It’s Thanksgiving today. You’re still alive. And even though there’s some stressful situations, you’re happy.
You’ve delivered two speeches practically perfectly. One was perfect. The other…. not so much. But it’s okay. Your teacher is honest. You’re okay.
The hand tremors and hallucinations have stopped. You wrote a song about how powerful God is, and it doesn’t touch on anxiety or depression. You can’t figure out how to word some parts, or how to match the chords to the melody, but you’re okay with that.
You’ve had some hard days. You put Zeke down, and while it hurt, you didn’t become depressed. You practically aced the Spanish test right after, and it’s okay, because it was his time to go. You don’t have to worry about not being crushed by his death. It’s okay.
In fact, Mrs. Houts asked if you were okay, and you opened up a little to her. And that’s okay. It’s good to open up sometimes, Lil Mil.
Speaking of the Houts’, you came to class with a close-to-migraine headache and probably a fever on Tuesday. You felt worse every minute, and a loud booming voice didn’t help. You probably looked depressed, and since we both know they talk about you, and me, he probably knows our penchant for depression.
(Side note: It’s not our penchant. It’s not ours at all — we gave it to Jesus, and we’re free. We are free from shame and fear, and we have eternal life and love and victory in Jesus over death and sin. Woohoo!!)
He noticed you looked sad the other day, and I can tell: He didn’t like seeing you sad. He tried his best to cheer you up. He did. He started class overly sassy, something that made you shrink. But then we got into drills and the actual lesson. It was so funny. Even though you had a headache, you tried your best, and at every opportunity, he did something extra to make you laugh, I think. He would point “like the cool kids” in your direction. He picked on you in class several times… Maybe to make you feel better about yourself (“I got that right! I can do this!”), or to engage you, I don’t know. And then he talked about “movles”, which is apparently how the cool kids pronounce “movies”. It was so bad. But it was so funny. And by the end of class, even though the headache was still there, there was more energy.
In Mrs. Houts’ class, everyone was apparently really, really blah. Nobody was really smiling, and we all apparently looked angry. Even though I had an excuse to not smile, I did my best. And by the end of class, I felt loads better.
Little Amelia… You’re not really little. It’s just two months ago. But I’m filled with love and compassion for you. And I think I might actually be okay with loving myself right now.
A year ago, the very idea that other people tolerated me was nauseating and disappointing. I believed I was everything wrong in the world.
Eight months ago, I was trying to fix myself and failing. I became overwhelmed by all my bad choices.
Six months ago, you were trying so hard to cling to truth. You didn’t realize God’s truth, God’s word — Jesus — was holding on to you, too.
Five months ago, you were genuinely happy for a few weeks. You were so excited, and you were so worried you’d slip into a deeper depression. Because that’s what had happened last time.
Four months ago, you were content. You weren’t super happy. You weren’t glowing all the time. But you were happy. And compared to all you’d gone through emotionally, you were hoping you’d stay the same. You were still scared that being overly energetic, overly happy, would mean you were everything you strive not to be.
You stayed that way for several months. You swung back and forth between borderline depressed and extremely anxious to overly happy and not a care in the world, to just okay. You watched your best friend die. You were with the dog, who’s been your guardian for fifteen years, as he hit the ground one last time in the vet, as they put him down and you rubbed his head one last time. You watched him lose vitality — over months, and in minutes.
You cried. You had your moment, and then you had to be tough. And you were.
You stayed intact emotionally for the rest of the day, when you had a test and speech class and geometry homework. You took care of yourself that day. You realized you might not take care of yourself while mourning Zeke, and so you placed yourself in a place where you could watch other people. You forced yourself to be with other humans, because you knew that if left alone, you might not make good choices. You forced yourself to remember that life is still beautiful. You knew that even though he was dead, you could still celebrate and be thankful for the moments you had with him. You knew you shouldn’t dwell on the negatives, and so you focused on the positives. You reinforced truth and love and took care of God’s precious girl. I think you took care of yourself as best as you could that day, and you did all right.
