Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Spark Light

Last week a friend of mine lost and buried a beloved daughter to her struggle with depression. There hasn't been a day since that they haven't been on my mind.

As a mother with a kid heading to high school in the fall, I am just now becoming acquainted with the idea that my little ones, they're growing up and away from me. Their struggles are no longer the sort that are played out in front of me, like when they were little and any heartache could be solved with a cuddle or nap. It can be tempting to think that "I'm fine" really means just that. But I know better.

I vividly remember my life as a teen. Despite being a happy kid in a wonderful family, I had my own bouts with anxiety and confusion. Emotions that seemed insurmountable at the time. I still have those moments today. It's natural and normal, but, like a toddler's tantrum, it requires a constructive response. A message that is consistent and true.

How many times have I walked through life assuming people in my life know how I feel about them without verbalizing it at all? How often have I, on the other side, just needed a simple reminder? Someone to notice. Someone to care.

As someone who is wired for affirmation, I've often felt embarrassed by my need for encouragement. As if requiring a reminder made me some monster egomaniac. I no longer believe that. People are made to be love and to receive love. And while there are a variety of ways that that plays out depending on temperament and personality, none is more virtuous than another. It all comes down to connection.

It's not enough to say I didn't know you needed that. We all need it. We all know it. We know that it isn't always enough to know intellectually that we are unconditionally loved. We need to hear it. To be reminded over and over and over again.

It seems overly simplistic. Stupidly so.

Be love. Spark light. Stop looking around for your mission field and remember that the people in your life right now, today? They are your purpose. Your challenge. Your responsibility. Be committed to that.

If you need help, find someone, anyone, tell them, ask for it. This struggle against darkness and pain is best fought with people on your side. We belong to each other.

Hey, you. You're a miracle, God breathed, made for love, unique and gifted, infused with purpose for glory and good. Your life matters. Your heart matters. Your struggles matter. Your quiet and desperate moments, your sparks of joy - they touch the world around you, even when you are so sure that no one sees.

You are too precious to be lost.

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