Hey, Nick. My name is Leigh. I’m sure you get a lot of emails and a lot of messages, and mine may not stand out from the rest, but my story is what it is.
I am 19 years old. My parents have been separated 3 times, the last time being January 2008 with the divorce being final in December 2008. While there have been many, many difficult situations during those years, like trying to finish school, trying to not hurt emotionally everyday, there have been many blessings such as God bringing people into my life who showed me how God loved me and how family was supposed to be.
I’ve had depression, anxiety, the beginnings of stomach ulcers, stomach problems, dystonia (on and off, now controlled by medication), many things to overcome in my 19 years. The last month for me has been super difficult. My dad told me that he’s getting married to a woman that he’s been seeing for 3 1/2 years (he met her before the divorce was filed and I don’t know if he cheated on my mom or not, and that makes me uncomfortable to say the least.) My mom and I (who have been very close all my life) had a big fallout last week, and I feared she would kick me out of the house. The evening after my mom got mad at me, when I was feeling better (I had gotten heat exhaustion), I drove around. I have overcome a LOT of anxiety and depression and fear, but all this together, plus a friend not being supportive when I needed him to be, and rather than being supportive, being a jerk and calling me “bipolar” and “immature” nearly pushed me over the edge. As I drove, I didn’t care if I swerved off the road and hit a fence or sign or another car, didn’t care if I lived anymore. I hurt more than I had in a long time, and I didn’t have anyone to hold me. I did have one close friend who was encouraging over text messages, but I wanted to be held. My love language is physical touch, so when I’m hugged or patted on the back, it lets me know that people love me. I didn’t want to be around my mom. She told me she thought I was lying to her about something and she said she didn’t trust me, so my thought process was, “You, who have pretty much raised me and taught me everything in life, don’t trust me anymore. WHAT’S THE POINT?” I didn’t want to live. I didn’t feel I had ANYONE to tell me they loved me and mean it with all their heart. I sat in my car and cried. I wanted to hit my head until I cracked my skull open. But something kept me from hurting myself.
As much as I did NOT want to live anymore, somehow, I made it back home without wrecking or harming myself. I went to bed and went to work the next day, crying intermittantly. That whole week, I was depressed. God felt so distant and so quiet and I couldn’t feel His presence. I felt abandoned by my mom (for the first time), my dad (again), and now God. Wednesday evening, when I was doing media work for my church for the service (I’m heavily involved in the media ministry), I had the privilage of programming the lights, which I had never done before. The worship leader liked it so much, she said, “We’ll use that on Sunday for the first song, it goes perfectly with it!” I had a glimmer of hope and a glimmer of love. That feeling didn’t last long though. I still had to come home and be around a woman I strongly disliked and didn’t feel loved by. Last Friday, the 23rd, what kept me from hurting/killing myself was that the next day, I would get to work with one of my closest friends on some tech stuff at church and I would be hugged and know that I was loved.
Each day since last week, God has given me some small something to keep going and keep giving me hope. Each day has gotten, I won’t say easier, but a little less of this cloud of depression looming over my head. Today, right now, I can say that I don’t want to kill myself or hurt myself because somehow, God has remained faithful through all of this trial. Even though I can’t feel Him as closely as I would like, I know He is there and loves me, and that’s TRUTH because the Bible says, “I have loved you with an everlasting love.” I am also able to tell my mom verbally and with a hug, “I love you,” without it being completely forced or just held back altogether. Some of my close friends are praying for me, and because of Jeremiah 29:11, I know that God has plans to give me a future filled with hope, to glorify Him. It’s not my job to decide when I die, it’s God’s. If I cower away from His plans and decide, “Nope, this is too hard,” I can’t lead anyone to Jesus, and then I would REALLY lose my purpose.
I was surfing YouTube and found your videos again. I had seen them before and found your story inspiring, but this time I found it encouraging. “It’s a lie to think you’re not good enough! It’s a lie to think that you’re not worth anything!” Usually things I see on TV or YouTube or the internet don’t hit home, but that really did.
I see that one of your tour dates is in Missouri, and that’s the closest to my home state you’ll be for awhile. I don’t know that I’ll be able to make it because my car has a ton of issues and isn’t safe to drive outside of town. However, I hope I get to meet you someday this side of heaven and hug your neck (I’m from the south, and that’s how we talk!). Thank you for telling people that they have purpose in Jesus. That’s the only place I’ve ever found purpose. Don’t lose sight of leading people to Jesus. Again, hope to meet you someday. May God bless you on your journey with Him.