A Love Letter: To You


11231690_10207369229573837_3377103084176616338_n-2wrote this post on a note for my Facebook page about six weeks ago and decided to post it on my blog as well. Wherever you are–whoever you are, this is for you. I met a new friend the other day who’d lost a loved one to suicide. And it rocked me to the point that I just felt compelled to write to you–to all of you and tell you how wonderful you are and how much we need you to stay. It’s made me want to run around and shout to whoever will listen, “You are so loved! Don’t you know who you are?”
But that would probably freak people out. So that’s why we have the Internet.
Whether or not you’ve been thinking about leaving, this is more about knowing who you are and how much you matter. I think that everyone struggles with self-image or self-doubt, but I really want this letter to be a beacon of light in the dark–in the midst of those lies that seem to build over who you really are. No matter how small or big the lies are right now, they’re still lies and everyone needs to know how much they matter. It’s when you know how much you matter that you can really touch the lives of others.
Drumroll, please. It’s time for a transitional paragraph:
I come home from a long shift and my mom is sitting up in her bed, watching Downton Abbey. I slip into fresh socks and she rubs my feet–because these babies take a beating, to be totally honest. While she’s helping a girl out, I’m staring at her robe, draped across that old chair and I’m wondering…what would I do if I came home and she wasn’t there? What would I do if there was no old robe draped across a musty chair? What would I do if I couldn’t hear her smiling and saying, “This show is just phenomenal!” I know so many people who’ve already experienced this loss, with the silence on repeat, screaming louder than any noise ever could.
But what gets me as I look at my mom is the fact that I know there are days when she doesn’t even know how important she is, looks in the mirror and sees someone who doesn’t matter.
And I got to thinking…how many people don’t know how much they matter? How many people step up to the mirror and only hear lies, only see everything they’re not, stacked up and staring them in the face. And then. . . I watch people. I see the teenager with sadness mirroring his smile, who always makes me laugh. I see the lonely man eating custard at a back table where no one can see him and my heart aches. I see the girl who walks into a room and lights up every corner of that room. I see the homeless man with years of stress and pain etched into his face. “Do they know?” I wonder, “Do any of them know how much they matter? Do they even know they’re a lead character in stories of their own? Do they know how much we’d love to read what’s written–how what’s written in their stories can impact thousands of other stories?”
We need them. We need you. We need your coat on a hanger. We need your shoes piled in a corner of your room. We need the jam recipes you’ve messed up and the way you make fudge too sweet. We need your freckled smiles, your wrinkled hands, your messy hair from sticking your head out the window. We need your grumpy mornings and your drunken nights. We need your messy things. We need all things you. Because empty closets and spider-webbed corners are useless when there isn’t someone to mess them up.
Nothing is wasted. Everything is relevant. God can and will mold everything you’ve got into His plan. So bring it–bring everything you’ve got.
Every time you enter a room, it matters. Every time you leave a room you leave a space no one else could ever, ever fill. No one can spill milk like you; no one can give impish smiles like you can; no one can love like you can; no one can listen to others like you can; no one can make the whole room laugh like you can; no one can press life into others like you can.
And it doesn’t matter if you leave small fingerprints on the window or if you rush through this life like a bull in a china shop–the finger print you leave on life is complete, is untouchable, is completely, uniquely you.
You matter if not for the beating of your heart, for the fact that you were crafted by a God who would not rest until you were here, until you had a chance. On this day. On this earth. In this moment. Sexual orientation, race, religion, height, weight, whoever you are, wherever you are or have been, whatever society or the church or haters tell you is lacking from you–you matter so much that this planet would not be what it is if you were not here.
I’ll even give you a verse to back it up:“All good gifts come from the Father of Lights.”
If good things come from the Father–which they do– and He creates life–which He does– and He created YOU–which He did–…then, that means you are a good thing simply because of who made you.You are not what the enemy says you are. Yes, you choose which side you’re on. But even what you choose does not detract from who you were meant to be, from the love God holds for you on the other side of doubt and fear, from how much you matter.
I hope you know how much you matter. I hope you wake up in the morning and choose to trust that there is purpose behind every heartbeat.

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