As I sit at my computer this morning, I’m reminded about glowsticks and an important message they carried for me. A few months ago I came across a picture from TobyMac and it really spoke to me. Unsurprisingly…it was about glowsticks!
I know, glowsticks seem to be a random thing to write about but check out the picture to the right. It’s the TobyMac one that appeared on my news feed on Facebook all those months ago. (This would have been roughly November 2016, in case you were wondering!) The pretty colours combined with the black background grabbed my attention, so I read the quote on it and was quite pleasantly surprised.
As a little background into my story, in November I was struggling a lot. My depression was really set in, I wasn’t coping very well at all. I’d started under Home Treatment and was receiving treatment for my depression but I was still plagued by unwanted thoughts of hopelessness, despair and numbness. Those thoughts manifested themselves into my journey with self-harm and that slowly got worse. November was definitely not a good month for me.
I remember journaling a time when I’d crashed. Regardless of whether my day had been good or not, I’d ended up sinking deep into that pit of despair and turning to the one thing that I knew would help me: a blade. While now I can use computer games, TV episodes or music to try and pull me out of these spirals, back then none of these things worked for me and self-harm was really the only option that seemed to work. So I’d crashed. Feeling useless about myself, feeling like a failure, I remember thinking I was broken. After all, what sane person would take a knife to their body?
Then I found that TobyMac picture two days later.
Glowsticks and Me
Seeing that quote, remembering how broken I felt, something connected inside of me. It gave me a little bit of hope, a little light in the darkness. Maybe I was like a glowstick: I had to break before I could shine. Then something unusual happened.
I found the picture to the left.
On a completely different page within a few minutes of seeing the TobyMac one, I found exactly the same quote. How weird is that? Two separate pages – TobyMac, which is Christian encouragement and quotes, and My Depression Scars, which is depression quotes – both gave me the same message within minutes of each other.
It gave me chills!
Looking back, I didn’t realise it at the time but I did need to break before I could shine. If I hadn’t gone through my darkness and downward spirals (which I am still going through as I write this to you today), I would never have founded Pushing Back the Shadows, nor would I be trying to encourage you in your struggles today. Why would I? I would have had no experience of it whatsoever. Thanks to my struggle and my brokenness, I am able to channel my curse into a gift of encouragement for you who suffer similar conditions and experiences.
I broke…I am still broken…but now I shine through my brokenness!
Glowsticks and You
Do you feel broken today? Maybe as you’re reading this you’re thinking “Yes, that’s me. I’m broken.” If you are, I’d encourage you to persist. Just hold on because you have a purpose. Stay strong through your storms and allow your brokenness to turn into a light for others.
If you’re struggling with feeling broken, I’d encourage you to reach out. Browse my story, have a look at some of the low moments I’ve been through. Connect with me on Facebook or Twitter and share some of your experiences if talking about it will help you. We are here for you and we want to help you. We are almost always around, so drop us a message.
Stay strong. Just hold on. Be a glowstick.
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