When I was younger I was such a deep thinker. Today I went through a re-read my journal entries and I realized how confused I was. I saw so much at 10 years old. I had so many burdens. I saw things no one else did and I got angry when they couldn’t see it. Let me walk you through my life. Come walk in my shoes and see through my lens. Because I never thought I could make someone understand and now I can.
At 8 years old I saw demons in the trees.
At 8 years old I met God; and He rescued me from my fears.
At 10 years old I wanted to be seen. I felt ignored and confused.
At 10 years old I wanted to be goth. I knew “punk teens” and I saw the hurt and I wanted to tell them I understood.
At 10 years old I wrote all my anger down in a journal because I was afraid to be ridiculed for my feelings and was petrified to speak up in fear of being made fun of; because that’s all anyone did to me anyway.
At 10 years old I saw someone make fun of a crying girl and didn’t understand why they called themselves Christians and hated God’s children.
At 10 years old I noticed there were parallels to Star Wars and God and made a list of bible verses to match up with certain books.
At 11 years old I wanted to tell the world about God and all I learned because I felt called to tell the world about His unchanging love.
At 11 years old, I had this dream: A gothic boy climbed to the top of a street light over an intersection. My dad and I were standing by at that intersection. Then the boy fell. A car almost hit him. A woman came over and pulled him out of the street and as she passed us my dad said “what a jerk.” and the woman said “punks, they’re all a bunch of idiots.” But as the boy passed I looked at him with caring eyes and I saw his bleeding heart and the longing. He just wanted to be seen. And I saw that as a child, when my dad didn’t as an adult. And I didn’t know why.
At 11 years old I wrote in my journal. I said that my dad told me teenagers dress in all black because it was how they feel. He said it with sarcasm. But he was right. And I didn’t know why if they felt like darkness, no one wanted to show them light. I wondered why no one was doing anything.
At 11 years old my dad laughed at me for defending a book character and laughed even harder when I said it was because he had taught me about God.
At 11 years old I said my favorite word was mercy. “Because you can never fall from grace or mercy.”
At 11 I wrote this: “I wish people would stop making up who they think I am. I wish people would see who I really am.” and “I want to tell them who I am. But no one ever believes the kids.”
At 11 my dad was scaring me with a dead bee. It made my cry. But my cousin hugged me and told me it would be ok. Then he told my dad he was being mean to me. That was the first time someone had stood up for me.
At 12 my sister and I lied about liking high heeled shoes because we were afraid our dad would tease us.
At 13 I was homeless for a year.
At 13 I liked a boy and I thought he liked my best friend and I thought my life was over because of it.
At 13 I hated adults because they never understood and never listened and they only made fun of me.
At 13 I thought everyone hated me.
At 13 I lived in a homeless shelter and met a family I wanted to help but was unable to.
At 13 a woman called me remarkable; which was something I had never considered before. I had just needed someone to tell me I was on the right track.
At 14 I made my first step towards not caring about others opinions. I secretly entered a talent show at my youth group. I did it secretly because I didn’t want people to tell me I couldn’t sing. And I showed them all up.
At 14 I was accused of child abuse.
At 14 I finally got respect from adults and in turn, I respected them more.
At 14 I became insecure.
At 14 I went on my first missions trip. The day I had been waiting for since I was 9. I met a woman who taught me to live no matter what your age and I watched God free another woman from a burden she had carried for over twenty years.
At 15 I felt called to speak and share my story.
At 15 I found out I had low platelets and they thought I had leukemia. But I was soon diagnosed with ITP.
At 15 I met my best friend.
At 15 I got high on God’s love and never came back down.
At 15 I began to realize that I hadn’t been wrong all my life. That maybe I had the right to feel the things I did.
At 15 I began to put together the puzzle pieces from my childhood. Why I had been so troubled, why I had those dreams, why I always loved the color black.
At 15 I went on another missions trip and people showed me the power of the little things.
At 15 God began to dramatically change me.
At 16 my friend told me he wanted to kill himself. So I took a bus to his house to be with him. That was the day I wondered if my life meant something significant. That maybe I could be all I had dreamed of being.
At 16 I said I wanted to change the world.
At 16 I realized I didn’t have to agree with everything that everyone had to say. I didn’t have to like every youth group talk or every word they said. I didn’t have to believe all the stupid things people said about me.
At 16 I got depressed.
At 16 my dad had an affair. After a few horrible months of fighting it and dancing around it, he just left to be with someone else.
At 16 I realized that not everything was my fault. I was finally able to realize that my dad hadn’t always treated me right; that the way he treated me as a kid was unacceptable. He put me down with his words and got away with it. I was finally able to accept that.
At 16 I started a ministry with my best friend; Rise Above It Missions.
At 16 my fear reached its new high. I had a real phobia. And it was trying to take over my life.
At 16 I let go of some things and embraced new things. I went on a missions trip that had a huge impact on my life.
At 16 I met someone who changed my life.
At 16 I began having panic attacks from fear.
At 16 I realized I could be whoever I wanted to be. I could wear ripped jeans and get piercings and listen to Black Veil Brides and I didn’t care what my dad had to say. I was finally free from his opinion of me; and it took him leaving for me to realize I didn’t need his approval.
At 17 I was afraid of church.
At 17 I had nightmares that would paralyze me with fear. Eventually after much prayer and reading my bible, they stopped coming every night and became less frequent.
At 17 I thought I wasn’t good enough. I thought any guy would just leave me, because that’s what my dad did.
At 17 I realized this was war; so I grabbed my spiritual guns and got ready. I realized all too soon that the devil didn’t play nice. He was going in for the kill.
At 17 I shaved my head because God asked me to.
Today I realized that all my life, God was shaping me to be who I am now. Nothing more and nothing less. Today I realized that I felt alone a lot as a child, but God used it. I realized God gave me a vision; one that bothered me to no end when I was younger. I didn’t know there was a plan for it; I didn’t think anyone noticed me. Yesterday I got ticked off at an adult for messing with my sister; and now I know why. No one had ever stood up for me. No one told me it was ok to be different or to love without limits. No one told me to listen to whatever music I wanted to. I just didn’t want to be judged; so I went along with anything anyone ever told me. I assumed that “they knew better” because “they” were adults when in reality, they were wrong. That’s right. They were wrong. It can be hard to admit when someone wronged you; especially if you’re a people pleaser like me. I try to make everyone happy; especially adults. Because God forbid I tick one of them off. I am finally free from all of that. I finally know why God gave me these trials; I know why I felt so hurt and burdened as a child. God gave me a gift. I see things differently. My best friend told me that for the first time a few years ago and it blew my mind. It was such an eye opening thing. I see things differently. I wasn’t wrong for thinking all of what I did. I really wasn’t. And now here, at 17, I’m finally able to acknowledge that all of these things happened and share them with you. I believe I’ve found courage, my friends.
I want to stand up for those who are too afraid to stand up for themselves. I want to take your hand and teach you to walk. No more living in a shell; be free. Be all you were made to be.
“Arise! And be all that you dreamed.”-Flyleaf