(Photo by Kimberly Loidolt)
From the Dark to the Light
“You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good.”
– Genesis 50:20 (NLT)
Over the last four months, this verse has become my lifeline and motto for everyday life. But let’s not rush into anything just yet. To understand the power behind this short verse, it is important to know about the untold truth and secrets held within the past seven years of my life; but that would take far too long, so I’ll give you the short version.
It began in the sixth grade,when I first felt the overwhelming sadness that people in today’s world call “depression.” There were many variables that played into my emotions, but the bottom line is this: some people are just mean. And that is really the basis for the rest of my seven-year struggle.
Have you ever heard of the saying, “some people just want to watch the world burn?” Unfortunately, this is very true. I wish I could tell you that it’s not. In your life, you will encounter people who just don’t like you. You may never know why, and maybe they won’t either and I know it’s hard to swallow. For me, this was just the case. I had a couple of people during this part of my life that just didn’t like me. They treated me like I was lesser than them and put me down in any way that they could. The worst part of it is that I thought they were my friends the whole time. This constant attack from the ones I loved resulted in my first suicide attempt at the young age of 11.
After that, I spent the next three years in a blur. People aren’t kidding when they tell you that depression is an overcoming feeling of unexplainable darkness. There is no other way to explain the way that it feels.
This brings us to my freshman year of high school. A new place, a new start, right? Wrong. In a dark place like I was in, there is no easy escape, and just like they always say, history repeated itself. I was faced again with a group of people who just didn’t like me. The hardest part for me was that I tried to get them to like me. I really, really tried. I changed virtually everything about myself to fit in and be the girl that people liked, with no prevail. This marks the second attempt that I took on my life.
The moment after my second attempt was the easily the hardest moment of my entire life. There I was sitting in my room, as sad as a human being can get, and I couldn’t even kill myself correctly. The feeling of failure was so overwhelming in that moment, that I will never forget it. Imagine feeling like you don’t belong anywhere, not alive, and apparently not dead either. How could I go on knowing that I didn’t fit anywhere in the universe?
My final years of high school were dark, shameful times for me. I did a lot of things that I am not proud of. I not only built up walls, but I tore others’ down. I thought that if I didn’t have a heart, then I couldn’t get hurt. I didn’t have anything left to give to the people who didn’t like me. I did all I could to hurt people before they hurt me, just because I had nothing else to give. I drank a lot, I did a lot of drugs and I ate very little (and what I did eat didn’t stay down). I cut my wrists, upper thighs and hips, and plastered a smile on my face to mask it all. I was in a bad, bad place. But I couldn’t let the people around me know that they had gotten to me. So, I faked a smile day in and day out, pretending to have it all together, and at the age of 16, I attempted suicide for the third time. Again, no success.
Time went on, and towards the end of my senior year, I finally let my guard down a little and I dated a boy. He was just as broken as I was, and we fit like a glove. I knew that he understood my pain, even if I never said it out loud. I soon found out that he was an atheist. But it didn’t bother me. He meant so much to me that I knew I would like him no matter what he did or didn’t believe in, and soon his disbelief in God began to rub off on me, to the point where I wasn’t sure I believed either.
Being so close to atheistism did nothing but put more strain on my relationship with God. I couldn’t help but think, if there really is a God, why would He put me through so much pain? Doesn’t He love His creations? Why does my life suck so much? If He exists, does He even love me? But after all I went through, I felt as if God had abandoned me, if He even was real. I labeled myself as a Deist for the remainder of my time before I left for college; I was the furthest from God that I had ever been. To be honest, I wasn’t sure if I could get much further from him, even if I tried.
My story up to this point is one of brokenness, but that’s not all it is.
For my freshman year of college, within the first semester, there was God, waiting for me with open arms. Despite my faults, my sins and my denial of His existence, He filled up my life; lifted me up from the darkened shallows of depression and brought me into His light. Day by day at college, He made me stronger and kinder, slowly breaking down my walls and healing my physical, mental and emotional wounds. I had finally created my faith in my own way and let God work freely in my life. It took a while but I realized that even if there are people out there who don’t like me, God will always LOVE me, no matter what.
“You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good.”
The trials that I went through made me into the person I am today, and now I get to be here, ALIVE, to share my story with you. No matter what your past looks like or what trials you are facing now, God will use them for good. He has a plan and it is perfect, and it is also almost impossible to understand until it’s over. It’s hard to be patient and to put your trust in God when you’re going through a hard time, but trust me when I tell you that’s it worth it. Nothing and no one can help you like He can.
Looking back, I can see now that God put me through the hard times because He needed me to be strong. He needed me to be able to reach out to those who are hurting from every part of the world. Because I am not alone. And you are not alone. There is so much pain in this world, but there is a way to get through it, and that way is God.
“I can do all things through He who gives me strength.”
– Philippians 4:13 (NKJV)