Suicide Is My Story, Assurance Is My Song

We had been married for about eight years and finally settled into that comfortable rhythm that only experienced couples can manage. It was Easter Sunday. After church, we had lunch at his parent’s house before heading home for family nap time. The warm April sun was flowing through the double glass of the back porch doors. Our six-month-old daughter snoozed quietly in her bassinet as I curled up heavy-eyed next to my already sleeping husband. I remember the feelings that swirled around on that pleasantly average afternoon. Optimism, hope, and peace were what characterized the first half of the worst day of my life. Little did I know that seven hours later I would become the widow of a suicidal husband and an unprepared single mother.

I still remember moments of that night vividly, my mother-in-law running to the door with small drops of blood on her shorts, phone in hand, frantically giving directions to Emergency Responders... cradling my daughter who had woken from all the noise... making a conscious decision to not go out to my husband as he lay lifeless next to our driveway already in the presence of Jesus…conversations with police and detectives recapping every moment of our day and every valley in my husband’s fight with depression…making countless pots of coffee as much to busy myself as to keep us all awake…my parents arriving in the wee hours of the morning to offer comfort and support after driving for 4 hours ignoring speed limits so they could hold me in their arms as they had so many times in my childhood…crying as I embraced my pregnant sister the next morning after she and her husband arrived with their 2-year-old daughter. 

By sunrise the next morning there were no traces of the tragedy that had unfolded the night before. As the sun rose, friends arrived bringing breakfast and offering to step in and run my husband's business for as long as I needed them. It had been roughly 36 hours since I had slept, and when it was time to finally rest I cried in my mother’s arms as she lay next to me praying for God to heal my broken heart. A few hours of rest and more people came to my aid. One came and offered his services as a director of a local funeral home. He took care of every detail involving my husband's cremation and memorial services then drove four hours the following weekend with his wife and four-month-old daughter, to oversee every detail of the service. In the days that followed I was blessed by so many people, some I had only met a handful of times, some never at all, new friendships, and people that were there the day I was born. I will forever be grateful for the love and support they showed me in the days, weeks, and months that followed my husband’s death. 

Many people have asked me how I held it together, how I coped with such a tragic ordeal. My answer has always been this: assurance. From the moment I heard that gunshot, there was one idea that rang true.

A S S U R A N C E

Blessed Assurance. I have assurance that my husband has had eternal life since he was a boy. I finally understood what Fanny Crosby must have meant when she wrote the words to that hymn back in 1873. I had a deeper understanding of those lyrics that night. I knew where my husband was. He was finally at peace in the presence of Jesus and oh, what a blessed feeling that is!  Despite the fact that my husband had struggled with depression and his faith for years, I knew he had eternal life. As a child, he believed in Jesus for eternal life. Jesus made us this promise.

…he who believes in Me has everlasting life.”

John 6:47

My husband received eternal life the moment he believed in Jesus for it. So, when he pulled that trigger on April 16, 2017 his life on this earth ended as he awoke to live eternally with Christ.

I can’t tell you how reassuring that is, to know that I will see my husband again. The assurance of knowing that our daughter will be able to get to know her daddy in God’s eternal kingdom if she too believes in Jesus for eternal life. This one promise has been my blanket of security. Martha the sister of Mary and Lazarus had assurance as well. In John chapter 11 we read of Lazarus’ death. Her brother whom she loved had died while Jesus was away. When Martha saw Jesus returning on the road she said to Him,  “I know that he {Lazarus} will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” Martha had assurance. She knew that she would be reunited with her brother in eternity because they both believed in Jesus for everlasting life. Jesus responds to her in verse 25 by saying “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.  And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” When Jesus asked Martha that question she unequivocally said yes. She had assurance. Do I believe Jesus’ words to Martha? YES! I believe in the promise of Jesus.

How amazing is it that on the day we celebrated Jesus’ victory over death two years ago, my husband continued to live his life eternally in the presence of Jesus? So, the next question I’ll ask is, do you have assurance? Do you believe in Jesus for eternal life? Then you have eternal life. I hope after reading this article you now have assurance of where you will spend eternity. 

Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!
O what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood."

