(This is written in response to the new show 13 Reasons Why on Netflix.)
I don't know where you are right now. And I certainly don’t know what’s going on in your life. Maybe everything is going well right now. But maybe it’s not. Maybe your spouse just told you they are leaving. Or your girlfriend broke up with you. Maybe your parents are ill. Maybe you just feel alone. Maybe you feel afraid. Maybe you are being bullied. Or otherwise feel hopeless.
1. You matter.
2. You are unique.
3. You are irreplaceable.
4. Your story is still being written.
5. You were created for a purpose.
6. Things in this life are temporary.
7. You are not alone.
8. You are brave.
9. You can’t see the forest through the trees.
10. You are strong.
11. You can change the future.
12. You are known.
13. You are loved.
1. You matter. You are more than just some number or name. You are a person. You are someone’s child. Someone’s friend. Someone’s student. Someone. You are a person. A human being. A soul.
2. You are unique. You may think that you want to be just like everyone else or just want to ‘fit in’ but you are the only one like you. You aren’t a copy. You’re an original. An individual.
3. You are irreplaceable. Since you are one of a kind, there’s not another who could replace you. Ever.
4. Your story is still being written. Tomorrow is a new day and although it may not change much, it will be at least a little different. A little better. Give it one more day. Then give it one more day after that.
5. You were created for a purpose. I can’t exactly tell you what that purpose is, because I am still trying to find out my own. But as you learn and grow, you’ll find out just who you were created to be. Even born leaders had to grow up and go through hard times.
6. Things in this life are temporary. Friends come and go. You won’t be in school forever. Family may even come and go. But so will bad things and good things in your life. Again, give it one more day. Then give it one more day after that. We can really only live one day at a time anyway.
7. You are not alone. It can feel like it when you are in the middle of hard circumstances, but you’re not. Others have likely been in a similar place before and made it through. Sometimes you have to be the one to speak up though. Reach out and hang out with someone, or go to a Church, Moms group, College group, Singles group, Bible Study, or other meetings where you can connect with people similar to you.
8. You are brave. Only you can make the choice to change your life. If you are in an unhealthy relationship, seek counsel. If you are grieving the loss of a loved one, talk about it with someone. If you are depressed, reach out and get help -- you don't have to go at this alone. Seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness.
9. You can’t see the forest through the trees. No matter if you are 15 or 50, it’s easy to get caught up in the details of life and not see the whole picture. Instead of focusing on what is going wrong right now, the bills you can’t afford to pay, or the kids making fun of you. You can make up classes. Bankruptcy happens and isn’t the end. (Millionaire Dave Ramsey once had to file!) Relationships come and go. Even when we take a step back we can’t see the whole picture because we are just one person in a much grander scheme. Try to gain some perspective and reach out to a parent, teacher or friend for help.
10. You are strong. Struggles and Challenges help shape you. If everything always went well, you wouldn’t be the born fighter you are. If you never were challenged you wouldn’t know how to overcome. Each obstacle helps grow and shape you into the person you are becoming. We also can’t see every battle someone is fighting.
11. You can change the future! Be a listening ear to those in need. Help others overcome. Help others realize their full potential. Help others see they are not alone. You can’t change the past, but you can change the future and make new history. If you are here for it.
12. You are known. You are seen. You may not feel like it right now, but it is true. You are known and seen by the Creator. Just like you were made with a purpose, you are known. He’s knows your past, present and future.
13. Last, but certainly not least, You are loved. Hopefully evidently by the people around you, but undeniably by God. In fact, He loved you so much, even though we had all sinned and separated ourselves from Him, that He sent His only Son to earth to be born of a virgin and later die on a cross for the sins of the whole world. Just so, as it was written He was raised in three days and the veil was torn. We have a direct line, a direct way to God now, through Jesus.
Reach out if you or someone you know is thinking of hurting themselves. Talk to a friend, a mentor, a parent or find a counselor at your school, college or your Church. If you or someone you know is actively suicidal, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255.