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My childhood was storybook perfect. I projected confidence. Curly blond hair framed a smiling face full of adventure. But I didn’t stay that way.
As I got older, I was picked on more and more. By the sixth grade, I was the kid everyone criticized. By high school, people were reminding me daily of how stupid and ugly I was.
I withdrew into myself, stopped talking and stopped smiling. Instead of seeking adventure, I tried to disappear.
There was no one to tell. I was close to my parents, but I was afraid to share my feelings with them.
According to Dr. David Conroy, people often begin to consider suicide “when pain exceeds resources for coping with pain.” For me, the pain blocked out everything else — even the people who loved me.
I had the details planned out. I was ready.
Then I had a dream.
In this dream, I could see myself and — at the same time — I could see my mom. She was pounding on the other side of a locked door, weeping. Then I heard a voice that simply said, “It’s too late.”
When I woke up, suicide no longer felt like an option. But the pain remained.
Soon after, I transferred to a different school. The insults stopped, but I still had to face my insecurities.
I had the opportunity to attend a conference with other high schoolers from my church. It was there that I came to realize that God loves me very, very much. I actually matter to God. He is in the details of my life even when I try to hide.
I began to understand that God is always there for me and He wants to have a personal relationship with me. My pain started to heal, little by little. It grew easier to see the ways my family and friends really do love me.
“ … I have chosen you and have not rejected you. So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:9-10, New International Version).
We are all walking wounded; some scars are just easier to see. It wasn’t an easy thing to admit that I needed help, but I did. I still do.
Even though I still struggle, I smile a lot more these days — perhaps I’m making up for the years I forgot how. My mom tells me that I remind her of this little girl she used to know with curly blond hair, a quick smile and a glint of adventure in her eyes.
I know I’m not alone now. And the stories of others, like Jeff, Taylor and Fernanda, encourage me to keep reaching out.
Do you want to learn about starting a personal relationship with Jesus?
Are you struggling with suicidal thoughts? Call the confidential, 24/7 National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-TALK).
Feeling valuable can influence your emotions, decisions and mental well being, so finding your value in things that last is important. Are the things you find your worth in satisfying you?
Sign up for our email series to learn more about placing your value in things that are truly satisfying.
When we put words to the hard parts of our stories, we can give those around us a new picture of who Jesus is.
Read about others who discovered their hope was misplaced and how they found a hope that lasts.
The time I spent with my father throughout my childhood is mostly an angry blur of yelling and crying.
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