Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue

Touch the Robe: On Faith and Broken Hearts

Today is one of those days that words fail me. My heart is stuck somewhere between grieving the wounds of my past–having been sucked back into a very dysfunctional place with my family of origin–yet knowing that every single second of life is a gift, that message confirmed in Dan’s death during the award banquet on Friday evening.
I know I’m healthier, because I can recognize the dysfunction now and see that I don’t have to accept the guilt trips and the insults hurled my way. I can simply say, “that does not accurately describe me, thank you very much.” I know all of this rationally. I am proud of the person I have become.
But my heart hasn’t caught up to my brain yet. It absorbs the accusations and tells the very cells that want growth and change, that it ‘s not worth it, because my very cells are damaged, destroyed not worth anything of value. My heart is afraid to request a hearing, so it acknowledges every allegation as the truth.
My heart still hurts just as much as it did in junior high.


Ironically today’s reading (in the lectionary that many Christians follow) about the hemorrhaging woman who touched Jesus’ robe and was healed is the passage I use to describe the first moment of hope I experienced when I began to emerge from my suicidal 18 months: when I saw the 10-foot statue of Jesus in the administrations building of the Johns Hopkins campus five minutes before my psychiatric evaluation. I stood at that statue, wanting to touch the hem of Jesus’ robe just like the woman in Mark’s gospel that we read about today.
She was a wounded woman. Had spent her fortune on doctors. Had been bleeding for 12 years. But her faith saved her. Her bleeding stopped, and she was made whole.
I don’t think I’ll ever stop bleeding. My DNA seems to attract heartbreak.
But if I just keep touching the robe, day after day with as much faith as I have at the moment, maybe, just maybe, my heart will soon hear the messages of my brain and begin to shield my heart so that I won’t have to ask Jesus to help it from stop bleeding … it will have been kept whole despite assaults that could lacerate or scrape.
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  • kate/deepwithin

    ((therese)) – hear you….

  • Margie

    “With as much faith as I have at the moment…” That’s the only sane way to do it. We can’t use yesterday’s faith or tomorrow’s faith. It is what we do with what we have now that counts. That’s all we’re expected to have: Today’s faith.
    May your faith continue to grow as the days go by.

  • Christina

    Like you, my heart hasn’t caught up with my head yet. The echos of my exhusbands words continue to walk behind me every step I take – even 3 years later. I don’t know how to rid myself of this albatraus. It’s tiring dragging the past around and needless to say, not productive. Anxiety and depression also haunt me which I know is a direct connect to my thought processes. I’ve considered medication but fear that as well. I hope, like all of you, continuing with the faith I have at the moment will be enough to sustain me until freedom rings.

  • Larry Parker

    As you know, I made a comment in the social networking group recently wondering how can we suture up our wounds when we are not doctors.
    Maybe your answer is the right one — that we don’t. That instead, we rely on whatever spiritual guidance we take as our own to give us faith to carry us through. Bleeding or not.

  • Therese Borchard

    Thanks all. Thanks, Larry. That’s good advice.

  • Emma

    I’m struggling with this thing call heartbareak as well. I think I figured it out and why God is allowing this to happen. You know the word says that God is a jealous God. Which means our hearts belongs to Him at all times and when He sees us paying more attention to others or others things that will cause use heartache, that’s God moving and shaking things around to get our attention back to Him. He’s been answering all my questions and showing me things, suddenly like never before. I know and we all know that God loves us and all He wants us to do is love Him more than we love the things of this world, which is all temporarily. So everyone, keep the faith and ask God to mend your brokenheart like He did mine and He will. You just have to focus on Him and not the pain. He will deliver you.
    Be blessed

  • Carrie

    Remembering the joy of the Lord is my strength has helped me not fall into that depression. After all the hurt and rejection of my past life, as well as the loss, realizing that God has brought me through
    is what keeps me going.The Bible tells us that we are carved in the palm of His hand. He is holding us. We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us(Phillippians 4:13). We have to remember the key though. It is Christ who strengthens us. We do not have to do it on our own.

  • Leeann

    Therese I agree that my mind has not caught up with my heart yet, but everyday I pray that it does. I as well came came a very dysfuctional childhood as well as my first marriage. It still haunts me in my heart but not in my brain. I think of forgiveness, we can forgive but can never forget and that is ok. I have done a lot of forgiving as well as asking for forgiveness and that doesn’t mean that if we are forgiven is it forgot. This statement has always puzzled me. If we can forgive or if others forgive us why is it so hard to forget. I guess that forgiveness is what it is but to truely forget is a whole different story. Maybe we are not suppose to forget because it makes who we are today and we learn from it or suppose to learn from it.
    What are your thoughts?



