By Jonathan David Faulkner,
It was around nine on a Sunday night about a week and a half after my concussion. I had tried to go back to work the previous week and been sent home two of those days and giving a medical leave of absence until I had been cleared of all symptoms. I had never suffered any kind of brain injury, not even a mild concussion. I did not know what would happen to me as a result of such an injury. There was no way we could have predicted (not even doctors can really predict) exactly what a Traumatic Brain Injury can do.
So, as I sat on the couch in my living room, my mind spinning, head hurting I was surprised when my mind turned its attention to the pocket knife sitting on the end table next to me. “It would be so easy; to just end all this pain you are feeling” the thought came out of nowhere. It was honestly a shock. I knew I could not entertain the thought, but that one single thought opened up a flood of negative thoughts and emotions about myself. Going all the way back to the words of peers who once told me in earnest: “You should just kill yourself, you’re never going to amount to anything anyway.”
After about ten minutes of not being able to calm my mind down I called a friend, my spiritual sister, and told her what was happening. Within ten minutes there were ten people sitting in my living room including my girlfriend at the time. Almost every one of my close friends were suddenly surrounding me and those who were not there were praying for me. They stayed with me until the thoughts and feelings settled. I do not entirely recall, but I think someone may have stayed at the house until after I had gone to sleep.
I wish I could say that this was the end of my struggle, but it was just beginning. I spent a few nights at the school councilors before the school sent me to my grandparents for some R&R while I recovered. I remember my mother saying: “This isn’t like you” to which I replied: “I know.” It was scary, for everyone, eventually the suicidal thoughts faded and I just struggled with severe depression that would eventually lead to the end of the relationship I was in at the time.
Here I am a year and a half later thinking back on that night, on another Sunday, a new home, new state, new relationship, new everything. I think about how much that night defined the struggle that I went through for the next 8 to ten months while my brain recovered from the injury. I think of how the people from Sterling that I am still close to, a lot of them are the people who were there that night, who checked up on me and who called me to make sure I was okay.
God showed me His goodness through that entire ordeal. Even as I fought with my own mind to try and regain some semblance of control and normality I saw God’s Goodness at work. As I relied on Him for literally everything, including mental stability. I saw His good and loving hands working in my life and it was the sweetest, most life-giving time of my life until June of 2016 (I’ll tell you what happened then sometime).
I truly believe that God does want to be good to us. That His goodness will be shown to those who believe in Him and who follow after Him. He loves us all so much that as a principle, God wants to be good to us. That goodness is shown to us in different ways and often in our darkest moments (though not always).
God’s love for us is so amazing. It is so deep and so wide that we cannot fathom it. I pray that you know that goodness today, wherever you are at.
Jonathan David Faulkner is a student at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, a Pastor, Musician and Writer. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Christian Education & Administration with a concentration in Urban Ministry