Yesterday I talked with a young man—I had never met before—who told me about a struggle he was facing with suicidal thoughts. My heart ached as this young kid described the feelings of insignificance and powerful beliefs that he was a loser. He said there had been many times that ending his life felt like the only way out. Luckily many words came to my mind as I tried to council and encourage and bring hope, but the image of his little face stuck with me most of the day.
I got thinking later of some of the negative battles I fight in my mind—and though they are not the same as this kid—they have at times felt so real and have been followed with feelings of insignificance in a world much bigger than me. Sometimes it is easy to feel forgotten. Negative thoughts bombard our minds. Does my effort really make a difference? How am I important...if I am just one?
Last night Shawn came inside with a few pictures of our Christmas lights. This one answered some of those questions for me.
Look at this little light bulb. It belongs to a huge strand of lights. I am sure at times this little bulb has felt forgotten on a stand full of lights that look like they shine way more clearer and way more bright. Then the snow comes along and tries to suffocate any warmth that it was trying to give. I am sure at times—if this bulb could think—it thought, “Well . . . here it is . . . proof that I am a nobody. My life, and my purpose are completely forgotten today. In fact, I might just give up because if nobody can even see me . . . then what is my purpose to shine?” And in that moment when the light bulb was thinking of just turning off, it realized it had come to a crossroad. And for a light bulb, this crossroad only has two options. The first being giving up and turning off, and the second being: shinning anyway. Shinning, not because anyone can see or will even notice . . . but because it was what it was created to do. Shinning anyway, because God sent it here to earth to shine.
Lucky for us, this little light bulb—though he couldn’t see the others, or know what road they chose to take . . . he kept shinning. He just knew that once the snow stopped everything would be ok. Even though the snow kept falling on him—he didn’t give up for a second, because he believed at some point it would be over.
Then pretty soon, the snow stopped falling. He thought for sure that the hardest part was over. Then he realized that nothing changed for him, he was still stuck under a pile of white.
And so he was, at another crossroad. This time he wasn’t sure what the end of the struggle would be. The snow was no longer falling, but he was still scared and alone. So this brave little light, you know what he did . . . HE FOUGHT. Silently, alone, defeated, and scared he decided he wasn’t just going to shine . . . He was going to shine brighter than he ever had before.
And guess what. That determined little light bulb found that the more he shinned, the more heat he let out—and the more heat that surrounded him, the less he felt secluded and abandoned. And pretty soon, that snow—that he thought would never be lifted—began to melt away.
We each have a light shinning from within us. Every moment we get to decide if we will use it to light our path or if we will let it die. If you have ever wonder if you make a difference—let me promise you . . . you do. Your light is significant, your love is powerful, and you are not forgotten. We are all part of a grand strand of lights, not one of us is going to lose it’s light without it effecting all the rest.
So like I told that little boy yesterday, “He loves you, He sees you, He believes in you. To Him you are smart, and kind, and loving, and helpful, and handsome. Don’t you dare ever let anyone tell you anything different, including your mind. Those thoughts in your head—they are the lie. Your life brings light to so many people. Anytime you hear those thoughts, you get on your knees and you say a prayer. God will not forget you—but when it feels quiet—you just keep fighting!”
Just like that little boy I want you to know you make a difference. And remember, even Christ was just one man . . . your light can change the world around you as you follow His example and shine anyway. Even if no one else can see—SHINE.