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A Reason To Live


This is actually a copy of an email I sent to a lot of people a couple months ago... and which has gotten forwarded
to many, many people... I recently got an e-mail from someone in Alabama who had received it (I live in PA). I 
really believe God has a plan for it and am placing it in here so that it can reach more people. I hope it blesses your 
life in some way:

For the past week, God has been moving in my heart to write the message that follows. The thought of writing this has 
terrified me. Knowing that so many people will now know my darkest secrets- ones that only a couple people know-
has stopped me from writing this, although I'm sure God has a reason for putting the idea of writing it on my heart. 
There are quite a few serious issues covered in this message, and I ask you to take them seriously, don't just pass over
them. I know that the message is long… but please, take the time to read this thoroughly. They are true. They do exist.
They are so much more common than what you think. 

I believe that God has a plan for this message. I hope that it blesses your life- even if it is in a small way. Maybe it will 
talk about an issue that you are struggling with in your own life… and will help you see that you can overcome it. 
Maybe this will help you realize a friend needs your help- don't hesitate to offer a loving hand to help them up. Or 
maybe this message will show you who God is, and what wonderful things He can do in your life. There are so many 
ways it can… please think about what is said; it was not written to be taken lightly. And please, if this blesses you 
in any way, please forward it to those you love and care for, so that it may bless them as well.

What follows is, to put it simply, the story of my life. Only 15 years, mind you, but I have experienced many wonderful 
and horrible things that many people over twice my age have not. There are no words to convey the terror I felt at times,
nor the joy I felt at others. And you will not be able to truly understand, unless you have gone through the same things 
that I have, which I pray you haven't. Hopefully, though, this will give you a glimpse of what I felt…

It's hard to know where to start when writing something like this. Most people would say that the logical place would be
the beginning… July 5, 1986. But this isn't meant to be an autobiography. It's more like… a testimony, I guess. So, we'll
start when I was in sixth grade… what I consider one of the two worst years of my life. I've always been shy, extremely 
so. Very rarely would I talk to people I didn't know well- I still don't. This partly came from the fact that I had an 
extremely low self-image of myself. I was overweight, and with the cruelty that is present in all schools, was teased 
constantly about it. There were days when, as soon as I stepped off the bus at the end of the day, I'd burst into tears. 
That year, I was also without a close friend. We all know that many "best friendships" formed in the earlier years of 
school rarely last, but I had had so many of my "friends" from the year before totally turn their backs on me that I wouldn't
allow myself to become friends with anyone; I was too bitter, too angry, and too afraid that I would just get hurt again. So 
I was alone. Lunch-time was always the worst… sitting by myself everyday, and a cruel remark never failed to be 
tossed my way. 

One can only deal with all that for so long without beginning to think of ways to end it. And for me, that way was 
death…suicide. That one thought began to conquer my thoughts… I remember sitting in class at times, when there 
was nothing really going on, and crying, because the thought would come out of nowhere. It terrified me to think 
that way, but it seemed like the only way out. I didn't think I could deal with the sense of abandonment I always 
felt, of always feeling so alone. 

Then, in the midst of all that, I met one of the people that, in a way, I feel I owe my life to. The girl who would 
become one of my best friends- Jen- moved into my school district. I am so ashamed of myself now, because she 
tried to become my friend right off the bat. But I was too deep in my pool of doubt and sorrow to accept her offer. 
And I became just like everyone that were so cruel to me… I teased her, ridiculed her… I'm sure I hurt her many 
times. Yet, somehow, we still became friends eventually. I can't remember a specific time when I realized that I had 
found a friend in her, but I do remember thinking that this time was different… that she would not turn her back on 
me as easily as so many other people had done before. 