  • Betsy

    I too am a victim of a dysfunctional family where my mother tried to make me into what she thought was the perfect child. I could never live up her expectations since I am an individual and had my own outlook on life. But God has always provided me with strength and independence needed to be my own person. Without His guidance and approval I would have totally lost it when my mother passed a few years back and I never had closure with her. As long as YOU know that you are a good person and you aren’t harming anyone while trying to acheive your goals, and you follow our Father’s guidelines to life, then it’s not necesary to allow those with less faith to browbeat you.

  • Renee Cazares

    When I woke this morning my heart was very heavy. I have so much going on in my own life that I needed to hear this passge today I needed to be reminded of what I used to be. The woman of faith who lived in church. I have strayed into the world and I have fallen flat on my face. And I have been dealing with what I call my OWN worldly issues. I hardly ever open the belief net stuff but today I am glad I did!!! Thank You so much!

  • Yvonne

    This past September, I lost my son’s father. Our son was 1 1/2 at the time of his passing….he will be 2 in April and I am dreading singing “Happy Birthday”, knowing that will be the hardest part of the day for me:(
    He and I were not “together” at the time, he had found a new chic while we were together. She knew, but she didn’t know that he and I were still “involved” after they were together. I know it’s not right, but she did it to me, so I did it to her. We DID in fact share a son and talked about getting back together…..we just needed some time.
    At his time of death, there was sooooo much left unsaid and undone. Not having closure is the hardest part. My son is without a father and it hurts that he’ll never know what having a father feels like. I hurt for my son and myself……I miss him dearly.
    I guess my point is, I ask myself everyday….when will I feel whole again? When will the pain stop? It’s only been 4 1/2 months and I don’t expect things to happen overnight, but is this my punishment for doing wrong by still being involved with him? I’m so confused and hurt………..
    I must say that I’ve gotten emails from here before but always deleted them….now I am turning to them. They help a lot.
    Terribly Broken Hearted

  • Anelsen

    To Ruthie, I sympathize with your confusion but I must say you truly are not confused at all. You know what it is for you to do but you only hesitate hoping that someone will tell you exactly what to do. To rid yourself of the confusion, truly search for God’a forgiveness and let Him take control of your life. Life that is filled with so many uncertainties but are there test and see which ones we choose to let God direct us.
    Remember God speaks to us in a still quiet voice we must be willing to quietness in order to hear the message, receive it and act upon it. I myself struggle with that and then when I finally give in to the quietness I hear Him calling and I’m ready to hear and say, “Hear am I Lord”, just us Eleazer did as he was being commissioned by God.
    As far as your son, he is an adult, give him time and let him make his own decision. You have requested but now its up to your son. God will also touch his heart as you pray that Jesus will speak to your sons heart. God Bless and I hope this helps you. Keep the faith and Let God be your Pathway. Anelsen

  • William

    I admit I haven’t read all of the previous posts. That said, with the help of friends and the scriptures. I have been able to deal with most of lifes slings and arrows. When I recognised Christ, his mission and who he really is, like minded friends began to show me the many paths to healing. I know I could not have arrived here on my own. Just as I realised I could not live my life without Christ. What I’m leading to is a precious truth that a friend gave me some time ago. That is, Christ will heal your body, your soul, AND your heart. I did not realize this until about ten years after I got saved. The truth and the healing will be found in the scriptures, especially the new testament. Do not rely entirely on the advice of others, especially your preacher. Stay focused on the scriptures. Get a version that is easy to read and understand. Considering what Christ has done for us, our troubles kind of fall by the wayside. WWQ

