13 Reasons Why… to Choose Life

If you have not heard of the latest hit Netflix show “Thirteen Reasons Why,” it is a series that addresses suicide in teens. This is a very heavy topic, and although this show is trying to raise awareness, the problem comes when people viewing internalize suicide as a beneficial option for escaping life hardships and problems.

Mental health and depression are legitimate problems and the events this character undergoes are authentic struggles for teenagers today. Just this past week in my own community, two people have committed suicide. I have decided to take this opportunity to share thirteen reasons why you should choose life. I am going to present the 13 Reasons why this character killed herself and connect Biblical ways of handling these situations. Our pain is real and should not be buried under fake facades, so this is my encouragement to you today when life throws pain your way.

  1. Problem – Gossip – Hannah has her first kiss and people start rumors that she did more.
    • Choose Life – Character: It is painful, but if you continue to be who you are, your actions will prove the truth of your character. Chances are someone else is hating on you because he or she has insecurities. It is important to remember that God works on your behalf.
      • Romans 12:18-19, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.”
  2.  Problem – Comparison A pot-stirring boy puts Hannah and a classmate against each other for having the best butt in class.
  3. Problem – Violence The girl hits Hannah and leaves a mark on her head.
    • Choose Life – Confident Love: It is easy to fight fire with fire, but what if we fight the flames of hate with Living Water of love?
      • John 7:38, “Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of Living Water will flow from within them.” 
  4. Problem – Cyber Bullying A stalker takes pictures of Hannah kissing a girl while intoxicated. He asks her out and she turns him down so he shares the kissing photos with the entire school as payback.
    • Choose Life – Gaining Wisdom: When someone cyber bullies you, it has to be one of the worst moments of you life. flower-1949240_1920The feeling of being embarrassed in a single moment is painful enough. The internet allows people relive teir humiliations continuously as more and more viewers laugh at another’s expense. This is hard advice, but if you can block people, report them, tell your parents or pastor what is going on, the situation will get better. It is embarrassing and yes, you may get in trouble for something that you did or even made fun of for going to a higher source, but there is SAFETY in wise counsel from adults.
    • Proverbs 11:14, “Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.”
  5. Problem – Inappropriate Rumors A phony girl starts a rumor that Hannah has sex toys in her room.
    • Choose Life – New Perspective: I would tell someone going through this that is ok to confront the lies. I think it is completely healthy to look into the face of the one who is bullying you and kindly ask why she would spread something like that and see if you did anything that made her feel the need to personally attack you. It is VITAL to remember she must have insecurities to feel the need to pick on someone else in order to elevate herself. As hard as it is from then on, I encourage you to start praying for her It will not be easy or in your power, but only through God can we pray for someone who is so evil to us. The prayers may never change her attitude, but it will change your heart in the situation and free you to see her as a broken person who needs Jesus.
      • Luke 6:27-28, “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.”
  6. Problem – Sexually Assaulted: A boy tries to feel up Hannah in a restaurant booth on Valentine’s Day.
    • Choose Life – Clean: We can feel like such victims in sexually inappropriate scenarios, but it SO important stand up for your rights and speak up. The shock can set in, but try not to let someone get away with that in the moment, and if something uncomfortable happens, report it, tell an adult. It is hard, but your safety matters, your body is yours, and you are worth more than to be treated in this way. God deals with injustice and does not condone this behavior. Always remember it is not the victims fault. You are not dirty just because a filthy person assaults you. You are innocent and clean.
      • Deuteronomy 22:25-27, “But if in the open country a man meets a young woman who is betrothed, and the man seizes her and lies with her, then only the man who lay with her shall die. But you shall do nothing to the young woman; she has committed no offense punishable by death. For this case is like that of a man attacking and murdering his neighbor, because he met her in the open country, and though the betrothed young woman cried for help there was no one to rescue her.

  7. Problem – Stolen Encouragement
    An offended classmate steals notes of positivity to Hannah

    • Choose Life – Forever Encouraged: These are the moments it is important to do a serious identity check. Ask questions like, young-woman-2194038_1920“Do I really believe what God says about me?” “What does the Bible say about who I am?” Look to scripture verses that remind you how truly unique, beautiful, and wonderful you have been made. People cannot define us, we have to look to our meaning in Christ. He defines us and has unlimited letters of encouragement for each of us in the Bible.