Her friendship is the only thing that kept me from committing suicide. I made it through that year with my life, but the 
thought of suicide continued to haunt me. The next year, seventh grade, we were still friends- and closer than ever. 
That year also marked the beginning of another friendship that I am eternally grateful for. Jen introduced me to 
Amanda…and considering the fact that we were both shy, we hit it off pretty easily. The three of us are still very 
close. I had never had a friendship remain that close for over a year- but here it is, three years later, and we're still 
best friends. Things have changed a little- a big part of that being because Jen moved to her mother's house in New 
York, but those who ask who my best friend is still get the same answer- "I have two… Jen and Amanda."

Well, I went through all of middle school with that thought always on my mind. But, although I came close a few times,
I never actually attempted to kill myself. And all this time, I had told no one of those thoughts. Not Jen, not Amanda, 
no one. I dealt with them my own way… by writing it down. I don't know if you've ever heard of free- writing, but
basically it's a process of writing when you just write without thinking… depending on how good at it you are, you 
can get to a point where, when you go back and read it, you had no idea that you wrote that… or that that was what 
was bothering you. All of the writings I did at that time are now in the trash… the things I wrote scared me so 
much that I tore them up. 

High School… freshman year. The most eventful year of my life. The most terrifying. The most enlightening. One of 
the best and worst years of my life. The beginning of the year wasn't that much different than the years before. I was
still suicidal, in fact I was a little bit more so. Problems at home were beginning to take their toll on me. Everyone has
heard a million times that one's teenage years are the ones when they get along with their parents the worse. In my 
case, that is definitely the case. There are numerous disagreements between me and my parents, and usually, my mom 
or dad will be yelling at me constantly for days on end after one of them. Don't get me wrong, I'm not laying the blame
on my parents- I know that most of that is my fault, and trying to get along with them is something that I am trying to 
work on. But, anyway, on top of those arguments, there are also many between my parents. I don't know if you've 
ever been in a position where your parents are ! constantly arguing- but let me tell you, it really sucks. 

Anyhow, in late November/ early December, the Octorara High School Marching Band took a trip to Disney World,
to march in the Electric Parade. That trip turned my life around. I spent a lot of that time with a couple Christians only 
a couple years older than me who were extremely strong in their faith. I have been saved since I was about five years 
old, but it never really meant much to me. It was one of those things they tell you to do in Sunday School, and you do 
it without really knowing what the significance is of it. There has never been much of a Christian lifestyle shown in my 
house. I have never seen anyone pray, except for saying grace at the family dinner on Christmas, Thanksgiving, and 
Easter. Nor have I ever seen anyone pick up their bible except at church. My mom doesn't go to church very often. 
As for my dad, I can't remember the last time he went when there wasn't something going on that me or Danny
(my little brother) was involved in. 

Anyway, just seeing the way those people acted and lived their life made me realize that I needed to work on a few 
things in my life. At that time, I was basically limited to working on my language (I had gotten pretty bad with cursing 
by that time) and also made a decision to start saying grace before my meals and praying to God on a regular basis…
things I had never done before. Just changing those little things in my life and becoming closer to God through them 
also helped me get over the feeling of suicide that I had had for so long. 

For five months, I was free of the terror that inevitably comes with those feelings. In that time, I became closer to the 
people that had inspired me so much at Disney, along with many other people. For the first time in my life, I found 
myself with more than just one or two people I thought I could trust. I had a whole circle of friends who cared about
me! For someone who had never had more than one or two close friends at a time, coming to that realization is one
of the best feelings in the world. Things were really looking up, although things at home were getting worse. I was 
realizing how much the way my parents were living was not in sync with what a Christian life should be, and I was- 
am- too afraid to bring it up and talk to them about it. That knowledge and that fear made things a little tense. In 
addition, Jen moved during that time, and considering the fact that she was a big reason why I had never committed 
suicide by that time, for a long time, I felt ! almost lost. But with the support of the other wonderful friends I had made
that year, I got through it, and felt that I was stronger because of it. 

