I did it. I jumped on the bandwagon and watched “13 Reasons Why.” It was only the first episode, but one episode was enough. Rather than giving my review or sharing how I felt a little sick to my stomach after watching, I’d like to offer a few reasons why life is better.
Now I realize suicide is a difficult issue with many dynamics. I understand that those in that kind of darkness feel overwhelmed, as if there’s no way out or that suicide is preferable to whatever alternative they’re facing. I don’t wish to sound all “Johnny Sunshine” nor do I wish to belittle the difficulties of those who struggle in this way. I do, however, believe that life is better, and it is right to remind ourselves why this is true.
It may sound odd to begin with this, but it changes everything. Because God is, the rest of these things are true.
You are valuable.
You are unique, quirky, gifted, beautiful, and more because you are made in the image of God. Life’s thrown you some hard knocks but none of those are powerful enough take away the truth that you are valuable.
No, it’s not a campaign slogan. Yes, it is true. I don’t mean hope as in wishful thinking but real hope. Thing won’t always be this way (see the next reason). Darkness does eventually give way to the light.
Most of the time we don’t like to hear about change, but change can be good. Growth requires change; that’s good. When things seem hopeless, change is good. Change means they won’t always seem that way.
Life is better because there is true goodness and right. These things are worth pursuing. Most often goodness and right are sharpened in our lives through difficulty. At these times, the temptation to give up can be strong. Don’t give up. Hang on because goodness and right are valuable and character matters.
Wounds can heal.
Sometimes wounded areas heal to be stronger than they were before. This only happens when we hang tight through the healing process.
Somebody needs you.
Wounds can heal but sometimes they don’t heal like we want. And even if they do heal, we never really forget. Maybe one of the reasons we remember is because somebody needs us. Somebody needs to know that he or she is not alone and because you have experienced hurt and come though it, you can help.
Life offers “re-do’s.”
We don’t always get re-do’s. Things don’t always turn out the way we want. But life is still better because life offers re-do’s (hope, healing, change…). Death never does.
Speaking of what life offers that death doesn’t, life offers beauty. 13 reasons? How about looking for 13 instances of beauty around us.
Life is better because it offers laughter. Been to a funeral lately? I’d bet that if there was any laughter there it was either the jaded, disillusioned kind or it was laughter at memories of life. Get that? Laughter and joy come in life.
What is it they say? No man is an island. Neither, by the way, is any woman, boy, or girl. In the web of relationships in life, somebody cares. Don’t think somebody cares? Why else would so many of us be responding to this show if we didn’t give a rip?
God is. God created us in His image. He created us for joy and life in Him. We looked for life elsewhere. Enter brokenness, disillusionment, darkness, depression… God doesn’t leave us stuck there. He pursues us with His love offering life and joy in Jesus. And if Jesus really rose from the dead, He’s been through the darkness and can really offer life (isn’t that worth at least looking into?).
No, it’s not a typo. Yes, it’s a repetition. And it’s worth repeating. Hope exists. But here’s the thing, because of the God who created us for life and Jesus who secures life, hope is more solid than we previously thought. Life is better. It won’t always seem better. But when we trust in Jesus, we can know it’s better because of an empty tomb; a death-conquering, life-giving Hope!