From Pastor to Psych Ward: Recovery from a Suicide Attempt is Possible.

From Pastor to Psych Ward: Recovery from a Suicide Attempt is Possible. June 22, 2016

They found me mid-morning, when I didn’t show up for my out-of-town interpreting assignment.

My clients were concerned. When they couldn’t reach me, they called first my wife, and then the hotel. I was lying on my back, unconscious, covered in vomit, when the police and EMT’s found me. They thought it was a murder scene. Vomit covered the bed and the floor. It had projected up the wall behind me, and coated a massive picture that hung over the bed. Apparently the pink Benadryl pills, along with the tens of thousands of milligrams of other medication I took, created the effect of blood. I had been unconscious for a solid ten hours by then.

I should have been dead.

Eighteen hours after I blacked out, I woke up in a fog like I’ve never experienced before. Where the hell am I? Why is it so cold in here? Who in the world is…wait. That’s Lindsey and our friend Gigi. Wait a second! Am I in the hospital? Shit! I’m still HERE?!? You’ve got to be kidding me! Am I in some sort of evil dream space, suspended between life and death? You cannot seriously mean that I am alive! Do you KNOW how much I took??!!?! Oh this bad. This is really bad.

From Pastor to Psych Ward: Recovery from a Suicide Attempt is Possible.

I was in and out. I remember our friend Gigi saying, ‘Hey bud” in about the sweetest and most fragile tone I’ve ever heard her use. I could barely muster the strength to say “Hey” back. The next time I opened my eyes, I remember Lindsey standing with a nurse. She asked, “Baby what happened? Did you get your medicine mixed up?” I had been taking anti-depression and anti-anxiety meds for some time. It would have been so easy to lie, to say yes.

“No! I didn’t mix anything up!” I tried to scream, but my throat felt like I had swallowed razor blades. In my fog, I wondered why my throat hurt so bad. “I tried to kill myself! I don’t want to be here!”

I don’t think I had ever screamed at her before until that moment. The next thing I remember is seeing her slumped against the wall in a pool of tears, making a phone call no wife wants to make. She was telling her dad I’d attempted suicide. I stared out of my window in the ICU room. The room was freezing. My heart was just as numb. I couldn’t feel a thing.

My son’s first birthday was the next day. I can’t imagine what our families must have been thinking. I don’t know what his birthday party was like. I was still in ICU, nearly dead. Three days later, the doctors decided my liver wasn’t going to fail, and I had regained feeling in my legs. I was released and immediately transferred to the psych ward.

The psych ward. Me. The former worship leader, youth pastor, radio host, blogger, ministry school graduate, father, and husband. The outgoing one. The friendly one. The upbeat one. Me. I was sitting in a wheelchair, headed to the psych ward. I stayed there for five days. I called it the arts and crafts floor: we colored and talked and rested a lot. I couldn’t sleep the first night because it was too quiet. The experience felt pointless and frustrating and humiliating and so uncomfortable.

From Pastor to Psych Ward: Recovery from a Suicide Attempt is Possible.

It’s been few years since the darkest days of my life and I am still standing. I still have harsh flashbacks at times. For awhile, I couldn’t stand black coffee. I remember crushing up those thousands of milligrams of medicine and pouring the powder into the hot mug, stirring it up, and choking it back that night. The smell, the taste, even the thought of black coffee for months after would send me into a full-blown panic attack. I tried to drink hot tea the other day and almost threw up. Last night I forced myself to take a Benadryl before bed to help with allergies and I had another flashback. I still can’t take a capsule of liquid Tylenol.

But I’m no longer afraid of my demons. We all have skeletons in our closets, and as hard as it may seem at times, as loud as they may scream for our attention, Love’s power is greater. We can tell our demons to go to hell and remind our skeletons of what they are: dead.

“Thank you” will never be enough for those who stood by my side through the darkest hours and the past year of restoration and counseling and therapy.  Thank you for loving me at my worst, believing you’d see me whole again, and for the countless hours of listening to my craziness. A friend loves at all times. Thank you for being my friend.

I took a mulligan that day. In golf, a mulligan is literally a do-over.  It’s taking another shot from the point of the foul, as if the first mistake never happened. Friday, September 21, 2012, is my Mulligan Day. It’s the day Christ gave me a do-over at life. It’s the day my new life began.


Get your copy of my brand-new book, “From Pastor to a Psych Ward: Recovery from a Suicide Attempt is Possible” today!


*It took Lindsey a while to trust after this terrible episode, but in time, she dared to believe in me again. Click here to read her story.


Join the Grace is Messy Tribe

Sign up to get access to the member’s library, stocked with resources and printables for you.



Powered by ConvertKit

"I'm glad you agree. As far as my message/gospel, the best thing to do is ..."

The Most Rebellious Thing a Christian ..."
"I'm in complete agreement, but I would love to know what your message/gospel is to ..."

The Most Rebellious Thing a Christian ..."
"Love. It all boils down to love."

No, Jesus is Not Headed to ..."

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!


TRENDING AT PATHEOS Progressive Christian
What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Thank you so much for sharing. There are so many Christians who battle depression and anxiety and don’t talk about it because they either think it reflects badly on themselves, or badly on God.

    We are totally imperfect, to the point that we can’t even see just how deep our imperfections extend, so the idea that people shouldn’t think badly of us is laughable. And God is more than capable of standing up to criticism, He certainly doesn’t need us to defend him.

