I’ve asked a group of teen women to guest-post for me on the general subject of ‘keep walking’, whatever that means to them. I’ve been humbled by them, and love it when someone sends me an email to ask if I’m still interested (I am!). So far, we’ve heard from Carolyn and Alisha, and recently from a deep-thinking poet who reminded us that life is hard, and it hurts and there’s hope.
Today’s offering comes to us from Jyllenna, a sixteen-year-old writer and blogger. When she’s not writing or doing homework, she enjoys baking and cooking, cheerleading, hockey, and hanging out with friends and family. She also really loves a good story, and uses stories as inspiration for both her blog and for her own life.
What’s your favorite movie or novel? I know that’s a super hard question. I actually really don’t like it when people ask me! Seriously, I don’t think I can really give a good answer. For now, I’ll say The Avengers. I really liked that movie (and, yes, some of the guys in there…). I promise there’s point to this! Think of one of your favorite stories, or just use the first good story that pops into your head.
Ok, now think to the middle of that story. Where life really sucks for the main character. In The Avengers, I think about when Loki escaped and the Hulk was unleashed. In the aftermath of that, the heroes are really down, and the Avenger assembly almost doesn’t happen. The heroes had some pretty justifiable reasons for quitting. There were just way too many things that were working against them.
But they chose to say that they weren’t going to let the bad guys win. They chose to dictate how the story was going to end.
Where are you at in your story? Maybe you’re in the middle of a hard time. The last few weeks have kind of been like that for me. I guess what’s more discouraging about my struggles this time around is that I thought I had already worked through these issues.
About a year ago, I was in really rough shape. A lot of times, I didn’t know why I kept going on. During that difficult year, I could see the end of the story, though. I saw that if I just kept walking, everyday fighting to be a little bit better than before, I would have a pretty darn good story to tell. The end of the story was what kept me going—and I hate a story with a sad ending. With a good therapist and some hard work, I was able to overcome depression. And I started a blog to tell my story.
Everything seemed to be going good, but then things just went south. I started to feel the same things I had felt earlier. I think the second time around is almost more discouraging than the first time. However, this time around, I have more coping tools in my kit. I also know that I need to keep looking to the end of the story. Like The Avengers, I’m not going to let the bad guys win. I—not depression—am going to dictate how the story ends.
The Avengers is actually not my favorite story. My favorite story is one about a man who saw his masterpieces nearly destroyed by the greatest evil this world has ever seen. This man saw that his masterpieces needed to be saved, but this evil was so strong. His masterpieces also had embraced the evil, made it part of their very nature. They shunned their creator. Still, their creator decided that this was not how the story was going to end. He was going to buy back his masterpieces. The only way that he could do this was to die a heinous death at the hands of his creation.
Yes, this is the story of Jesus. We are the masterpieces. Our story looked pretty bleak, but Jesus came and died. He decided that we were worth pursuing. He decided that the story of his masterpieces was not going to have a horrible ending. So he put hope in the ending.
No matter where you are today. Whether you just didn’t see the point in getting out of bed this morning, or you tried to take your life this morning, Jesus still sees hope in the end of your story. He desperately wants you to see it too. As soon as you make the decision that this is not how your story ends, he’s going to be with you, helping you.
But now, God’s Message…
“Don’t be afraid, I’ve redeemed you.
I’ve called your name. You’re mine.
When you’re in over your head, I’ll be there with you.
When you’re in rough waters, you will not go down.
When you’re between a rock and a hard place,
it won’t be a dead end—
Because I am God, your personal God…
I paid a huge price for you…
That’s how much you mean to me!
That’s how much I love you!
I’d sell off the whole world to get you back,
trade the creation just for you.
Isaiah 43:1-4 The Message
Were you encouraged by Jyllenna’s message, as I was ?