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One Phone Call Away from Suicide

By Cynthia Savage
The 700 Club Lynne Arterbury believed she was fatally flawed. These are her words:

“I don’t know where I got that, something bad about me, right from the beginning in my head; and the bad was never going to get OK and I was never going to get OK.”

Dark thoughts clouded Lynn’s days and disturbed her sleep at night. She can’t remember when they began. But she does remember how she coped.
“I’m constantly seeming to play that actress role. As long as I smile and as long as I make people happy, at least no one will think something bad about me.”

The walls that Lynne built separated her from the people who loved her the most.

“I really wanted to have a relationship with my dad and I really wanted to have a relationship with my mother. But I knew, at least my mind was telling me, that I wasn’t good enough.”

As a teenager, Lynne’s self hatred grew. Her repertoire of acting roles grew also to include rebel, alcoholic and petty thief.

“I was doing things that I wasn’t supposed to be doing. I was stealing things here and there. I was pretty much walking around in my own little world. I was kind of feeling alone. I had some baby sitting jobs. I was at a new place one night and noticed some bottles of liquor in the cabinet of theirs.”

Lynne stole several drinks. This petty theft had grave consequences, an addiction to alcohol and drugs that would last twenty years.

“When people would offer me, down the road, with pills or certain things like that, it would help me not to feel. It would help me not to think and I definitely didn’t have to pay attention to how people were going to treat me or not paying attention to me.”

The first man who paid serious attention to Lynne became her husband. Six months later they divorced, despite the fact that Lynne was already pregnant with their first son.

“I just knew that I couldn’t handle being a wife. I had no idea how to communicate with a man at that point.”

Two more failed marriages in rapid succession confirmed what Lynne always knew.

“No matter what I did, I was on the path of destruction and going to die. I seriously felt that there was some sort of dark cloud over me. I tried to take my own life and took a whole bottle of pills. The next thing I remember was a couple of days later, I’m at a treatment facility and my stomach had been pumped. And I just could not believe it, “Oh no, I’m here and I’m still alive.’”

Lynne concluded this was just another dismal failure. She couldn’t even kill herself. The dark voices inside her head told her to try again. At this precipice between life and death, Lynne says she made a call that changed her life.

“I wasn’t really living any kind of spiritual life at this point. I felt that I was powerless over my abuse of drugs and alcohol. I was definitely powerless over people. The 700 Club was on. I saw a blonde lady was on there, and I started listening to what she was saying and she was talking about Jesus. Then she asked if we were willing to make the decision to serve Christ, to go ahead and call this phone number, and so I called.”

“It was so very real to me. I knew that I was so done with my life as it was. I was so sick of myself and I was so tired of this spinning and going around and being all by myself, that I could not stand it any more. And this woman was like a friend on the phone. It was such a neat deal. And then I knew in my heart, I knew that I was different.”

Lynne prayed with the CBN counselor to receive Jesus Christ. She told her live-in boyfriend to leave.

“I told him that I had made a decision to serve God and that I wanted to do that and I didn’t want a man in my life. I wanted to get right with God and live for God.”  

Lynne’s growth as a Christian has been slow but steady. She accepts herself now for who God created her to be. No more pretense. No more role playing. She’s reconciled with her parents and is finally drug and alcohol free. She’s also happily married to “that man” she said she didn’t want in her life; a man newly committed to Christ himself.

Her husband, Craig said that Lynne’s witness of what had happened in her life helped him know that his path to God the Father was through Christ the Son. He made the decision at that time to turn his will and life over the care of God.

“Not in my wildest dreams did I think that I would actually have a marriage relationship with a man that would work out. I’m a loving woman today. I know that I can be a friend today. I know that I can trust people today. God loves us. I’m so blessed that we can change and we can let go of that cycle and past. It’s just such a blessing. I’m so surprised still.”

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