“That’s not how this works. You don’t get to dictate other peoples’ lives. If we want to be here, we are going to be here…..I’m here. Other people are here for you. If you want to get better, I’m willing to go through the storm with you of breaking the cycle so you can live healthy and abundantly.”
That’s the text message I got one year ago today. I had just tried to push everyone I cared about out of my life. I wanted everyone to give up on me because I had given up on myself and I needed others to affirm what I felt about myself.
They loved me and believed in me when I just didn’t love or believe in myself. The words of this text message were true that day and have been more true every single day since. The love and grace I received from my “team” that day and in the days, weeks and months afterward is unlike anything cultivated by the world’s strength. I haven’t made it easy. I have hurt them. Fought them. Scared them. Challenged them. Angered them. Lied to them.
But they made a promise…to always be there. In the good times and the bad. And they have honored their promise. Even when it would have been so much easier to just walk away, ask me to leave and never look back.
I grew up in a world where people left. That was just my normal. I learned to not get too emotionally invested. I don’t know that I ever once really understood what true love was. I lived by the wisdom of “people come into our lives for seasons…” People, certainly not friends or ministry leaders or even counselors, simply didn’t stick around when the going got tough.
I learned to believe the lie that I wasn’t worth fighting for – and if people wouldn’t fight for me, why would God? And vice-versa.
But because two people loved me enough, I got a chance to experience more of what I believe God’s love is like. And as I leaned into the promise my friends made me that night, I slowly found more and more people in my life I could trust. People who reflected God’s grace. People who loved me for no other reason than for who I was.
It has been a year. I have a long way to go but I’m not the same person I used to be. I’m happier. Healthier. Smarter. Stronger. More self-aware. More sure of who I am as a child of God. Bolder. Braver. Better in every way.
My plea today is – be there for someone who needs it. Who in your life needs to hear you say, “I’m going to be there. We are going to get you real help but I’m going to be there. Every step of the way. I’m not going anywhere,” and then experience you honoring that promise?
There were professional counselors, thousands of dollars, lots of homework and some really brutal interventions/conversations in the last year that got me to where I am today, but none of them would have ever happened without just pure and simple love. Even when I screw up now, nobody condemns me. Nobody gives up on me. They keep looking me in the eye and believing in who I can be, not who I have been. They have never once been about shaming me, and will fight anyone who does.
My relationship with Jesus is stronger today because of a lot of reasons, but I think it’s largely because every morning, I wake up knowing I’ve experienced true Christ-like love in this life.
Be someone’s dose of Jesus today.