  • Cindy Mosqueda

    I have been reading you for over a year and appreciate so much that you share your journey with us. Thank you, you give me new thoughts and insights to ponder.
    It is my belief that I came into this world with high expectations not just of myself but of others also. In my own journey I have seen that my expectations really do not matter very much. We are who and what we are. This world is a dichotomy of pain and pleasure, good and evil, happiness and joy, right and wrong, peace and discord, love and hate, young and old, living and dying, all distributed according to a plan that we did not create.
    Maybe there is peace to be found in acceptance of what is and what will come. We will all bleed, feel sad sometimes beyond what we believe is just, feel hurt, misunderstood, frightened. We will also feel joy beyond reason; know the ecstasy of hope and accomplishment, the peace of love. We just will not get it when we want it and from the sources we expect (not too often anyhow).
    I have been to the black dark pit of despair, looked in all the corners for answers, given up, fought back, ignored, prodded, danced, cried, pleaded, and life just keeps moving on.
    I woke up today and God willing will wake up tomorrow. I get to choose how to live these few hours and if I am able will do so with a glad heart because that is what feels right to me. I hope to be present when something beautiful and wondrous crosses my path, so I can feel the joy of what is. I will be happy, sad, angry, joyful, anxious, accepted, misunderstood, loved, lost, found and whatever comes my way.
    Thanks again for sharing with us daily. It is surely an effort of love on your part.

  • Willette

    I would just like to say I have been challenged with obstacles in my life with many things I am a mother of 5 children that I raised myself and turned to prayer to keep my faith strong. At a time in my life I felt my faith was getting weak. I became strong as long as I did my prayer and not strayed from my church and the people that helped me with keeping my faith strong. I am struggling now in my life to get back on track and get back to where it is I need to be to continue keeping my bleeding heart strong.
    Thanks for your comments,

  • Rebecca

    I have had many things that have brought me down in the last 2 yrs.
    my sister murdered, and her husband committing suicide, leaving a beautiful daughter in its wake, but she has been blessed with a wonderful family to care for her and be with her through all that she has had to endure. My son two weeks later lost his life in a car collision my heart aches for him, but I know he is in a better place.
    He left behind a daughter also who talks to him and remembers him with great love. My other son and his wife had there 1st child and he was born with a cleft palet so now he is having surgery, my daughter just gave birth to twin boys, a little early they are in the NICU, one is ready to come home but the other has a brain bleed/clot and fluid build up causing seizures and great concern to his health, and in this I know that God only gives us what we can handle, I take each day at a time, I pray, I cry & I rejoice for all I do have.

  • Eddie B

    Therese, as I know you are already aware of, you aren’t alone in this journey. I read your writings on an almost daily basis and have found great comfort and insights from them. Having my heart and my brain in tune to each other isn’t a condition that exists regularly. It’s usually my heart that lags behind but sometimes it’s out in front of my “rational” perceptions. Maybe that’s when I’m somewhat manic? I don’t know. I survived a suicidal overdose about 5 years ago. Needless to say, it sure change my perspectives of how I see how and where I fit in this world. In order to keep my spirit alive, I had to re-evaluate and reject many relationships from my past that supported the negative view of me and beat that spirit down. You’ve helped me greatly in that and a thank you is long overdue. Thank you for reminding me that being vulnerable and open, in spite of fear, is the mark of a truly brave person. I keep my chin up now (though it makes it hard to eat that way).

  • Julie

    I feel like I am reading about myself when I read this. I never read these usually. I am not sure why I did today. I have been here though and in the Fall of 2008 I was diagnosed with Thyroid Cancer. I had been at a crossroades dealing with wounds of my past for awhile and then Cancer struck me. I can’t tell you what an eye opener that was for me and the family I have now, my 14 year old son and husband.
    Nothing is ever perfect in life. We are human and at best we find our way. I see you are finding you way just fine. Christ is the only way and that I have learned. In all my troubles I seem led back to HIM, the savior of my losses hopes to be. I wish you well. Julie

  • Ms. Williams

    I have been reading a little more everyday. Now I want to speak out and stop holding so much anger and fear inside because it has really start to become a problem in my life. I am a 25 year old mother of a 6 and a 7 yr old (both girls). I have been so stressed out due to the economy. I have had my heart broken a couple of times, and I had the strength to get back up. Then I met a man, who was suppossed to have been my friend but instead he was the enemey. He betrayed as if I was the one, but all a joke. He stuck around throw thick and thin and when I gave in, he changed. He brought my self esstem down, talked bad about my friends, so I when he left I would be left all alone without anyone to turn too, to talk to, to listen to, to cry out to, just to be a friend when in need. I learned a lot from this past experience but I also woke up because I was heading down the same path I had been in for 5 abusive years with one of the father of my children. I pray, but I know GOD doesn’t answer when we want him to, he answer when he needs too. He even was turning me against my family, but I can’t blame anyone but MYSELF, because I should have kept GOD first and I wouldnt never be in this situation I’m in now. I drifted off and became friends with the devils and the demons and now I got to pay the price. But its never to late to turn your life around and on Feb. 1, 2009, I sat and I talk, I cried, I prayed, I ask God to help me become the person that I have been trying to achieve and wipe all the angry and that devil out of my system. Which I know it don’t happen overnight. My main problem within my life is TRUST, I don’t know how to. And it has taken a toll over me. But no one can change it but ME, I got to want it, I got to have it, I got to need it to survive in this cold dirty world. My other problem is PATIENT, something I totally know nothing about. But its time I learn, because life is too short to be unhappy, miserable, mean, selfish, dishonest, disrespectful, and to have it all, I got to give and take a little. And some of the things in your passage reminds me so much about me, but I WANT CHANGE AND ITS TIME THAT I TAKE A STAND AND STOP BEING A COWARD. I WAS LOST, BUT NOW I’M FINDING MYSELF AGAIN.