    The only way to fight this is to let light in on it, and the first step is talking about it.

    So thank you again xxx

    • My goal was to show the dark side of depression and the contrast it with the HOPE that we have in Christ. I also wanted to show the power that we have in sharing our story and surrounding ourselves with people who love us. I am thankful to have taken this power back from the enemy.

      Have a great day!

    • amen, many don’t. my husband just put together a talk on sharing our testimonies…funny contrast to this title, his is: it’s NOT yours! ha..i love it..b/c the Word tells us we overcome by the blood of the Lamb n word of our testimony..but it’s really not ours..it’s the testimony of Jesus Christ n His work in our lives…it’s not ours, yet He let’s us own it. amen. #messygrace

  • Thank you so much for sharing. There are so many Christians who battle depression and anxiety and don’t talk about it because they either think it reflects badly on themselves, or badly on God.

    We are totally imperfect, to the point that we can’t even see just how deep our imperfections extend, so the idea that people shouldn’t think badly of us is laughable. And God is more than capable of standing up to criticism, He certainly doesn’t need us to defend him.

    The only way to fight this is to let light in on it, and the first step is talking about it.

    So thank you again xxx

    • My goal was to show the dark side of depression and the contrast it with the HOPE that we have in Christ. I also wanted to show the power that we have in sharing our story and surrounding ourselves with people who love us. I am thankful to have taken this power back from the enemy.

      Have a great day!

    • amen, many don’t. my husband just put together a talk on sharing our testimonies…funny contrast to this title, his is: it’s NOT yours! ha..i love it..b/c the Word tells us we overcome by the blood of the Lamb n word of our testimony..but it’s really not ours..it’s the testimony of Jesus Christ n His work in our lives…it’s not ours, yet He let’s us own it. amen. #messygrace

  • Bravery. Transparency. Vulnerability. Raw truth, merciful Grace, beautiful Love. So proud of you my precious friend.

    • You were there consistently. Not sure why I would have expected any less. You are consistently there. I love you more than words.

  • Bravery. Transparency. Vulnerability. Raw truth, merciful Grace, beautiful Love. So proud of you my precious friend.

    • You were there consistently. Not sure why I would have expected any less. You are consistently there. I love you more than words.

  • Stephanie Simmons

    Wow Steve, I had no idea you have been through all of this. Thank you for sharing it, and I pray right now for Holy Spirit to speak through this testimony to touch others and set them free from depression as well. He said He would “bind up the brokenhearted and set the captives free”. I declare that Word over the people who will read this blog, in Jesus name! Glory to God that you are still here, Steve. God has a plan and a purpose for your life. You are an incredible young man, and I pray that God will continue to use you to encourage others in the faith. Love you!!

    • 🙂 thanks for the encouraging prayer and Scripture! Love you!

  • Stephanie Simmons

    Wow Steve, I had no idea you have been through all of this. Thank you for sharing it, and I pray right now for Holy Spirit to speak through this testimony to touch others and set them free from depression as well. He said He would “bind up the brokenhearted and set the captives free”. I declare that Word over the people who will read this blog, in Jesus name! Glory to God that you are still here, Steve. God has a plan and a purpose for your life. You are an incredible young man, and I pray that God will continue to use you to encourage others in the faith. Love you!!

    • 🙂 thanks for the encouraging prayer and Scripture! Love you!

  • Barry Smith

    I didn’t know either, Steve. Thanks for sharing. I do believe there is healing for you and for those that read this. It’s been awhile since I’ve seen you. You have a big hug coming when I do. BTW, Brandon should be home in the next week or so. He’s been thru it. Maybe ya’ll can hook up soon.

    • Mr. Barry! Thanks for stopping by and for leaving a comment. It has been way too long! God bless you.

  • Barry Smith

    I didn’t know either, Steve. Thanks for sharing. I do believe there is healing for you and for those that read this. It’s been awhile since I’ve seen you. You have a big hug coming when I do. BTW, Brandon should be home in the next week or so. He’s been thru it. Maybe ya’ll can hook up soon.

    • Mr. Barry! Thanks for stopping by and for leaving a comment. It has been way too long! God bless you.

  • Anna

    I pray that your words will reach far and touch many lives today! You are living out God’s call for you, Steve. This IS His purpose.

    • Thank you, Doc! You are a blessing to my life!

  • Anna

    I pray that your words will reach far and touch many lives today! You are living out God’s call for you, Steve. This IS His purpose.

    • Thank you, Doc! You are a blessing to my life!

  • What a story of God’s love, mercy and unfailing Grace! Also, for you to be so transparent and honest is as brave a thing that I have encountered. My love for you deepened as I read this. Please know that our love and prayers are with you and your precious family. And thank God for your life and the reminder that God never gives up and His love never fails! No matter what! Love you Steve,
    MamaNette

    • MamaNette,
      You have been such a special person to me for so many years. THANK YOU for responding with such grace and love–I expected no less.

      Thanks for the prayers for all of us, and please share my story if you feel that it’s right.

      Love you lots,
      Steve

  • What a story of God’s love, mercy and unfailing Grace! Also, for you to be so transparent and honest is as brave a thing that I have encountered. My love for you deepened as I read this. Please know that our love and prayers are with you and your precious family. And thank God for your life and the reminder that God never gives up and His love never fails! No matter what! Love you Steve,
    MamaNette

    • MamaNette,
      You have been such a special person to me for so many years. THANK YOU for responding with such grace and love–I expected no less.

