The following is an abridged version of a chapter that appears in Jessica’s book, which you can order now.
Choose to believe that the sun rises each morning—because this promise is fulfilled daily, and it will give you the hope you need to keep breathing.
Hold fast to what is good. To the little surprises in your day that you never noticed before—the smell of coffee, the scent of your mom’s perfume, and the way flower petals unfurl and reach toward the sunlight.
Stretch out your spirit; let it move toward the light. It will find the light just like the light will always find you. Just like hope will always find you.
Please stay. Your story isn’t over, I promise.
I don’t know what tomorrow will bring. I can’t guarantee you a life free of pain, but I know you are here for a reason. I know that without you, there is a gap in the atmosphere—a vortex of space that can never be filled. Can you not see the joy that abounds from you? Your smile changes hearts and minds; it nourishes the wildflowers of people’s imagination and gives them peace.
You are needed here. Please stay.
This moment may feel unbearable, but it will pass. The thoughts, the ones that haunt you incessantly—they will cease. They are not you. This illness is not you. This pain is not you. You are beauty and pain, love and fear, struggle and peace.
Yes, there is peace for you here, but not just peace. There is still so much more for you here—please stay.
I know you are sapped of energy. Yet still, there is strength inside of you. It is immovable. You can go on. You will go on. Take my hand. You’re not alone.
I’ve been here before; I know it hurts. Your hurt is not mine, but even in the times when I don’t understand, I am still here. I will walk beside you in this darkness and join you when you rest. I will be waiting for you.
One day you will sing again. You will feel safe in crowds. You will be assured of your identity. You will tell someone about your scars. One day you will dance again. You will cry happy tears. And you will look forward to tomorrow.
Fight for these moments. Please stay.
Stay and discover these new lands. These new people. The hidden gems you didn’t even know existed. Stay and find out what you were made for. You are not a failure. You are not irreparably broken. Step forward now, crawl if you must, into a grace that shines light into the shadows of your soul. You are safe here. In fact, this is home.
There are no prerequisites to your existence. You are here, and you are enough. You do not have to go it alone anymore. Let people see your scars. Find the exquisite souls in your life who have also been fractured and let their love heal you. Because you can be healed.
Whatever thought or plan you have to leave, please stop it. If you need a sign, this is it—a flickering neon light, a billboard, a booming voice from heaven. This is your sign to stay. This is the world turning to you and reaching out its hands.
Please stay. There is so much more life for you to live, and you will live it. This is your time.
You can order Jessica’s book here.