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Kay Warren Says Suicide Doesn't Condemn Believers to Hell; Says She Prayed 'Audacious Prayers' Before Son Took His Life

Kay Warren Says Suicide Doesn't Condemn Believers to Hell; Says She Prayed 'Audacious Prayers' Before Son Took His Life

"So like Matthew, I'm absolutely convinced, did not get up that day planning to take his life that he had attempted before. That particular day, he worked out, he talked to his trainer about how he was gonna work on his biceps. He really thought that they needed work and he was gonna get a new iPhone upgrade that weekend. He had a date, he had just started a new job. And even told his best friend 'I'm having a pretty good day,'" she continued.

"So that particular day, Matthew did not set out to take his life. But something switched in the evening of that day. And he had already purchased an illegal gun. And so his impulsivity, whatever shifted, met the availability of that lethal means and of course, you know, he didn't survive.

"We want to get to people when they are in that place of being able to say, this terrible feeling, this terrible desire to take your life, it's gonna pass. It's there, it's right now. I would love to have care teams at churches, volunteers who are available to go be with people. I mean like sit with them for six hours. Sit with them overnight or just be with them to protect them more emotionally than anything else. I say I'm gonna be with you. You're not gonna be alone in this deep dark place where suicide seems your only option. And to help them ride out the storm," she said.

In addition to commemorating World Suicide Prevention Day, Warren and her husband are focusing their efforts on a mental health conference called "The Gathering on Mental Health & The Church" set for Oct. 7-9.

On Thursday, Warren and her husband will be doing something they have been doing since their son died in 2013.

"One of the things that we will do, it's just a very personal gesture. It won't mean anything to the world but it has tremendous meaning for us. They suggest that you put a lighted candle in a window as a symbol of the loved one that you've lost. This will be our third September 10th to put a lighted candle in the evening of the 10th to commemorate Matthew's death.

"It is also is a symbol of hope to me because even though there are such dark, dark times and Matthew lived through such darkness, and many others are living in that darkness of suicidal thoughts and ideation and wishing that the pain would be over. What I love about that is yes, there is the night but there is a dawn, there is a morning. And with that new morning God's mercies are new.

"There is new hope, fresh hope every single day. And Matthew found his hope finally realized in the presence of Jesus. And I'm so grateful for that, but I'm also standing up and praying for and advocating for all those who are still in that darkness who still have something here to share. Their lives have meaning, have purpose.

"God says He loves us, that we have a purpose, that we belong. That we can choose to seek help and treatment and that we are needed so desperately in this broken world. I know from the vantage point of Heaven, Matthew's word is, 'good job, mom. Keep telling 'em,'" she added.

According to the recently released World Health Organization report: Preventing Suicide: A Global Imperative, more than 800,000 people die by suicide across the world annually. The report explains that the estimate is conservative and is likely higher due to the stigma associated with suicide, lack of reliable death recording procedures, and religious or legal sanctions against suicide in some countries.

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