I met a beautiful freshman named “Susan” (name has been changed for privacy) this morning, just talking to her about general things like the weather and our love of Starbucks drinks. I felt like I should invite her to my show, and at first she politely said, “No thanks”. Then a random girl walked over and said, “I’ll go because I’m nice,” taking my poster and walking away.
As the girl left, Susan explained that the girl had been treating her badly and teasing her, trying to make Susan start a fight. She asked what the show was so I explained it, handing her a poster from my backpack. I asked her what the girl was teasing her about, and Susan avoided the question, reading my poster silently.
Suddenly she looked up at me. “You were suicidal??” she asked, disbelief and concern shadowing her tone.
I simply smiled slightly and asked again, “What does she tease you about?”
Realization flashed over her face, and she got very quiet. I took this chance to encourage her to stay strong and have hope, then the bell rang for class and I left, letting her keep the poster.
The sad truth is, bullying has become a ‘normal’ and even ‘acceptable’ part of society. Even when we’re just little kids, we’re told it’s normal to be picked on and teased.
It’s normal for some people to dislike you. It’s normal for people to disagree with you.
It’s NOT normal to dread going to school in third grade because you are constantly ridiculed every day, to the point of self harm and later, suicidal thoughts. It’s NOT normal to fear being seen, because the bully and their friends will corner and beat you if they see you. It’s NOT normal to resist telling adults when you need help because the bully is never actually caught by them and they believe you are a liar.
When these things happen to people every day starting from such a young age, they become mentally scarred their whole lives. I know because I am one of these people.
However, there is good news in all of this. It DOES get better. I am living proof – literally – that it does get better. That is such a cliche, but it’s so true. I wouldn’t be here without help though. and my help came from Jesus.
I remember one time in particular, I asked Jesus a question. I said, “Lord, I know You were whipped for sicknesses and beaten for physical wounds and stuff, but what about mental damage? What about mental illness or things like suicide and self harm and all of that? Can You really understand how THAT feels? Can You really say You died for that too??”
His answer made me cry…
“Think about the crown of thorns,” He said.
I replied, “Yeah I know, they were mocking Your authority and position as King of kings.”
“Yes, but think about it,” He said gently. “They could have just put it on My head, but they drove the thorns into My skull….into My brain.”
I got quiet, remembering that.
“Lacie,” He said, “each thorn pressed into My skull represented a different mental illness or disease. I died for mental scars too.”
I just cried, the revelation of His truth and love was so amazing….
God is truly God of breakthrough and freedom! He died for you knowing every single pain you could ever experience, be it physical, emotional, or mental, so He could heal you and free you. God loves you so much…you literally don’t understand it. None of us do. We cannot grasp His love. His love is unconditional, you can’t earn it, and it never ends. You can’t lose it or gain it, He loves you where you are. God does not excuse sin, but just like every good father He doesn’t love you any less when you sin. It breaks His heart and He will discipline you, but He still loves you the same.