Then, in May, my world came crashing down from the high peak it had hit. One day… and I'll never forget it- May 2,
2001- for seemingly no reason at all, the desire to swallow a bottle of pills came over me. That day will forever be 
engraved in my mind. Sitting in the car on the way to school, and that thought flooding into my head. I almost started
to cry. And yet, that day was also a good day, in a way. All that day, I had put on a happy face, trying to be my normal
"happy" self, and I had to work so hard at it, that, by the end of the day, I lost it. I couldn't keep it up anymore. I sat 
outside the school, waiting for the bus, my head in my hands, trying not to cry, when one of the most inspiring people in 
my life (although he didn't really know it at that time) came up to me and asked me what was wrong. Well, to give a 
little background, Harry and I weren't really friends at that time… without going into details, it was my fault… but he 
had been such an inspiration to ! me at Disney, that I had always wished that I could consider him a friend. Well, that 
day… and I will always cherish this memory… Harry said that he hated when his friends told him that something was 
wrong, but wouldn't tell him what. See, when he asked what was wrong, I had told him not to ask… but he persisted...
right up until his bus came, in fact. It was the first time I had heard him call me a friend. That night, on the Instant
Messenger, I had the first of many, many serious conversations with him- this one about me wanting to kill myself. That 
day, I realized I had found another wonderful friend… in fact, he is no longer only a friend, but also my boyfriend.

He and Josh (another close friend I made… and although he was not at Disney, he has also been a big inspiration in my 
life) helped me through the months of feeling those feeling again. It was the second time through for me, and the longings 
for death were much, much stronger. They got to a point where I was afraid to be alone at home for extended amounts 
of time. I knew that, if given the chance, I would go straight to the pills in the medicine cabinet. I came so close to killing
myself so many times, in just the span of a month and a half. Six weeks. The most terrifying of my life. I didn't think that 
I'd be able to go through it again. I didn't think I had the strength to endure it again, or the power to overcome the urges
to kill myself. 

One night in particular comes to mind. May 29, 2001. That night, I had been home alone for a long time. I no longer 
remember why, but that really isn't that important. That night was one of the scariest of my life. I locked myself in my 
room for three or four hours… until my parents got home. The desire to swallow the bottle of pills was so strong that I was
actually in the bathroom with the medicine cabinet open two or three occasions in that time. For that entire time, I was 
crying. I was so scared. I felt I had no where to turn. I truly believe that that would have been my last day on earth if I 
had not found a certain web- site the day before. That site said that those who commit suicide will go to hell. I had never 
heard that before. Had never thought about the consequences of that action in a spiritual sense. I had discussed that with 
Harry when I found it. Once again, over the Instant Messenger. I was so uncaring about life at that point, though, that I 
told him that it didn't matter… that life wasn't worth living. When he tired to convince me differently, I ignored him…
put AIM on away so that his IM's could not get through to me. And he cared so much that he called me. Something that 
I would have never expected anyone to care enough to do. The things he told me in that phone conversation- and even 
just the fact that he had bothered to call- were the only things that kept me alive that night. 

Suicide wasn't the only thing I was dealing with during this time. In fact, after that night, things got much better...but 
there was another hellish issue I was dealing with that just got more intense after that. I was starving myself. I said earlier 
that I was overweight, and at this point I had been on a diet for about 5 months. Well, I made the realization that I could 
control something that, if I kept it up, could really hurt me- how much food I ate. That feeling of control was wonderful. 
When life got out of control in my mind, I would just stop eating. It gave me a sense of keeping things in my life under my 
control, and also was a kind of self- inflicted punishment. A punishment I felt I needed when things got tough because I 
felt so weak. When things got hard, and I started to feel like I wanted to kill myself, I would also get mad at myself because 
I thought that feeling that way was a form of extreme weakness, and I hated myself for it. I would go without food for days
on end at those times. I got to points when I made myself physically sick from lack of food. I would get dizzy very easily, 
and would often black out. Sometimes once or twice a day… and I wouldn't care, I would just keep on starving myself. 

