I have been privileged to communicate with several teenagers about some of the struggles they face. They are some of the most courageous people I know. I’ve featured two of them before–Carolyn’s story about surviving a suicide attempt, and Alisha’s story of surviving the death of her cousin.
Today, I’m featuring another young woman. She sent me a beautiful poem about a struggle that she faces, and she also sent me a few paragraphs about how she is surviving. I know from my conversations with her that she works at it every day, and you know what? That takes courage. A lot of courage.
Here then, is her offering.
Watercolor marks of beauty
Death’s paintbrush leaving scars
Pain paints a picture on her body
Crystal shards of shattered tears
Bloody brushstrokes leave a trail
Hard and definite, the edge of hurt
The water of Life blurs the lines
Leaving a soft smattering of memory
Delicate like butterflies wings
Marks of survival tell a story
They’ll stay with her forever
Like watercolor marks of beauty
“One more, go one more, don’t stop now, go one more…” Those are song lyrics from the song One More by Superchick. I’ve found that song relevant and helpful in my life. Sometimes, when we’re hurting, it’s all we can do to just get through the day. But I’ve found that a day can seem like an eternity. What I tell people is, when the pain is so bad, we need to focus on taking it one hour, one minute at a time, just breathing.
I’ve always been bad at expressing my feelings. When bad things happened in my life, I didn’t know what to do with the emotions. I categorized them in little internal boxes, “Anger goes in here, sadness, in here, self-hated in this box, loneliness in this one,” until the boxes where full and at some point I stopped being able to name and categorize the feelings. It was like a wave of feelings, unnamed and uncontainable. That’s when it’s hard to deal with, when it’s messy. The thing is, it wasn’t until I got to that place where I could no longer keep everything under wraps, that things started to get better. It’s when you finally give up controlling things, and trying to be okay, that God can step in and pick you back up and say, “Just a little longer, you can make it, I’m here,” until you’re at the end of the tunnel, until you’re through the pain and you can breathe again.
The thing is, we don’t have to fix ourselves before coming to God. He wants us bruised and broken, weak and on the edge, He doesn’t care what condition we’re in, He just wants us to come to Him, so He can heal us and be our strength. It’s when we are weak that He is strong. His power is made perfect in our weakness. So if you’re weak? Good. If you’re tired? Good. Let Him take the load for you. He wants to. He created us to need Him. We feel that us not being strong and not being able to handle what life throws at us, means that we’re doing something wrong. But the truth is, we weren’t made to handle it. We were made to trust God to handle it for us. We need to ‘let go and let God’.
So what I’m trying to convey today is, whatever it is you may be struggling with, keep fighting. Don’t give up. God’s got you. You can make it through, not by your own strength but by His. You’re stronger than you think, more broken than you believe, yet more beautiful than you could ever imagine. Life is hard and it hurts. You have to keep pushing through, passed the pain until you can see the light again. It will come. You’re never alone. Stay strong.
Were you touched by this as I was? Leave a comment and encourage our poet.