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The news of his unexpected death came as a shock. How it happened was even more shocking to me.

I don’t think I’ve ever met someone like Bill (name changed) who wore the biggest and brightest smile I’d ever seen 8 hours a day for two straight weeks. We were in the same training class for our new call center job and I would look at him from across the room, wondering if there was something else going on behind that beaming face. Was it just a show, or was he really really happy to be there - could someone really smile so much? Once I caught him lose the smile for a second, but just for one second. Then the smile came right back on. I wondered again. Was it all just a show?

I still don’t know. Maybe he, an aspiring police officer, was truly happy to have a job and be working at a place where we monitor alarms and help protect lives and property.

After training, we hardly came across each other until our schedules started overlapping over a year later. Even then, we would just say our quick “hi’s” and “how are you’s” and not get much deeper than talking about how his kids were and/or who in our training class were still working for the company. The last time or two that I saw him, I observed that the smile was no longer there. A few months later, I checked and found out that he no longer worked for the company and wondered what happened.

Then, I got the news of his passing via email at work. I found out through someone else that he had been suffering from depression. He had taken pills to help him sleep, woke up in the middle of the night, went outside and… shot himself.

I was stunned! He was suffering from depression? I didn’t see that coming. I don’t think anyone did. Not with that smile. Was there something else I could’ve said/done/prayed for the last few times we saw each other in passing, saying our quick “Hi” and “How are you’s?”

I, too, have suffered from depression and know what it feels like to be helpless. Did I completely miss my opportunity to bring hope to this 30 year old man who left two very young children behind? But there was no going back. There is no going back.

Still, my desire is that I don’t lose my opportunity with you. I want to remind you that there is hope for your future. As cliche as it may sound, God has a plan for your life and ending it is not the solution to your troubles.

I could’ve given up hope when I was so sick due to a concussion, I could hardly function. It caused terrible anxiety and depression. I couldn’t work. My Mom had to come and take care of me for months. Then when I got better enough to start working full time, I re-injured myself a couple of times and had setbacks to where I had to be pulled back to work part time instead.

Through all of that, God gave me the strength to hold on to Him and His promises. He was faithful and is faithful to open my eyes to the hope I have in Christ.

I found that it is very important to keep the truth in the forefront of my mind. I would keep reminding myself that God has a plan for me, “‘...plans to prosper (me) and not to harm (me), plans to give (me) hope and a future,’” (Jer 29:11) so that I would not completely despair even when my situation felt utterly hopeless. Because of that, I kept pushing forward to get better; and better I continue to be. I am now able to work full time and also do music on the side, which is a great blessing from God.

I want you to have that hope. That is why I provide materials that can help remind you that your future is alive, whether it be a t-shirt or a sticky note that you can purchase here, or through the music I produce and blogs I write.






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