Maybe this past year was difficult for you. Maybe ‘difficult’ is an understatement. Maybe it was cruel. Maybe it crushed you. Maybe you’re still trying to catch your breath and are bracing yourself still after receiving blow after blow. Maybe you’re heartbroken. Maybe you’ve lost someone who can never be replaced. Maybe you’re wounded. Maybe you’re anxious or depressed and are in a pit that you cannot feasibly climb out of. Maybe you’re hanging on by a single thread, and it feels like your grip is slipping, and you’re not sure how much longer you can keep going. Maybe.
And maybe you’re not alone.
Because there are hundreds of thousands of crushed and wounded souls, walking through the world, carrying on through their days, and some you may see and recognize their brokenness, and some you may never know. Because heartache and pain and disaster tear through all of our lives without discrimination, wreaking havoc on weak and the strong, stripping them of all they have and leaving just a bruised soul.
Maybe it’s been on of those years for you. Maybe it’s been one of those decades. Maybe you’re left wondering if you’ll ever recover and how. Maybe you are wondering if it’s even possible to keep going, to keep breathing, to keep surviving day after day.
If you’re wondering, the answer is yes. Yes to all of it. Yes, you can make it through. Yes, you can mend, even if you never look quite the same. Yes, you can keep going, keep breathing, keep surviving. Yes, you can. I promise.
“In the end we are responsible for rising to the occasion of our own lives.”
You may feel small. You may feel weak. You may not feel heard. You may feel like no one cares what you have to say. You may feel like you have nothing to offer this world You may feel like you don’t have it in you to keep going. If you feel that way, don’t be ashamed. Just realize that doesn’t have to be true for you.
Speak up with love. Speak up with kindness. Speak up with truth, even if all you can bear to say is “Help.” or “Please.” or “I need you.” Use your voice.
We all fall sometimes. We all need help sometimes. We all need a hand to carry us through sometimes. Don’t be ashamed.
You can only rise after you’ve first fallen. So reach up, reach out, and let the hands of others lift you to your feet. You may feel dizzy at first. Standing again can be hard, and you might find that your knees shake, but don’t be afraid. Keep standing. Keep holding on. You have it within you to rise and to be strong, friend.
You may feel weak, but hope is not.
You may feel incapable, but love covers it all.
You may feel alone, but I swear to you that there are hundreds and thousands suffering beside you, ready to reach out their hand if only you’ll speak up.
You matter. You can rise. You can stand. You can carry your wounds with you and watch them mend, little by little, forever marking you, but not marking you with darkness, marking you with richness, with light, with a love that never dies, with a badge of a soul that has been tried and has risen, with grit, with grace, with so much more than it possessed before.
So say it aloud. This year has been hard, but 2016, you’re mine.
I will not be trampled forever. I will not fall down forever. I can reach up and reach out, and I can stand. I can rise.
“And the time came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”
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