This is a thank you and an confession to my friends and family, who have been there for me through so much.
So many times before I came to Christ I held bitterness and resentment towards my family, for holding me back, telling me no, for cancelling plans last minute, I blamed them all for it. Every night for three years I cried myself to sleep, wondering why everything hurt so much, why I didn't have any friends, and why God was punishing us. I never got an answer to my cries, at least not right away.
A year and a half before I joined Figment.com I went into a serious state of depression, anytime I found a spark of happiness it faded before I could hold onto it, no matter what my family did I couldn't put on a real smile. After so long the thoughts of suicide drifted into my head, I thought anything could be better then this horrible pain in my heart, better then crying night after night, better then feeling a burden and a waste to my family. I even had a dream that I put a knife in my chest, went to bed, bleed to death, and my family didn't notice till it was far too late to save me. It scared me to the core, not because the thought of death scared me, but because I knew I could do it. I really wanted to kill myself and I felt I had nothing to hold me back from it, but all that time I could have done it, so close to doing it, something told me NO.
After that ordeal I thought of cutting myself. I knew my family would see, so I didn't, I wouldn't have able to handle their questions. Everyday my anger and bitterness grew, turning it towards my family brought some relief from it, but it never lasted long. Then I just stayed in my room, keeping myself as far away as I could from my family as much as humanly possible. Then medical problems started to arise, though I gave little care to them, the thought of suicide coming up again. If I let my medical problems kill me then I wouldn't have to answer any questions, I wouldn't have to do anything except not take my medicine and go to sleep, my body would take care of the rest. Again I felt something screaming in the back of my head saying NO.
One day my dad found figment.com, a place for aspiring authors to show off their work, he knew how much my sisters and I loved to write. It was my chance to make friends, I signed up right away. It took me about a week to make a friend, I didn't have too much experience in that department, but I gave it a go with a girl who commented on one of my stories. Her name was Faith. My first friend in years, and her name just happened to be Faith.
With that friendship growing more each day other friendships were brought into my life. A girl with the username Ashlyn James befriended me in a Roleplaying group, there I also met a girl named Julia, all three of us stuck together harder then super glue. To have so many wonderful friends surrounding me was something I had never imagined, but there was still a pain in my heart.
I met a boy through my sister, David. My sister and I became good friends with him, he was funny, a good listener, loved to talk even if it wasn't about anything particular. He was there for us through the tough times when it seemed our family would tear apart at the seams. I fell in love with him. I told no one, not even David, of what I felt. Not much later something happened to David, he stopped talking to me, I would try and it seemed he could get rid of me fast enough, it cut my heart to ribbons. I tried talking to my sister about it, but she kept telling me our friendship wasn't that strong anyways and I should just forget about it, those words hurt me even more, more then she knew. I can't blame her now, I didn't tell her how deep my feelings went, but back then I did and felt there was no point in telling anyone, no one would care.
Months went by after that, I let go of my feelings for him and just stopped talking to him all together, but I still felt the heat of anger and betrayal whenever my sister brought him up. I went deeper into my seclusion. After a while I started getting a lot of prayer request from my friend Rebekah, she was having a hard time with medical problems that the doctors still haven't discovered the problem to yet, but I didn't pray for her. I honestly didn't think I needed to, God didn't listen to my prayers, and I felt horrible for not doing the one little thing she asked of me. Then I bought some Christian fiction books at the local booksale that year, just thinking they would be good clean romance novels. The more I read the more I saw what real Christians were meant to be like. In my head I told myself I was a christian, but in my heart I knew better, I couldn't even pick up the bible. I began question myself again and again; was I a real Christian? I believed there was a God, but that was about the sum of what I believed. After a few agonizing days I texted Ashlyn, telling her my faith had come into question. We talked for hours and hours, me going on with endless questions and telling her EVERYTHING, she listened and help me to the best of her abilities, telling me God was there and to just ask for his help. I didn't do it right away.
On one Sunday afternoon I was reading the book City girl by Lori Wick. The way the main character felt about Christianity was the same way I felt. Throughout the book the world around me changed, the main character went into a church, so did I, she listened to the message the Pastor was preaching to the people, as was I, she asked the Lord to forgive her and that she accepted Him as her savior, I found myself doing the exact same thing as she. I had never felt so relieved in all my life, all those burdens, the pain, everything was gone. Exchanged for a wonderful peace I feel now every time I pray to Him.
I told Ashlyn what had happened and I never thought someone could be so happy for me! I felt loved. I could pray for Rebekah, for myself and my family, I was so happy.
Months went on, I learned about God and the work he did in Biblical times, VERY SLOWLY might I add. I hadn't told any of my family there was a time I had been lost, and I was ashamed to tell them that. A time came when my sister and David got into a big argument, I won't go into detail, but it got really bad, and I was stuck in the crossfires. David talked to me, only to get information about my sister and to be comforted about some of his actions. My sister came to me wanting to talk everything out and hoping to get advice or answers on what she should do. It wore me down, drove me crazy, and brought back a depression I never wanted to come back. Thoughts of suicide came back as well. I told my sister and David to leave me out of it, but I managed to either get dragged into it by them or by angry text message I sent him after my sister showed me couple of his texts (which I then felt bad about and sent an apology an hour after the last texts) I put my foot down again, telling David and my sister not to talk to me about the fighting between them again, I couldn't take it anymore.
The Lord used Ashlyn and her family to get me through the depression that seemed to come with an even greater power then before, giving them the right words to say, and pointing me in the right direction. I can never thank them enough for that.
I tell you all this to say that the Lord is so wonderful, please don't let the chance slip by to get to know Him. This is also for family and friends. I'm so sorry for the pain I've caused you, there are no excuses for what I did and I pray one day the Lord can make them right, for I know I can't do it on my own. Also thank you. I thank my parents for dealing with all my bad moods and hissy fits and for raising me in a home full of love, even through the hard times. I thank my friends who have stuck by me and helped my faith in God grow stronger each day, I couldn't have done it without you! I thank my best friend and sister in Christ Ashlyn and her mom, both have inspired me to be a better person, to give myself up to God, and have been two very strong pillars of Hope in my life.
Thank you to anyone who is reading this. I hope the Lord works miracles in your life, just like he did mine.