“Scars of the Heart” by Guest Mug Upper, Lin

Today’s guest Mug Upper is my friend and “sistah”, Lin Daniels. A published writer of devotionals, it was no surprise she answered my call for guest writers on “stories behind their scars”. After forty years, Lin retired from teaching physical education, all but one year serving at the elementary school level. Her twin sister (Pat) and she are avid golfers and especially enjoy playing as partners. As such, each time they play they negotiate which identical clothing to wear but choose one item (usually a hat) to be different. When I asked Lin what we’d have for our Mug Up if we were with each other, she said Diet Coke or hot chocolate, “but not together”! Please know as you read Lin’s blog that you are not alone. If you need someone to talk to, to mug up with, to sit with, to pray with…we are both here for you. Anytime.

~Mug Up Mermaid

A few years ago I convinced Lin and Pat to walk the beach at sunrise, during a snow storm!

“I felt like I had just lost the greatest battle of my life. My mom had battled depression for twenty plus years. I don’t remember her smiling much. But despite her struggles, us kids knew she loved us. We stayed the course along with her – through counseling, physical ailments related to emotional distress and many dark days. In particular, I felt it was “my job” to encourage her and keep her alive…

Lin’s mom holding her grand baby, Jen

Despite our best efforts, she eventually took her own life. Where was God? I was sure He could have caused her suicide attempt to be unsuccessful – so why didn’t He?

I felt a mix of two emotions – anger and thankfulness. I could either stay mad at God that He didn’t intervene or I could give thanks for all the times He kept her alive over those many black years. In an intentional decision, I embraced thankfulness…

In the first few days after her death, I asked God to change her taking her own life and bring something positive out of it. Even as I spoke those words to heaven, I could not envision how anything remotely good could ever surface from this. But I knew enough about God to hope that He could and would.

A tragedy remains forever a tragedy unless it is shared and brings hope to someone else. 

To my surprise, God opened up opportunities over the years to walk with others suffering loss from a loved one’s suicide.

…I was blessed to escort a teacher friend as she returned to work for the first time after her son’s suicide. She had specifically asked me to accompany her, so I did. I don’t remember saying anything, but I DID stand right next to her as she greeted over thirty tearful friends.

…A sixth grade girl came to school distraught because the previous evening her mother had tried to slit her own wrists. The guidance counselor was not around so I volunteered to visit with her. No, I am not a brave person with lots of wise words. But my heart knew her pain, like few others. The young lady and I had a teary chat.

The scars from Mom’s suicide have become duller and somewhat faded. But they become fresh anew whenever I encounter another one on that same journey. Each time I reach out to another hurting soul a little healing occurs in the their heart…and also in mine.” By Lin Daniels

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support. Resources are available both by phone and online for you or your loved ones. www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org

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