Everyone needs encouragement. Monday, Friday, all during the week...there are times we just need to hear that we're doing ok. That we'll make it through this next tough time in our lives. That it won't always be so hard. This is a letter for each of you, and for your friends that need to know the same. If someone comes to your mind when reading this, send it to them - I promise they need it.
I've been watching you struggle in so many different ways over these last few months. I've seen the trials you've gone through. The momentary blips of happiness, followed by days and weeks of stormy clouds and high emotions. It isn't your fault. None of this is your fault, and that's what makes it even harder to see you go through it.
You're a fighter. You can endure. But you are getting weaker by the day, your resolve is slowly slipping as you wonder when this struggle will end. When it will be over. When you'll go back to feeling normal again, which right now seems so far off that you can't even remember what normal feels like. I've been there. We've all been there. But just because you're not alone doesn't make you feel any less lonely.
What I can say is that the clouds always lift. And when the sun comes out, you might look a little different than you did before. You've been through a long winter, and it's not without scars. You may not leave unscathed, but you will walk away from it one day. You'll look back one day and remember the good things - the beautiful things - that came out of the hard times. You'll remember the tears, and all the heartache, but over time these things slowly fade away.
That's the beauty in pain. It's so real in the moment, but when it leaves we'll never feel that same pain again. Sure, we can remember that we had tough moments, but our feelings will never take us back to that dark place. Memories last longer than emotions, and when you've finally made it out on the other side, you'll never feel that same darkness again.
I know that doesn't fix what you're going through. I know you're not magically going to feel better - and right now, that's ok. If I can just spark a little glimmer of hope in you, though, that is enough for today. Tomorrow might be better, and it might be harder. But let the hope of what's coming give you the strength to get up, face your day, and know within your heart of hearts that this isn't the end of your story.
There's so much more for you, sweet friend. So much more life to live. So much more joy to be had. And it's just beyond the ever dark and cloudy horizon. Hold on to the hope of the first ray of sunlight bursting through the storm. It's coming, friend. It'll be here before you know it.