has a Master’s Degree from Liberty University in Marriage and Family Therapy, is a Board Certified Mental Health Coach, and a Christian Life Coach. Ginger, her husband, and three children reside in the Hill Country of Texas where she teaches and counsels couples, young children, and teenagers. Her focus is on enriching marriages and families, suicide awareness, and coaching the community on Whole Body Wellness. Ginger loves the Lord and lives every day for Him, serving Him in whatever capacity He sets on her path.