  • Calvin

    I have just start reading comments and I feel so compassionate about all of the stories i have read. First I would like to say may God bless of you and the rst of the peaople in this world. God have blessed me over the years and i’m very thankful for that. I love God and his son giving his life for us. I have been married for 15 years and my wife and seperate in 2007 and we have 3 children. The end of 2008 my wife was diagnosed with ALS in which were in the final stage. We were living in two seperate home sharing time with the kids. My wife is completed disable from this disease and only the kids and I are helping. I’m moving back to support her and the kids. Times are very difficult for all of us right now my kids seeing there mother dying form this disease. This has turn my whole upside down. I know God will see us through all of this and something wonderful is in store for us. I agree nothing is perfect in life but I know God is which is our heavenly father. He said not let our hearts be trouble. Be still, my soul! thy God doth undertake
    To guide the future as He has the past,
    Thy hope, they confidence let nothing shake;
    All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
    Be still, my soul! the waves and winds still know
    His voice who ruled them while He dwelt below. I wish all well and my Christ and the holy spirit be with all of you.

  • vicki

    My heart goes out to you MS. Williams. No one ever deserves to be treated as you have been. Keep praying and keep reading Beliefnet. You will find wonderful people to help you through the bad times and the good. Find a good church and take your children, they need the help also. I will pray for all of you. GOD bless you.


    I fully understand what you are saying so you are not alone. Stay will Jesus and he will help you lead the way. I know because I’m in a akward situation myself and desperatley need direction because I feel like I’m losing it. I have too much on my plate and I dont know where to say thats enough and not take it anymore. I have to go but I will pray for you.

  • Katherina

    Dear Ms Williams,
    My heart goes out to all who suffer. I agree that faith is a miracle worker. I am bipolar and without medication or counsel for 8 years now. They tried everything and yet still nothing helps. My body for some reason does not respond to medication. We keep trying. Bipolar is hard enough to deal with when you have medication and a normal life. My life was turned upside down when my physical health fell apart. I was a private duty geriatric nurse for the elderly and drove a school bus for the handicapped for 20 years. My body organs began to fall apart after assisting so many others. Cancer swept through my body and a near death experience during a surgery helped to renew my faith… 2 weeks after that day, my husband of 20 years announced that he wanted a divorce,never having loved me. That explained the years of loneliness and hard work that i endured,,,,Anyway, it was shortly after that a head injury occured, work related,,, and I was then a disabled, divorced and dislocated dame with a head injury and bipolar without meds, family, friends,,,,It hasnt been pretty to say the least,,, shortly after hearing of my impending divorce I started going back to church. The same bible verse, “the woman and the robe” has taken on a significant role in my life. When I am overwhelmed with worries and woes,, I imagine that I can approach Jesus and sit down and talk with him about whatever is on my mind. We meet under a shade tree… He is always there, always cares, and really does have wonderful ways of answering our prayers. Much of what I have prayed for has not been answered,,, I’m still single,,, but I am learning that what I did ask for in another prayer was not for my best interest. Peace came with that issue. It took time and patience is not one of my virtues. Trust is also a virtue that takes time and practice. A dear friend of mine that is a preist states that patience and trust are lessons that are never totally over. Each stage of life requires different levels of each. Faith is something that comes and goes in stages in life as well, or so I have discovered in my own life. I will tell you this though,, it does not hurt anyone to have close friends on high…constant communication through prayer can go a long way in healing and getting you to where He needs and desires you to be. google the Jabez prayer and see if it helps you. It is a one line prayer but loaded with good things for all… I wish all here and everywhere a blessed life, a peaceful journey and much love.

