Dear Haley of December 3, 2013,
This is as bad as it gets.
Today, you are hurting. You are in the darkest darkness you have known. You are wondering why you cannot give up.
You don’t know right now, sobbing your eyes out on your bedroom floor, but this is as bad as it gets. Tomorrow will be a little bit better, and the day after that will be a little bit better. It’ll get rough again, and then it will get smoother. It’ll get worse again, and then it will get better. It’ll get darker again, and then it will get lighter. But in this season, your lowest point, this is as painful as it gets. I cannot promise you that will be the case for the rest of your life, even though I have yet to reach a point lower than where you’re at today. But I can tell you that this is the day you’ll later claim as the worst of them all. Sweet, sweet girl, this is as bad as it gets.
There is a voice you’re hearing right now, telling you that you will not give up. It will grow louder. It will win this fight. The self-loathing, the darkness, the lies of your greatest Enemy – they do not win. The One who wins this fight for you is Jesus. He has hope, joy, life, light, love, grace that will find you. The darkness does not win, but you don’t, either. God does. You will dance in a victory you did not win yourself.
Keep going. Hold on. This is as bad as it gets. This is your right now, not your forever. It sucks, and I’m sorry. But hope, because your story does not end here. The Author has not forgotten you. This is as bad as it gets. Do not give up.
Spoiler alert: stop saying “Go Dawgs” all the time, because you go to Auburn. War Eagle, baby.
Unfortunately, your adjustment to college isn’t the easiest thing in the world. (I don’t think anyone’s adjustment to college is easy; tuck that away for those days early in the semester when you think everybody’s got it pulled together but you.) On November 30, 2016, you will have another bad day. You will go to the student counseling center, but your appointment will not go as hoped. You will try not to cry in the counselor’s office and then cry in the bathroom back at your dorm instead.
But then, you will get up.
You will walk out of the bathroom.
You will journal, and this is what you will end up writing:
“God loves me so much that He sent Jesus to make me worthy of love. He did not create me for anxiety, fear, and pride, but confidence, kindness, love. Nothing is impossible with Him, so He is making me who He made me to be. We will get there. My God and I, we will get there together.”
You will believe it is true. You will eat some peanut butter M&M’s, watch a movie, and ignore the 10 page paper due in two days that you haven’t even started. You will tell a few friends about the kind of day you had. The next morning, you will wake up and remember the truth you heard. Honestly, it’s the same truth you’re hearing right now as you cry out, but clearer. You will be growing into who God made you to be, getting to know Him more, pursuing the life He made you to live, letting yourself be loved. You will mess up, but also get up. You will be in grace.
And that, my dear, is called getting there.
I celebrate this day you are suffering through right now. You don’t see that coming, but three years later, December 3 is a chance to celebrate and share God’s faithfulness. It is an opportunity for me to say to the world: “We are getting there. My God and I, we are getting there together.”
That’s true of you right now, too, you know. Sobbing on your bedroom floor is a moment that will be so redeemed. It is a piece that God in His glory will use to get you there. You don’t see it or believe it right now, and that’s okay. You’re human, and you’re broken. God knows better right now than to send you this letter I am writing. He keeps it simple: Do not give up. You know, deep within you, that you will get there. You don’t think you know, but you do. It’s why you don’t give up now: You hope that God will give you the grace to get there.
Three years later, He definitely is, babe. He is. There is so much joy in getting there with Him, because it’s not even about you in the first place. The story and the glory are His.
I’ve gotta go live in victory now. You are more than you know, and He is better than you know. You will get there. Your God and you, you will get there together.
Haley of December 3, 2016
(To read more of my story of December 3, read my post from last year here. Happy December 3, everyone.)