I like staring at this photo.
Because it reminds me of a story I will never forget.
Unfiltered, unscripted, this photo reminds me of how God turns ashes into beauty. It affirms me that whenever pain comes like a thief in the night, joy will come in the morning. And I’m not saying that my problems, that my history of depression, are worse than the others’ to make my testimony more credible or emotionally life-changing. I just want to step out of my boat and onto the water to which my God has called me to walk on with Him.
First, I want to speak for the ones who are struggling in unspeakable ways because their mind has a terrible world in it. I’ve written lengthy articles about depression, and I admit that I could have written them better but that’s not the point. I want to speak for them, not really anymore about my own journey in depression, because I want people to understand that they should always try to be kind to the people around them.
- Parents, speak to and treat your children with the same respect you would give your employer and/or boss. The kind of person your children will turn into matters in enormous and unimaginable ways. Please, I plead, be wise in parenting. Do not destroy them; build them up. Listen more on what they are not saying verbally. Listen to their passion, to their confusion, to their dilemma, to their struggles. If you could not understand them, it’s okay. For the meantime, it will be difficult. You are one generation different and separated from each other; it is understandable that you feel like a world apart. But that’s the beauty of parenting and raising up a family. Please read books and invest your time with parents who are intentional on their parenting.
- Students and teenagers, despise bullying. You don’t have any right to belittle and make fun of other people. The way you bully others will show how much rotten your attitudes are. I don’t care if you are rich, good-looking, famous, intelligent, or whatever, but if I find anyone of you doing that whenever I’m around, I will make sure I will teach you a lesson. You don’t know how much other young kids and teenagers have suffered/are suffering in their own lives; please, tigilan niyo ‘yang pagiging mababaw at hungkag niyo.
- Stop gossiping. Only people with small minds do that. Do not place unnecessary stress and baggages to the people around you. Stop creating so much bad vibes whenever you are together. Instead, strive to be a squad who seeks to build other people up. The world is already a shitty place to live in, stop those nonsense chit-chats. You are not helping anyone by destroying them.
Second, I want to speak to the ones who are struggling with their anxieties, depression, and mental health. There is so much to say, but so much more to do with and for you, my dear friends. I personally have grown deep respect for you, guys. I know you are just somewhere there in the vicinity of my life. Some of you have been open to your struggles and experiences, while most are still in the hiding. Whether you are any one of them, it doesn’t make you of less value. I want you to know that there is hope. I want you to know that you matter. I want you to know that God hears and responds, whether you have a religion or none. I want you to know that there is nothing on earth, nothing too dark, nothing too filthy, nothing too embarrassing, that could make God not understand you, reach out to you, and accept you. You just have to call on His name, from your heart, because His Word says that God is close to the brokenhearted and He will not despise a contrite spirit (Psalm 34:18, 51:17).
I still have much to share but that’s it for now. I just can’t not write about these thoughts and share it now. Sending my love, no matter how little it may be, to you guys! Please hold on and don’t let go of your life. Things will be fine, soon.
PS: Do read WM. Paul Young’s novel, The Shack, and/or watch the movie. Definitely worth your time and/or penny!