      Thanks for the prayers for all of us, and please share my story if you feel that it’s right.

      Love you lots,
      Steve

  • Steve, you inspire me. I can only imagine the strength and courage it took to open up like this, after such a relative short time after the incident.

    • Coenraad,
      Thank YOU for stopping by. I’m so thankful that we’ve connected via the website and instagram…you’re my brother from another mother (and Continent)! It took every minute of that entire year to muster up the courage to tell my story, but I just knew it was time and it has to be told. My story isn’t like everyone else’s, but it is mine…and it belongs to God…we make a pretty good team! 🙂

      Talk soon,
      Steve

  • Steve, you inspire me. I can only imagine the strength and courage it took to open up like this, after such a relative short time after the incident.

    • Coenraad,
      Thank YOU for stopping by. I’m so thankful that we’ve connected via the website and instagram…you’re my brother from another mother (and Continent)! It took every minute of that entire year to muster up the courage to tell my story, but I just knew it was time and it has to be told. My story isn’t like everyone else’s, but it is mine…and it belongs to God…we make a pretty good team! 🙂

      Talk soon,
      Steve

  • Grace is messy, but also so very beautiful. Our worst turned into His best….He is making all things new. So thankful for you, my friend. Your transparency gives strength to others.

    • Hi, my longtime friend.

      Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment. He does make all things new, and for THAT I am forever thankful!

      Thankful for you!

  • Grace is messy, but also so very beautiful. Our worst turned into His best….He is making all things new. So thankful for you, my friend. Your transparency gives strength to others.

    • Hi, my longtime friend.

      Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment. He does make all things new, and for THAT I am forever thankful!

      Thankful for you!

  • Thank you for sharing your story. It’s powerful, and sure its messy, but its yours and its an amazing gift that you get to share with others. It takes courage to be candid and authentic and you did just that.

    • Thank you, Holly, for this affirmation! 🙂

      God sure is being sweet to me today, through each of you that have taken the time to bless me.

      Thanks again!

  • Thank you for sharing your story. It’s powerful, and sure its messy, but its yours and its an amazing gift that you get to share with others. It takes courage to be candid and authentic and you did just that.

    • Thank you, Holly, for this affirmation! 🙂

      God sure is being sweet to me today, through each of you that have taken the time to bless me.

      Thanks again!

  • Jessica Karr Powell

    Steve, I am so moved by your story. Amazed by what you have allowed God to do in your life and grateful you were saved to continue what he started. I’ve known you for a long time and don’t doubt for a second how you and your sweet family will change the world. You have lots of “old friends” that would drop everything to remind you that you are not alone. Love y’all.

    • Jessica!

      Thanks for the sweet words and the reminder. Miss seeing ya…those were the “good ol’ days”, eh?

      🙂

      • Jessica Karr Powell

        Absolutely! A lot responsibility for sure. I learned a lot then and even more now looking back. We live in the same town, you would think we would see each other more!

        • I didn’t realize y’all were local! Crazy really that so many folks still live here and I honestly hardly ever see anyone!

  • Jessica Karr Powell

    Steve, I am so moved by your story. Amazed by what you have allowed God to do in your life and grateful you were saved to continue what he started. I’ve known you for a long time and don’t doubt for a second how you and your sweet family will change the world. You have lots of “old friends” that would drop everything to remind you that you are not alone. Love y’all.

    • Jessica!

      Thanks for the sweet words and the reminder. Miss seeing ya…those were the “good ol’ days”, eh?

      🙂

      • Jessica Karr Powell

        Absolutely! A lot responsibility for sure. I learned a lot then and even more now looking back. We live in the same town, you would think we would see each other more!

        • I didn’t realize y’all were local! Crazy really that so many folks still live here and I honestly hardly ever see anyone!

  • Dana Williams

    Thanks for sharing. We all need a better understanding of situations like these, especially among Christians. The older I get the more I see Gods grace as a real and ever expanding gift to us all. I look back at myself as a young person and l had God in such a small box. He is so much more than I let Him be. I’m grateful that you are still here, being used by our Awesome God!

    • Mrs. Dana,
      Thanks for reading and commenting. I’m blown away by today’s response.

      You are right that mental illness, suicide, etc are not very well understood and compassion for folks who deal with these issues is lacking in many circles–especialy the church.

      I am so thankful, as well, to have found teh unconditional love and infinite grace of God. I am more compelled by God’s grace than I ever was by the rules and regulations of man. His mercies are new every morning!

      Thanks for your encouragement,
      Steve

  • Dana Williams

    Thanks for sharing. We all need a better understanding of situations like these, especially among Christians. The older I get the more I see Gods grace as a real and ever expanding gift to us all. I look back at myself as a young person and l had God in such a small box. He is so much more than I let Him be. I’m grateful that you are still here, being used by our Awesome God!

    • Mrs. Dana,
      Thanks for reading and commenting. I’m blown away by today’s response.

      You are right that mental illness, suicide, etc are not very well understood and compassion for folks who deal with these issues is lacking in many circles–especialy the church.

      I am so thankful, as well, to have found teh unconditional love and infinite grace of God. I am more compelled by God’s grace than I ever was by the rules and regulations of man. His mercies are new every morning!

