Saturday, September 23, 2017

thank you


Last week blew me out of the water.

Julia, Elizabeth, Vanessa and Grace Anne wrote some amazing words.

KaraJoannyMikayla, and Jessica joined in on Suicide Prevention Week, publishing thoughts on their blogs.

And it was wonderful.

It was wonderful seeing something so taboo and tricky, yet so relevant and personal, sprinkled across the blogisphere.


So I just want to take a moment to say thank you-
thank you for standing up.
thank you for getting involved.
thank you for being supportive.
thank you for the posts, comments, and prayers.

Thank you. 

Friday, September 15, 2017

morning is coming [STAY. ft. me]


stay.

but why?
why stick around when every second crawls over you with shame and exhaust?
why continue to walk through each day like this? 
why live when dying would be so much easier? 

stay. 
because oh friend, you are in the night. 
you are fighting and I know it's beyond hard. 
I know it feels like you are too far gone. 
I know you think we would be better off without you. 

stay.
because let me tell you a secret: 
this is not the end of your story. 

the people you've convinced yourself are tired of dealing with you,
want more years to love you

the shame that is so heavy to carry, 
doesn't have to be carried alone

the exhaustion of life will heal with change and rest,
and doesn't warrant a very permanent sleep.

the terrifying idea that you are too far gone,
is nothing but a lie.   

the thought that life will never get better,
couldn't be more untrue. 

you, dear friend, are in the night. 
and the night is hard, long, scary, and exhausting. 
the night brings emotion that you are scared to face.
but please, don't hide it forever. 
because holding those emotions in, all alone, is what keeps us in the night. 

and I know it's impossible to see, 
but morning is coming. 
it's way closer than you think.
it's not always going to be fun, but it will get better

you will laugh again. 
you will feel the sun.
you will be free from what's holding you down. 
you will be stronger than the night,
and live to see morning. 

so please, stay. 
morning is coming.

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if you are struggling, please reach out to talk with someone. 1-800-273-8255 is a awesome, safe, confidential resource. please please please reach out. 

Thursday, September 14, 2017

because your light matters [STAY. ft. elizabeth]


when sweet sweet elissa asked me to write a post on the word "stay" in honor of World Suicide Prevention Week and her dear friend Maddy who passed away on Oct. 4th, it got me thinking of a lot of moments in my life where "stay" was difficult. I remember having to move and loving where we lived, i wanted to stay. i remember my dad holding on to the last of his days, being told i had to let him go, when all i wanted was for him to stay with me. I remember the anxiety and sadness i felt, and not wanting to stay anymore. but most of all, i remember the whisper i heard, telling me to "stay," because i was never alone.


so what does stay mean to you? for me, i see it different ways


i. staying present. it's hard these days to sometimes just keep yourself planted in the now, instead of alway being worried about the future. but staying present, taking note of where you are and respecting that, that's what staying should look like.

ii. staying faithful. this is a hard one sometimes, because it's easy to want to do your own thing and to think you can figure it all out on your own, but stay faithful to the Lord. seek his presence, give him your time, and live your life in step with Christ. stay faithful, fighting the good fight.

iii. staying hopeful. it hurts when people tell you to just be positive, because i get it, that's not always possible, but don't lose hope. one of the many many wonderful things that our Lord gives us, is never-ending, unrelenting, overflowing grace and hope. because of him, we can have hope for the future and say "it is well with my soul."

so honey, i know life is hard, i know there are struggles that no one knows about, that you're ashamed of, that you keep hidden in the darkest corner of your closet. i know, because i've been there, i've hid in that closet, fists held tight, eyes blurred, and silent sobs so no one would hear. it's so lonely, and scary, and small, but you know what dear friends? that small closet is never too small for God. stay, and find refuge in him. stay, because your light matters.


stay-what does that word make you think?

love you all my sweet friends,

Elizabeth



so Elizabeth is kinda one of my favorite people in the world- beyond the blogosphere, I actually get to see her in real life, which is just as awesome as you would imagine. Elizabeth blogs over at elizabeth anne, and she also writes poetry at chasing moonlight. Thanks for reading, and don't forget to say "hey!' in the comments below!

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

kinder by caring [STAY. ft. vanessa]


After I had met some people who struggled with mental illnesses I found myself wanting to be there for more people. I never understood how much of an impact mental illnesses have on someone's lives until I met people who struggle with anxiety, depression, eating disorders and other mental illnesses. These people opened my eyes to what having a mental illness is like and I am so blessed to have had that opportunity.

Mental illnesses make it impossible for people to stay present in their lives. They make everyday tasks into huge challenges so when someone has to deal with a lot of little tasks everyday one can become very overwhelmed. Staying present in their lives becomes a very hard thing for people to do when they are preoccupied with little tasks that become so much bigger.

Imagine living your life with worries and fears. Fixating over what people are thinking and being taken down by the thoughts in your head. That's a hard way to live. Living in the moment completely vanishes because you are living in the past or the present. It's a hard life to live.

It's important to show compassion to every human being because you never know what they are going through. It's hard for someone to openly admit they are struggling so by being there for someone you can provide them with a little bit of support to make their day easier. Different people will need different kinds of support so just because one thing doesn't work does not mean you should give up and move on. It's about treating everyone like friends so they feel comfortable and welcomed in this world.

