It Wasn't Supposed To Be Like This

Dear me,

Hey. I know it hurts right now.

I wish I could tell you that it only gets better from here, but it still hurts.

Life hurts.

16. High school. Surrounded, but alone.

Dear 16,

You can’t let yourself be alone. You have to tell someone. You’re letting others control your identity.

You’re letting them destroy your identity.

Stop putting yourself into what others see you as; it will hurt you, cut you, make you bleed, destroy you.

You’re destroying your identity.

The scars from the first time start to fade, and you start to like making yourself miserable; this is the enemy’s hold over you. You’re being kept from realizing what you know to be true; your identity doesn’t belong to you, but to Him.

Your identity is in Jesus.

yet, you still let the physical pain release your feelings, instead of giving them over to Him.

yet, you still don’t believe anyone cares for you.

yet, you still live in your hatred, blame, guilt.

yet, you still hate who you are.

19. Transfer. In love, but still hate.

Dear 19,

You found your ministry calling, and the one you want to do life with.

But at night, you can’t breathe. Can’t sleep. Can’t do what you need to do.

You’re barely surviving, and it’s affecting every aspect of your future.

You turn to the pain of the blade once again, tell yourself it’s okay just this once.


three times.

no one else is with you, no one to stop you.

You still tell yourself you deserve to suffer, endure self-inflicted pain, bleed out the sadness.

But you put on a face. You don’t tell anyone what’s really going on. You only let them in so far. Keep putting on a mask of “past vulnerability”, but little do they know it’s a current struggle.

Why do you always talk about it as if it’s the past, when it’s your present?

Why can’t you let them in?

Why can’t you let Him in?

21. Motherhood. New life, same struggles.

You’re not physically hurting yourself anymore, but you still hurt yourself mentally.

You long to be close to your husband, but you don’t let yourself love him fully,

for fear of someone other than yourself hurting you.

Only you are allowed to hurt you.

You create your problems with him to justify hurting yourself.

Hurting yourself hurts less than letting someone or something else create your pain.


God gave you a new perspective this year.

Her. Daughter. Unconditionally loved. Blessed.

You’re realizing something, aren’t you. But there is still a long way to go.


You see it. You see the way God longs to love on you, and you see the way you’ve been choosing your own pain for so long.

How do I let Him truly love me?

23. Older, wiser, but still learning to be loved.

Here we are.

You’re about to have your second child, approaching the 3rd full year of marriage and ministry.

Life is sweet, a struggle, and such a mystery—simultaneously.

Your story wasn’t supposed to sound like this.

It wasn’t supposed to be like this.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t use this.

Because God already is; He is creating an advocacy role for you, for teens, for the depressed and anxious, for the ones who are struggling.

Why is it that we all try to pretend that we aren’t struggling?

Sure, our struggles may look different.

I struggle with self-harm, suicidal thoughts, depression, and anxiety.

Maybe you do to.

Or maybe you don’t.

Whatever the case may be in your life, no matter the struggle, the addiction, the trauma

God will use it, you just have to let him.

19. Michael and I when we first met at Kids Across America, in Golden, MO. July 2015.

19. Michael and I when we first met at Kids Across America, in Golden, MO. July 2015.