There’s a lot of talk of stories these days. My friend and favorite writer Donald Miller has led the way, wondering about the elements that make for a great film or a great book—could those things also apply to the stories that we’re living? Here at TWLOHA, we’re inviting people to consider the possibility that their story is something sacred, something priceless, unique, worth fighting for. And we’ve come to believe that a good story will not just be the story of one person. It will require other characters. It will require people needing other people, leaning on them, loving them and being loved by them, knowing and being known.
There are parts of our stories that we wish were different, things we wish we could change, erase, forget. We get stuck in moments. Memories turn to ghosts. We try to live in the past, but it never works. And then, somehow, inside the same story, there is good. There are memories that make us laugh and make us smile, relationships and conversations, dreams of jobs and families, and places that we hope to go. Even things as simple as favorite books and songs and films—the way they remind us we’re alive—these things are part of our story as well. And we’ve come to believe that all of it matters, that all of it is significant and the opposite of small. We’ve come to believe that you deserve to be around people who know these parts of you, people who laugh and mourn and celebrate with you, people who remind you you’re not alone in this whole big thing called life.
Suicide is a story that ends too soon. Our hope and dream is that if you should ever get to a place where your life feels like it’s not worth living, where the pain is just too great, our hope is that you know it’s OK to be honest, and it’s OK to ask for help. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, and it doesn’t mean you’re something strange or some kind of burden. It simply means you’re human. We pray you’lll be met by friends who remind you that your story is one they too will fight for—with words, and tears, and silence, and whatever it takes. We pray you get to taste the privilege of having these sorts of friends and also the privilege of being this sort of friend. May you wake to the day when life feels worth living, when joy comes back, hope shows up, love returns. May you live to be surprised.
Here is what we believe to be some very good news: If you’re reading this, if there’s air in your lungs on this November day, then there is still hope for you. Your story is still going. And maybe some things are true for all of us. Perhaps we all relate to pain. Perhaps we all relate to fear and loss and questions. And perhaps we all deserve to be honest, we all deserve whatever help we need. Our stories are all so many things: Heavy and light. Beautiful and difficult. Hopeful and uncertain. But our stories aren’t finished yet. There is still time, for things to heal, change, and grow. There is still time to be surprised. We are stories still going, you and I. We are stories still going.
Peace to you today.
PS: I wrote this while listening to The 1975’s “Me” on repeat.
PPS: We have a new shirt called “Stories” available in the TWLOHA Online Store. Click here to get yours.