      Thanks for your encouragement,
      Steve

  • Rosemary Wright

    Hi, Steve. This is the “nutty Granny Rosie”, Terry’s Mom. You will never know how many people you have helped & encouraged by being brave enough to tell your story. We all have our problems & most of the time we are not comfortable sharing them to anyone & sometimes this is what leads us to trouble. We don’t want others to see our weak side, especially Christians because we think it will destroy our witness. But, our witness of our love of God & others is when we “go through the valley of the shadow of death” and are not too ashamed to tell our story & ask for help. We are all weak and it is only by the grace of God that many of us haven’t done the same thing you did. Thank God you got another chance. Thank God your wife, little boy and & mother didn’t lose you in such a devastating way. Praise God, Praise God, Praise God for saving your body, mind & soul. This old world needs all the Steve Austins we can get. Thank you for sharing your story. May our loving God stay close to you & your family & never let you get so low again. You are too special to not be around. I send you my love. I know this is long, but, as you know I am “long winded”. Bye for now. Granny Rosie.

    • Aww, shucks, Granny Rosie! I think I might just keep ya!!! 🙂

      Thanks so much for your words of love wisdom, and encouragement. I still wish I had been able to make it to your birthday party–sure do love that family of yours!

      Maybe we can all meet up for dinner some time?

      Love you,
      Steve

  • Rosemary Wright

    Hi, Steve. This is the “nutty Granny Rosie”, Terry’s Mom. You will never know how many people you have helped & encouraged by being brave enough to tell your story. We all have our problems & most of the time we are not comfortable sharing them to anyone & sometimes this is what leads us to trouble. We don’t want others to see our weak side, especially Christians because we think it will destroy our witness. But, our witness of our love of God & others is when we “go through the valley of the shadow of death” and are not too ashamed to tell our story & ask for help. We are all weak and it is only by the grace of God that many of us haven’t done the same thing you did. Thank God you got another chance. Thank God your wife, little boy and & mother didn’t lose you in such a devastating way. Praise God, Praise God, Praise God for saving your body, mind & soul. This old world needs all the Steve Austins we can get. Thank you for sharing your story. May our loving God stay close to you & your family & never let you get so low again. You are too special to not be around. I send you my love. I know this is long, but, as you know I am “long winded”. Bye for now. Granny Rosie.

    • Aww, shucks, Granny Rosie! I think I might just keep ya!!! 🙂

      Thanks so much for your words of love wisdom, and encouragement. I still wish I had been able to make it to your birthday party–sure do love that family of yours!

      Maybe we can all meet up for dinner some time?

      Love you,
      Steve

  • Candice Higdon

    Wow. Steven, I had know idea either. I’m so glad God’s grace spared your life!! I’m next in line for a hug after Barry! Thank you for the bravery it took to write this and share it. What an amazing testimony of God’s Grace. Thank you. Candice

    • Candice! I hope you and that nutty husband of yours are doing well. Thanks so much for reading and commenting. You have blessed me today. Now, please turn around and bless me again by sharing this with others.

      Thank you!

  • Candice Higdon

    Wow. Steven, I had know idea either. I’m so glad God’s grace spared your life!! I’m next in line for a hug after Barry! Thank you for the bravery it took to write this and share it. What an amazing testimony of God’s Grace. Thank you. Candice

    • Candice! I hope you and that nutty husband of yours are doing well. Thanks so much for reading and commenting. You have blessed me today. Now, please turn around and bless me again by sharing this with others.

      Thank you!

  • Cissy

    Oh Steve, my dear sweet precious friend….. I love you so much and I can not tell you how proud I am to be able to call you ” friend”.
    As I read your story, my heart broke….. It broke for many different reasons and many different people.
    It broke for you, as I only imagined the deep pain you were feeling while masking it so well behind that sweet funny face of yours.
    It broke for your precious wife as I realized the massive pain and confusion that was suddenly thrust upon her.
    For your amazing Mama as she faced one of the worst nitemares a mother could ever have to deal with, all while wide awake….. And your dad, the rock, oh my……Your dad…….!
    With a broken heart and tears that could not be stopped, I wondered, How, How could I not have known…… How could this happen to you, the one I call friend and I not have a clue that you were in such pain…….?
    I am so sorry Steve, so sorry that I was not there for you. I am so sorry that I could not help carry the burdens you were shouldering all alone…..
    Your story is an amazing testimony of strength and faithfulness.
    It reveals amazing strength on your part to be able to stand and share such truth with all of us and it once again shows how faithful and gracious our God is to each of us who call Him Saviour.
    It also makes me search my own self….. My own actions and priorities as I wonder if I am living my life the way “HE” desires for me to.
    Just as you said, we all have demons to deal with, skeletons that need to be buried and everyday struggles to live with and sometimes we just need a little encouragement from a fellow believer.
    Your story has awakened a desire in me to be that encoraging fellow believer….
    It has inspired me to be a better messenger of the wonderful life we have in Christ Jesus and to be the one who’s life demonstrates that by the grace of God, the mercy he gives to each of us each day and through His forgivness and love….His everlasting love… We can overcome…..

    Thank you Steve, Your story has changed me….
    It has changed me on the inside…
    I love you very much my friend…..
    Very Much Indeed

    Cissy…

    • Hilda, I love you!!!

      Thanks for your precious words.

