I write to you, because I know you. I have stood exactly where you stand. I have also felt cornered, hemmed in, watched, spied on, burnt out, angry, frustrated, sad, and lonely. I write to you from the corner of my room, and I only have a couple of sheets to write this letter, since I know that you are not one that likes advice.
You grew up as a good kid. You are the “good” one. You go to camp as the “good” one. You go to church as the “good” one. You answer every question exactly as you should. You bring your Bible to church. You make sure to scribble notes during the sermon, because if you don’t, someone might just guilt trip you. Because usually, there is that one adult that gets upset if you happen to miss taking notes one Sunday.
You are meticulously picked apart, save for the one area of your heart that needs changing. You learn to cover it up, and play it smooth. You hide that darkness, and you paint image over it. You walk around with secrets because everyone thinks you are a good kid.
You know you aren’t.
Some of you even want help, but maybe it’s pride or just honest confusion that keeps you from telling the part of you that is scarred and dying.
Or maybe you are too busy helping others and counseling them through their issues of bitterness, drugs, premarital sex, gangs, and broken families. People will constantly badger you, and say that you have no idea about the real world. This statement couldn’t be more untrue. You haven’t lived in their version of a “real world”, but you have helped people walk out of it. You are closer to it than people realize.
Maybe, you bury your bit of darkness deeper inside of you, because compared to them…you don’t struggle at all. Compared to them, your life is easy. Compared to them, your issue should be easily resolved. Besides, people usually care about the seemingly BIG problems, not the “small” problems that you are dealing with.
Then, you bury your darkness so deep that even YOU forget it’s there. But it grows, because the issue goes untended. And you get callus. You get bitter. You get angry. You get lonely. You forget it is there, but it comes out stronger than ever before.
And you are tired of being good.
You are tired of all eyes on you. You are tired of being perceived as an angel. You are just tired….and selfish. But you don’t mind, because after all….haven’t you helped so many people? Haven’t you cared more deeply for lost people? Haven’t you forgotten about yourself and your problems to help others?
So, this is what I want you to remember.
As much as you want people to ask you questions, they probably won’t. As much as you want them to unmask your darkness, and pick apart the places in you with all the cobwebs, they probably won’t. Primarily because, you are good at hiding. You are good at acting. You are good at helping. You are ,in fact, very good. Not good in the way that people assume, but you are good.
People will easily pass over you, because even though you are struggling, you bury it deep inside. Even though you are hurting, you often refuse to let that surface.
This is my advice.
Be open. Be transparent. Unmask your own darkness, and then let another person see it.
Show them that your heart is actually a mess. Quit believing the lie that you should not be struggling, that you should be able to resolve problems all on your own, and that your struggle is small.
You are weak. You are helpless. You need God.
And sometimes, you need others to point you back to Him. You need others to show you how to walk this path. So, don’t do it on your own. Don’t expect others to peel back every layer you have, they won’t be able to. You are very good at being “good”.
When you see other “good” kids like yourself, help them find the hearts they have buried. Care for them, and let them know that they aren’t alone. Don’t be so consumed with yourself that you let fellow “good” kids pass you by. Then, together unlearn the habit of “being good”, and reveal one to another that you need help. You need God’s grace.You need His love. You need his mercy. You need His strength. Why? Because, you are weak.
Ah, but He is strong.
So, don’t pretend that you have all of your life put together. Don’t assume that your struggle is insignificant. Don’t think that you have all the right answers. Don’t believe that you can resolve life on your own. You can’t. You need God. And sometimes, you need people to help you find the right path again.
PS: Oh, and when the next person says that you don’t live in the real world, just remember one thing: the only Real worth living for is God.
If you know a “good” kid, please pass this on. We all need to hear it & we all need help.