I’ve been struggling with something for the past few days.
1. Photos of her portray a gorgeous smile and stunning eyes, set in a glowing face.
2. Posts from people who were close to her memorialize a caring, compassionate, and kind person, who often gave of herself to help others.
3. Her loss ripples far beyond her intimate circle of family and friends — entire communities are reeling from the gaping hole left in her absence.
My heart aches when I read the tributes about this teenage girl, full of talent, who impacted others with her thoughtfulness, who made a difference she apparently didn’t see or appreciate. When a life is cut short, those left behind struggle to make sense of the senseless. We ponder what might have been, and wonder how to go on. We pray it doesn’t happen again, to another young, promising person, with a hope and a future, if only they could see it in themselves.
I don’t claim to understand the specific emotions, reasons, and pain that drove this pretty girl to give up. But I do understand why a person would.
I nearly gave in to my suicidal thoughts many years ago, today I am SO grateful I didn’t. I would have missed out on a lot of wonderful and amazing experiences, plus I would have deeply hurt the people I love the most, forcing them to go the rest of their lives with questions, confusion, and trauma.
Back then, I asked myself the question, “What do I have to live for?” Not realizing, I had a whole life of opportunity ahead of me, and that happiness would come again, once I walked with resolve through the feelings that threatened to destroy me.
If you wonder what you have to live for, please consider this:
1. The things that set us apart, make us different, and are even catalysts for bullying and persecution, are the very things that make us unique, and could propel us to success beyond our wildest imaginations. If we give the life God gave us enough time to show us the way.
2. People who make us feel bad about ourselves are simply trying to cover how bad they feel about themselves. It’s a mask. Sure, some are well practiced and it looks pretty convincing on the outside, but you don’t know what they deal with inside their own minds, and behind their own bedroom doors.
3. You are not alone — no matter what your feelings tell you. You are seen. You are loved. You matter. The world would NOT be better off without you — you cannot be replaced!
4. You exist for a reason. You were created on purpose, with purpose, to fulfill a purpose. Part of living is going on a quest to discover what your unique reason for being is, and then to live it out for as long as you can.
5. God sees you and loves what He sees. This is a mystery, but one worth unraveling.
6. The greatest revenge for an enemy is to rise above their attacks. To prove you are more than their lying tongues convey, to show the truth of who you are, not by what you say, but by what you do.
7. If you give up too soon, you will miss out on incredible things you do not know about today.
I shared snippets of my struggle with suicide recently. In Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 of What Would Make You Consider Suicide. I pray for the family of this young woman taken so tragically before her time. I pray for anyone who is contemplating a permanent reaction to a temporary situation.
Please don’t hate the one Jesus loves — if you wonder who that is, find a mirror, and look close at the face reflected there. You may not immediately see or appreciate your own beauty, but someone does. Tune out the lies and listen to the Voice of Truth. You are loved. You matter. You cannot be replaced. You have a lot to live for.
Anita Fresh Faith
Jeremiah 33:2-3 (NLT)
2 “This is what the Lord says—the Lord who made the earth, who formed and established it, whose name is the Lord: 3 Ask me and I will tell you remarkable secrets you do not know about things to come.
Anita Brooks motivates others to dynamic break-throughs. Blending mind, heart, and spirit, as an Inspirational Business/Life Coach, International Speaker, and Common Trauma Expert.
Anita is also an award-winning author. Her titles include: Getting Through What You Can’t Get Over, Barbour Publishing, First Hired, Last Fired — How to Become Irreplaceable in Any Job Market, Leafwood Publishing, Death Defied-Life Defined: A Miracle Man’s Memoir, and contributor to The Change: Insights Into Self Empowerment Book #4. Her books are available at major and independent bookstores, Amazon, plus several online retailers.
She fulfills her mission to help 21st century women and men make fresh starts with fresh faith by sharing what she’s learned through experience, interviews, and research. Anita shares hope and encouragement on her Fresh Faith Inspirations podcast.
Anita’s favorite pastime is watching sunsets with her husband of 30 years, while they laugh and dip their toes in the water. Her favorite passion is inspiring others to transform battles into victories.
You can connect with Anita on Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, LinkedIn, or Twitter. Keep up with Anita’s latest happenings at anitabrooks.com. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to request information on having Anita inspirationally speak or train at your next event.