      You know how the Bible talks about how we could be entertaining angels, unaware? I think we often fail to remember that we could also be entertaining children with broken wings and broken hearts. You just never know.

      If my story saves some for one more day, gives some courage to be honest with their struggles, and helps someone else start the healing process, then I praise my sweet Savior for every moment of Hell I walked through.

      I love you so much,
      Steve

  • Cissy

    Oh Steve, my dear sweet precious friend….. I love you so much and I can not tell you how proud I am to be able to call you ” friend”.
    As I read your story, my heart broke….. It broke for many different reasons and many different people.
    It broke for you, as I only imagined the deep pain you were feeling while masking it so well behind that sweet funny face of yours.
    It broke for your precious wife as I realized the massive pain and confusion that was suddenly thrust upon her.
    For your amazing Mama as she faced one of the worst nitemares a mother could ever have to deal with, all while wide awake….. And your dad, the rock, oh my……Your dad…….!
    With a broken heart and tears that could not be stopped, I wondered, How, How could I not have known…… How could this happen to you, the one I call friend and I not have a clue that you were in such pain…….?
    I am so sorry Steve, so sorry that I was not there for you. I am so sorry that I could not help carry the burdens you were shouldering all alone…..
    Your story is an amazing testimony of strength and faithfulness.
    It reveals amazing strength on your part to be able to stand and share such truth with all of us and it once again shows how faithful and gracious our God is to each of us who call Him Saviour.
    It also makes me search my own self….. My own actions and priorities as I wonder if I am living my life the way “HE” desires for me to.
    Just as you said, we all have demons to deal with, skeletons that need to be buried and everyday struggles to live with and sometimes we just need a little encouragement from a fellow believer.
    Your story has awakened a desire in me to be that encoraging fellow believer….
    It has inspired me to be a better messenger of the wonderful life we have in Christ Jesus and to be the one who’s life demonstrates that by the grace of God, the mercy he gives to each of us each day and through His forgivness and love….His everlasting love… We can overcome…..

    Thank you Steve, Your story has changed me….
    It has changed me on the inside…
    I love you very much my friend…..
    Very Much Indeed

    Cissy…

    • Hilda, I love you!!!

      Thanks for your precious words.

      You know how the Bible talks about how we could be entertaining angels, unaware? I think we often fail to remember that we could also be entertaining children with broken wings and broken hearts. You just never know.

      If my story saves some for one more day, gives some courage to be honest with their struggles, and helps someone else start the healing process, then I praise my sweet Savior for every moment of Hell I walked through.

      I love you so much,
      Steve

  • Hey Steve, thank you so much for sharing your story! God can and will use anything we give Him … I am so grateful to have crossed paths with you. Your transparency and heart is something the Lord will use (and is using already) … thank for showing us that His grace is worth finding, pursuing, understanding, and accepting! Bless you, dear brother!

    • Heidi,
      I am thankful that you found your way to this community of Grace. God isn’t through with any of us and I am thankful to walk in His unconditional love and infinite grace. He is crazy about His kids!

      Thank you,
      Steve

      • about 18 years ago I found myself in a similar situation as you did a year ago … since then I have been bathing in His constant grace … the amazing thing about it: it never lessens, nor gets old, nor exhausts … Keep going after it! … Yes, He is crazy about His kids 🙂

        • Reminds me of the song that says, “Your love never fails, never gives up, never runs out on me!”

  • Hey Steve, thank you so much for sharing your story! God can and will use anything we give Him … I am so grateful to have crossed paths with you. Your transparency and heart is something the Lord will use (and is using already) … thank for showing us that His grace is worth finding, pursuing, understanding, and accepting! Bless you, dear brother!

    • Heidi,
      I am thankful that you found your way to this community of Grace. God isn’t through with any of us and I am thankful to walk in His unconditional love and infinite grace. He is crazy about His kids!

      Thank you,
      Steve

      • about 18 years ago I found myself in a similar situation as you did a year ago … since then I have been bathing in His constant grace … the amazing thing about it: it never lessens, nor gets old, nor exhausts … Keep going after it! … Yes, He is crazy about His kids 🙂

        • Reminds me of the song that says, “Your love never fails, never gives up, never runs out on me!”

  • Hi Steve, Thank you for sharing this. I’m sorry to hear that you went through such a difficult time so recently. I, too, had no idea. As a doctor I feel that self-help messages wrapped up in superficial Christianity can create a lot of unnecessary guilt when things get overwhelming. While God is always good, life is rough and takes its toll on people. Yes, God absolutely does do amazing things but as Christians we are no more immune to depression than we are to other human conditions such as natural death. I have yet to see anyone make it through life alive!

    I feel that being open and honest about our joys and struggles is the most powerful testimony possible. In no way do our natural struggles make us bad Christians. We are, and always will be, jars of clay, not jars of unbreakable stainless steel! Sharing our burdens as you have done is key to making it through in this life in the body of Christ. As we do that, God is able to work through us and in us by his amazing supernatural power, as He has done and will continue to do. As your MC buddy I am very glad and thankful you are around! Keep up the good work of being open and honest. Grace is, indeed, messy. 🙂

    • Hey Doc! Thanks so much for such a positive and balanced response. I appreciate an intelligent and common sense approach to Christianity so much!

      Great to hear from you.

