Up From the Ashes

TW: Depression, dark thoughts, suicide, mental health, Bipolar, OCD

Life is full of disappointments.

I have spent so much of my life feeling disappointed.

Disappointed by others, myself, experiences, love, and so much more.

 

Recently my grandfather shared so much wisdom with me.

We talked about how life has 4 quarters, and I am in the first: ages 0-25.

He explained how so many great and amazing things happened to him within his first quarter.

I am not going to lie…my eyes immediately welled up with tears.

I always feel so terrified when people tell me that the years I am in right now will be the best of my life.

Within the conversation with my grandfather, I had a flashback to a night during my senior year of high school.

I was having to make a timeline of all the bad things I had experienced within the last 6 years of my life, and then I was supposed to rip it into shreds and leave it in my “past”.

My timeline reached from wall to wall.

It was full of sorrowful and saddening experiences I had felt and walked through towards the end of middle school and all my years of high school.

 

I look back at my first quarter thus far, and all I can see is that timeline.

Four or five brutal times through out high school of having dark, suicidal thoughts.

Experiencing tragic heartache that I did not even think was possible to feel.

Depression that was so consuming that it left me isolated, with only me and my pessimistic thoughts.

And fear, lots of fear.

 

But as my grandfather talked to me about the four quarters of life, he told me how someday when all of us reflect, we will truly see just how amazing life was, and how the good always outweighed the bad.

I stand today, alive, seeing that this must hold to be true, or else I would not still be here.

I would go through all the heartache that I have endured all over again if it meant that it would lead me to whom I love today, because he is so worth it.

I would go through the friendships that have come and gone in my life that I miss so dearly if it would lead me to the couple of great friends I have now, because they are worth it.

I would take on the uncomfortable and excluded feelings I had all through high school because I was not like others if it meant that I would have the opportunities to pour into some one, somewhere, because he or she was worth it.

My grandfather helped continue to open my eyes to see that it is all worth it.

So often I look at my past and see wasted space and wasted time.

I see a messed up teenage girl with no idea what to do with herself.

For years I had dreams, images, and replayed moments in my head reminding me of the time I had someone I loved tell me he would never feel the way I felt for him.

I remember times that I have been lied to and left in the dust.

I remember continually giving more than I ever got back, but it was all worth it.

I hope I drove the people insane who I loved so deeply because at least they saw what it meant to be truly loved.

I hope I made people so uncomfortable by how much I cared for them because they deserved to be that cared for.

Even in moments when I feel like I have been done so wrong, it was worth it, because it was all supposed to happen.

It has left me with who I am, who I have, and who I want to become.

None of that matters now. What matters is what is ahead.

Do I look at my past and feel proud? Absolutely not. I was broken and defeated.

But now I look at it all, and I see how much it has shaped me.

I was forced to reinvent myself from my ashes.

I felt like I was thrown overboard.

Like I was left, abandoned, and forgotten by the person that I would have literally died for, but it is fascinating because it lead me to the person who did die for me.

I do not even care if that is the most cliché or mushy thing I have ever written, it is true.

I stand today alive and better than ever! Still not great, but I am getting there.

My grandfather taught me something that I will now never forget, life is about perspective.

It is about reflecting and not seeing all the times you failed or were forgotten, but about how many times you rose from the ashes and continued to fight.

I have always been told that my “first quarter” would be my best quarter, but that clearly has not been the case.

But it is not too late to turn the tables.

It is not about me, it was not about me, and it will not be about me.

It is about what is supposed to be, and if that was what needed to happen, than I am thankful.

I know what I want now.

I always felt like throughout high school the tragic moments I had felt within my heart were just going to cause me to grow more and more bitter as I grew older, but I think the opposite is coming about.

I think times are looking up, at least for now.

Since the eighth grade I have been taught lessons that could not have been shown to me any other way other than through experience.

The lesson of love, losing it…and it never returning.

The lesson of trial and error.

The lesson of fighting for my heart.

The lesson of fighting for my joy.

The lesson of fighting for my life.

The lesson of fighting my mind.

The lesson of fighting off demons.

And the last and most important lesson, the lesson of Christ’s faithfulness.

The number one person that I felt like left me was here all along, or else I would not be here.

I spent endless nights lying in bed bawling thinking, “where is the God who said He so desperately loves me? If you love me, than why am I am so empty and disgusting.”

I felt like I was better off dead, and I figured He thought the same of me since I was not progressing what so ever.

But now I see the devil’s nasty tricks.

He fooled me into thinking a human’s rejection meant I was unloved, forgotten, and dismissed by all people.

But God proved me wrong, He always does.

The very times I think He is the farthest away are the times when He is standing not even beside me, but in front of me, fighting off the demons, and fighting for my life.

 

And that is where my fresh, new, and beautiful perspective starts.

Life still scares me.

Love still makes me sick to my stomach for fear of losing it, yet again.

I am still terrified to trust.

I still have my questions, anger, and doubt.

But my perspective is literally being changed each day because of faithfulness.

God is removing the callous’ from my heart that the devil so desperately tried to cover me in.

 

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One thought on “Up From the Ashes

  1. Madi – my “first quarter” was pretty tough. I, too, wanted to give up. The pain was intolerable. I’m in the “third quarter” now. I am so glad I did not give up. God is good – none of our experiences or pain or education ever goes to waste in God’s economy. It’s like very rich soil for the future. As you look back and see how far you have come (which you have already), you will continue to grow in grace and confidence. Blessings!

    Like

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