Miss USA 2019 Jumped to Her Death: Why It’s Never Enough to ‘Have It All’
She had it all. She was beautiful, smart and talented. But at some point for the 30-year-old, it ceased to matter. On Sunday morning, Miss USA 2019, Cheslie Kryst, jumped to her death from the 29th floor of a condominium building in Midtown Manhattan.
Kryst was a former civil litigation attorney who also earned an MBA. She worked as a news correspondent for Extra TV. “She was one of the brightest, warmest, and most kind people we have ever had the privilege of knowing, and she lit up every room she entered,” the Miss USA and Miss Universe organizations said in a joint statement, according to Fox News.
Kryst’s family told Fox News that she “embodied love and served others.” They added, “In devastation and great sorrow, we share the passing of our beloved Cheslie. Her great light was one that inspired others around the world with her beauty and strength. She cared, she loved, she laughed and she shined.”
Her family will, undoubtedly, ask why this happened.
I think I know why.
That Dark Place
It’s because I’ve been to that dark place. Those of you who are familiar with my work know that I’ve struggled with depression for years. I planned to commit suicide when I was just 12 years old. That was my first major suicidal ideation. It wasn’t my last.
I also relate to Kryst because, on the outside, it looked like I had it all: a beautiful family, highly educated, published author, great job, great friends. But it wasn’t enough. Why? It’s because nothing can satisfy the space within us that only God can occupy. It’s not that I wasn’t a Christian. Nor do I intend to suggest that Kryst wasn’t a Christian. That I don’t know. What I do know is that by focusing on ourselves instead of keeping our eyes on Jesus we are ill-equipped to handle depression, anxiety, or a whole host of other issues.
During the worst time of my life, when I was raising my son by myself because his dad struggled with alcohol, I would sit out on my patio with my coffee and cry out to God. “Father help me!” I leaned heavily on His presence during those times and spent lots of time on my knees. It was only by being in His presence that I made it through. I wish someone would have told Kryst that.
In His Presence
God is with us and provides peace that passes all understanding when we pray and spend time with Him. “The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:5-7)
It is only through spending time in our Father’s presence that we have peace — even in the midst of the storm. He’s the only answer to life’s struggles. We cannot do it alone, nor were we meant to.
“But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.” (1 Cor. 12:26-27)
As part of the body of Christ, let us lift up those who struggle with depression and other illnesses in prayer to Almighty God. Don’t brush them off or put off reaching out to them. Spend time with brothers and sisters who struggle to catch a glimpse of hope. Point them to Christ. Encourage them to spend time in His presence. In addition to intercession, if your loved one is considering suicide or has confessed to suicidal ideations, encourage them to get help now. It might be clinical depression with a physiological cause. They could benefit from modern medicine, even while God is the Great Physician.
With my Father, I made it through the tough times. They can, too.
If you or someone you know is struggling with depression, suicidal ideations or suicide attempts, please contact the the toll-free National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The service is available to anyone. All calls are confidential.