  • Janice

    It is so good for me to know in my head and my heart that I am not alone when the depression and/or anxiety is almost more than I can handle! God is in control. Ms. Williams find you and your children a church and church family. Otherwise the hurt you feel inside will not stop with just you, it will effect your children as well. I have had to learn this the hard way. I have learned that every day I have to tell myself, that God can handle anything and he will help me. It’s hard! But, there are still days I have to have affirmation from God that I am on the right track and to keep trying. So, yall keep trying as well – God will gain the glory, and “the blood that washed away my sin, will never lose its power!”

  • sandra weisz

    thank you theresa for this. i am really suffering, being mistreated by everyone and i have no where to go or live. and i am being prosecuted by the courts now for something i didn’t do. and i hired an attoney that took 12,000 and turned on me. it is very very corrupt and evil in southern ca. and also i am being horrible abused by a man because i have nowhere else to go, and my health is also suffering, the ppl here are subhuman with no humanity at all. give thanks you are not in this uninhabitible enviroment. i am being badly used and abused and w no where to turn. it is not america here anymore. not at all. i plan to write to the media and gloria allred and angela davis. abuse of women goes on here as if it is the dark ages.

  • Kimberly

    There is an organized crime ring that did what this blog was about on purpose, friends of The method was to interview the victim and act like the victim was being considered for employment. Then, crooks burglarize the victim,and continue to leech off of the victim if they can. This had to do with all prior employment and high school, and if perchance the victim was in a dysfunctional household then, which they wanted to leave, to include that aspect also into this bizarre “high school reunion”. BEWARE! The crook ring is still out there waiting to bite new victims. AAfter being bitten, the victim was then supposed to wallow in self pity forever and be engaged in codependency and grief. Stalking ofall kinds was involved in this organized crime ring and still is. Also, this organized crime ring originated in Ohio and was done online, and sucked in a great many victims becausetheperps travel around. Crooks also included property escheat in the bounty, sovictims became destitute and jobless,and victims of identity fraud.
    “Great Day To Be Alive
    in Appalachian Poverty
    in Louisville,Kentucky”
    Kimberly K.

  • Bro. Steve

    > I don’t think I’ll ever stop bleeding. My DNA seems to attract heartbreak
    Wow, what a powerful thing to say, not to mention courageous. All of you here, actually — powerful words that reach through one another’s darkness with light from Light … what a godsend this place has been for me, for so many of us over the years …
    grace and peace,

  • LAWay

    “My very cells are damaged, destroyed…” hits home with me. Through the fog, may we find the strength to perserver until we finally have sprouts of delight. Keep the faith Therese and Katherina.

  • Cletis

    I just ended an abusive relationship with a woman who refused to commit to my love that i had for her. Instead she wanted to groom me to accept the fact that she was a free spirit and this is what she was and i should be ok with this.I am heart broken to say the least but whats more intresting is the fact that she wants to take a victim stance and blame all of this on me. It breaks my heart even more. With gods help i hope that he will give me the strenght to carry on with my life. Because i know that i am worthy of more than heartache and pain out of this life.

  • TCM

    To Sandra,
    There are two things you can change. If you are being abused “because you have no where else to go” you can go elsewhere, its called an abused womans shelter. If a lawyer has mistreated you, contact the state bar disciplinary section. Abuse goes on insofar as we ourselves allow it. I know this because I have been where you are. When I got out of victim mentality mode, things changed. Change what you can (YOU) accept what you cant( that could mean walking away from people places and things) and pray for the knowledge to know the difference. I would not count on Gloria Allred or Angela Davis to come to your rescue. Rescue is an inside job that starts with YOU, not outside forces to save you. You can whine or you can change. Look at your part in landing you in the situation you are in. Best wishes.

  • Erin

    Hello Therese,
    I feel every bit of what you are saying. I too have one of ‘those’ families. It took me YEARS to get any kind of self esteem, but with the help of God and four different phychologists..I finally feel like I can ‘fit in’ in society. (the truth was I always did…I was just hearing all the negativity in my head all the time..left over from ‘them’. I am so proud of you and proud of this page that your write! I read it all the time and have a great deal of appreciation for you ! Love in Christ, Erin
    Also to Kimberly below, this where that is happening? because I moved to a part of Kentucky four years ago and I have to say…it is the most scavengeous, decietful town I’ve ever come across is my travels…regular people do that to people who they deem “weak” on a constant basis here…they don’t have to be in a “gang” . I have been explaining to anyone and everyone I run across who is like that, how uneccesary that behavior is and if they believe in God He will provide everything they need Without them having to take advatage of ‘kind souls’, I’ve gotten throught o some, not to others. We will just have to pray for them ALL !

