It is with a broken heart and many tears that I announce the passing of a dear friend, sister in Christ, and painting buddy, Alanna.
I met Alanna 7 years ago when she contacted me through this site. She LOVES to paint and wanted to learn more, so she emailed me. We struck up a friendship and knowing she was from my area, I offered to teach her how to paint at the Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center. That began a wonderful painting and hiking friendship where we visited many forests preserves and explored nature together.
Through the years we shared many things…talking hours about God, sitting in her prayer swing in her backyard, discussing frustrations in our lives, discussing current events, relationships, you name it. She always has a way of making me feel better about any situation. I only wish I could do the same for her.
Many of you might recognize her from the MeetUp group painting events. It was rare when she missed one.
This is the last MeetUp painting she beautifully created….
“The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want…. ye, though I walk through the valley of death, I shall fear no evil. Psalm 23”
The MeetUp topic was depression and how to cling to God’s word in the midst of struggle. This was her favorite verse.
But she was depressed and she was very fearful about an upcoming surgery. A routine surgery.
It is with the permission of her family and with great devastation that I inform you that Alanna took her own life.
Our mission now is to tell her story and help others considering suicide. See, just because someone seems strong, or independent, doesn’t mean that they aren’t a scared little girl or boy on the inside. Just because someone says they’re close to God, or a Christian, doesn’t mean that they feel safe and have it all together. Many hide their true feelings deep within.
But God LOVES YOU.
He IS love.
He knows the very number of hairs on your head. (Matt 10:29-31)
He has loved you with an everlasting love. (Jer 31:3)
He sent his very Son to die on a cross for your transgressions so that you would be with Him for all eternity. (John 3:16)
He personally formed you in your mother’s womb. (Ps 139:13-14)
He adopted you as a son or daughter through Christ. (Eph 1:5-6)
Not only that, but He sent the Holy Spirit to walk next to you day by day to strengthen you because he knew this world is difficult. (Matt 10:16)
Life is difficult. Christians are not exempt from suffering, nobody is exempt from suffering, but the Word has power and we must cling to it.
He will never leave you nor forsake you. (Heb 13:5)
If you are struggling with life and have even a tiny fraction of a doubt whether you can go on or not….
If you’re scared and don’t know what to do….
If you’re lonely and have no one to turn to….
If you’re lost and you think there’s no way out….
If you’re so angry you can’t take it any longer…..
If you’ve been made fun of and you believe the bullies….
If you can’t look into the mirror anymore….
DON’T GIVE UP
Call 911 and tell them.
Call the Suicide Hotline: 1-800-273-8255 available 24/7
Text “CONNECT” to 741741 on your cell phone
You are not alone.
Listen to this encouraging song and hear the words:
I will always keep Alanna in my heart and with me in the woods when I’m exploring.