“Aliza,” he said, and his voice sounded full so I craned my neck to listen closer and she was there, too, smiling, looking directly into my heart as he spoke.
“It’s okay to not be okay.”
I sat back, and the tears welled up behind my sunglasses. Because no one had ever said those words to me before. And maybe, even if someone had said them, maybe I wouldn’t have believed them, because doesn’t being broken scream to people that you’re weak?
So my friends, Nick and Sarah, they say this to me, on a six-hour road trip to the capital city of Canada. While the trees roll by, and the silence seems holy, and these words are the kind that sit in the pit of your soul just aching to be spilled out of your lips and given as a precious offering to others.
We are twenty-three, and twenty-two, and nineteen, and we are Generation Y.
I once read that “Y” is the worst letter. It’s the wishbone, it’s the fork in the road, it’s the empty wineglass. It’s the question we ask ourselves over and over, as our worlds seem to shatter around us. A fitting description for my generation.
I believe that Generation Y is hurting. And broken. And hopeless. And maybe there are times where you feel hurt and broken and hopeless, too.
There are so many days where I feel like a disappointment. On those days, I’ll wonder why anyone believes in me, loves me or thinks of me as valuable. And I hold onto this disappointment and this pain with two clenched fists, refusing to let go.
My generation is made up of people like me. We’re all seemingly broken in different ways, and some brokenness is defined: often by suicide, depression, anxiety, eating disorders, bullying, self-worthlessness, self-hatred or self injury.
My brokenness is not defined. I am not clinically depressed or suicidal. I’ve never slit a razor against the flesh of my wrist. But I know sadness. And more than that, I know I desperately want hope.
Isn’t that true for us all?
I don’t know what your story holds. I do know that you’ve probably been broken, and maybe still are. That some days you’ve felt like giving up, but you’re still holding on. That through your weakness and your tiresome pain, there is beauty – even if right now it feels like the ugliest thing you’ve ever seen.
But most of all, I know that there is hope for you.
There is hope for you.
Nick and Sarah taught me that. They taught me that my story is significant, and that the telling of that story is healing. I believe your story is significant, too.
My friends, Nick and Sarah? They wanted others to know that hope is real and available for them – so they created an internet outreach project called Hashtag Hope to spread the message to people around them.
Hashtag Hope exists to tell you that it’s okay to not be okay, that you are significant to this world, and that you are deeply loved and valued.
This is for the hope-full, and the hope-filled, and the hope-less, and no matter what category you feel you fit under, please know this: there is sweet, sweet hope. For you, for me, for Generation Y.
Jesus sees us. He sees our needs. Our guilt, our shame, our brokenness. Our ripped, scarred skin, our crippling addiction, our overwhelming need for acceptance. Our good days, and our not so good days, and our just-want-to-hide-under-the-covers-and-eat-ice-cream days. And through all of that, He remains our steadfast Hope.
Some days I still hold tight to my pain and disappointment. But when I look into the eyes of Jesus, all of that unravels, because Jesus is the Hope I have been searching for this entire time.
In our desperate need, He is the Hope we long for. And with Him as our Hope, our healing can begin.
HASHTAG HOPE GIVEAWAY
Hashtag Hope has a clothing line to continue to spread the message of hope to as many people as possible. I’ve had the privilege of hand designing some of the t-shirts, tank tops and prints (the ones you see in the photos above). I full-heartedly believe in, agree with, and support Hashtag Hope.
Today we are giving away a few tees, tanks and prints. (Because who doesn’t love free stuff?! I know I do!)
You are significant, valuable and loved. There is – and always will be – Hope for you. To enter the giveaway, answer this question in the comments below:
Where do you feel you need hope the most?
(Giveaway for US and Canada only)
- To visit the Hashtag Hope Facebook Page, click here. If you would like to get encouragement from Twitter, click here. To get encouragement from Instagram, click here.
- To buy a shirt, tank top, or print, click here.
This giveaway is now closed. Winners were chosen randomly and have been contacted. Thank you for reading and participating!