  • mary harris

    my sister who also was my best friend shot herswlf in the head and died a couple of weeks ago. Im so hurt, i can not stop crying. is there any scriptures that can help me. all i think about is what i was taught growing up and that she will burn in hell for doing it, thank you, mary

  • Judy

    Thank you for this..there is a Beliefnet agreement for my emotions.
    I was just talking to a friend, the other day, about how much her heart broke, when her mother died. I told her, my mother and I had a major falling-out, several years ago. Since then, we haven’t been able to get back to the same wonderful relationship, we used to have. I’d like to say, it has made me stronger, somehow. But I had to close a door that had been wide open, and I will NEVER FORGET the pain involved… truly, my heart was broken !!

  • Bro. Steve

    To Mary Harris:
    Stories like yours sometimes make me think my Buddhist friends, in at least some traditions, have it right: this world, this life, *is* hell. It certainly drives home, for me, the broader Christian vision that this life, this world, is at least an exile (as in Hebrews 11) … and the Promise toward which we all struggle to live is still on the horizon. Lights from that approaching Promise, that “City,” glimmer here and there through precious, if fleeting, encounters … events … moments … but the Light is not yet steady and unbroken, and all we can do, I sometimes think, is *discipline* ourselves to keep repeating what is almost a Christian “mantra” — I choose to believe in those glimmers of Light, I choose to hold onto them as the scattered but reliable approach of the final Truth, I will not let the passing shadows of darkness (no matter how awful, and right now the darkness for you *is awful*) have the final word. They *are* shadows, only because the approaching Light is far greater. Were there no Light approaching, there would be no shadows; everything would be the same.
    When someone’s beloved sister takes their own life, there is no need to say “everything is NOT just the same, some things are far darker and worse and MORE WRONG than other things.” Everything is NOT just the same — what has happened to you *should not be!*
    And oddly, it seems to me that it is the reality of the Light that, in the end, is showing the nightmares up for exactly what they are: nightmares.
    But you asked about Scriptures, and I for one would just suggest — not verses here and there, but — a careful re-reading of the 4 Gospels, in a translation you like and find easy to follow. “Careful” meaning, take it at your own pace. There is no rush. Be comfortable with it, breathe easily with it, let it begin to soak in. (It’s one way of developing a kind of “new mantra” to use against the darkness, only in this case it’s learning a new and larger Story that can embrace your own story, prove to you in the way you need to hear it that your story is transcended, is caught up in Something immeasurably larger, Eternal. You are replacing the secular world’s various myths and stories — which in the end are all largely various forms of despair, clowned up with soul-numbing entertainment values so that we don’t ever probe too deeply into them — with the true Story.
    Back to the gospels. What I’d suggest is that you read Luke first, just because Luke tends to focus more on the marginalized, the outcast, the forgotten, those who feel neither the world nor “religion” has any room for them. Luke counters all of that with the Compassionate Christ who reaches out to *everyone*, and from whom no one is ever turned away. Let it soak in how many woman are in his stories … how many people whom everyone else in the world at that time would consider “lost,” “damned,” worthless … and how He, Jesus, *never ever* turns any of them away.
    Somewhere early on, I’d also suggest you begin carefully reading John, and this time make sure the translation you are using is extremely comfortable for you … and maybe also has study notes (usually at the bottom of the page). John is intensely symbolic, and not always easy to read; but it, more so than the other 3 gospels, stresses the *cosmic* deity of Christ: the one Who pervades all creation, all people, and who will not ever turn away anyone who comes to Him.
    What I’m getting at, Mary, is this:
    Jesus’ ministry was, and *is*, about inviting everyone — absolutely everyone — back into the Kingdom from which they had felt excluded. He was not trying to start a new religion — He was set on radically reforming His own (Judaism) until it came to terms with its mandate, namely to be a “light for *all* the world.” Israel, like the Christian Church, was/is “elect” not because Hebrew people and Christian people are going to heaven and everyone else isn’t — we (I still consider myself a Christian, but barely) are “elect” to announce, share, and above all *live out* the good news that God has loved us enough to bring us *all* home.
    Suicides are not going to hell, Mary. Nor are non-Christians, whether they be of other faiths or no faith at all. Jesus went to hell on our behalf. The “Incarnation” means God brought our human nature *into God” … not that we now *are* gods and goddesses, but that we have this incredible gift, this unbelievable heritage lying on the horizon (that Light again) for *everyone*.
    My own suggestion is to begin with those sacred stories — Luke and John, Mark and Matthew — and let that vision soak in. Let it soak soak soak, reading after reading, day after day, week after week, until God’s Story has taken over from the world’s despairing stories, and even this god-awful tragedy you have been forced now to endure is not the last word. Life is the last word, Resurrection is the last word, the Age to Come and not this age is the last word. And the AGe to Come is lready highly active in *this* age, even if that isn’t clear most of the time beyond a few flashes of the approaching Light through people and events around us.
    Your dear sister’s life goes on in ways we can’t imagine. It goes on because before the beginningless beginning of time, God in Christ made her *His* own. And whomsoever He has taken as His own — and that is humankind, not just “some of us” — He will never let go. More than that, He will heal and bring to newness of life.
    My prayers and very best wishes go out to you, Mary Harris, until the Restoration of all things …
    bro. steve

