I wrote a blog post in the middle of night a few days ago, hoping to empty some of the weight out of my mind. I couldn't sleep, and couldn't stop crying. No better time than the present, right?
The intent was simply to wish a goodbye to a sweet friend and get some thoughts down on 'paper'. I had no idea that the post would become my most viewed post of the six years that I have had a blog. It's interesting how it was not any of the feel good posts, the tutorials, or a cheesy prompt.
It was a post about some of the deepest valleys that I have walked through, and the difficult lessons that I have learned in this season of life. I am amazed to find that I currently have over 400 page views on my post about Gracie. The post was my goodbye to a friend who died suddenly about three months ago. The post was written directly to Gracie, and was solely for me to express my feelings. I was shocked by the amount of people who chose to engage with the words that I wrote.
But we connect when we choose to be real. We can relate to pain because we know hurt. We want to hear honesty about how people are doing, and not just see the perfect masks.
For someone who, at times, feels engulfed by the darkness, it can feel hard to believe that others want to step into that space. Difficult to imagine that they would want to share a flickering candle, and allow their huge bonfire or small flame to overcome the darkness. The gifts that God has bestowed on the people around me constantly surprise me in positive ways. I have been touched by people who care, and who startle me daily in a happy fashion.
AND SO I KEPT LIVING.
I keep living. I continue on in the hopes that the difficult times will bring bittersweet memories full of laughter and tears. I keep living for the promise that God will never leave me. And I live knowing that Jesus has promised to stick with me no matter what I am walking through.
I'm still here. Long after the first day that I felt hopeless, and after many days of the lies seeming to beat out the truth.
I'm here because I am actively making a choice to cling to hope when I cannot see through the fog. Even when it takes another living, breathing person to remind me just to make it to tomorrow.
And then to celebrate that victory when it comes. Because no matter how painful it is, it will come.
We have all dealt with pain in our lives. Being able to address that pain makes us seem more human to the people around us. They can connect to us, and love on us, and say "I've been there too".
Because people have. One of the greatest lies that satan tries to tell us is that you are trapped in the darkness alone, with no hope in sight.
Let me tell you. You are not alone.
Connect to people who share their stories honestly. Talk with people that you trust. Stuck on that one? Try a parent, sibling, friend, teacher, counselor: look again if you think you are alone. Or email me at email@example.com. I would love to help connect you to trusted resources.
As you are reminded of hope, remind others to hope as well.
I am proud of you.