Faith Filled Family Magazine had the privilege of interviewing a remarkable young lady, Kenisha Birkonang. She is an unbelievably strong woman, and she loves Jesus. “Suicide or Jesus Christ” is the story of a woman, and her journey with mental illness, and the things that America sees, but they do not want to talk about it.
Your book is awesome. That is amazing that you have the courage to write about mental illness, when so many are scared to even mention and discuss it.
Yes, that is so very true, and we do not realize who is going through it. We do not realize who is hurting, because people put on this mask. People hide their emotions so often.
The title of your book is very bold, “Suicide or Jesus Christ”. There are some that say if you commit suicide, you no longer have a place in heaven. What are your thoughts relating to that topic?
When I was not saved and walking with God, I would have said, “Yes, I agree with you.Suicide has no place in Heaven.”
But after walking with God and being intimate with him, I see now that God has a place for the broken.
Someone who kills themselves is not really at a place of understanding. God sees and understands our heart and knows that. Someone who kills themselves is not really at a place of understanding, and their state of mind is very troubled. They do not not know what they are doing. They just want to end the pain that they are going through. God sees the hurt and the pain, and he embraces it.
A lot of people say that mental illness is demons, and it’s not a real process. How do you feel about that? Do you feel mental illness is real, or do you feel it is just demons?
I believe that mental illness is real. There is a spiritual and mental path with mental illness. You need that discernment from the will of God.
Everything does not have to be cast out, sometimes you need just God’s love and prayer.to change souls and help people.
What do you think are the steps for someone that is struggling with mental illness? Where would they go? Where would they begin to seek help?
This one is a difficult one. A lot of being hurt by the church. No one wants to speak about it. No one wants to correct the leaders. If you correct them, you are stepping out of place. In the process, where do the broken go?
They have to realize there is an issue. A lot of people have to realize there is an issue. Starting out, a close family friend, someone they can talk to and confide in. The next step would be primary care doctor, someone who can refer them for help and assistance.
Baby steps in the beginning process, and spend more time defining the problem, and getting help safely. Maybe there should be a guide to mental illness, and so many people have no idea of how to get help and their assistance.
I was reading in your book you stated, this year should be the sixth anniversary of my death. When you put those words to paper, how did that make you feel?
Writing this book brought up feelings that I have not had in years. I look at where I am today, and where I was back then, I ask myself how did I get there? I am at a different place now. How did I ever get to this point, emotionally? Now where I am in my life, I would never think of something like that. I knew I had to be at a very dark spot in my life.
Why do you think Suicide is so prevalent in our society today?
Prematurely taking their lives, and they do not realize their true destiny with God. No matter what I am going through, I know there is more for me.
What is mental death in comparison to spiritual death?
When the suicidal ideations come, a spiritual type death has already happened. Spiritual death is when you are not walking in accordance to your creator.
You are doing what you want. You are fornicating, admitting adultery, and committing all types of sins. This is a spiritual death. A mental death has some of the same parameters, except the difference is that a mental death is that of the mind, and the deterioration of the mind.
In your book you mentioned, “Saved Just In Time”. Where do you think you would be if God had not intervened in your life? Do you think you would be here talking to me now?
No, if God had not intervened, I would not be where I am now God delivered me from Suicide, and the thoughts of suicide, and removed all associations with it. I am reborn now, and I hope my book can help others learn to deal with the thoughts of suicide and such, I want to reach others and help them overcome it. I want them to know there is overcoming and growth on the other side, and that they are able to get to the other side, there is hope.
“The pain crept up in my veins like ice cold water, destroying whatever life was left in my heart; the pain was a reminder I was still alive.”
This excerpt comes from your book and it defines a lot of the feelings you feel when you are suicidal. People do not understand that when people are dealing with suicidal thoughts they are dealing with mental pain. Can you explain that for people and others that do not understand?
When I was suicidal, people did not understand that the pain was overwhelming and a lot to handle. Often, when people deal with suicidal thoughts and issues, there is a lot of pain that you deal with.
With suicidal ideation, you are not thinking about your children, and your life. You are just wanting the pain to end. You want the pain to be over, and suicide is the answer for some, because you want peace, and an end to your pain.
What is the biggest takeaway you want people to gain from your book?
I want people to know that my story is my story, and it is the raw details of my journey and overcoming suicide. The book is my journey, your journey might look different, but we are all in this together. We are all God’s children, and Jesus is the answer. Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. Jesus will see us through anything that we are facing.
Kenisha’s book can be found here.