  • Buckley

    God Loves You and so should you. Start loving yourself. I have and do experience similiar things,and I can relate to how you feel.I have even been hospitalized due to mental illness and depression. I am grateful to god for bringing me through and out of such darkness although I still have many obstacles to face,and battles to fight. Sometimes I’m faced with the same ones,and I try to remember all that God has done,His word and/or scriptures from the bible,or I pray. I also rely on others and their advice,encouragement,and strength.Friends can help you.Most of all, Please know that you are not alone,and that God is always there! You can talk to jesus.God sometimes uses us, our pain,circumstances,and struggles for Good.They can make you a better person,help others,and/or glorify the lord in some way.Have Faith,and be encouraged! “All things work togather for the good to those who love the lord.” God doesn’t make mistakes.

  • Ann in Nashville

    NO NO NO your sister will not be in hell for ending her life by suicide. Even the Catholic don’t teach this anymore. I don’t know who told you that lie.
    I am a survivor of suicide myself. I have heard the same thing once in a meeting.
    Usually people who end their life are not well and would God send them to hell for that?! NO!!
    There are some groups online. I belong to one who have lost a partner via suicide. There is a lot of information on here too if you google it.
    I am so sorry you lost your sister in this way.
    (((Mary and sister)))
    Ann in Nashville

  • http://Yvonne Ann

    Grieving takes awhile and 4 1/2 months is no time at all! The first year is the hardest. I will get easier as time goes on. Please don’t be hard on yourself. It has been 6 years for me and I miss the love of my life but the grief isn’t so hard on me. I will still think I can’t believe he is gone.
    Ann in Nashville

  • Catherine Mary Airan

    Dear Therese,
    Your words sparked an epiphany in my life today. I just came home from the hospital after having suicidal ideations of a dangerous nature. This is unfortunately about the 9th time such a thing has happened to me over the last 30 years.
    When I felt this way today, in my mind’s eye, I saw a favorite place Jesus loves to sit on the water (on top of a small plank of wood) and instead of meditating quietly, the water around him turned to blood. I know that suicide puts the victim’s blood in the waters of the seven seas. So it is indeed a terrible thing to do. So this picture along with some help from my Mom convinced me to do the right thing and fight to stay good… which is to stay alive.
    I think it is brilliant that in your mind you have a place of strong faith where your union with Christ will soon heal the physical problems you have. Keep your mind attached to the idea of touching his robe, one day you will see it, feel it, and be in estacy. I love you.
    Catherine Mary Airan

  • Therese Borchard

    Thank you, Catherine Mary. That was beautiful and inspiring. Thank you everyone for your wonderful comments. t

  • Valerie

    As I read this wonderful, healing piece…it reminds me of the unconditional love that Jesus died for. My heart was broken by my belief that I was unloveable and only worthy of redicule. I grieved so many times why my life has turned out so miserably. Now, I take the time to nurture myself by saying outloud “I am loved” and “I love me, too.” What a great comfort just hearing the sound. The same as visually seeing the woman touching Jesus’ robe and her bleeding seesing.
    Thank You,
    Valerie in Peoria

  • therapydoc

    Spirituality really is healing. Nothing quite like faith.

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