Okay, if you’ve made it past the title, I’m glad! Have you ever wanted to tell someone what was going on in your life, but you didn’t know who to talk to? Have you written out the things you struggle with in a notebook or journal of some sort (electronic journals count!) If you have, have you ever felt better just for getting your story out there? I know that’s been my experience in life. I was always afraid of someone reading the true issues I dealt with in real life, so my diaries and journals were filled with made up stories. And in my computer, under password protection, I would choose some font (like Webdinger) that looked absolutely NOTHING like real words. Then I would write out everything in my heart. And there wasn’t anyone to whom I was writing, but getting my issues out solidly helped so much. It wasn’t perfect, but it was a step in the right direction.
And then I learned to pray. I had learned about God. I had said the “sinner’s prayer”. But until I was a teenager, I never really knew what prayer was. I thought it was something a guy at the front of a church service said. I thought it was just speaking “The Lord’s Prayer” with other people. I didn’t know what it actually WAS.
I’m not going to tell you it’s a magic fix-all. Because it’s not. I’m not going to tell you there’s a special formula. Because it’s not. I’m not going to tell you that you need to use ‘thee, thou, thy, etc.”. Because you don’t.
Prayer is a conversation. It’s a conversation that is full of honesty. It’s telling Someone bigger and out there exactly what you’re going through and how you’re feeling. Even if you’re not 100% sure that He’s listening – and I can assure you that He is! – when you share honestly with God, you won’t feel like all of your issues are fixed, but you will start feeling like someone is listening. You don’t even have to say these things out loud. Just think them. I have a hard time staying focused when I’m just thinking, so I have to say it out loud. And if you feel too weird talking to Someone you can’t see, talk to a pet.
If you need to show emotion, do it! It’s not shameful to cry. It’s not unforgivable to be angry. Do you have any idea how many times I’ve railed at God? It usually happens when I’m driving down the road. I’ll be growling at cars that are doing things like tailgating and cutting me off; and then I realize that it isn’t the other drivers with whom I’m angry. It’s God! Usually something has happened that has thrown my entire life into chaos and I just pretended everything was fine… until it wasn’t. And then I’d explode. Guess what? God can take it!
You may be thinking, “That’s all well and good, Brittany, but you don’t know me. You’ve never been in my shoes.” No, I haven’t lived your life and I may not personally know you. But I can honestly say there have been some pretty bad times in my life.
When I entered seventh grade (which was high school in Pennsylvania), I lost my only true friend. I was so hurt that I was afraid to even try to make other friends in case they turned on me too. I was so alone. I didn’t fit in. I knew suicide was wrong, so I didn’t let myself even imagine anything in that direction. But do you want to know what I prayed every night for a long time? It wasn’t pretty, and I’m so glad God didn’t answer my prayers, but this is what I said, “God, I know suicide will send me to the bad place, but could you please let me get hit by a car or something? I don’t want to go back to school. I don’t think anyone likes me.”
So, don’t let yourself believe that you’re alone, my friend. God didn’t answer that prayer, but you know what He did do? He listened to my prayers and He loved me. I didn’t even know it at the time how much He cared for me and how He never left my side – even when… especially when I couldn’t feel Him at all.
Your life doesn’t have to end. It shouldn’t end. Your story isn’t over yet. It’s only just begun. If you’ve turned to other things (alcohol, drugs, sex) to deal with the trials of life, we can work through that. Nothing you’ve done or will do will ever make you unloveable. Trust me. I know.
Feel free to message me on my Facebook Page (https://www.facebook.com/brittanydstonestreet) or email me (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Don’t let your story end here. You were made for more.
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