  • Hi Steve, Thank you for sharing this. I’m sorry to hear that you went through such a difficult time so recently. I, too, had no idea. As a doctor I feel that self-help messages wrapped up in superficial Christianity can create a lot of unnecessary guilt when things get overwhelming. While God is always good, life is rough and takes its toll on people. Yes, God absolutely does do amazing things but as Christians we are no more immune to depression than we are to other human conditions such as natural death. I have yet to see anyone make it through life alive!

    I feel that being open and honest about our joys and struggles is the most powerful testimony possible. In no way do our natural struggles make us bad Christians. We are, and always will be, jars of clay, not jars of unbreakable stainless steel! Sharing our burdens as you have done is key to making it through in this life in the body of Christ. As we do that, God is able to work through us and in us by his amazing supernatural power, as He has done and will continue to do. As your MC buddy I am very glad and thankful you are around! Keep up the good work of being open and honest. Grace is, indeed, messy. 🙂

    • Hey Doc! Thanks so much for such a positive and balanced response. I appreciate an intelligent and common sense approach to Christianity so much!

      Great to hear from you.

  • Tammy Williams

    Steve,
    I honestly read this post on FB, paying no attention to the name. My heart was so touched and I just began to thank God for the wonderful outcome and that where Satan had meant to bring death that Romans 8:28 was happening instead. I know God WILL use this story, your story, to help others. I kept thinking that this was written by someone who has a true gift at writing. I went back and took the names in…My eyes filled with tears and then a huge smile began to spread across instead. I’ve told you on many occasions that you have a true, God-given gift of communication, both verbal and written. You are a blessing. God will continue to use you. Thank you for your transparency. Thank God for your sweet wife and supportive family!

    Love you,
    Miss Tammy

    • Miss Tammy,

      How sweet of you to stop by, precious lady.

      You have always been so supportive and such an encouragement to me. Thank you so much.

      I am amazed at the number of views this story has received today and how many times people have shared it on Facebook. I have received an email from South Africa and a friend request on Facebook from a guy in Germany, all from sharing my story. I am thankful beyond words for the ways He is sharing my story to bless and encourage others.

      Our God is great big!

      –Steve

  • Tammy Williams

    Steve,
    I honestly read this post on FB, paying no attention to the name. My heart was so touched and I just began to thank God for the wonderful outcome and that where Satan had meant to bring death that Romans 8:28 was happening instead. I know God WILL use this story, your story, to help others. I kept thinking that this was written by someone who has a true gift at writing. I went back and took the names in…My eyes filled with tears and then a huge smile began to spread across instead. I’ve told you on many occasions that you have a true, God-given gift of communication, both verbal and written. You are a blessing. God will continue to use you. Thank you for your transparency. Thank God for your sweet wife and supportive family!

    Love you,
    Miss Tammy

    • Miss Tammy,

      How sweet of you to stop by, precious lady.

      You have always been so supportive and such an encouragement to me. Thank you so much.

      I am amazed at the number of views this story has received today and how many times people have shared it on Facebook. I have received an email from South Africa and a friend request on Facebook from a guy in Germany, all from sharing my story. I am thankful beyond words for the ways He is sharing my story to bless and encourage others.

      Our God is great big!

      –Steve

  • Susan Kennedy

    Steve, thank you for sharing this. “Christians” who say that depression is a sign of not knowing God’s love don’t realize that Christians are human, too. God is a God of not only second chances, but third, fourth, fifth, etc. God bless you and your sweet family.

    • Mrs. Susan,

      I am so glad you get it.

      Love to you and yours,
      Steve

  • Susan Kennedy

    Steve, thank you for sharing this. “Christians” who say that depression is a sign of not knowing God’s love don’t realize that Christians are human, too. God is a God of not only second chances, but third, fourth, fifth, etc. God bless you and your sweet family.

    • Mrs. Susan,

      I am so glad you get it.

      Love to you and yours,
      Steve

  • Clara Oxendine

    Steve, thank you for your transparency. So many people suffering with deep dark secrets will be ministered to by your honesty & authenticity. It took me years to understand the grace of God. I am so thankful God rescued you. What an awesome plan He has for your life. I so admire you for your brutal honesty. Shedding light on this darkness brings greater freedom. Praying for you as you continue your journey. Clara Oxendine

    • Mrs. Clara,

      Thank you so much for responding! 🙂 I haven’t seen you in YEARS!

      My goal was to show the deepest of the dark but also how powerful the Light is. I am glad to have succeeded!

      Bless you,
      Steve

  • Clara Oxendine

    Steve, thank you for your transparency. So many people suffering with deep dark secrets will be ministered to by your honesty & authenticity. It took me years to understand the grace of God. I am so thankful God rescued you. What an awesome plan He has for your life. I so admire you for your brutal honesty. Shedding light on this darkness brings greater freedom. Praying for you as you continue your journey. Clara Oxendine

    • Mrs. Clara,

      Thank you so much for responding! 🙂 I haven’t seen you in YEARS!

      My goal was to show the deepest of the dark but also how powerful the Light is. I am glad to have succeeded!

      Bless you,
      Steve

  • Linda Rogers

    I have so many thoughts and feelings in response to this that I am not sure exactly what to write.
    Thank you for your honesty and courage. I know the real testimony of what God has done and is doing in our lives is often difficult to share. There is only one hero in the story, and we aren’t Him. I am saddened to hear how much pain you were in and the pain of those who love you, but so thankful to hear what God did and is doing. He is a redeemer who truly can give “beauty for ashes”.
    I know I didn’t know you well all those years ago when I was in MC and you were in high school, but I wish I could have done or said something to lessen the pain you went through… yet I have to trust that God’s timing is best and that He knew what was needed and when. And I doubt I understood grace well enough then to have actually been all that helpful. I just wish I could have been.

