“For Narnia….”

I wrote this the early morning of Jan. 21st….

For Narnia…

My friends, in a few hours I will begin the first of three speaking sessions on the topic of Depression.

Having been invited to speak at today’s Region 17 Summit Conference (for regional high school students), to be held at the Lubbock Civic Center. I am, quite frankly, nervous.

But,…early this morning I looked up into the cold, star-speckled sky and found myself whispering, “This is for you, Jordan.”

Now in Paradise, whole and depression-free, I know Jordan would never want any one – friend or foe – to be caught in the wake of that hideous “ship” called suicide.

So,.. today, please partner with me in praying that Christ will use me (a most fallible vessel) to get someone’s attention and, using the tragedy that visited the Watts home, perhaps prevent it from visiting someone else’s.

“For Narnia!” is a phrase from the genius of C.S. Lewis. Jordan, a huge fan of Lewis and a lover of adventure, used this phrase often to represent, “For Jesus!…for heaven!….for adventure!….for battle!, etc.” So, with this in mind, I go over my notes one last time….for Narnia!

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick

What I Learned While Speaking to Students About Depression

Moments prior to my first speaking session on Wed. morning, Jan. 21st, I felt like I was going to be sick. Knowing my son died as a result of depression, the “weight” of the topic was beginning to crush me. I was having trouble breathing. But, as they say, a funny thing happened to me on my way to that first session….

(1) In my mind’s eye – as clear as could be – I could see Jesus Christ lifting the weight off of me and placing it upon Himself. He was looking right at me. It was an image I’ll never forget.

(2) For whatever reason, my son, Jordan, was always freaking out about the time “11:11”. He told us, “Almost every time i happen to look at a clock, it’s “11:11.” This actually happened numerous times when I was with him. It was pretty funny. When we bought him a MacBook Pro for Christmas I looked at the receipt. The price was $1,111.00. I gave him the receipt. :)) Well, since Jordan’s death, this “coincidence” happens a lot to me and Michelle. So, every time I happen to look at a clock and it says “11:11” I whisper, “Hi Jordan.” (I know it sounds nuts, but….it is what it is.) Anyway, during the second speaking session, wanting to make certain I would finish on time, I glanced at my phone. The time? You guessed it – “11:11”. I whispered, “Jordan, I’m here…for Narnia.”

(3) One last thing – as Michelle and i counsel so many hurting people we tell them a particular truth we’ve learned from our own grieving process: there is no way around the grief. You absolutely must go through it. (This is why Psalm 23:4 has become so dear to me: “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me;…”) Going through the grief (and its related fears) is a necessary part of one’s healing process. So, after finishing the first session I sensed God telling me, “Another step taken, my child.” It caught me off guard. I thought, “God, you allowed this opportunity not only to help others – but to help me, didn’t you!” Remember the image I’d seen of Christ lifting the weight from my shoulders? He was now in the image of my Shepherd, carrying me.

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick

“…that man who lost his son…”

Unbelievable.

I spoke three separate times on Wed., Jan. 21st, to regional high school students on the topic of clinical/chronic depression.

In each session, I made the following comment: “Having a son of my own who died as a result of clinical depression…., I must tell you, honestly, I did not want to do this. However,….if I can reach just one student early enough to prevent them from doing something tragic to themselves, thereby preventing their family from enduring what we, ourselves, have faced, I will do this a million times.”

Before I even got back to my office after the final session I received an email from a student thanking me and asking for help.

But then….the following day (Thursday) I got the following message from an area high school counselor:

“Nick, a student here, who heard you speak yesterday, came by today to tell us the following: the student shared, ‘Last night I swallowed an entire bottle of pills (to end my life.) But then i made myself throw up because ‘I couldn’t stop thinking about that man who lost his son.’ This student is now receiving help for their depression!”

When I first saw the message I couldn’t stop weeping.

The last thing the high school counselor said in their message was this: “God continues to use Jordan Blake Watts to change lives.”

For Narnia, Nick