-Fanny Cooper

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20 comments on “Suicide Is My Story, Assurance Is My Song”

  1. Sarah, we’ve never met but I was a friend of Scott’s. We had lost touch but had known each other through acting classes many years ago. We had a lot of laughs together. I thought of Scott tonight when I saw a tv show called Halt and Catch Fire. One of the actors looks a lot like him. I looked him up and saw the news. I’m so sorry for your loss and I wish I hadn’t lost touch with him.

  2. We will never forget that tragic night when your daddy called to tell us Scott had taken his life. Our lives were instantly shattered, held together only by the grace of God and our assurance of Scott’s Eternal Life. Thank you for loving Scott so much and for raising our precious Charlotte in such a Godly manner. You are truly the jewel in the Staggers crown. I love you Sweet Sister with all my heart.

  3. Amen Sarah! It will be such a blessing to rejoice with Scott someday in the presence of our Lord! Jeff and I think of him often with fond memories of times we shared together. Thank you for your vulnerability, strength and faith. Love you!

  4. Wow, beautifully written. So sorry for your heartbreak. You are a shining example of Faith and Hope. All the best. Lois

  5. Sarah, thank you for your courage and great love to tell your story. May it bring healing and encouragement to others and a deeper belief in Christ.

  6. Sarah, thank you for this beautiful testimony of blessed assurance. You are such an inspiration to so many of us. I love watching God use you to show others His amazing love and grace!

  7. Thank you so much for sharing your story, Sarah! As I was reading it, I thought, "I'll have to share this story with Sarah!" Haha - It was YOU! Beautifully written and very inspirational. Thank you for ministering to others through your words! You are an amazing Christian woman!

  8. Sarah, thank you for being vulnerable and open about your story involving triumph from tragedy. You are ministering grace to other widows and single mothers.
    In my study of the seven people in the Bible who took their own lives, I could find not one word of condemnation from God about that person, even about Judas. Scripture just states the circumstances that led to the death.
    With that in mind, I hope you will explore the reality of believers experiencing depression and even mental illness. These are not sins, and people should seek treatment from doctors, without being ashamed.

  9. I love you so much Sarah. Your faith will also sustain you in any and all situations. God bless and keep you. When my son passed away, not from the same circumstances, I too had the Blessed Assurance that we would spend eternity together with Jesus. Thank you Jesus for that promise.

  10. Beautiful testimony Sarah!! My prayers are with you & your families!!
    May our Heavenly Father continue to bless you and strengthen you within your ministries!! And what a Mighty Awesome God we serve, for I know as well he gives us reassurance in our times of need!! And YESSSS
    That’s one of my favorite
    Songs also!! Praying for blessings as you continue to seek God for answers
    In all you do!! And Thank you for sharing your message to all who read this and share to others!

  11. Precious friend, I love this so much. I will never forget that day. And one thing that will forever stand out in my mind over those days was how evident it was that, in spite of the darkness, you walked in His light. Now, He is using your story to light the path for others. I’m so proud of you and so blessed to watch you walk with Him in this unwanted journey. I miss you and I love you.

  12. Sarah, I am so thankful for your walk with God and His amazing , healing, comforting grace in your life! He had you and Charlotte in the palm of His hand and is a good, good Father! I love you daughter and am so thankful to our Father for His work in your life! All glory and honor to Him

  13. So blessed to read this, Sarah Jane. I have read it severally and it's a post I want to share with many. For by grace we have been saved through faith....... It was true for Scott as it is for us. Wonderful truth for every believer that reminds us of the blessed assurance we have in Him.

  14. This is beautiful, Sarah. I’ll never forget the next morning getting the phone call from Sharon B. telling me of Scott’s passing. Thank you for sharing your heart and being vulnerable to share your story.

  15. Oh Sarah, thank you for sharing your story. I cried all the way through it, but praised God for the assurance you have that you will see your husband again. God's promises are true. Sending you a BIG HUG~!!!

    In Jesus' love,
    Diane

    1. You are such a wonderful example of a strong, Godly woman. I know you have struggles as you navigate your new normal, but your trust in your Savior & His blessed assurance shine through. We are all blessed by knowing you & watching Charlotte grow.

  16. I love this so much Sarah. What a testimony you have. I love that you started a blog to reach others. God’s grace has and will see you through. This song is one that was my grandmothers favorite songs. She would sing it as she did her morning chores, she would whistle it as she drove down the road. I love you cousin and every time I see your posts on Facebook I think of your journey and Scott’s life. You are such an inspiration.

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