Due to the subject of suicide discussed in this post, please get a parents permission for younger audiences.
When I first heard the plot of the new series 13 Reasons Why, I was a little bit shocked.
Before long, I was saddened and even heart broken. From movie reviews and articles I’ve read regarding the series, the content surprised me. There are so many movies out there today encouraging teens to do wrong, even harmful, things, or portraying something that goes against Scripture. But what hurt my heart most about this series is how it makes suicide appear. In this series, the main character who is actually dead, gives 13 reasons why she killed herself.
People may argue that this film promotes the end of bullying, or they may argue that it promotes everyone to be kind to others. I’d have to disagree.
Teenagers (coming from a young woman who has just recently left her teenage years) are very impressionable. As a teen, we are just beginning to grow up and we can be very heavily influenced by media, such as music, books, movies, or television. Because of this, it breaks my heart to think that any movie or TV series, no matter what it the show is, would romanticize suicide or make suicide look like an escape. Listen close, please. Suicide is neither an escape, nor is it beautiful in any way. It does not fix problems, it creates them. Suicide is not a way to get back at someone who hurt you. It only prevents you from having the opportunity to heal from your hurt.
So instead of writing an article giving my whole opinion on this movie, I chose instead to write my own article encouraging you that suicide is not the answer. These are my thirteen reasons why you should stay alive.
My 13 reasons why NOT to commit suicide.
1. You are loved. I think this world has a way of twisting our ideas of what love is. And I also think we all know that love isn’t really like a Disney or Hallmark movie. In the real world, love hurts, love is selfish, and love goes away. But the truth about this love is that it isn’t real. It’s a fake version of love. Real love is the God of the universe who sent His Son to die for a people who turned their backs on Him. Real love is Jesus dying on the cross when we still did not know Him and when we spit in His face. Real love is our Savior continuing to pursue us even after we continue to fail Him. That’s real love. A sacrificial, unselfish love. And here’s the thing, I know loving people hurts. Humans hurt each other. People you love may walk out on you, people you love may not return that love, and people you love may break your heart and trample on it. But that does not make you unloved or unlovable. Because the God who made you looks at you and calls you His beloved. He chases you and declares you loved. He gave up everything for you. He died on that cross for you, because He loved you. You are so beautifully, perfectly, and completely loved. And not one thing in this whole world can change that. (Romans 8:38-39)
2. You are a child of God. Some of you may have been hurt or wounded by your parents, because parents are human too. Some of you might not even know your parents. What I want to encourage you with is that you are a child of God and He is a good, perfect Parent. When He rescued us from our sins and died on that cross for us, He could've just said we could be friends or followers or even servants of Him. But He went way beyond that. He made you His child. And as a child of God you have purpose and meaning far beyond your wildest dreams. (1 John 3:1)
3. Your current situation won’t last forever. It may seem like it will, I know. But I promise you that it won’t. Do you remember how quickly the seasons seem to change? Summer always goes the fastest in my opinion. Before we know it though, winter has come and gone too. Just as the seasons change so quickly, so do our lives. One decision, one accident, one friend, one opportunity, one dream, can change it all. You may be in pain right now, you may feel like what you’re going through won’t end, but I promise you that this winter will end and summer will come one day. (Psalm 30:5)
4. God has a perfect and good plan for your life. If you’re anything like me, you’re a planner. Basically I mean I’m a five and ten year plan kind of girl. I plan out my entire life. But you know what? Life doesn’t always go according to our plans, does it? Accidents happen, the doctor’s diagnosis isn’t good, we lose our jobs, things just don’t always go how we think they should. But I also know that God is control of everything in your life. Nothing happens that He doesn’t see or plan. Yes, bad things happen because we’re human and we sin. We live in a sinful world. Yet that doesn’t mean God isn’t still in control, because He is. And His plans for you are good and perfect and meant to bring you closer to Himself. (Jeremiah 29:11)
5. You have an assignment. If you are breathing, you still have a purpose. If your heart is still beating, you still have a task to accomplish. You were put on this earth for a purpose and a reason and until you fulfill it, you are meant to stay here. God has a big dream for your life that is beautiful. He put people in your life that only you can reach. He put people in your path that only you can encourage. But if you’re gone, you can’t. You can’t leave until God has completed His perfect work in you. But if you’re reading this right now, your life and purpose isn’t complete yet. (Philippians 1:6)
6. Suicide does not fix the problem. God fixes the problem. Suicide is final. It can’t be taken back. It is not a way to get revenge on someone who hurt you. It is not the way to hurt the people who wounded you. Suicide only cuts off any chance of things getting better. Suicide only guarantees that the problem will not go away. God is for you and He will take care of what happened to you. He will restore what was taken from you and He will heal you and fix the problems, because He is the answer to everything. Revenge is His, not yours to take. (Romans 12:19)