      • Palm 139:14, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”
  8. Problem – Backstabbing: A boy befriends Hannah and turns around to expose her personal poetry.
    • Choose Life – Overcomer: We will have pain in this world, but we have to take heart and remember who holds us and carries us through these moments of being blindsided. We pray for discernment, but sometimes people are really good at manipulation and trickery. We may not avoid the pain, but we can use the opportunity to learn and cling to Christ.
      • John 16:33, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
  9. Problem – The Good GuyA guy named clay receives the 9th tape affirming that he was kind to her.
    • Choose Life – Thankfulness: Look at the blessings in your life. Thankfulness diminishes fear. I believe that fear is an emotion that can contribute to a person’s path to suicide. If we can be grateful and look at all the Lord has given us, it opens our eyes to the goodness in our lives.
      • Philippians 4:6-7, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
  10. Problem – Experiencing Abuse: Hannah witnesses a rape of an unconscious drunk girl.
    • Choose Life – Becoming a Voice: First off, (is possible) I would encourage action in the moment. Secondly, comfort the victim and find help. Call the police, contact a parent or pastor. These moments cannot go unnoticed and if they do, share about them. Please release any guilt you may feel as a witness.
      • Proverbs 31:8, “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed.”
  11. Problem – Witnessing Unlawful Actions: Hannah rides with a girl after a party who hits a stop sign and does not report it. There ends up being a deadly car crash at the same location later.girl-2193272_1920
    • Choose Life – Truth Sets us Free: Honesty is important in life. It is freeing to tell the truth. When we make mistakes and feel guilty, it is necessary to deal with the guilt by reminding ourselves that we are not perfect and that is why we needed Jesus. He takes every burden and gives us His perfect grace. Give the weight to the Lord.
      • John 1:16-17, For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.”
  12. Problem – Rape: Hannah was raped.
    • Choose Life – Respected: If this ever happened or happens to you, please get help. There is power in sharing the truth. It will probably be embarrassing or shameful, but you need to at least tell one person: family member, pastor, counselor, etc. This will not be an easy journey, but there are many powerful and inspiring people who have been rape victims. Try to believe that something good can come out of something terrible. You may even be propelled to be a voice for the voiceless.
      • Psalm 34:18, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”
  13. Problem – Ignored: The final incident to push the character over the edge is that her guidance counselor does not listen to her and does not take her seriously in her cry for help.
    • Choose Life – Seen: Bottom line – YOU ARE LOVED. You were created by the God who gives you breath in your lungs and holds all your days. He has plans to give you hope and a future, not necessarily through happy circumstances, but through the strength found in our souls through new life in Jesus. YOU MATTER TO GOD! If no one loves or cares about you in this world and you feel like taking your life, think about this: The God of the universe LOVES YOU! He has not and will never give up on you. Don’t keep living for others or for yourself, live of God. He desires to cultivate your gifts, grow your heart and use you for a greater purpose than yourself.
      • Romans 8:37-39 “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

sunrise-2224942_1920

If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide or value in life, I encourage you to reach out and get help. There are more than 13 reasons why you should choose life! If you do need to know someone cares about you and loves you, then take this as my personal note, letting you know that I believe you are valuable and your life matters. Do not give up. People will let us down, but God never will. He loves all of us in the midst of our scars, bruises and broken hearts. May we all one day (when the Lord takes us home) be able to say, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” (2 Timothy 4:7) Keep fighting evil with good! Choose Life!

By: Emma Danzey

www.emmadanzey.com

www.polishedconference.com 

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One thought on “13 Reasons Why… to Choose Life

  1. Excellent, Emma! I am so glad you wrote this, countering each problem with the Truth! Will share! Blessings, Karen

    On Monday, May 15, 2017, Polished Conference, LLC wrote:

    > polishedconferenceministries posted: “If you have not heard of the latest > hit Netflix show “Thirteen Reasons Why,” it is a series that addresses > suicide in teens. This is a very heavy topic, and although this show is > trying to raise awareness, the problem comes when people viewing > internalize” >

    Liked by 1 person

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