Crushed in Spirit

“The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” (Psalm 34:18)

That’s me alright – yes indeed – that is me – the brokenhearted and crushed in spirit.  How righteous I felt when I heard this verse. The Lord is close to me because I am all so self-important.  My husband’s mental illness sure made me brokenhearted and I sure was crushed in spirit.  I felt so vindicated and so superior.

Then, a small voice spoke to me.  “How crushed in spirit do you think your husband was to put a …… – to commit sui….. – to take his own life?”  (I still have trouble thinking it, much less saying it loud…)  I felt small and petty.  My insides were churning.  He lost all hope and spiraled down into total despair and darkness on the afternoon of May 29, 2019.

I have spent the last few months trying so hard to process my own emotions, no way could I take on my husband’s emotions.  But there it was, a voice creeping into my thoughts to try to see this from his perspective.  He was brokenhearted.  He was crushed in spirit.  He was broken – PERIOD!  I will never fully understand because he is no longer here to explain.

He was always the life of the party, but something dark continuously lurked under his vibrant personality.  What happened to his psyche during his lifetime to cause him to harbor this demon?  Why would his emotions shift at some imagined offense only he saw?  Out of all the good times we had, I suffered anxiety because I never knew when that inner crazed person would make an appearance.  Deep down, he was a good, caring man.  He suffered with alcoholism and this angry demon living within himself, and it got the best of him.  He would cry out sometimes, “I am so sorry!  I don’t mean to act crazy!  I don’t like myself.”  This would leave me wondering, ‘well – why do you act like this?  Fix yourself already!’  I will not know the answer this side of heaven.

He knew he had problems, but he would not seek help.  When he was not feeling contrite about his actions, he was feeling too self-important and thinking someone always wronged him in one way or the other.  Nothing was ever his fault.   Once he decided someone wronged him, he bore anger on that person until his last breath.

I had a moment of clarity in my moment off all too self-importance.  This man was suffering greatly.  I never want to be in that dark of a place.  I believe if he had not been so stubborn, and sought help, he could have lived a fairly normal life and perhaps died a happy old man.  Instead, the anger he died with shed and attached to me at the exact moment he took his last breath.  All I can say is thank you God for allowing me to recognize this flaw and I turn to you for relief.

Saying, “I called out to the Lord, out of my distress, and he answered me; out of the belly of Sheol I cried, and you heard my voice.”  Jonah 2:2

Many have tried to persuade my husband to seek help.  Was it stubbornness?  Pride?  Righteousness?  Whatever it was – he was wrong – WRONG!  Not only was he flawed, but the system is flawed.  I once tried having him committed after one of his bouts of threatening suicide.  The system said he was fine and released him after a few short hours.

He failed himself by refusing therapy.  The system failed him by not realizing he was incapable of making a wise choice.  Many complain they cannot get help because they don’t have insurance.  We had insurance – insurance that could have paid for his care, so that was not the reason he was turned out of a hospital.  I don’t have the answer.  I was tired of fighting the fight.

I don’t have the answers as to how to fix the system.  My brain is just capable of handling my immediate surroundings.  I have to pray for the people in charge of our system.  I have to pray God uses me to make a positive difference in someone’s life.  I have to pray.

“But you, God, see the trouble of the afflicted; you consider their grief and take it in hand.”  (Psalm 10:14a)

So often I wanted him to move out – but I had nowhere to put him.  I could not turn him out on his own, with no support system – no benefits.  This is the man who supported me when I went back to college – the man who made sure I got to stay home full time with my babies during crucial periods.  We all tried to handle this as a family.  He failed, we failed, the system failed.  At times it was easy to think God failed us.

In GriefShare, we were told our mourning is never an excuse for acting rude.  Well golly – aren’t I being hit with all kinds of zingers this week.  During a conversation recently, a person was adamant I should not feel angry as to what my husband did.  I guess my comment of “Screw You – Dude!” was not politically correct.

How appropriate I am having all these revelations this week – Mental Illness Awareness Week.   But I am not alone.  I walk with God.  I will continue my walk with God, delving deeply into His Word so that I do not lose myself to this world.  God never has, and never will, fail me.  He never abandons me.

“But you, God, see the trouble of the afflicted; you consider their grief and take it in hand.”  (Psalm 10:14a)

My husband was raised in a Godly household.  He was a believer.  I don’t understand why he couldn’t shake his anger, alcoholism, and hopelessness.  Oh God how I pray these inequities are not visited upon his children and grandchildren.

The last few months of his life were pure hell, for himself and for anyone who came in contact with him. He was spiraling terribly and there wasn’t anything any of us could do.  It was obvious he was a train wreck about to happen.  He had been sober for quite some time, but the anger within was raging a full time war – and winning.  The life of the party was disappearing into oblivion.  The chronic pain heaped upon his anger made for an ugly combination.  He isolated himself into his own ugly world.

But God was with my husband always.  I cannot imagine the pain he was in during his last moments on this earth, but I take comfort in the fact that I know in an instant he was in the presence of God – fully restored, pain free, out of the darkness and into the light.

I take comfort in knowing God is always with me, not just because I am brokenhearted and crushed in spirit.  I pray, God, that I always see the JOY you want me to experience, despite the trials and tribulations while I walk this earth.

“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”  John 16:33

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  Jeremiah 29:11

These verses allow me to rest in the Lord.


(Just a note to my U.S. readers – I am finding healing in giving back.  My side job – my Avon business – is helping me do that.  My daughter, and youth minister son-in-law, have a personal ministry of reaching out to college students in their home on Monday nights.  They break bread, play games and speak the gospel.  I am tithing my online order proceeds to their ministry.  Every little bit helps.  Would you please check out my website?  If this is your first time ordering Avon online, use code WELCOME10 for 10% off any size order.  Your products will be delivered directly to your door.  Some of the college students are foreign exchange students.  From a hand built table in southern Mississippi, the gospel is managing to be spread around the world.  Would you shop from my online store and have a part in spreading God’s word?)


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