Fellow Residents of Cyberspace,
This fallen world is full of hurting, broken people. Today I want to take a moment or two of your time and share with you about a non-profit movement that is very near and dear to my heart. Some of you may have noticed the Social Vibe widget in the sidebar: To Write Love On Her Arms.
As I expressed last week, my struggles are relatively mild in comparison to so many others. TWLOHA is a movement that is committed to offering hope and supplying help to those who are suffering under the weight of depression, addiction, self-injury, and suicide. The heart and purpose of this group is to instill, instruct, enliven, and also to invest in healing and restoration. TWLOHA views these struggles as issues of humanity, problems of pain that affect millions.
My last post offered a glimpse into my highschool struggles and the reasons behind my heart for youth. I shared with you some of the effects and scars that bullying and heartache have impressed upon my soul. With cyber-bullying on the rise, there are countless new ways to tease and torture. Suicide is on the rise and teens and young adults are the demographic in which it is increasing at the greatest rate. Suicide is currently the third leading cause of death for young people ages 15-24 (Center of Disease Control & Prevention).
Though cyber-bullying is not the only reason behind youth suicide, it is certainly a growing epidemic. According to the i-SAFE Foundation over half of adolescents and teens have been bullied online and more than 1 in 3 young people have been the subject of a cyber threat. Over 25% of adolescents and teens have been bullied repeatedly via cell phones or internet. Cyber-bullying victims are prone to low self-esteem and are more likely to contemplate suicide (Cyber-bullying Research Center Survey) Over 14% of highschool students have considered suicide and almost 7% have attempted. Victims of bullying are 2-9 times more likely to consider suicide than non-victims according to studies by Yale University.
Cyber-bullying is just one of many dire issues plaguing our youth today. Two out of three people who struggle with depression fail to seek help and depression left untreated is the leading cause of suicide. In America alone, an estimated 18 million people suffer from depression, 121 million worldwide (The National Institute of Mental Health). Among teens an estimated 20% will struggle with depression before they reach adulthood (The World Heath Organization).
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 1 million people die from suicide each year, which amounts to one death every 40 seconds. In the past, suicide rates have been the highest among the elderly, however rates among young people have been increasing so rapidly that they are the new group at highest risk in a third of all countries.
TWLOHA challenges us in saying that love is the simple answer to so many of our hardest questions and dares us to play the rescuers.
I have found my life’s joy in helping others, especially youth. I have witnessed too many amazing kids throw their lives away in an effort to receive even an ounce of attention, negative or otherwise. It has been my experience that an immense number of youth, this day and age, are crying out for someone to invest time, love, and faith in them. I have seen so many young ones simply fall through the cracks, virtually drowning as others look on from the sidelines, not making the slightest effort to reach out and save them. I believe others truly want to help but fail to recognize the means to go about it. All that some of these “troubled youth” need is someone to take the time to point them in a new direction, without fear of judgement. Someone to lean on and motivate them to be all that they can be in Christ.
I pray that you will be the change this world and these young ones so desperately need. Will you stand with me in this? Do me a favor and open your eyes to the lost and hurting. You won’t have to look very far.
Next week I will discuss my own struggle with depression and the judgement I was met with.
Until Next Week,
May You Live Each Moment As If It’s Your Last,
Weekly Reflections: (Disclaimer: The great depths of my sorrow can only be justly compared to the impressive heights of my joy. If you stay tuned in long enough you’ll begin to see the silver ray of hope in even the darkest of my reflections.)
Drawing of the Drape
Some facts exist about myself,
I feel I must forever hide,
Beyond one’s reach, upon a shelf,
For lack of trust I can’t confide.
These many secrets fill my past,
And long await to just be told,
To once for all be free at last,
Yet still they cleave; my heart they hold.
A poison festers deep within,
The source of fears and great distress,
A pain that stings and sears the skin,
A truth I never dare confess.
For only judgment would it bring,
That slowly crushes out the sun,
Devouring hope to which I cling,
Until the deed was duly done:
Another lost and lonely soul,
A broken heart that sorely aches,
That pleads and prays to just be whole,
Beneath the pain the spirit quakes.
To forge a new and lasting way,
Was not to be her future fate,
She’d never live to have her say,
A chance for that will come too late.
Her own destruction so complete,
An isolation that consumes,
An ugly, painful end to meet,
And all the while her death does loom.
This life can be at times unkind,
The truth can be too much to take,
Without the chance to just rewind,
Be ever mindful what’s at stake.
A girl who once was light and free,
With heart and hope and full of life,
A haunting memory makes her flee,
Her heart does break with too much strife.
Idealism was once her gift,
And optimism owned her verse,
But pleasant thoughts began to drift,
This blessing soon became her curse.
She just refused to see the bad,
She sought unrealistic good,
Her quest did slowly drive her mad,
And froze her solid where she stood.
The world has played her all too hard,
Without esteem from every start,
The world did hold the final card,
And left her heart still torn apart.
The last of hope is all but gone,
She chose the most extreme escape,
To never see another dawn,
To draw and fast the deadly drape.
Verse Of The Week:
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
– Psalm 139:13-14
What I’m Reading:
Eldest – Book Two In the Inheritance Cycle – By Christopher Paolini