Kelly Catlin was already, at just 23 years old, a remarkably accomplished person. She was an award-winning Olympic cyclist. When she wasn’t training, she was in graduate classes at Stanford studying computational mathematics. But on March 7, Catlin tragically took her own life. How could someone with so much ahead find no reason to continue living?
The answer lies in a chilling note she wrote to her family, in which she expressed her own life philosophy. Part of the note reads:
Never love. Never engage in a relationship that could be defined as having a significant other… Never allow yourself to become close enough to another that their actions or inactions might cause you (any amount of) distress or pain.
By all accounts, Catlin held rigidly to this way of life. She eschewed friendships and refused to get counseling. She eventually lost purpose and spiraled into depression.
Before sin, there was only one thing God pronounced “not good” in creation—Adam being alone. We were made for community. The Gospel meets this deep need. An invitation to believe in Christ is also an invitation into God’s family, the church. In Christ, you’re never alone.
God, we pray first of all for comfort for Kelly Catlin’s family as they grieve such a tremendous loss. We also pray that the church would be a welcoming place for those who have become isolated and purposeless. May we offer the joyful hope of the Gospel, which brings us into God’s family. Let us love one another within this family and continually offer the open invitation to all to join in and find new life in Jesus Christ.
Dr. Robert Jeffress is a best-selling author of 25 books, a nationally and internationally syndicated TV and radio host and the senior pastor of First Baptist Dallas, one of the largest and most influential churches in America. Pathway to Victory, Dr. Jeffress’ broadcast ministry, airs daily nationwide on more than 900 radio stations and is broadcast live to 195 countries. His latest book, Choosing the Extraordinary Life: God’s 7 Secrets for Success and Significance, is available in bookstores everywhere. He is an evangelical adviser to the president of the United States, Donald J. Trump.