Care for others by:
-Telling people if they need anything you will try your best
-Being friendly
-Offering a listening ear
-Sending little notes of encouragement
-Small acts of kindness
-Giving out hugs
-Respecting boundaries
-Telling people how much they mean to you

Suicide is one of the big topics when it comes to mental health but there is still a huge part of society that has a hard time talking about it. All mental illnesses can lead to suicide and that is a crazy thing. Simply said, show your support to every human being and you'll be able to help prevent people from taking their lives. It's all about being kind to one another.

Don't forget about yourself. Sometimes we put so much focus on other people and things we forget to check in with how we are doing mentally. It's important to take care of your mental health too! Don't neglect yourself. Every once in a while do a check in to see how you are doing.

Self-care check-in questions:
-How have I been feeling the past few days on a scale from 1-10?
-Have there been things on my mind that are drowning my thoughts?
-How have I been sleeping recently?
-Am I taking care of my personal needs?
-Do I spend time with positive people?

We all matter so much in this world so stay with us and make the world a kinder place. Care for one another and yourself so that we can strive as a community of human beings.

thanks for coming back for day 3 of Suicide Prevention Week! my dear friend Vanessa (who blogs at Simply Me) so willingly jumped on board to this project, and I'm so thankful for her wise words!  Go check out her blog and show her some love in the comments! 

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

there is hope [STAY. ft. grace anne]

hi.


i don't know you, not really


and you don't know me


not really


but i do know something about you


you were born to run


it's woven into your veins, as innate as breathing


"the fight or flight instinct", science teachers tell us


our reaction to stress or fear


and sometimes, you're just too tired to fight


so you take flight


you run and run and just want to keep running, trying to escape the echoes in your head


and you're gasping, not knowing where to go, just knowing that you've got to run, got to get away


stay


stay, darling, stay


when it all feels like too much


and you can't see two feet in front of you


and everything is closing in


stay


i know i know i know it's hard


and you don't want to fight anymore


because what's the point? it never gets better, so what's the point? what else is there to do?


stay


because let me tell you a secret


you're not going to be stuck here forever. you're not trapped in the dark forever. light breaks through, night turns to day, and that string pulled tight around your lungs breaks and you can finally breathe. 


but how can you feel the warmth of the light on your skin if you don't stay? 


stay


stay, because there is hope. stay, because there is joy. stay, because there is healing. 


stay


stay, because the number of people who love you far surpasses anything you would probably even imagine. stay, because there are sunsets that you still haven't seen and music you still haven't listened to and adventures you still haven't had. stay, because you have so many more things to do. so many people to meet. stay for those dreams still curled up inside you. stories to write, places to go, things to create. stay, because even when everything feels like it's falling apart, you have a heavenly Father who loves you more than you are physically capable of comprehending and wants nothing more than to gather you in His arms, who has so many plans for you. Who has a future for you. Who created all of the stars and constellations and oceans and rivers and skies, and still knows the number of hairs on your head, because you are His, and He calls you His child. 


stay


stay, darling, stay.

hey friends! I am so honored that my dear friend Grace Anne said yes to participate in Suicide Prevention Week! Grace Anne blogs over at Totally Graced and everything she writes is AMAZING!!! So go check her out, and don't forget to give her lots of love in the comments below!

Monday, September 11, 2017

it isn't the only answer [STAY. ft. julia]


who says leaving is the only answer
who says you're not good enough
and what makes them the authority on that
why has giving up become the chosen option
when darling, there are so many more
it's not like pain isn't real
bc it is
what if pain is a blessing
what if staying could mean the difference between ending your story without really living it
the difference between life and death
doing hard things is hard - that's how its supposed to be
some days you will feel beat
sometimes you'll just cry
it's ok
don't say goodbye to second chances
don't cross off all the available options to the most empty of them all
stay. please. k.


[ okay so this is probably one of the toughest things I've written. it's tough bc its a subject a lot of people have chosen to brush past for many reasons. maybe you don't deal with these thoughts or don't want to think about them...well, whatever it is, they are still real. still there. Elissa emailed me + a bunch of other fantastic bloggers awhile ago. this is part of a post series about staying. about realizing that God has given you this life as a gift.  and that, you're loved. completely and utterly loved  LOVE, J]

in case you didn't already notice, Julia is completely and totally amazing! she seriously blows me away, and I'm so humbled to call Julia my friend! please check out her blogs the barefoot gal & twilight to dawn. And don't forget to show her lots of love in the comments! 

Sunday, September 10, 2017

STAY


Hey friends.

11 months ago my dear, sweet, kind, and funny friend died of suicide.
it has been long and hard.

It's left us asking questions we will never know answers too.
It's left us with fear.
It's left us dreading October 4th with more might than I ever thought possible.
It's made things seem shallow and silly.

Today, September 10, is National Suicide Prevention day.
I don't really know what that means for you,
and frankly,
I don't fully understand what it means for me either.

However, I do know that my heart aches to fight the horrible effects of mental illness.
I know that I care deeply for those impacted by feelings of doubt and worthlessness.
I get it.
I've been there.

About a month ago, I reached out to some people to see if they would join me in fighting darkness.
This week is World Suicide Prevention week, I feel called to scream from the rooftops:
stay.  

stay to hope.
stay to care.
stay to experience joy.
and stay because your story isn't over yet.

Each day for the next week, amazing young women have written posts that I can't wait to share with you. I invite you to join us in saying,
"stay."