Growing up was an uphill battle. Kids at school bullied me. When I got home, there was abuse and drinking. I thought it was my fault. I'd go to bed at night. I couldn't sleep. I thought: "I wish my mom could change. If I wasn't alive then maybe my mom would be happy"
Deep within those thoughts lie the spirit of suicide.
One day I came home. My mom was gone; she was drinking again. I went straight to the basement. As I wrapped the cord around my neck, the only thought that went through my head was: "I won't have to feel the pain anymore. I won't have to worry about my mom anymore. I won't have to cry anymore."
As I hung there, I could feel the veins in my neck getting larger. I thought my head was going to explode. I couldn't breathe; the pressure was too great. I passed out.
I woke up gasping for breath. I was on the carpet and I had a headache. But I felt a strange peace in the room - as if God was there. God was there. I felt His love. I knew everything was going to be OK. I felt love and a sense of protection I never felt before. I can't explain it, but I woke up the next morning changed.
But the situation didn't change.
My mom still drank. She'd bring her friends home when they were drunk. Sometimes they locked me out of the house. But every time I said: "Okay God, what can I do? How do I handle this?" Yeah, I still had tears. I still felt the pain. But I knew God was there.
My life was not easy. In junior high I got into trouble and was expelled from school. My uncle came and reminded me about Jesus. "You know, you can continue down this way and put God on the back burner," he challenged me. "Or you could put God in the front and allow Him to lead you to your destiny."
He worked with me. I went through some Christian therapy. Everything changed. I decided to let go of my friends and just chase after God. And that's what I did.
My turning point wasn't accepting Jesus. It was accepting that I could make it with him. That's what I tell kids. It's hard here. Every kid knows someone who's attempted suicide. Substance abuse, violence, and physical abuse are real. Kids feel the pain.
Giving kids Bibles in grade 5 is so important. God's Word does not return void. Neither does prayer. Giving a kid a Bible makes a big difference because a lot of times they don't even get the option.
Read Barry's continued story here.