    • I am so thankful we all understand grace better these days. The past is behind me and I am looking forward to new days all the time!

      Bless you.

  • Linda Rogers

    I have so many thoughts and feelings in response to this that I am not sure exactly what to write.
    Thank you for your honesty and courage. I know the real testimony of what God has done and is doing in our lives is often difficult to share. There is only one hero in the story, and we aren’t Him. I am saddened to hear how much pain you were in and the pain of those who love you, but so thankful to hear what God did and is doing. He is a redeemer who truly can give “beauty for ashes”.
    I know I didn’t know you well all those years ago when I was in MC and you were in high school, but I wish I could have done or said something to lessen the pain you went through… yet I have to trust that God’s timing is best and that He knew what was needed and when. And I doubt I understood grace well enough then to have actually been all that helpful. I just wish I could have been.

    • I am so thankful we all understand grace better these days. The past is behind me and I am looking forward to new days all the time!

      Bless you.

  • Thank you for sharing this powerful story of grace, Steve! I am so glad that God spared you so you can help others.

  • Thank you for sharing this powerful story of grace, Steve! I am so glad that God spared you so you can help others.

  • Steve, thanks for sharing your story. The enemy would have us believe that attempted suicide is a shameful, weak thing that we should keep hidden. Instead, when we bring it into the light and talk about it, we discover many who can relate. As an earlier responder stated, we overcome by the word of our testimony and the blood of the Lamb. May many be touched by your story and seek help before doing anything so drastic.

    Like you, I should have been dead…a few times. The enemy sure wants us out of the picture, doesn’t he? Kinda makes me wonder… 🙂

    o/

    • Hey friend!

      You are right–when our weakness meets his sacrifice, something awesome happens!!!

      So thankful for a new perspective and knowing that I can walk in the freedom that I have been given.

      Have a rockin’ week!

      m/

  • Steve, thanks for sharing your story. The enemy would have us believe that attempted suicide is a shameful, weak thing that we should keep hidden. Instead, when we bring it into the light and talk about it, we discover many who can relate. As an earlier responder stated, we overcome by the word of our testimony and the blood of the Lamb. May many be touched by your story and seek help before doing anything so drastic.

    Like you, I should have been dead…a few times. The enemy sure wants us out of the picture, doesn’t he? Kinda makes me wonder… 🙂

    o/

    • Hey friend!

      You are right–when our weakness meets his sacrifice, something awesome happens!!!

      So thankful for a new perspective and knowing that I can walk in the freedom that I have been given.

      Have a rockin’ week!

      m/

  • jenn

    Your story reminds me a lot of my own. I celebrated the 5 year mark of my own “Mulligan” on April 12, 2013. Thank you for sharing your story, you really are inspiring.

  • jenn

    Your story reminds me a lot of my own. I celebrated the 5 year mark of my own “Mulligan” on April 12, 2013. Thank you for sharing your story, you really are inspiring.

  • Steve, I admire your openness and transparency! You’ve gone through so many terrible things in your life—even done terrible things—but, by God’s grace, you are still alive, and still His beloved. You are proof that grace will get messy.
    It is obvious why your writings almost always talk about grace; you have experienced so much of God’s grace, and you are merely extending it.

    Thank you,
    Braeden

    • Still His beloved. 🙂 Thanks for that reminder. Yes I am.

      Thanks for that,
      Steve

  • Steve, I admire your openness and transparency! You’ve gone through so many terrible things in your life—even done terrible things—but, by God’s grace, you are still alive, and still His beloved. You are proof that grace will get messy.
    It is obvious why your writings almost always talk about grace; you have experienced so much of God’s grace, and you are merely extending it.

    Thank you,
    Braeden

    • Still His beloved. 🙂 Thanks for that reminder. Yes I am.

      Thanks for that,
      Steve

  • Wow, this was definitely shocking, but I’m SO glad you shared it!! And I’m glad you sent me a friend request on Facebook, or I would have never known. It’s hard to believe so much time has passed since that awesome time when I met you and Lindsey back when Master’s Commission came to little ol’ Boonville, Missouri. 🙂 Although you weren’t an official couple back then (as far as I remember), I knew even then that you two were so special, and that God had such a plan for both of you! Some pretty big things have happened for all of us since then… but God is SO good, and I’m grateful for His unchanging grace and mercy. If you and Lindsey have time sometime, I’d love for you to watch my own story of God’s redemption and restoration in my life after I made some poor choices a couple of years ago. Your transparency is an inspiration, and after seeing how powerful it can be to put your story in writing, I think maybe I’m going to be more intentional now about putting mine in writing too. I really like how you broke yours down into sections, and I think I’ll try to do something like that (there’s so much to cover!) There’s so much more to say, but for now, just know I’m glad to be back in touch with you guys, and I’ll be looking forward to reading your future posts and seeing more pictures of your beautiful babies! Take care! Here’s my story: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Co6hh6a8HaM

    • Hey my friend! I’m so thrilled to have reconnected! God’s grace is certainly amazing, isn’t it? I can’t wait to sit down and watch your story! His redemption is immediate, His restoration is patient, and His love is never-ending.

