So, here I am.
I felt alone.
I felt scared.
There were banks of phones in the hallway of the barracks. I cleared the hallways with the manner in which I dealt with conflict on the phone. When I’d hang up, my friends would come up to me and say “don’t go AWOL!” In the military, AWOL means absent without leave. They saw my stress, they saw my struggle, but no one really knew the true depth of my pain.
I was working the midnight shift on patrol. We had marked patrol cars, wore camouflage utilities, and full gun belt with all the tools of the trade. Back then it was magazines, gun, handcuffs, and maybe a nightstick, or a PR24. We may have even had CS spray.
It was a slow night. I had done my checks and had patrolled and was feeling at the very pit of depression.
At just about the break of day, I drove myself to the headquarters building of the Marine Corps Base Cherry Point North Carolina and parked underneath of the flagpole at the very front of the building.
I began inspecting my weapon. It was a Colt 1911 45 caliber semiautomatic handgun. It held 7 rounds in the magazine with one in the chamber. The bullets where a full metal jacket round and I do not remember the number of grains of powder.
I emptied my weapon and inspected it. I inspected the ammunition. I tapped the full metal jacketed round against my skull. I looked closely down the barrel of my Colt 45.
I completely and fully contemplated ending my life.
In a rage of tears and depression. In a state of utter confusion and fear, I sat under the American flag, in front of the bases headquarters building, contemplating suicide. In a marked patrol car while in full uniform.
I was the only person in the car. We didn’t have side partners. There was no one else. I heard it as plan as I would have if I were sitting next to a person: “She’s not worth it,” the voice said.
I heard it once. Nothing more. Nothing less. I put my weapon away and completed my shift.
Though I was still in pain and depressed and scared, I had something I didn’t before; A strength I hadn’t felt before and I didn’t have a clue where it came from.
I had experienced a brokenness I never knew was possible.
But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. Ephesians 2:4-7 (NASB)