White Flags and Darkness

Everything is not fine. You’re dying a little inside. You smile and nod politely but they would never know your true feelings behind the pink lip gloss you hastily put on this morning.

We have all done it. It’s the grown-ups version of make-believe or “pretend”. We work so fiercely to convince the world we are doing just fine. We have our best outfit on, we have perfected the smile and the answers so that every ounce of us seems all right. Yet we are not all alright as “That 70’s show” would try to convince us in the theme song.

I believe there are time when humans need a software update in their lives. A reboot. But as much as your phone will flash “update me”, we can ignore it. Well, we can ignore it for a little while until we try to download an app, but it needs the latest system update. Just so in life we are sometimes forced to update ourselves.

I’ve been depressed many times before.

I was asked by a group of teens this last summer, how did you handle it? What is the magic pill that takes the darkness away? I remember looking at their faces and telling them that it takes courage. You have to press the courage button inside yourself and let it ignite a fire inside you. You have to fight to keep yourself together in the frame work God gave you, but have enough courage to let out the feelings that feel trapped inside.

If you scream, then scream. If you cry, just let it out. If taking long bike rides at 2:30am is how you deal with the hurt and pain you can’t seem to overcome, then go. But take courage. So many people have walked this road before you. And so I want to give you one piece of advice,

You can do this. You can silence the voices in your head telling you you’ll never win.

You can silence the voice that tells you winning isn’t an option. Please talk about the emptiness. Please don’t let yourself stand in the the darkness alone, so much so that you cave inward and you hoist up a white flag without anyone ever knowing you were dying inside. Let those good friends in. Talk about your lack of a update. Sometimes we simply need a friend, that says, “I’ll do it with you.”

A famous line from my friend Hannah Brencher is, “And then, then I knew that I would write because no one benefits from silence. No one will talk about the darkness if we all try to act like it isn’t real, like it doesn’t matter.”

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