Hi! Long time no talk, super duper sorry about it. I know that y’all have got to be tired of reading that. I have decided that every once in awhile I will have storytime, because who doesn’t love stories? Today is the long awaited, SALVATION STORY.
Everyone has a different one, some do not even have one, and some are still waiting for it to happen to them. Mine is a rollercoaster of pills, hospital visits, bad habits, and a little bit of ‘hope’ of my future. Prepare for a long flippin’ post, because this started in 6th grade, which was at least 5 years ago.
I am going to skip over my early years, but basically I was the weird girl with glasses and crooked teeth that loved to run. (You think I’m kidding, I used to go out into the backyard just so I could run around with my dogs). The keyword to remember about me is WEIRD.
I’m going to divide this post up by years, because I feel that it will be a little easier to comprehend if it’s not a ginormous post. AND THERE WILL BE PICTURES!!! I hope everybody gains something from this post, because I am going out on a huge limb right now, stripping myself to the rawness of my salvation story. It’s a lot. Let’s do dis.
I kind of consider my first year of middle school the second worst year of my life (I’ll get to the worst/best year of my life soon), and the only thing I want to say about my sixth grade year is that I was bullied, pretty harshly. Since then, I have forgiven the girls that were involved with all of that, and it is a memory that I have blocked out of my brain. It was a low time in my life, and it was the start of the hatred that I had for God throughout middle school. Every night I would pray for God to take away the bad things that were happening, and when He did not deliver according to when I wanted it to happen, it made me question His existence, credibility, and the hatred only grew from there as more bad things happened to me, and it piled on and on with no breaks, and I didn’t understand why it was happening. Why would God put me through so much pain, when I asked Him to take away all the pain? Instead of really trying to find out the answer, I took out my pain in another way..self harm. (More on that later)
SUMMER BEFORE 7TH GRADE
This will be another short explanation, because it’s another memory I do not like to remember. In summary, I was taken advantage of one night at a friend’s house. It has changed my entire outlook on the world and I was not the same after it happened, and that’s about it. Moving on.
This was the beginning of what I call my “downfall”. This was when I officially started middle school, and it is an understatement to say that it was a hard transition. Overall, 7th grade year was not bad at all, I had good friends and a pretty easy schedule. School was not a huge issue for me, I did not have any “enemies” or anything like that, and to this day, I still can not point out why that year was so hard for me that I started to self harm more and more. The first time was sixth grade in the gym, with a pencil because I had gotten a bad grade on a test. I hate that it’s so easy for me to remember those kind of moments in my life, but it is hard for me to remember the good times. Continuing on to 8th grade, after a picture commercial!!!!
Again, nothing too memorable happened in this year of my life. I had a couple of “boyfriends”, kinda just did my own thing. However, this definitely was the turning point of my life, and not in a good way. I began to hate God, more and more. I was self-harming almost every night, on my wrists, thighs, stomach, forearms, ankles, and hipbones. I would wear sweatshirts everyday, and got into the habit of pulling the bottom of the sleeves over my wrists and hands, covering the scars, old and new. I closed myself off from my friends and stopped talking to my mom. I thought of death and ways that I could kill myself, I would come up with very detailed plans with how I would end my own life. I didn’t understand why I had so much anger and pain and loneliness inside of me. I never slept and slacked off in school completely. I hated myself, and what I had become. Everyday felt like a new struggle and I honestly stopped caring if I lived or died-and I got so, so, close to choosing death on very many nights, more than I would like to admit. I wish that I could say that that was the end of my sad thoughts and bad choices, but we still have 3 more years to cover…PICTURE COMMERCIAL
The first year of high school was like a repeat of my last year of middle school. On Thursday, September 12, 2013, I took a lot of pills. I told my mom. I wanted to die. I was tired of feeling so much pain and hatred for myself and anyone who tried to bring me out of my pity party. I was being told daily on a website called ask.fm to kill myself, that I was fat, that nobody would miss me if i was dead, and I believed the people behind the screen. I hated everything about myself. Pretty much-I spent a week in a mental health facility, was put on antidepressants and sleeping pills, the whole dealio with all of that.
I was released..and I have never felt so overwhelmed with love, compassion, and worry in my entire life. I returned home to hundreds of texts and calls and messages from friends, family, people I did not even know that well, saying they were thinking of me and that they loved me, and I think that that first night out of the hospital was what really made me realize..I have a purpose. I have a reason to be on this earth. The people behind the screen were wrong, that I would be missed. The world couldn’t be without Aubrey Hope Downs. The world can not be without YOU, either.
