Saturday, July 20 2024 - 12:18 PM

Sharing Christ Through the Arts

Come As You Are
Unsplash photo by Bahman Adlou

Come As You Are

“I am going to write about something that makes most people feel uncomfortable, confused, and defensive at times. However, it happens every day, every 12 minutes in America. My little sister age 25 was sadly a part of this statistic. On April 10th, 2018 my little sister told her 3-year-old daughter to go into the house and be with grandma and grandpa. She then shot herself in the chest with her pistol in my parents’ driveway at dusk.

My sister was fun, loving, caring and hilarious. She was beautiful inside and out, but she didn’t see herself that way. Many times, in our adult years, I would invite my sister to church with me, but she always replied, ‘I need to get myself straight’ or ‘I need to clean up.’ I told her you don’t need to do that to go to church, just be who you are. God can and will help clean up and start over. Besides, I would say, ‘God already created you into a perfect being. You are not worthless!’ She somehow couldn’t see herself that way.

One day before she decided to take her life, she called me. We talked, I was trying to talk to her while I was doing laundry, cooking dinner—you know, busy mom stuff. She told me she was having massive anxiety problems and wondered if I suffered with anxiety too. I said no. I told her maybe she needed to find a new therapist to help her over this hurdle (she was going through a divorce at the time). She said, ‘yeah, I know I should look into that.’ I replied, ‘Are you really interested in going to church?’ She said, ‘Oh yeah. No, I need to get my crap together first.’ By this time I felt annoyed, I told her so many times already that she didn’t need to clean up first. I didn’t respond to her comment this time and just left it at that. I said goodbye and that I loved her, unknowingly it was my last goodbye.

I wrote my song about 8 months after she died. Anyone who has been through a suicide who has been through suicide understands that you never ‘get over it.’ it just changes. I woke up one morning and I thought to myself, what would have happened if I told her one last time that you didn’t need to change, just to come as you are? I began playing on my guitar and found the right chords and began writing out my chorus, ‘come as you are, no more waiting. Come as you are, it’s never too late.’ My sister believed it was her ‘fate’ to end her life, but I know she didn’t have to accept it.

I wrote my piece through many prayers and many, many, tears, and I prayed that perhaps this song can reach someone who is silently suffering inside, trying to hide their pain, through prescription and non-prescription drugs, alcohol, or cutting. Perhaps it is a person inside the church and they don’t understand why they feel this way, even though they are Christian.

If you are that someone suffering, don’t fear people judging you, your life is more important than the opinions of others. Reach out and get spiritual and professional help. Don’t wait, you are worth it! God will take you as you are, His love is not conditional!

If you know someone who might be suffering, don’t be scared to talk about it openly with them. Discussing suicide openly in a non-judgmental environment can help prevent suicide.

Know the signs and don’t wait, just come to God as you are.”

Listen to Samanth’s song.

Samantha Ontiveros writes from Ogden, Utah.

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About Samantha Ontiveros and Rich DuBose

Samantha Ontiveros

Samantha Ontiveros

writes from Ogden, Utah.

Rich DuBose

writes from Northern California.

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