If I’m brutally honest with myself, my most sincere prayer isn’t one I’m proud of.
It’s not part of an inspirational tale of hope, passion and fervour with a dash of redemption.
It’s a tale of desperation.
Of being beyond worldly help.
It’s a tale of being well past the point of giving up.
It’s not pretty – and it comes with a trigger warning.
But here goes anyway.
I fail to recall the day or date.
Suffice to say it was mid to late afternoon.
I’d been on a roller-coaster of all the thrills and curve-balls depression has to offer.
I’d given up a good few months beforehand and was barely going through the motion of living anymore.
Barely with enough energy to think, I left the house for the last time.
I put all my energy into putting one foot in front of the other as I focused on my destination.
I remember feeling peace – for the first time in forever.
I had a direction, an anchor to hold me steady and it revived and clarified my thoughts.
I knew I didn’t have long before I’d be missed, and my steps lengthened.
Still, to this date, this had been the quietest my brain has ever been.
There was an emptiness, a resolution that I’d never experienced – before or since.
It was bliss.
I walked on.
I reached a corner, and without hesitation, I took it.
It was on this road that a new thought entered my head – what was I doing?
Was I sure about this?
For about three steps, I engaged it in debate.
I had no choice.
This was the only way.
For a long time, the courage to do this was what I wanted.
For three steps.
On the fourth I knew that this wasn’t what God wanted for me.
On the fifth, I knew that I was beyond caring.
On the sixth, I turned my eyes skyward and uttered that sincerest of prayers:
‘God, if you have some amazing plan for me, stop me before I get there. If you don’t – let me go.’
I thought that was it.
All my bases were covered now – I knew I was worthless, that no one, not even God Himself, wanted me.
I strode forward, all choice gone, with one sole purpose left in my life.
I strode on.
As I got close to my destination, I felt a thrill of being right – nothing had stopped me. This was it.
I stopped at the final set of lights and saw a police car across from me.
‘It’s okay,’ I told myself. ‘They can’t get over here in time. It doesn’t count.’
I crossed the road.
I was within feet of my destination when a car pulled up directly in front of me. It was the police car, having found some way of turning around in an unreasonably short amount of time.
As I stumbled back in shock, the officers grabbed me.
A matter of five seconds, of a longer red light, slightly heavier traffic.
A matter of minute changes and this would be a very different story.
A matter of moments and I wouldn’t be the one to tell it.
That sincerest of prayers.