  • Wow, this was definitely shocking, but I’m SO glad you shared it!! And I’m glad you sent me a friend request on Facebook, or I would have never known. It’s hard to believe so much time has passed since that awesome time when I met you and Lindsey back when Master’s Commission came to little ol’ Boonville, Missouri. 🙂 Although you weren’t an official couple back then (as far as I remember), I knew even then that you two were so special, and that God had such a plan for both of you! Some pretty big things have happened for all of us since then… but God is SO good, and I’m grateful for His unchanging grace and mercy. If you and Lindsey have time sometime, I’d love for you to watch my own story of God’s redemption and restoration in my life after I made some poor choices a couple of years ago. Your transparency is an inspiration, and after seeing how powerful it can be to put your story in writing, I think maybe I’m going to be more intentional now about putting mine in writing too. I really like how you broke yours down into sections, and I think I’ll try to do something like that (there’s so much to cover!) There’s so much more to say, but for now, just know I’m glad to be back in touch with you guys, and I’ll be looking forward to reading your future posts and seeing more pictures of your beautiful babies! Take care! Here’s my story: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Co6hh6a8HaM

    • Hey my friend! I’m so thrilled to have reconnected! God’s grace is certainly amazing, isn’t it? I can’t wait to sit down and watch your story! His redemption is immediate, His restoration is patient, and His love is never-ending.

  • Reblogged this on Blunt Belief and commented:
    Mental illness. What sort of people do you think of when you hear those words?

    It affects more people than you might think. Maybe you’re one of them. Maybe not. Often people who are successful and seem to have it all together are fighting something you are completely unaware of.

    The following is the story of one Christian man’s struggle with mental illness. I encourage everyone to read it.

  • Reblogged this on Blunt Belief and commented:
    Mental illness. What sort of people do you think of when you hear those words?

    It affects more people than you might think. Maybe you’re one of them. Maybe not. Often people who are successful and seem to have it all together are fighting something you are completely unaware of.

    The following is the story of one Christian man’s struggle with mental illness. I encourage everyone to read it.

  • Thank you for sharing your journey! I always say it takes one to create the spark that ignites the fire! God said it wasn’t your time and that your purpose stems from living, sharing your story, and helping others to live. I’m sharing your story to help inspire others, to help prevent suicide, and to encourage others to get help. THANK YOU!

    • Karen, thanks so much! It definitely wasn’t my time to go. God has done such a healing in my life, my family, and my marriage and He is so faithful! Thank you!!

  • Thank you for sharing your journey! I always say it takes one to create the spark that ignites the fire! God said it wasn’t your time and that your purpose stems from living, sharing your story, and helping others to live. I’m sharing your story to help inspire others, to help prevent suicide, and to encourage others to get help. THANK YOU!

    • Karen, thanks so much! It definitely wasn’t my time to go. God has done such a healing in my life, my family, and my marriage and He is so faithful! Thank you!!

  • I applaud your honesty, Steve, and as somebody who grew up in a similar church culture, I get it, even if my story is different.

    Performance is exhausting. Pretending to have it together is exhausting. Being a “role model” — whatever the heck that is supposed to mean — is exceptionally exhausting.

    Grace is rest… right in the middle of the mess.

    Thank you for saying so. And here’s to beginning again. 🙂

    • Performance is exhausting, but grace is rest. Cheers to that. Thanks for stopping by again!

  • I applaud your honesty, Steve, and as somebody who grew up in a similar church culture, I get it, even if my story is different.

    Performance is exhausting. Pretending to have it together is exhausting. Being a “role model” — whatever the heck that is supposed to mean — is exceptionally exhausting.

    Grace is rest… right in the middle of the mess.

    Thank you for saying so. And here’s to beginning again. 🙂

    • Performance is exhausting, but grace is rest. Cheers to that. Thanks for stopping by again!

  • Hey Steve, I just read your story. THANK YOU for sharing it. I know God will use it (and has in many ways already!) … I am so grateful for having crossed paths with you. I am praying for you and that God will use your obedience and desperate need for Him to perpetuate the truth of the Gospel, namely that Chris died for messy sinners. I pray He will continue to guide you through the Spirit and blow your socks off with an awareness of His love for you. You were thought of, knit together by the One who spoke the entire universe into existence. Your obedience is in inspiration … to all of us! Be blessed, dear brother!

    • Heidi!

      You have blessed me with your words. Thank you so much for your encouragement. I am honored to be able to tell my story (it means I’m still here!).

      I pray God’s blessings on you this year and going forward.

      Thanks again,
      Steve

  • Hey Steve, I just read your story. THANK YOU for sharing it. I know God will use it (and has in many ways already!) … I am so grateful for having crossed paths with you. I am praying for you and that God will use your obedience and desperate need for Him to perpetuate the truth of the Gospel, namely that Chris died for messy sinners. I pray He will continue to guide you through the Spirit and blow your socks off with an awareness of His love for you. You were thought of, knit together by the One who spoke the entire universe into existence. Your obedience is in inspiration … to all of us! Be blessed, dear brother!

    • Heidi!

      You have blessed me with your words. Thank you so much for your encouragement. I am honored to be able to tell my story (it means I’m still here!).

      I pray God’s blessings on you this year and going forward.

      Thanks again,
      Steve