And you know what? In this past month, in developing your speech and writing your poem, in the whole messed up process of giving your poem and even though you lied to your momma — God’s worked it out for good. Because you won a prize for your speech, meaning it touched someone’s heart. Because you touched Ellen, even though she’s MIA right now — you made her feel loved. Because in developing your speech, you made the decision to open up about your experience, instead of shut down. You got up there, and you gave your speech. You faltered for a bit, but you recovered, and in the end, you survived. You were a little disappointed with your end result, knowing it could’ve been better, but I know it’s okay, and it probably encouraged other people. Because several others gave their speeches on similar topics, and you might have encouraged them to open up about their experience.
And now, today, on Thanksgiving morning, Little Milly, you’re in your room, typing away at a blog you’ve had for eight years. It used to be Bible-centered. Then it became DIY-centered. Then, it disappeared. You didn’t have time for it, and you felt like you were no good at the internet. You dreamed of being a Youtuber, and you showed it with every time you were bored, as you developed your own unique show without having a camera.
Little Milly, this blog then turned into your online journal. An outlet for your emotions when your thoughts flew faster than your hands could write legibly. And you documented some pretty dark stuff. Stuff you probably won’t let anyone see, for quite some time. But being the girl I know you are, you will share it sometime. To encourage, to be honest, to heal — for whatever reason, God’s got a plan for you. You have a future.
I wanted to write about how I’m your future, and how I’m the girl you always dreamt about. But 1) that sounds too much like the Flash, and he turned out to be a bad guy in the end. And 2) I don’t think I’ll ever be the girl I dreamt about being. I’ll never be perfect until I’m up in Heaven, completely focused on God and nothing else at all.
But Milly? I’m pretty happy being who I am. I don’t want to have had any other experience, and I don’t wish that God had deleted me from existence. I’m really thankful You chose me, Daddy. I don’t know what You chose me for, except that You’ve chosen me to be Yours. So in all things, be King. And in all things, I’m Yours.
I’m in my room at the desk I begged my parents for as a kid. I’m thankful I have this desk… even though I haven’t always kept it clean, like I promised I would at 9 years old. I’m about to start painting again. Yesterday, I painted some peaches. And they look pretty good.
Last year, I used painting as a way to abuse my body and abuse my mind. I used it as a way to hate myself, and I succeeded. Today, I paint because I love it. I paint because I love seeing things come to life. I love that I have been blessed with the ability to go, “I could paint that.” And then paint it.
I love that I can bring life to life from paint on a white page. I love that I can put my imagination on paper and let people see what I see. I think it’s a superpower, and I want to show people what I see. Because I see Jesus. I see life. I see love. I see beauty, and I haven’t always. Some people may not be able to see the vibrancy of life. Some people may have forgotten what love looks like. I have the ability to remind people of that, in words, in art, and oh yes in actions. So.
Daddy, I commit to You my heart. I commit to You my art, my life, and my love. Before anything else, I am Yours. Before anything else, You come first. Help me to honor and glorify You in everything. Help me to make the right choices, to listen to You before I do anything else, to consciously and constantly pursue You every moment of every day I exist. Because Daddy, You brought me into Your love and life and arms to glorify You. You brought me out of darkness into Your marvelous light, and Daddy, You love me so much I can’t ever begin to understand how fantastic You are. So Daddy, I give You my heart. I give You my everything. Thank You for giving me You. Thank You for being my everything. You’ve blessed me with so much. May I bless Your Name, and bless other people with Your love. Thank You for choosing me to be Yours. I love You! Xoxo, Milly.
Because I am Yours, Daddy, I sign my name with a capital M. Not because I deserve respect for what I’ve done, but because I’m Yours, and my Maker deserves all respect. Thank You for renewing, refilling, and redeeming even the messiest mess. I love You.
To the readers…..
You are loved. You are able. You are blessed, and you are made with purpose.