As a teenager, I like many others constantly fight a battle every day against who I am and who the enemy says I am. Through this season of life, I am in, every day has been a new battle with my reflection of who I am. I am guilty. It is all my fault. I am not worthy.
November 19, 2018 my mom and I came home from a long day of running errands to find my younger brother, Richard, dead in his room. He ended his own life by suicide. When Richard chose to leave this world, he also left me. I felt alone. Hopeless. Defeated Deep Sorrow. Shame. Guilt. He left me with the memory of my mom and I finding him in his death. He was gone and I was still here, left to somehow pick myself up off the floor and pick up the pieces of this awful choice he made. Left here with all the thoughts and immense feelings of somehow in some way is this my fault? Am I to blame?
I think everyone felt guilty in a way. I myself felt that there was so much more I could have done. The enemy tells me it’s all my fault, I’m to blame, I am guilty because I could have done so much more. The enemy whispers to me that I should be held responsible because I should have been a better sister to him. I am in immense pain because I feel ashamed for laughing with friends or finding happiness and joy when really, I should be sad because my best friend isn’t here to share the laughs with me anymore. And for a while, I believed the whispers from the enemy. I stared myself in the mirror day in and day out disgusted by what I saw because I was holding myself responsible for my brothers' death.
For months I have been searching for happiness. I’ve put on a brave face for my parents, a smile for my friends, I’ve said I’m doing “okay” because it’s easier than explaining why my life feels like it has completely fallen apart. How could I possibly be happy again when I am to blame? How could I ever laugh again without feeling guilty? But I came across this Bible verse that told me otherwise. “I am chosen, holy, and blameless before God” (Ephesians 1:4).
God looks at me and calls me BLAMELESS. He says I am chosen. He chooses us! Despite our flaws, despite our many mistakes, he loves us even when we fail to the fullest extent.
I am not held responsible for another person's actions. I am not at fault for someone taking their own life. I am not to blame. I am blameless! We all are!
Maybe your story doesn’t look the same as mine. Maybe you feel guilty because your parents got divorced and you feel it’s your fault. Maybe you feel guilty for a parent walking out on you. Maybe you are shameful for a loved one's sadness. Whatever it is I want you to know that you are chosen, holy, and blameless before God.
I have been trying to remind myself of this every day, instead of looking myself in the mirror and letting the enemy rule over my happiness. I will tell myself that I am blameless and chosen by God. Instead of letting the enemy control how I live my life, I will choose to wake up every day with a smile. I will walk out of my life living up to my fullest potential. I will take control of my joy and stare down the enemy and smile away because there is a reason and a purpose we are all here!
Let the Lord save you from your guilt and shame, know your worth! You are loved, you are BLAMELESS!