Hard as Nails Ministries
It's Hard Because it Matters

It's Hard Because it Matters

By:  Mission Team January 14, 2021
#AmazingNation, #Anxiety, #Courage, #Depression, #God

One day, I Painted a Bridge
I have always loved painting. I remember when I was younger my older brother attended a high school that had an art scholarship program. I would sit for hours watching him paint, and oftentimes I would pester him to the point that he would let me paint too. He inspired me to be creative, and that always stuck with me.

During my Freshman year of high school, I experienced a big loss in my life. Someone really close to me passed away, and it made me feel very alone. I didn’t understand why they were gone. I was left seemingly very abandoned, and this caused me to become very depressed. I would go about my day as a happy positive person on the outside, but inside I wasn't. I would go about alive but not really living.

These hopeless thoughts escalated to a point where I didn't think I could go on. I wanted to end things because I couldn’t see a world where I would ever be happy again.

L'appel du vide
One weekday I remember faking being sick to stay home because I didn't have the strength to get up and go to school. I quite honestly wanted to give up that day. Before making decisions that could not be undone, I thought of my brother and how art gave him hope. I made a conscious decision right then and there to give hope a chance. I knew that I had to somehow express what I was feeling in order to validate that what I was feeling was real. That the pain was there. At the same time I knew there was more though. So I sat down at my kitchen table and I painted a bridge.

Part of me painted that bridge because I had that destructive desire to jump. To answer the L'appel du vide -- (the call of the void). But looking back, that bridge provided another purpose. Why do people walk across bridges? To get to the other side. This painting was a physical reminder of where I used to be, but it also reminds me that there is another side to the pain and the suffering that I went through. That other side is hope.

Hope that even while things sucked and were painful, they wouldn’t always be that way. Not only that, but there was purpose in that pain. Because of what I experienced, I have been able to have that gift of being able to be sensitive to others pain and be with them through it. Yes, I had that ache, that deep longing for something to be my purpose, but I truly believe that God used art in my life to be an outlet for the inner ache. That angst that needs to go somewhere, art is that place for me.

What I’m Grateful For
I could not be more thankful for the outlet that art has been in my life and for how God directed me to art through my brother and the Holy Spirit. I have learned that it is very important to speak up about your suffering. Not only is it helpful and necessary to do in order to get that healing, but it also can help others know that they are not alone.

I would love to say that everything was fixed and better after that. That isn’t always how life works though. Life was still difficult in many ways. What changed is how I dealt with it. Instead of staying quiet and fighting a silent battle that broke me apart, I reached out to my community and was able to receive the love and guidance I needed. I am so grateful for all of those people in my life that stuck with me throughout the lows, but also the ones that celebrated the joys that were truly present even in the midst of pain. Even when I felt very overwhelmed and alone, I was able to connect with others through my love for art and that bridge painting.

I am striving to have hope and trust that my pain has purpose in my story. One bible verse that has really spoken to me through this is

Joshua 1:19 “Be strong and courageous. Do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

This verse reminds me that I am never alone. That, through God’s help and strength, the battle of life can be fought. Yes, it will be hard, but it's hard because it matters. Courage isn’t the absence of fear, but the perseverance through it.

If you or someone you know is dealing with struggles mentioned in this article, please seek help from your school counselor, parents, and/or a trusted adult. Below is an anonymous hotline and website that you can also contact for more help.

Suicide: 1-800-273-8255

Photo Credits: "'Here Comes The Sun...'" by Nathan Csonka Photography is licensed under CC BY 2.0

"170614 Bridge of Rabastens" by Vincent Desplanche is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

"Rainbows 2" by jm whalen is licensed under CC BY 2.0

About the Author Mission TeamThe mission team is made up of writers within the HN team who serve for a time with our ministry to Awaken the World to the Power of God's Love. Through their efforts, their vision of making a world where no one suffers alone is an encouragement to many hurting people of all ages. 


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