I don’t recall how old I was at the time, maybe around 6 or 7, what I do remember is that my teacher asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up and I looked at her with bright eyes and a brighter smile, my heart full of happiness and my mind full of childlike dreams; and I announced gaily and loudly that I would be a lawyer and also the first female president of my country. Years passed and I had several battles that I was too weak to fight. Several problems that I couldn’t solve by myself.
I was 13 when I first lay in a pool of my own blood; heart broken, dreams destroyed, body battered and left wrist slit. I had been bleeding for hours, I think. I didn’t feel pain. As the life slowly flowed out of my body, I was confused. I felt like death was supposed to be a means of escape from the horrible realities of my life, it was supposed to give me peace and set me free. I knew that I was dying, yet it didn’t feel right. It just seemed so dark and so final. I had no strength at this point, how I managed to crawl to the front door, I will never be able to fathom. I got to the front door and I passed out.
I spent weeks in the hospital going in and out of consciousness. I later got to know that I had been found barely alive and had been rushed to the hospital, people thought I’d die, but I lived. It’s been years but I still have traces of the scars.
Take it from someone who has tried to kill herself more than 30 times in every (Un) imaginable way, suicide isn’t the answer to the troubles in your life. If I could say something to my younger self, I’d simply tell her to wait, to hold on, to not let her pain push her to the end of the tether, but to let it push her to the brink of newness. You know why? Because even in times when you don’t feel like it, your life is a gift. Just in the seconds when your eyes blink, everything can be new. I know because I’ve been there. I mean, I was sitting in an office talking to someone, knowing that I’d go home and try to take my life again and just within minutes, I experienced a reorientation, a rejuvenation.
What if I tell you that your story is the reason that someone won’t give up? The reason that someone will live to fight another day? Dead people cannot tell their stories, I’m telling mine because I’m alive. You must live. You must win.
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What if Oprah Winfrey had killed herself when the going got tough? Bill Gates, Ben Carson, Steve Jobs, Joyce Meyer, Mark Zuckerberg; these are people who the world celebrates today, but if you read their biographies, you’ll see that they had their share of trouble that should have weighed them down and kept them under. But they kept their heads up, they persevered, they fought and they won.
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I’m a firm believer in Jesus Christ and I’m very unapologetic about it. I can tell you that He’s a specialist in making all things new. He won’t force Himself on you though, His grace is available for you, but you need to accept it; to open your heart and receive the good life that He’s offering you. If you’re at the end of your tether and your strength has failed you, His strength can carry you. He healed me, there’s plenty more where that came from. Don’t die when a beautiful new life is staring you in the face.
You already know that I absolutely love you.
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