Dear friend, I know we all smile and say we’re OK. We tell self- depreciating jokes and laugh at our insecurities. We ask how we’re doing then we don’t actually say how we really feel. Today I woke up remembering a few dark things. I remembered my favorite aunt’s death, my friends’ deaths and the suicide of another. I remembered my sister’s death and the friends I can’t talk to anymore because we drifted apart or they moved away. I remembered a lot of bad things that I have been through and it’s funny how when you start remembering the bad, the memories just keep flowing and flowing and it’s like they can’t stop. You remember all the heartbreak, unmet expectations, struggles not beaten and goals not met. You remember all the times you should have said something and did not and the times you said the wrong thing or the times you were embarrassed.It goes on and on into the deep dark depths of depression and anxiety and it’s only 5 in the morning. And yet when you were going through -or maybe still are going through- the valley of the shadow, no one really knew what was going on. I mean yeah, maybe some few good friends or your parents asked and you told them what was happening and tried to explain but the truth is no one can understand it till they walk in your shoes. And some people don’t even try to understand, they move on like life is all rosy and they make you feel weak for feeling like you are. And so many people try to tell you to just be patient, try harder, move on, how OK it will be.They tell you all these motivational things that just can’t make sense. They will try to say that it’s just a season and you have nothing to worry about or stress about. Everyone tries to say stuff to encourage you but no one is really there, with you in the moment There in the times when you are drowning, deep in the waters of expectations, unrealistic goals, toxic relationships,guilt and self loathing. In those moments where you cannot breathe or think or believe. When you can’t even try anymore or cry because all your energy is spent and you can’t see the surface. When all your surrounded with is water but you can’t seem to take a dip and you’re dying of thirst. When your dreams seem unreachable and crazy and you’ve been working on them for way too long and can’t seem to move forward. When your desires seem far fetched and your prayers seem to be floating into a dark abyss. But those times do not compare to the times when you feel as if you’ve been chained to an anchor and dropped in the middle of the ocean that is fear, doubt,pain,stagnation and uncertainty. These seas have the power to claim you and overtake you, suck your soul out and suppress your cries for help. They seem overpowering and all consuming, the waves dragging you farther and father away from the shore. You know those times that you know that that girl was draining you and killing you but you’d take her back in a heartbeat or when you think of the boy who cheated on you,stole from you and lied as often as he breathed and yet the thought of his name still makes your heart jump and soul hum. These are the times you’ve lost someone dear to you when you prayed real hard, when you sacrificed for them or even worse, when you ignored them assuming you’d always have time to talk but now they’re gone and you can’t even apologize. These are the times that you have to act like you’re ok because if you say you’re not people think you’re just asking for attention, being dramatic or faking it. Being human is hard, it’s hard when the road turns out to be on fire only for it to suddenly stop burning and you’re plunged into the deep waters that have strong currents and keep dragging you away. And you can’t seem to decide if you’d rather burn alive or drown to death. You try to be savage and unfeeling but only works when you can shut off your mind but in the night while the world sleeps, the memories and thoughts flood back and you can’t even breathe and it hurts, as if someone took your lungs out and left you with a broken rib cage. It’s hard when you’re breaking and can’t see ahead. It hurts when you’re drowning and no one can save you. It hurts when you’re hurting and can’t explain it and so no one can help you. It hurts when you feel like the only one because everyone is graduating, posting perfect selfies on vacays and tweeting aesthetics, when they’re happy in great relationships or travelling the world or getting promoted or whatever version of perfect you seem to desperately want but can never really reach, It hurts when it’s father’s day and your dad isn’t around or abuses you. It hurts when it’s mother’s day and your mum chose her career and travelling over you or died. It hurts when you look at an old picture of a friend and wish you had more time to listen to them and keep them from hurting themselves. It hurts. And yet even then God is with you, It’s strange but so true. We are told that even though a mother can forget her nursing child, God does not forget us, that He will never leave nor forsake us. That He was tried in every way we are and yet He overcame.And I know, that in the depths of the drowning sea you don’t want to hear this because it doesn’t seem true. God seems like a fictional character and blessings seem like a good joke. You can’t see ahead and your eyes hurt and you have been fighting the current so long that you’ve just given up and let it take you. But I’m telling you, it gets better. Not really because you forget or change but because you get stronger, braver, faster, better. Trials are meant to strengthen us and God is not cruel and merciless, out to get us and hurt us. He is there to bless us. The sign of your struggle is only a fraction of the size of the blessing coming. So yes, cry, give up even, hate the world and dislike yourself but only for a minute, the get up and pray, cry out to God. It doesn’t have to be spiritual and religious just tell him exactly what is in your heart and mind. Then keep your head in the game and your heart in the ring. Fight and keep throwing punches because you are a child of God, an heir to the Kingdom and you were made higher than angels and have power over demons so do not let the struggles get to you.God will not test you more than you can bare so take it as a complement, you are stronger than you ever thought, you can survive and rise and believe again. This is not to diminish or belittle your struggle, it is to tell you that no, I have not walked in your exact shoes but I’ve been somewhere like where you are and I kinda understand. And it is OK to give up, with your own strength you can’t make it. You need supernatural help and divine strength, so pray. Just remember, this life and everything in it is temporary so even the bad times have to end. So it’s ok to not be ok; cry, scream, punch, take long walks, hate the world,listen to music, tell me again what is wrong with your life, complain, fall down and give up, stare at yourself and hate what you see, be vulnerable, hate him, want to hurt her. Whatever it is you are going though, go through it. I’m your friend and all I want to do is remind you it gets better but most importantly, be here with you in the dark dark moments and stay in the depths with you. Because that is how Jesus loves me and I want to love you that way too. Love, Kenah.