This week, I had a heart-wrenching interaction with a young girl. The following post follows that conversation and my reactions to what was said.
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Though she had seemed fine just moments before, the young girl I was speaking to looked at me with tears in her eyes.
“I’ve struggled with depression since I was 10,” she said, her lips pursing together to keep the pain shut inside. “Sometimes the pressures of life…it just becomes too much, and I don’t know what to do.”
My heart broke into pieces. Here was this special, little girl, struggling with something so big. Why did things like this have to happen? It just wasn’t fair. I wanted to give her a hug. I tried to think of what to say…anything that could impact her in a positive way. I didn’t know if my words would even mean anything at all to her, or offer any kind of comfort, but in a step of faith, I decided to share a bit of my story with her. I reached out my hand and told her that I could relate.
“How?” she asked.
“Well, I struggled with anxiety attacks in high school,” I began, pausing for a few moments, before leaving her with something that took me years to learn: “But I promise you, it gets better. Keep fighting. Things can change.”
As I walked away from the girl, I felt helpless. I was mad and sad. Mad that this young soul had to go through something like this at such a vulnerable age, and sad for not just her, but myself, who also sometimes still doesn’t know what to do when the things I struggle with resurface.
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Have you ever met someone whose words or actions held a mirror up to your soul? Someone who exposed the darkest part of you that lingers no matter how often you bid it to go away?
That’s what happened when I spoke with this girl. She reminded me of the anxiety that lingers still deep within my soul. She reminded me of my weakness: that I don’t know all the answers, or have a secret formula for happiness or a content spirit. But amid all of that doom and gloom, her story also reminded me of the hope and power we have within Christ.
Later that day, I took a moment to reflect and pray. I refused to be defeated, or see this girl’s situation as hopeless.
Dear Jesus, help this sister…help me…help all your children overcome. Our daily lives and struggles are proof that we can’t go through life alone. And I know you made us for so much more than all of this pain. I know there is a reason for it all. So show us your glory. Make us new. Mold us into all that you want us to be. And help us see you—see love—in everything.
I don’t know how many of you out there are struggling with something, but I want you to know, and I truly believe, that if we place our trust in Jesus, He has the power to break every chain that holds us down. I’ve seen him at work in my life and in the lives of my loved ones. It might not be on our time tables and battle scars are common, but I will continue to hold on to the hope that in Christ, we can choose to overcome each and every day.