Security & Suicide
Closing out National Suicide Prevention Month with hope
by Steven Lomelino
Author of Insane Success: From Losing the American Dream, to Finding God’s Abundant Life
My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness
I dare not trust the sweetest frame
But wholly lean on Jesus’ Name
When darkness seems
To hide His face
I rest on His unchanging grace
In every high and stormy gale
My anchor holds within the veil
Steven, where is your anchor fastened? Steven, who do you run to during life’s storms? Steven, what
makes you feel secure?
I’m a Christian, of course I’m anchored to Jesus. I run to Him. He makes me feel secure.
In 1998 God began challenging my answers to these questions by removing the actual sources of my
hope and security. My career in information technology (IT) was starting to take off after a fourteen-
year climb at a large public utility company. I’d just received a large raise making me equals with my
supervisory grade coworkers. Then one word changed everything – merger. The career I’d worked so
hard to attain was gone. I tried minimizing the loss by taking a customer service representative position
at the call center of the newly formed, giant utility company. I’d lost my IT career but held onto my
income. Knowing that I wouldn’t last long in customer service, I asked God to provide me with another
position in the company that paid about the same and would lead to a satisfying career. I was trusting
God to lead in my career, right?
A year passed and I was still stuck at the call center. I did my best to represent Christ well there; even on
the day I accepted the voluntary separation package (VSP). My response was positive, or so I thought
when my signature on the VSP finalized my time with the utility companies. I reasoned that if the Lord
allowed me to succeed here, He would also allow me to succeed elsewhere. I’d now lost my career and
my income. I accepted that I would have to start over. My prayer was for God to provide me with a job
and help me attain the success I’d lost. I was trusting God during this time of starting over, right?
In 1999 I accepted a lower paying IT position with a large insurance company. The first three years there
I found myself repeatedly snatching defeat out of the mouth of victory. Initially, failure served to
strengthen my resolve. When a bout with encephalitis set me back in my already frustrating learning
curve, I hoped it was a blessing in disguise. I thought it would give me the opportunity to ease back in
like I was starting the job from day one again. The exact opposite happened. I’d trusted God after losing
my career, a big chunk of my income, and a major health issue. Why is success eluding me? I began
thinking death sounded better than another failure. My pride kept me from telling anyone. I spent the
next two years going through the motions praying that I either could recreate past success or die. This
endless cycle of trying and failing had to stop one way or another. I felt myself hurtling toward an
November 3rd, 2004, after Wednesday night prayer meeting. I hid away in the tiny church library
planning my suicide. The door popped open.
“How are you doing? Have you seen my kids?”
“Not Good. Not good at all!”
“It’ll get better.”
The door closed and he was gone. The next day I tried to kill myself.
November 4 th , 2004 is a day I don’t want to remember and one I will never forget. There was, however, a
turn for the better that began that day. My attempt forced me to talk about about the bad place I’d
been in mentally for the past two years. I also decided to get out from under the pressure of trying to
recreate my past success in the IT field. I asked God for any job that would pay enough to keep me from
going any further backward financially.
In 2005 I accepted an entry level position at a hospital. I was okay with backing off and seeing people as
more important than prestige. The job had a lot of variety that I enjoyed. However, the work
environment was awful. After the employment disaster of the last six years I couldn’t take daily
harassment simply because I was male. About six months into the job, I took the steps outlined in
orientation to report the hostile work environment. Another six months passed, and I was scheduled to
meet with a vice-president soon. Before that could happen, I was terminated. It was easier for them to
get me out of the picture than to take an unbiased look into something they didn’t want to see.
Three jobs. Seven years. Zero success.
That’s what it took for me to realize that my hope
was built on something less than Jesus blood and
righteousness, that my anchor was fastened to my
income, that I ran to the next opportunity to succeed
as the way out of life’s storms, that status made me
I prayed without any stipulations. I surrendered to
God’s will. I began using God’s definition of success.
God gave me hope . . . in more than one way.
November 2006, I began working for a small residential school named Hope. Isn’t it like God to have me
see the word hope throughout every workday? I didn’t recreate past prestige or pay at Hope. Instead,
God led me to a place where I served autistic children who showed me that joy is in living, not in
attaining. They made it difficult to grumble about my lot in life and provided lots of job satisfaction.
After about a year, I found a position that had the perfect balance of using my computer skills and
serving the kids I’d come to love. Technology recently eliminated the need for my position. I must admit
that thoughts of here we go again did come to mind. Instead of having to start all over again, as
happened at the utility company, Hope went to work on how they could keep me. I now wear many hats
and have the variety that I enjoyed at the hospital.
My identity and worth were no longer so intertwined with my occupation that losing a job would result
in also losing my value as a person. Choosing to follow God’s leading wasn’t, and still isn’t, easy. During
the writing of Insane Success, where you can read the entire story of what I provided you a glimpse of, I
asked myself why I was doing it quite often. At times it seemed like a pointless effort. I wanted to stop. I
was so out of my comfort zone and in over my head. Yet, I couldn’t shake the feeling that God wanted
me to do this. I’m still not sure how God has or will use my story. Simply knowing that He has and will
use it is enough. He’s not obligated to let me know the details.
I work at giving hope to others by sharing the hope God gave me when I’d given up hope in Him and
everything else. My involvement in the suicide prevention community is mostly in the form of
volunteering at large events. God is opening opportunities in his perfect time. The most recent of these
is having part of my story included in book three of a four book series called Guts, Grit, and the Grind
(gutsgritgrind.com). The series from United Suicide Survivors International focuses on men’s mental
health and is in the format of a repair manual. It is not written from a Christian viewpoint. It will
mention Insane Success, however, and Insane Success points to Christ. I see it leading people who would
never open a Bible to the hope found only in Jesus though the scripture passages in Insane Success.
Where is your anchor fastened? Who do you run to during life’s storms? What makes you feel secure?
If, like me, your security is
found in the human
definition of success
please consider how you
would respond if it was
taken away. Dare not
trust the sweetest frame,
but wholly lean on Jesus’
Always Hope! Psalm