February 25, 2013


It is with heavy heart that I write these words.  It is with tears and prayers that I share this, because it is real.

It is breaking my heart.

I know a girl.  She is a beautiful brown haired brown eyed girl of 16 or 17 today, but I met her a decade ago.  She was young and somewhat lost.  I did what I could, and when she came over we talked about sewing and clothes and boys.

She looked up to me like a big sister I think, but I didn't realize it.  She fought for attention.  She struggled for approval.  She strived to fit in, to be liked, to be noticed, to be acknowledged.

I knew she was insecure, but because the incredible blessing of a family and sheltered life I lead I didn't realize the implications of that prolonged insecurity.

Then she moved away.  I only saw her once a year when she came back to visit, if even that.  We weren't close, and I didn't reach out.

I caught bits and pieces from mutual friends and I knew that she wasn't fitting in at her school, and knew her best friend there turned out to have ulterior motives and that she was reaching out for, what I now understand to be help and support.

Yesterday this dear, sweet child tried to take her own life.

At the ER they said she'll make it.  She is going to be ok.

The rest of this is extrapolation on my part.  Ok?  Really, she is going to be ok?  What drives a person to the brink of suicide?  How lonely and lost must one feel to want to leave it all that badly?  Her family loves her.  I know that.  They care for her and look out for her, so what drives a person to feel so utterly alone and unloved?  

After the shock of hearing the news the first thing I wanted to do was hop on a plane, fly out there and just hug this girl.  I watched the above video on facebook today and was shaking and crying by the end.  This is all pretty raw and unprocessed, which isn't usual for me.

I wasn't there.  I don't know what happened with her, or with any of the other kids in the video.  I know this happens, I know this is reality, and it just hurts even more.  Words matter.  What you say makes an impact, and don't you forget it.

James puts it like this in James 3(italics and bold added):
How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water.
 So for now, let's watch what we say, ok?  No, you know what?  Let's watch what we think to.  If you don't think that someone is inferior for his size or what he thinks about pork chops or what someone's face looks like you aren't going to say it.  These people are made in the likeness of God!  God's image!

 They have dignity and worth and beauty because of it.

Go love them.


  1. Aw, so sorry to hear your pain, Joanna. Hugs to you!!

  2. Very humbling thoughts, JoAnna. Pray, pray, pray for your friend.