I still struggle with both of them today. Every time I go to eat a meal, I have to sit there for a moment and talk myself into 
eating it. And there have been so many times when, after a meal- even if it was a small one- that I would have to fight the 
temptation to make myself throw up. When things get tough, I automatically start thinking, "How many days can I go 
without eating?" and have to struggle to get myself to eat regular sized meals. And there have been many times when, even
with everything going so well, that I find myself thinking that it would be so much easier to die than to deal with all the 
problems that life serves up. But I also have a stronger relationship with God now, and that has made so much easier to 
deal with than it was before.

Although that stronger relationship began with Disney, I was only going through the motions of real faith at that time. I 
was becoming a little bit closer to Christ, but most of what I was doing really meant nothing to me. Then, in late May, I 
started going to a bible study with Harry and Josh on Tuesday nights. My first night there, I ended up in tears. For the 
first time in my life, I heard that there is more to Christianity than being saved and living a virtuous life. The speaker that 
night was saying that you have to give your entire life over to God, put your total trust in Him. I didn't do that that night. 
I couldn't. I was wading through too much pain and confusion in my life to believe that I could do that. I didn't think that
God could really care that much if He would allow people to suffer through the things I had. I wouldn't let myself put my
faith in a God that would leave people feeling so lonely, abandoned, worthless… I sat there that night, head in my hands, 
crying, because I couldn't do it. I prayed a prayer that I will never forget… telling God that I could never trust in Him…
that He had allowed too much pain for anyone to trust Him. I was so angry at God at that time because I couldn't 
understand why He had let me go through all that pain and sorrow. It was my selfish form of revenge on God to not allow 
Him to take my life from my hands… but although it hurt God to know that one of His children was rejecting Him, it hurt
me just as much or more to have that resentment in my heart.

The knowledge that I had to do that weighed on my heart for the next month. And then, I went to Creation… four days 
of Contemporary Christian Music, worship, speakers, and fellowship. It was one of the most awesome experiences I 
have ever had. That Thursday was a day I will never forget. During the morning worship service, we sang a song, "Open 
the Eyes of My Heart" I had heard this song numerous times in Sunday School, but that morning the lyrics (if you've never
heard the song: Open the eyes of my heart Lord, Open the eyes of my heart. I want to see you, I want to see you. To see
you high and lifted up, Shining in the light of your glory. Pour out you power and love, As we sing holy, holy, holy. Holy, 
holy, holy, I want to see you.) seemed to have a whole new meaning. For the first time during a song, I raised my hands 
to God in praise. I felt something changing inside me… and I now know that it was the Holy Spirit preparing my heart for 
the speaker that night. 

Eastman Curtis was talking about quite a few things that night… but one of the things he was talking about was giving your
life totally over to God. Same message as before- but a totally different reaction from me. That night, I gave my life over to
Him. I placed my life in his Almighty hands. Sitting there on the tarp, Harry and Josh on either side of me, and other 
Christians all around… I placed my total trust in Him. Praying to Him, telling Him that He had total control of my life, that 
for the rest of my life I would do my best to do His will and to honor Him in all that I did. And such an awesome and 
complete feeling of peace came over me. I could feel God wrapping His loving arms around me, holding me close, taking 
all my worries, all the pain and sorrow and feelings of worthlessness from me. There are no words to explain that feeling. 
Such joy and peace swept through my very being… my heart, my mind… my spirit, all that I am. I started crying, and 
couldn't stop. I ! couldn't remember the last time I had felt that there was nothing to worry about in my life. But at that time, 
I did, because I knew that the Lord would take care of everything.

Yet, through all that, there was a sense of fear. I knew that to give my life over to God totally, I would have to overcome 
the suicide and starvation. I knew it would be hard… very much so… but I knew I had to do it. And know what? It is hard.
But I am doing it. Anything is possible with God on your side. And close friends who know all the struggles you have and 
who are strong in their faith makes it that much easier. My friends have helped me so much through the journey you just 
read about… and I know they will help me along in the one yet to come, the one written only in God's book.

