‘I was so close to despair. What if it never ended?’

Phil’s story | Overcoming grief

“It all happened in the space of about two years. First, my mum died. Then, my wife’s dad became ill, and he died. Then our son-in-law was diagnosed with cancer, and he needed surgery. Then one of our close friends committed suicide. Throughout that time, our daughter was very unwell and she needed a lot of help. Everything was piling up. I almost couldn’t cope. I was crumbling, so close to despair. What if it never ended? All of that time, I only held onto one truth. It was all I had. ‘Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.’ It’s in Isaiah 41:10, but it’s all the way through the Bible, and Jesus said it too, ‘Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.’ (Matthew 28:20). I kept going back to that truth. Jesus didn’t say he would save us from bad things. He didn’t say he would make everything smooth, or easy. He said he would be with us, no matter what. He would never leave us to our own devices. He would never forsake us. And that was profound for me, during that time.”

Phil’s story is part of Eternity’s Faith Stories series, compiled by Naomi Reed. Click here for more Faith Stories.

*If any material in this story has disturbed you or relates to someone you know, please consider:

If you are in an emergency, or at immediate risk of harm to yourself or others, Please contact Emergency Services on 000.

Beyond Blue: 1300 22 4636 is a trusted source of information and support on suicide prevention. It provides information to people at risk of suicide or who have attempted to take their life with support options, and gives practical advice for people worried about someone they think might be suicidal on how to help.

Lifeline: 131 114 provides 24/7 crisis support and suicide prevention services.

Suicide callback service: 1300 659 467 provides free counselling for suicide prevention and mental health via telephone, online and video for anyone affected by suicidal thoughts, 24/7.

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