I’m pretty sure I was rude twice yesterday. A discussion was going on with a committee at a table across the room. Someone said, “I bet Lisa knows.” I quickly spoke up and said, pretending to be not so serious, “Of course, I do. People think I know everything.” A friend’s face turned towards me as if to say, “Got the message loud and clear, stop asking Lisa to have all the answers.” Said friend is a board member and knows firsthand the variety of rather serious requests and issues I tackle. He’s a huge support. Still, his look said it all. I was rude.
Lately, though, there are so many things I just don’t know. Things I thought would be clear, that are causing me to wait, requiring me to see my quite minimal role in the big picture of outcomes. The ones close to home and to heart, my children. Things I thought would line up, using an “if this… then, this approach.” What I’m realizing in this time of faith testing is just how little I do know…a lesson in humility and a reminder of my role in God’s plan, to trust.
I was able to answer the question. I did, in fact have the answer and since I was among friends, I hope only minimal damage was done. I apologized. The topic was suicide, all questions are hard.
After awhile, you just need a break from the hard questions. The not knowing and not being able to know is exhausting. After all, I’m not a Survivor of Suicide Loss, I just know people who are. They are truly left not knowing, imagine their struggle, their fatigue.
I’ve met people who have told me their gut wrenching stories and so, yes, I do have insight on the subject. That insight, those stories have taken up residence in my mind and so I notice, I contemplate, I filter circumstances and demeanor of friends and family through the chronicles of survivor’s stories. I look too closely sometimes, putting too much pressure on myself, probably those around me.
When it comes to suicide, people say things they shouldn’t.
People don’t say things they should.
Still I know the checklist of signs, the right questions to ask are stored in my mind and far too often, I’m stuck in the quick sand of thinking, analyzing, researching.
What if this happens in my life?
What does this mood mean? Will this disappointment lead to hopelessness? Will someone I love be so lost and alone or so in fear of what might be or what can’t be that they decide to take their life?
This is when knowledge is too much, too much knowing, not enough trusting. This is when God reminds me who He is and I am once again enveloped in the wings of His grace, His mercy, His knowledge….such knowledge is too much for me!
When I know too much, have too much expertise, I forget who God is. When what I understand overshadows what God already knows I’m nothing but perplexed. My knowledge is too much. It is useless and damaging, almost suffocating. It is then I am lost and hopeless. Then, that I have positioned myself as all-knowing instead of knowing the one who knows all. It is then, I am reminded to return and rest…to be me, quiet and confident. (Isaiah 30:15)
Tomorrow, I will say a few words to welcome a group of Survivors of Suicide loss at our Out of the Darkness Walk. I will simply remind them that I care.