So… now you know the struggles I've gone through. If you know me and you got this, either by me sending it to ya or as 
a testimony, don't think of me differently… I'm still just Becky… still blonde at heart and clumsy as ever. If ya don't know 
me…well, now- in a way- you do. If those six pages have told you anything, let it be this: God can change your life. No
matter what things you are dealing with in your life… no matter what struggles, no matter what feelings, God can help you 
through them. He will never stop loving you, no matter what you do, no matter what you feel, no matter what has happened 
in your past. Romans 8:38, 39 has become one of my favorite verses: "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 out Lord." You will never do anything 
that will make God love you any less. 

Another favorite verse of mine… Philippians 4:13- "I can do everything through Him who gives me strength." With God 
on your side, you can do anything. I f you are dealing with feelings of depression, if you are thinking of killing yourself, if 
you are struggling with anything, that verse can be your lifeline. You can do anything with God… He is your strength. If 
you put your trust in Him, give your life over to Him, then you will no longer have to worry about anything. If you are not 
saved, have not accepted Him as your Lord and Savior, I encourage you to do so. Talk to a friend whom you know is 
strong in his or her faith, or to a pastor at a church nearby. They will be happy to tell you all you want to know. If you are 
saved, and haven't given your life totally to God, take a step in that direction. The peace you will feel is beyond words. There
will be no doubt in your mind that God is with you. You will feel His arms around you. Hear His voice whispering in your 
ear…feel his very breath on your neck, He is that close to you. 

I also want to encourage you to talk to someone if you are struggling with something. Your friends can help you through
the tough times. There are people out there who love you. Sometimes its hard to believe, I of all people know that… but 
no one is ever without someone loving them. God is always there… and there are always other people on earth who love 
you as well. It is my belief that God has angels on earth. They are in the form of friends who care enough to take the time 
to talk to you, to pray for you, to lend a shoulder to cry on, to take part of your burden even when they are carrying their 
own, to take the time to just care. Harry, Josh, Jen, and Amanda are mine… without them, I don't know where I'd be 
right now. Maybe you are not struggling with something as serious as an eating disorder , depression, or suicide, but God is
there to listen to any problem you might be having in your life. And those who love you will listen to your little worries as 
well. ! No one should have to deal with something alone. There is always someone to share your burden with. Always.

If you have a friend who is struggling with his or her walk with Christ, or with life in general, pray for them. And tell them 
you are praying for them. The four best words in the world: "I'm praying for you." I remember the first time someone told 
me that… it was only a month or so ago… and it almost made me cry when Josh said that. Prayer is a very powerful thing. 
It can change a life. God is all powerful, and He listens to all the prayers that are sent up to Him. No exceptions. 

Before I end this message, I want to add something special. I want to ask everyone who gets this message to stop what they are 
doing right now… and pray. Pray that God will show you the way to Him, show you the next step you need to take. Pray 
that He will help you through the struggles and worries you are dealing with right now. Pray for those who have not felt His 
hand on their shoulder, who do not know the joy that knowing Him can bring to their life. Pray for those you know who 
are struggling with something that they feel is impossible to conquer. Pray for the person who sent this to you. For those 
who you are planning to send this to. Pray for anything that might be on your heart at the moment. Let God hear your 
concerns and let Him take them from you. And thank God for the good things in your life. Sometimes, it is hard to see 
them. The bad seems to take over your vision. But they are there. Thank Him for them, and don't forget that they are there.
He will hear y! our prayer. Let yourself feel the peace that comes when you give your life to Him. 

I know this testimony has been long, but thanks for reading it. I hope it has blessed you in some way. Please send it to 
everyone you know, I want this to get to as many people as possible. I know that there is reason for all the suffering I have 
endured. And I am coming to believe that it is so that I can help others who went through the same thing that I did. So 
that I can show them that there is hope out there. I am asking you to help me do that by sending this to as many people as possible. 

Love in Christ,

~†~Becky Ray~†~


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