7. You are a masterpiece. You are fearfully and wonderfully made. Have you ever made something creative and worked really hard on it? Maybe you’re an artist and worked really hard on a special painting. Maybe you’re a writer and worked super hard on a new novel. Isn’t it an incredible feeling when it’s finally complete? As a writer, I know the joy and love of working on a writing project and finally finishing it. As a creative person, I know how much joy I find in my creative arts. So can you just imagine the joy God felt when He finished making you? Can’t you imagine the way He smiled when you were finally complete? He loved every part of you as He beautifully made you complete. (Psalm 139:13-14)
8. Every day is a new beginning. Sometimes guilt makes us feel like we can’t go on, doesn’t it? Because we’re human and sometimes we make mistakes that devastate others or destroy our own lives. And it can be hard to live with the guilt of the mistake or the consequence of the choice. But this is a promise from God: His mercy toward you is new every morning. Every time that sun rises again, it’s a new beginning. Every day is a chance to start over again. (Lamentations 3:22-23)
9. You are priceless. The world tries so hard to cheapen the value of our lives. It tries so hard to get us to act, talk, dress, and live in a way that is cheap. I think the devil tries so hard to get us to view ourselves as cheap, because he knows that if we knew how valuable we really are, we would be unstoppable. You are more valuable than you know, my friend. Your life has worth beyond what you can see. You are priceless to the King of the universe. (Matthew 10:29-31)
10. Someone is looking up to you. Whether you know it or not, someone is watching you. Little eyes are paying attention to what you do. A little sibling, a younger kid from youth group or school, little eyes on the field or watching you on a stage. Wherever you are, someone is watching you and they look up to you. If you take your life, you will destroy them. Give them a real example. Step up and give them a reason to look up to you. (1 Timothy 4:12)
11. You haven’t lived your whole adventure yet. Ever since I was a little girl, I have thrived on adventure. Yet sometimes life gets in the way of our crazy, little kid adventure fantasies. But you know what? Life itself is a beautiful adventure God is placing before you every day. And you haven’t lived your whole adventure yet. There are still new oceans to swim in, exotic foods to try, people to meet, roller coasters to ride, and mountains to explore. Don’t leave yet. Tomorrow is an unopened adventure waiting to be lived. (Hebrews 12:1-2)
12. You are not forgotten. Being forgotten is an awful feeling. It leaves us feeling used, broken, and unnoticed. Being forgotten makes us feel worthless, unseen. And inside all of us, we desperately want someone to see the real us. You know what God—the God who is crazy about you—says? He says that even a mother can forget her child, something that seems unfathomable to us. But even if a mother forgets her child, God will never forget you. You are fully seen, fully known, and fully remembered by the God of all creation. (Isaiah 49:15)
13. You are not alone. He is with you. Right here, right now. Jesus is standing with you, holding you. When everyone else walks out, He walks in and He holds you close. When everyone else abandons you, He holds you tighter. When your heart breaks, He holds it together. When your tears fall, He weeps with you. You are not alone. You may feel like it, I’m not denying that. But feelings lie. Feelings twist the truth and they make you forget what is really true. Listen close as I assure you that the truth is that God is with you right now. He will never leave you. You are not alone. (Psalm 23:4; Zephaniah 3:17; Psalm 34:18)
Don’t leave yet. You’re here for a reason. You’re here for such a time as this.
You are loved.
Don’t give up.
A big congratulations to the two winners of my giveaway for the launch of my brand NEW book, "Yes You Can"! :D
Winning the first place prize, which is a signed copy of my first book, "I Dare You," and a copy of "Yes, You Can," is... Carissa P!!
Winning the second place prize, which is a signed copy of "Yes You Can," is.... Grace B!!
Both of you should be receiving your prizes in the mail shortly. :) Thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway and helped spread the word about my new book! I'm so thankful for each of you! <3
If you still want my book but didn't win, don't worry because during the month of May "Yes, You Can" is on sale for only $5 (plus $3 shipping) each!! Pretty cool, right?! And each of my other books is only $10. :)
Happy reading and congratulations, winners! ♥
"Do you have a boyfriend?"
That common question that gets asked to just about every single girl at some point in her life. Oddly enough, it keeps getting asked earlier and earlier, even to girls in middle and high school. It's also the question that just about every single girl usually dreads. The question us single girls are tired of hearing.
After I turned sixteen years old it became so much more common to hear this question asked to me. Friends, family, people I knew years ago, strangers, you name it. It's the question everyone wants to know the answer to because the world is obsessed with this Hollywood idea of "love."
We've been taught it from a young age. We've been trained since we were children that someday our prince charming would come and rescue us and until he did we would just have to wait for him. Or worse. The world today now teaches girls that if our prince charming hasn't come along yet, we need to go find him and take control ourselves. We are taught to act, speak, dress, and flirt in a way that draws the attention of the opposite gender. You don't have a boyfriend? Well, change your wardrobe or hairstyle a bit and maybe he'll come knocking on your door. Or so they tell us.
Maybe that's why us single ladies hate this question so much. Because if we answer "no" to the question of whether or not we have a boyfriend, we know the dreaded follow up question that is bound to come next.
