Open Topic

Strong.

There might be days when you feel weak, when you feel like you’re on the edge of a meltdown, when you feel like you cannot take this any longer, when you feel like everyone has the wrong idea about you.

Your friends, family, and strangers on the internet might think you’re strong, but that’s only because they haven’t seen the real you. They haven’t seen your vulnerable side. They haven’t seen you breaking down crying in the middle of the bathroom. They haven’t seen you crawl back to exes who have hurt you, or get disgusted by your own reflection. They haven’t seen you at your lowest, at your darkest, at the end of your rope.

Because they weren’t there for all of your most miserable moments, you might think they’re wrong about how strong you are — but they’re not. You are strong. Much stronger than you think. Much stronger than you will ever know.

You’re strong because you’ve allowed yourself to feel, to worry, to be vulnerable, to spill your heart out, to cry your eyes out, to scream into pillows and wipe away smeared mascara. You might think those things show weakness, but that’s not the case. It takes strength to be honest about your emotions, instead of locking them deep down inside. It takes strength to express yourself. It takes strength to care.

You’re strong because you have been through a lot of shit, but you’re still standing, still breathing, still fighting, still here. Maybe you feel broken. Maybe you feel bruised. But you’re alive.

You’re strong because even on your darkest days you’ve found reasons to keep going, to keep hoping, to keep holding on, to keep believing tomorrow is going to have something better in store for you than yesterday.

You’re strong because this world can be a brutal place. People aren’t always kind. Situations are not always fair. Life is not always easy. You’ve been dealt a few bad hands throughout the last few years, but you’ve kept going anyway, you’ve kept chugging forward, you’ve kept going, kept going, kept going. And that, on its own, shows you exactly how strong you are.

You’re strong because you have baggage, you have flaws, you have a million reasons to get upset, to back down, to give up, but you’ve never quit. You’ve never lost complete faith in yourself. You might be more cynical than you used to be when you were younger, you might have unshakable insecurities, but there’s still a part of you that believes in your own potential. That’s why you’re here right now. Because, deep down, you know your worth. You know you deserve happiness. You know you deserve success. And you know you’re going to get it soon.

You’re strong because you’ve made it this far. Despite all of the bad things you’ve been through, despite the heartaches and losses, despite the traumas and horrors, you’ve made it until today. And you’re going to be able to make it until tomorrow, too.

Open Topic

I Am Sorry God.

Dear God,

I’m sorry.

I’m sorry for the times I ignored you. It’s been awhile, hasn’t it? I’m sorry for only talking to you when I need help. I am sorry I am not more grateful for your gifts. It seems all I can see is what I am lacking. I am sorry for not giving you thanks every day. Sure, some days are hard. Some days I feel like there is no light. But I have a roof over my head, a family that loves me, and food on my table. I’m so blessed, and I am sorry for not realizing that enough.

I’m sorry for the times I took matters into my own hands. I can be impatient at times. People always say that you have a plan, and I believe this. But sometimes I get impatient waiting for you to make the moves. I am sorry for having an expectation of you. I am starting to learn that you may not meet my expectations because you already plan to exceed them. I am sorry I get frustrated with you. It can be difficult for me to see you moving in my life. I am sorry for not trusting your timing more. I am sorry for chasing things that aren’t meant for me. I believe that you put things in our lives and take things out of our lives for a reason. I will try to trust your plan more.

God, I’m sorry for letting fear take up space in my mind. You tell me to have faith, and God, I am really trying. But sometimes it can get so hard. The world can be a sad place. I am sorry for letting anxiety keep me from serving you. I am sorry for doubting your existence at times. I am sorry for letting my fear of failure keep me from my purpose. People always talk about “their calling” and I feel like I’ve missed mine. Is it possible for someone to miss their calling? Have I missed mine? I am sorry if I have.

I am sorry for not being more kind. To myself and to others. I am sorry for judging people and holding grudges. They say you are merciful and forgiving, but what if I can’t forgive myself? What if I can’t move forward and love myself unconditionally like you do? Teach me. Teach me to see the world through a lens of love and a lens of compassion. Teach me to default to kindness rather than judgement. Plant a seed of empathy in my heart and let it grow to envelope everyone around me.

God, I am sorry for following people before you. I am sorry for comparing my path to that path of others. Social media can make it so hard to follow you first. Sure, the apostles were loyal to Jesus, but they didn’t have to follow him while Instagram was pummeling them with the highlight reels of other people’s lives. I am sorry I compare myself to others so much. I am sorry I let others, rather than you, determine my worth. You have given me an abundance of grace, and instead of letting it wash all over my life in cleansing, I have cast it aside and used other people as my measuring stick. I am sorry I have used your people for anything other than support and love.

Most of all God, I am sorry I ever doubted that I was loved. I am sorry that I doubted my purpose here. I am sorry that I failed to see that you have made me in your image. I promise I will do better. I will love your creation, which includes me. I will default to faith, rather than fear. I will pray more. I will open myself up to your will.

I will likely stumble many times as I try to do better. And I am sorry in advance for the amount of times you will have to help me up again. But I will try.

Love,

A human who is trying.