This is for all of you out there who have ever verbally answered the question, “How are you?” with a flat “fine-how-are-you?” but inwardly said, “I’m not fine. I’m not even close to fine. In fact, my world is falling apart. But you don’t care, do you?”
This is for the the men who have been disrespected and belittled by women, but didn’t say anything about it for fear of worse ridicule or embarressment.
This is for the women who have been derided for staying home to raise their children. This is also for the women who were derided for not staying home to raise their children.
This is for people who have felt the icy rope of despair wrap itself round and round their necks until the only thought left in their heads is wanting to die. Because surely death is better than this hell you’re currently living in.
This is for the women and the men who battle daily with eating disorders. Because men have eating disorders too, but are less likely to get help for it.
This is for the teenagers who feel cut off from the world, isolated in an ocean of raging emotions that adults recurse to validate. Because those emotions are just as real as adult emotions, and therefore just as valid. Because your existence is is precious, and I promise life gets better. These are not the “best years of your life.” No, my friend, your life is just getting started.
This is for the weary, stressed out person in line at the grocery store. Because you haven’t gotten a full night’s sleep in longer than you can remember, and that pile of coupons is all that stands between your groceries and your electricity being shut off. Because no matter what you do, you always seem to fail.
This is for you.
Someday I hope you can talk about it. Someday I hope you will be able to see the arms of Christ stretching wide to encircle you – you with all your hurts and scars and baggage from the years of pain and silence. Someday I hope the words pour forth. May they break down the dam inside you, spilling out in a flood of messy release. Let them spill from your mouth and from your fingers onto journal pages, laptops, cellphones, wherever they can reach. And let the flood of words begin to fill in the potholes and ditches of your wounded soul. Let them fill until you can no longer see the ground, but instead see nothing but water, a serene and beautiful lake. And let there be peace within you.
From the mouth comes both hurt and healing, and someday I hope the very same mouths that have hurt you will speak healing words over you. Words of love, forgiveness, acceptance, freedom, peace. Words of reconciliation.
But even if they never do, I hope that someday you will find someone who will. Because no one should have to go through life carrying that much hurt and pain.
Sometimes it’s hard to talk about the things that are the most important to us, that have caused us the most pain. I get that. But if you’re ever ready and you have no one to tell it to, know that I am here. I will listen to you, cry with you, whatever you need. And I will speak life over you. Because everyone deserves a full life.