Originally published in Charisma News
Kim Walker-Smith says that she attempted to kill herself during her senior year of high school but failed—and that when she woke up, she realized God must be real and that He loved her. In a video interview recorded at the Vox Conference, Walker-Smith opened up to One Voice Student Missions about how she overcame depression and suicide.
“When I was in high school, I was kind of going through a lot in my own family, in my own life,” Walker-Smith says. “My mom had just married my third stepfather, just before I entered high school, and I had been abused by stepfathers before that. So I was already, because of my family circumstances, I was coming into high school with a lot of pain and a lot of anger and also I had just kind of come into this place where I kind of snapped and I was like, ‘I’m done. I’m going to fight. I’m going to defend myself. I’m done with being abused. I’m done with being hurt.’ And in one sense I kind of put my walls up, went into my fortress at that moment, but there’s also this other part of me that was just really looking for the love and approval and acceptance.”
Though Walker-Smith says she was reasonably well-liked and had plenty of friends at school, she says she struggled with depression.
“I was depressed,” she says. “I was partying. I was trying to fill those voids and that emptiness that I felt with other things. My mom and my stepdad, they took us to church, I went to church, but I kind of ran through the motions just trying to make my family happy. It wasn’t really real for me, you know? It wasn’t until I was a senior in high school, and I kind of reached the end. I couldn’t cope with the anger and the depression that I felt anymore. I couldn’t cope with the pain that I had been carrying and the double life that I had been living. I decided that I wanted to end my life. I tried. I attempted that. It didn’t work. And when I woke up and I wasn’t dead, the first thing I thought in my head was, ‘God must really be real.’ And all I could think about was that, ‘I think he loves me.’ I felt scared to say that or admit it, but I could feel it in that moment, and I could feel him close to me.”