She said she couldn’t live anymore

Her name is P.G. (Ok, it’s not, but I’d never print her real name.)


She’s come to Real Church since it first opened in 2004. She lives nearby and has attended fairly regularly for nearly all of that time.  She’s a small lady, only in her 50’s, unkept hair, no teeth in the front (and breath that leads one to believe that more of her teeth may be on their way out soon). Her weathered face speaks of hardships beyond her years, and her reading & speaking  abilities reveal a feeble mind and fragile emotions. She’s precious. She’s in great need.

On Sunday, P.G. told me that she just couldn’t go on living the way she is. She wanted to die. (You’re startled. You’re reading faster now, aren’t you?  Good!) For the next 45 minutes or so, she told me some gory details of her life with her boyfriend, their filthy house, their ever-disappearing income, his drinking problem that shallows up their money, and the anger and despair that comes with it all. I just listened for a long, long time, occasionally asking a few questions. Praying silently in my head. It’s all true. We’ve seen the house. We know her boyfriend. It’s not just a story; it’s truth.

Only Jesus can help P.G…. you see, clothing and food give a minute of relief, but their troubles are deep… they’ve gone years with bad choices and doing what is easy, even if it’s wrong. You see… this is the same story that P.G. has been telling me for nearly 7 1/2 years now.


We offer options (ie: “We’ll find another place for you to live, you’re not married to him and you don’t have to stay in this horrible place.”)
But P.G. says, “No!”


We offer to help her go grocery shopping so she can learn to cook more & stop eating fast food (which destroys budgets and bodies).
But P.G. says, “NO!”


We gently make suggestions about “getting rid of the unnecessary things like cable TV and the FIVE cats” so that there’s more money for food and bills. But P.G. just ignores the words and changes the subject.

She’s stuck. She’s miserable. But somehow the thought of changing is far worse than the current hell in which she lives.

Oh, my heart is SO heavy. Her plight is very real. Her heartache, obvious. But she is unwilling to let go; unable to step forward.  Jesus!  Help P.G. to want YOU!  She comes to the building where we have church service; she cries. She prays. But please, help her to trust YOU. Help her to find courage in YOU to trust… and to stop doing what she’s always done. Her precious mind can only handle so much.. but YOU know exactly how to reach her. Please do. Please speak her language. My words continue to go unheard, but Your words are healing & joy. Please do what only YOU can do, Jesus. 

Yes, it IS only Jesus that can bring complete & lasting change to P.G. & others like her, but we at Real Church are doing things to help them with what we can. She and many, many others in Detroit receive food, clothing, encouragement and love. You certainly can join us. Donations make a huge difference. If you’re in the Detroit area you can physically help serve this community!  and EVERYONE of you can pray. Talk to Jesus about the P.G.’s in our city – and your city. Pray for them. Pray for us as we do our best to show them the love of Jesus in a practical way. Only JESUS can make the lasting changes.)


8 thoughts on “She said she couldn’t live anymore

  1. Thanks for telling the real stories, Netta, and not holding back. The Detroit area is swimming in need, and Jesus is the start of meeting all of them. 🙂

  2. Thank you, Netta, for sharing this story. I have been in that dark place and I have felt those same feelings of helplessness and despair. Sometimes I still do. It is only through faith and TRUST in Jesus that, little by little, day by day, I’ve been able to start making changes. Sometimes the changes are as hard as the life I’m transforming. There are days when prayer is the only effort I have the ability to make. Thank you for helping me remember that I’m not alone, neither in my need, nor in my faith. And thank you for reminding me that, when I have small victories and grow a little stronger, there are so many more like me that can, and will be healed.

  3. I was just talking to Chris about the whole “there must be something we can do…” and I am praying for our city & the precious people in it. My heart is heavy right now for the PG’s and others in similar (or not so similar but just as spiritually messed up) situations. Jesus is the only answer. Jesus!!

  4. Thanks for listening to that story for 7.5 years – your compassion is an example of patient love. There are so many stories like these but Jesus truly can speak the language and reach them.

  5. What I have to keep telling myself is that one day, those who say no to change (even if it’s for 71/2 years) will say yes to Jesus one day! Praying for PG and for so many others at Real Church!

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