“God, I really need Your help to get through this day…”
I whispered in the back of my tent as the music of Warped Tour blared from the stage right next to me. I was four weeks into the most grueling summer music tour in the United States, and I was ready to go home. I missed my girlfriend (now fiancé), my band, my students, my friends, my family, my life.
Our July 7th tour-stop was in Holmdel, New Jersey. The air was thick with an uncomfortable swirl of humidity and negativity. The circumstances surrounding the day didn’t play in my favor, and I was homesick, physically spent, and spiritually discouraged. So, I turned to the only place I knew I could: God.
In that moment of surrender, He whispered back, “Don’t worry. In your weakness, I am strong.” It felt like He was confidently saying, “Watch what I’m going to do.” I wasn’t aware until a month later, but what He did that day changed two people’s lives forever.
Soon after I prayed, I felt prompted to check my tip jar, which I normally didn’t do until the day was over. Inside, I found a folded-up piece of paper. It was a suicide note.
“…My date is tomorrow. I had to meet my idols before I went away. And you are now one of them. I’m so sorry…”
I was stunned. I felt my insides hollow and time slow. She signed her name at the bottom, but I didn’t know who she was. I met at least 300 people a day and had a scripted description of HeartSupport that I pitched to each of them. She was just one of the thousands blurred in my memory.
Still, the only thing I remember thinking was that I had to find her. I abandoned my tent and headed out into the 12,000 person crowd hoping to find her–whoever she was, and whatever she looked like. But I didn’t. I returned to my tent even lower than I was before.
I waded through the rest of the day. The only other notable moment was one short conversation I had with another girl that came to my tent. She didn’t want to share much about her story because it was too painful for her. So instead, we chatted about music, I encouraged her with some of God’s truths, and she bought one of our shirts. As she was writing her email down for our raffle, I felt led to send her an email. I didn’t hear anything from either of these girls until a month later in Dallas, Texas.
“Hey guys, check out this post on HeartSupport. It’s titled Suicide Date.” Our videographer sent our team that text on the third to last date of Warped Tour. I clicked on the link and saw that the post was written from the same girl who wrote me the suicide note. My stomach churned, and I anxiously zipped through the lines to see what she wrote. This was the first I’d heard from her since her purple handwritten note was folded up in my jar.
“July 8th was my date for suicide for a while. I was planning it all and getting ready. On the 7th I went to warped tour and met my idols and the man who possibly is the reason it’s July 9th and I’m still here. His name is Nate. He helps run this site, and reading these stories, which I never would have if I hadn’t met him, is the reason I’m still breathing.”
A week later I heard back from the other girl I emailed.
“I’m so, so, so thankful you don’t even understand. I’m walking on this earth today because of you! …my goal was to at least wait until after Warped Tour to do it, and thankfully I found you along the path that day…I will hopefully be able to send you an email like the last once a month every month for a long, long time (:”
She has sent me an email every 7th since then telling me that another month has passed without cutting herself and without committing suicide.
God saved two girls that day–not because I did anything spectacular. Instead, He just did what He promised to do: He was strong when I was weak. And two girls are alive, breathing, and hopeful today because of that.