His name was Billy. He was 15. I was 15, too. It was the first time I remember being this close to suicide.
Billy was a teen in our church youth group in Nashville. He seemed a happy-go-lucky sort of guy. Sure, we knew there was some trouble within the home, but it never seemed to bother him. To this day I remember his perpetual smile. The same smile that would be forever gone the day he took a shotgun to his face and blew his own brains out.
Almost all of us who knew him were shocked. Even the adults at the time. We didn’t see the signs. We didn’t see his pain. Or if we did see it, we ignored it. We were oblivious to his struggle.
You can also listen to my talk with Brian on “Reimagining Grace” by clicking right here.
Steve Austin is an author, speaker, and life coach who is passionate about helping overwhelmed people learn to catch their breath. He is the author of two Amazon bestsellers, "Catching Your Breath," and "From Pastor to a Psych Ward." Steve lives with his wife and two children in Birmingham, Alabama.
The Power of Story in Preventing Suicide
A Book for Anyone Affected by Suicide, Addiction, or Abuse
The Gift of Difficult People
How to Make Space at the Table
How to Own Our Story and Love Better: Review of “Queer Virtue”
12 Antidotes for Toxic Christianity
Some Things You Keep: A Book Recommendation
6 Tips for Starting Over