I told her it was too late. I relayed to her that I had taken, at the very least, 300 pills, and now it was only a matter of time. I stayed on the phone with her as things began to get hazy. I cried and asked her why God didn’t care. I wanted to know what I had done wrong and why I had no strength to go on. She listened as I recounted events from my childhood. And then I began to get very sleepy, minutes would go by and I would not say a word. I would wake back up to the screaming of my name. She yelled to me, begging to wake me from my trance. Through her fear and mine, she reminded me and kept telling me that even though I could not feel it and even though He seemed so far off- God was with me in that moment. She begged me to cling to Him and I told her I was trying.
The truth was that I really was trying. I was hanging onto the side of a cliff and I was still holding on. My intelligence told me that He was there. But, my heart- my poor heart could not feel His presence. I was consumed by a lie, fed to me from the enemy, that my God, my Savior had forgotten me. I believed that I was not worth it to Him. I cried for His strength because I was emptied of my own. As I lay my head on the steering wheel I begged for Him to hold me.
I’m not sure how much time passed before I heard their yells. I heard my name being yelled and he sounded angry. I was collapsed over the steering wheel of my white Jeep Grand Cherokee Dream car and I was wracked with fear. “Kathryn Elizabeth Scudder,” he yelled. He knows me? The people pleaser in me jumped to attention. I struggled to lift my head and there they were. With rocks in hand, they begged for me to open the car. I was afraid to let them down and so I think I leaned over and hit the unlock button.
They rushed me to their guardian angel mini-van. Alan, a long time family friend, received a call from my dad who had asked him to pray. My dad was getting on a flight to come to me but he was asking Alan, a trusted friend who was already in southern California, to help in any way he could, while my dad waited to board a plane that would take him to that same place. After hanging up with my dad, as I am told, Alan got in his car and drove the hour to get to my university. In the parking lot of my university, he ran into Daniel. Daniel, the kindest of men, had heard the news of my disappearance and Alan urged him to get in his car. Alan told Daniel that he would drive and Daniel would navigate where they were to go. And so they drove. They prayed that God would direct their car to me and He led them thirty miles, down freeways, up mountains, and around the final turn where they spotted the white Jeep.
Alan asked Daniel for the nearest hospital and Daniel relayed the directions and we began a bumpy ride down the mountain. Alan took charge in the front and Daniel held me in the back. His hands cupped my face just inches from his own and he begged for me to speak to him. I remember being self-conscious of my breath as he asked me questions about my family. We talked about how my dad would make a good president, we shared our love for the San Francisco Giants, and then I gave him my final instructions. I told him the name of each of the girls in my small group and I made him promise to look after them. I told him what they needed prayer for and I think I cried because I knew I was letting them and my family down.
We arrived at the hospital and I remember very little from there on. I vaguely recall doctors feeding me charcoal to absorb the poisons in my tummy and I know that I flat-lined more than once in that emergency room. The doctors were not sure of my chances and I know I stumbled out of my coma to the sound of my brother’s and sister’s voices a day or so later (but that is a story for another day).
What I do know is this: I called and He came to my rescue. He sent his angels up that mountain so I would not have to make the journey down alone. I am also sure that our faith is not a faith of feelings. In my darkest hour, I not only felt that God was absent but I believed that He no longer cared for me. I thought I was a disappointment to Him. The truth is that He loved me all along. He delivered me from the depths that I pray no other man has to see. The Lord quieted my tears. And when I cried out to Him, He answered me.
In my pain and exhaustion I was blinded to the truth. My attempt to take my own life was not because I thought life would be better for the ones I loved without me around. It was the answer to the lie that my God no longer wanted to hold me, that His strength was no longer available to me.
In the scriptures it says, “ The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” Psalm 18:4
I take my stance behind Him. He is my rock, the fortress in which I reside. My God delivers me and is where I find refuge. My power, my strength, comes from Him.
We must believe in His promises. They must connect from our head to our heart. The promises He has made are true. I must rely on the words that are written.
My attempt to reach death before His timing is a part of my story. You can call me crazy (but it will hurt my feelings) and you can say I am a fool. I wonder at times why I had to go so far into the depths, but that is not as important as the real message of this story.
The truth is He saved me. He sent two angels (to whom words will never do justice) to carry me to Him. And He held me. In fact, He was holding me all along. God chose to extend grace to me by sparing my life.
Six years ago today I tried to take my own life. I lost my way because my feelings failed me. Our faith is more than feelings. We must stand upon a foundation of His promises whether we “feel” them or not. It is my prayer that part of my story will remind others that God does care, even when we are sold the lies and led to believe otherwise by the evil one.
Waking up from that coma may have been the hardest moment of my life. My brain’s first thoughts were four letter expletives and then I began the long and hard journey back to living. Back to not only the belief, but to the foundation of truth that He loves me. He is my rock, my power, strength, and fortress. He has redeemed me.
I was born in December, but every year at half past March, I celebrate the chance He gave me to live again. My faith is more than a feeling. I will remain in His promises and each year I will crawl further and further from the wreckage of a lie that so horribly deceived me. Whether I feel His presence or not, I shall remember through His promises that He is there.