Ever since I can remember, I have suffered from depression. I would not wish depression on my worst enemy. It is, by far, the hardest thing I have ever gone through in my life so far. It will never leave, and some days are harder than the last. Some days it feels like I can not escape my thoughts, and I am suffocated with scary, scary things. I blame myself most of the times, “Hope, so many people have it way worse than you, you need to stop feeling like this”, and I’m sure that other people that suffer from depression can agree with me on this: It is NOT your fault. Depression is NOT a choice. It is not something you can take pills for to make it go away, you can take medication, get therapy, something of the sorts to suppress it, but it will never leave your brain. I am not telling you this to make you give up on yourself, but to give you HOPE. (haha) To motivate you, to KEEP GOING. Fight HARDER. Get out of bed. Force yourself to talk. Do not EVER, ever, give up. DO NOT GIVE UP.
A couple of months after I was out of the hospital, I was still relapsing back into my sad thoughts and self harm. It was a constant cycle of good and bad days, being sad, relapse, temporary relief, feeling bad about relapse, and then the cycle would behin again. It confused me. I was taking medicine, I was the happiest I had been in years, but I still felt incomplete. I felt like something was missing, and for the longest time, I couldn’t figure it out.
However, on September 3, 2014…I figured out the missing piece. That was the night that I believed. That I truly, fully believed, that Jesus died on the cross for MY sins. And on the third day, He rose again. I was baptized on September 28, 2014, and ever since that night…my life has never been the same.
When I was planning out this post, I was going through my Facebook pictures to find some for each grade, and I noticed something truly amazing. Starting around 10th grade, I started to notice my demeanor changed. I was smiling more in pictures, and was visibly happier. I started to open up and was my weird self from Elementary school again. I started to forgive people I had never even DREAMED of forgiving for years and years. All of these things happening in my life, I had so many people to thank, but at the end of the day, I owe it all to Jesus, my savior.
Sadly, my sophomore year was not all rainbows and butterflies. But that’s what keeps life interesting, new adventures and trials everyday. On December 13, 2014 (12/13/14), my father passed away. I don’t think I could explain to you my emotions on that day. One journal entry I have might can explain, and also hopefully will show God’s grace:
Thanks, King Jesus.
One question I have asked myself multiple times. The pain. Is it normal? But at the same time, I am kicking myself bc duh, it’s totally normal for me to feel like I do. My own flesh and blood, daddy, a piece of me, he is no longer alive on the earth. But, one thing that makes my soul radiate with compassion and joy for such a wonderful God, daddy is alive and no longer in pain with God, Brice, Bubby, and everyone else…IN HEAVEN! How flippin’ awesome is that!?
- Matthew 5:4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
- (God of All Comfort) 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 Blessed be the God and the Father of our Lord Jesus, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, (v.4) Who comforts us in all our afflictions, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we [OURSELVES ARE COMFORTED BY GOD.]
Daddy is safe with Jesus in Heaven. I love you, dad. This is not goodbye, it’s see you later. I will hold down the fort while you are gone.
Losing my dad was a hard thing, and it took me a good while to accept it and not particularly move on, but keep living vicariously through him, waking up and knowing that my dad is looking down on me everyday, smiling. I love you dad. Forever and always, and I will see you again one day.
I grew in my faith even more, becoming more bold with my prayers, bible study, and with what I believed in…also, it is so weird that this was just last year….like I’m not a junior anymore, SAY WHAT?????
12TH GRADE-THE PRESENT
My salvation story is NEVER-ENDING. That is what is so beautiful about The Lord. He saves us of our sins each and every day, and as cheesy as it sounds-every day is a new adventure in this beautiful life of mine. I meet new people, read new verses, learn new facts, my life is so far from boring…and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Y’all, I love you. God loves you. There is no other way to say it. I don’t know where I will be sent tomorrow to witness the gospel, I don’t know what is going to be thrown at me next-but it is so fulfilling to feel the anticipation each and every day. A life with God is spontaneous, it’s beautiful, it’s rewarding, it’s my saving grace. There will always be hard days, but there will also ALWAYS be JESUS. If Jesus is on my side, who can be against me?
Thank you SO SO SO MUCH if you read all the way down here! Everybody who reads my blog is seriously so awesome. This one post has been in the making for a couple months now, but I am so glad to have finally gotten the inspiration to complete it. God, loves you.