10 months ago

Hope was something that I never thought possible.

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My story is one that has been in the making for close to ten years now.
Like the seasons, it’s ebbed and flowed. Some seasons being shorter and sweeter than others. But tis life I suppose.

In it’s simplest form, I’ve struggled with depression and self harm for almost ten years now, with two suicide attempts in that time span as well.

I buried my dad when I was 13. I buried my mom when I was 25.
I’m now 26. And an only child. So as you can imagine, I’ve had to bear the brunt of the reality of being without my parents for the rest of my days on this earth.

Self harm became my way of escaping when I was 17. By the time I was 23 and still struggling, I realized that self harm was much more than I ever thought it would be. With some scars faded and others still very much visible, it’s taken a long time to lay this in it’s entirety at the feet of Jesus.

Hope was something that I never thought possible. It was something that I never thought I could have. Recovery seemed like this fairy tale and I figured out at a young age that fairy tales didn’t exist.

But then I met an incredible group of people that made my story part of their own. And with that, recovery became intentional. And messy. And beautiful.

Through every slip and relapse, they have been there. They were living out the mission of the church. They were my hope on the days that I had none. And when I buried my mom, they were my strength. They refused to stop loving me and refused to let go. The fought. Some days harder than others, but they still fought. For me. For my story.

There is something so simple and yet so peaceful about feeling a breeze blow through the trees. It’s refreshing. It’s renewing. It’s healing.

I feel the love of my parents and other loved ones that I’ve lost in those breezes. I feel His love in those breezes.
I see His love in the face of my students.
I see His love intertwined in the precious stories I’ve had the privilege of hearing.

I am more than the scars that are scattered across my body.
I am more than the two suicide attempts.
I am more than every relapse I’ve ever had.
I am more than those moments.
And I am more because of those moments.

My story is far from being finished.
Hope is very much alive.
It’s alive in all of us.
Sometimes it gets hard to hear, but it’s always there.
Always whispering.



One Response

  1. I resonate with your story, Brandi, as my father was run over by his own runaway car before I was 20 in 1969: my mother dying a few years later of grief. I was diagnosed before that with schizophrenia which was later felt to be bipolar disorder. I, although married to a wonderful woman for 51 years last march, felt the loss of my parents as did my wife – our wedding announcement read: “ David Young, the son of the late Doctor and Mrs Fraser Young; and Ruby Wong, the daughter of the late Mr Sam and Mrs Lucy Wong; wish to announce their coming wedding.”
    And I agree, despite the relapses and all the sorrows and struggles concomitant with life, we must never think that the negative will never turn into the positive although the will probably always alternate is everyone’s life, the very impermanence of life is not necessarily negative as the negative is impermanent as well.

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