I slit my wrists and took pills. I did it in front of my husband, and was hospitalized…. After getting out, I became severely depressed, blaming myself and believing that God was going to punish me by striking me dead for real and sending me to hell.

Since then, not a day goes by that I don’t think about death. I am very fearful because I don’t know where I’ll end up…. I think that everything is sin…. I don’t know how to get past this and go on without all these fears. I believe that if I skip one day going to church, God will be angry with me. I lost forty pounds in a very short time. The nights and the days were horrible! I wasted away thinking about purgatory…. I am sorry. I am under a psychiatrist’s care and on medication that I don’t want to take. I want to get past this with God’s help.

Dear Friend,

It sounds like you are going through a very difficult time. Thank you for trusting us to help you sort it all out.

First of all, please understand that there are two separate issues involved which you have mixed together. What you are really dealing with is a chemical (physical) problem as well as a spiritual problem. We can’t help with the chemical imbalance in your body, but we are very glad to hear that you are seeing a doctor. Please take the medicine that the doctor has prescribed, and understand that you need it as much as some people need medicine for their high blood pressure. Your doctor will decide when your imbalance has been corrected, so until then, just take the medicine and don’t be anxious about it.

The second issue is spiritual. You have some very distorted beliefs about God that are causing you all this distress. To you God is a vengeful Judge, taking pleasure in punishing you and desiring to send you to hell. Nothing could be further from the truth!

When parents discipline their children using consequences, does that mean that they want the children to fail or that they as parents take pleasure in the punishments that they must administer? No, of course not! Parents love their children, and only give rules and consequences to help each child learn how to lead a safe and happy life.

God, our Heavenly Parent, loves us so much that He has made it easy for us. He knew that we would sin and break the rules, so He sent His only Son to take the punishment for us.(1) We don’t have to go to hell or purgatory, or be punished, because Jesus already paid for all our sin. When we ask God to forgive our sins in the name of Jesus, God forgives us because He has promised to do so. “He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”(2)

After God has forgiven our sins, we begin a relationship with Him. We go to church and read the Bible not because He will be angry if we don’t, but because we want to get to know Him better. The only way to know the truth about God is to read His Word for ourselves. Begin reading the New Testament today, and God will show you the truth about how He feels about you.

We wish you well,

1 Jn 3:16
2 1Jn 1:9