To whoever is reading this:

I don’t claim to be a person who knows exactly what you are going through, but from one messy, broken, redeemed person to another, this is a letter I wish someone had sent me when I was in my deepest darkest hours. In reading this, I hope it brings you some sort of comfort, yet I also hope that this letter gives you the courage to move.

I know that no one around you will really know how you are feeling. There are no words that can describe what is going through your mind or that pain in your heart. How could anyone understand, when even you yourself don’t know how you are feeling?

So I’m not going to tell you how you feel, what will make it better or to just keep your head up because at this point I know nothing I can say about how I understand will make it better. Instead, I am going to tell you how I felt and how I feel.

I have seen first-hand how tempting it is to stay in the pain and to give in to the want to feel something, to turn to things like blades, alcohol, pills, anything that gives a feeling, just to feel something.

Trust me when I say I do know how that feels like, maybe not in your mind but in my own. I’ve seen scars all over bodies in psychiatric wards, where death seems to be the driving force, that life has nothing worth living.

And the worse thing is, you believe that this is something you deserve, this is something that will be beneficial to others.

I myself have been at that point where I looked at myself and just wanted things to end, to “make things easier for the people around me and do everyone the favour of not being here”. And perhaps this isn’t even something you made up in your mind, but heard from someone else.

Do you know how much of a lie that is?

I firmly believe that no one truly wants to die, we just want the pain to end more than we want to live.

Many people have asked me why I choose to believe, or choose to think that there is a God out there or to love God after what I’ve been through in my own life – the bullying, the pain and the years of torment since I was just a kid.

I think one of the aptest statements I have ever seen was written by Matt Chandler: “What made me love Christ wasn’t that all of a sudden I started figuring out how to do life. What made me love Christ is that when I was at my worst, when I absolutely could not clean myself up and there was nothing anybody could do with me, right at that moment, Christ said, ‘I’ll take that one. That’s the one I want.'” 

The worst thing people can say is “it gets completely better” because unfortunately, my friend, life does not simply “get better”.

God takes what the enemy meant for evil and truly turns it for good. There is nothing you could have done that would make Him want you any more or any less than He already does.

The worst thing people can say is “it gets completely better” because unfortunately, my friend, life does not simply “get better”. Jesus Himself tells us that in this world there is suffering but He promises to be by your side (John 16:33).

You see, it is you that can truly make the decision to get better, definitely not by your own strength but by God’s grace. That still takes a decision, one that can only come from you.

No one can truly tell you that life gets better because the truth is, you will still face circumstances, you will still feel pain and in those moments, life would not seem to have “gotten better”.

But the beauty of the love of God and His deep grace for each and every one of us is that He chases us; He loves us beyond all pain, all suffering, all mistakes, all mess. There is no shame fighting depression, anxiety or any other battle as a Christian. Your fight is valid. Your pain is valid, and you are seen and heard just like any other.

There is so much beauty in a life that you have yet to live, for moments that you could have.  And one day, if you choose to start walking that journey, you get better, you smile more, you love yourself more, you live more. Not as an empty shell or one full of pain. You live.

There is such beauty, after a journey of five years of faith, that I can finally say: “I want to live.”

I want that for you too.

With God’s love and mine,

  1. Are you struggling with mental health and harmful behaviours, or know someone who is?
  2. How can we encourage someone who is struggling without trivialising their pain?
  3. How can we hold onto our faith even when life gets difficult?