"Well, why not?"
Although casual dating is kind of a newer thing, wasn't around a couple hundred years ago, it's now considered the "normal," and it's "weird" if you aren't casually dating or you don't have a boyfriend. So naturally if you are single the world is going to wonder why. Most people will mean well and even genuinely want to help. Yet this question still brings up dread in the heart of the single girl.
Because the truth?
We sometimes wonder it ourselves, don't we? We ask this question ourselves in the back of our minds. Why don't I have a boyfriend? Is something wrong with me? Why doesn't anyone want to date me? Will anyone ever love me?
If not kept under control, us ladies can begin to panic, wondering why we actually don't have a boyfriend, and eventually begin to critique all the things that we think are wrong with us.
I'm 20 years old and I've never had a boyfriend.
According to the world that's pretty weird (Let's be honest here though, most of my life is weird to the world...). And trust me, if I had a dollar for every time someone asked me if I had a boyfriend, I'd be rich by now. Now if you think you can handle it, I'll even share something that probably makes me even weirder...
Not only have I never had a boyfriend, but I also don't believe in casual dating either. Yep, I expected shock for a reaction.
You see, beautiful friend, your don't have to chase after boy after boy trying to find a love that will satisfy or trying to keep up with the world's idea of love. Casual dating is just that, casual. It includes no commitment. Someday if God wills that I get married, I want to enter into a dating/courting relationship with the mindset being commitment. Because I know that God says I'm priceless. You're priceless too. So here are 5 reasons why having a boyfriend should not be your only goal...
1. Your single years are a gift. Oh, sweet girl, your singleness is such a beautiful gift given to you right now. Every season in our lives is unique and beautiful, and singleness is no exception. If you are single right now, God has a very important reason for that. If He wants you to get married one day, He will and He will bring that right man into your life at the perfect time, His time. So for now, your goal is not to chase him down and find him. Your goal is not to pursue him or flaunt yourself to win his affection. Your goal is to use your time wisely. You're young. You only get these years once. You won't be this young forever. Why don't you use this time to do something great for God? Start a ministry for girls, begin a Bible study, write a book, invest in your siblings, learn how to cook (I'm still working on this one...). Use your single years wisely because they are a gift to you and a gift that you only get once in your life.
2. You already have a Prince. When you make finding an earthly love your only goal in life, you leave no room to pursue your true Lover. You see, the true Lover of your soul has been pursuing you since the day you were born. He has quietly been wooing you with His love and giving you reason upon reason to fall in love with Him. He is crazy about you. His love is the only thing you will ever need. His love is all that will satisfy you. When Jesus Christ died on that cross to rescue you, He was saying that He loved you more than anything else and would give everything up just to be with you forever. When you are secure in His love for you, that's when you understand that you don't have to have a boyfriend to be satisfied. You are satisfied in your true Prince. Use the time you have now to invest in your relationship with Him.
3. Your worth does not come from a boyfriend. This is a big one, girls. So often it can be easy for us to place our worth in man. It can be easy to convince ourselves that if we don't have a boyfriend, we aren't worthy of love or we are worthless. Listen closely to me as I cup your chin in my hands and look into those beautiful eyes of yours. Your worth does not come from any boy. Your worth comes from Jesus and He says you're priceless. He says you're worth dying for because He loves you. No man or person can take that from you.
4. Having a boyfriend is not the only reason you're alive. Honestly, neither is getting married. While both of these things are good things in God's timing, they are not why He created you. They are not the only reason you are alive on this earth. If these good things are in God's plan for your life, they will happen in His perfect timing and they will be a part of His perfect plan for your life. But your goal in life, the reason you are alive, is to honor your Creator. The reason you are here is so much bigger than yourself. Your goal should be to bring glory to His Name (Psalm 115:1). Your purpose should be to follow His will, whatever that may be in your life.
5. There's more to life than just boys. If you disagree, then your life is very boring. (Quote taken from the amazing Rachel.) It's so true, ladies. Life is not just about boys, falling in love, and getting a boyfriend. There's a giant big world out there to adventure in and discover! You've got goals, dreams, plans, adventures to live! Life is super exciting. I look back on what God's done in my life over the last several years and I'm amazed at the adventure He's led me on. If I was so focused on getting a boyfriend, I might not have had the time or energy to experience this great journey God has for me right now. He's got an adventure for you too, beautiful princess.
Girls, no boy will be able to complete you, so don't spend all your time trying to find one that will. The only One able to complete you already has. He calls you His princess. He has given you a gift right now of this moment and He wants you to live it to the fullest. It's not time to whine or sulk about wanting a boyfriend and it's not time to go out and flirt until you find one. It's time to embrace your princess identity and enjoy every moment of your life. It's time to celebrate.
Oh, and the next time someone asks you if you have a boyfriend?
You tell them you already found your true Prince and His Name is Jesus. ♥
It seems like just yesterday I turned thirteen years old.
I remember how excited I was. Finally a teenager. That lovely age where you're growing up. No longer a child, but not an adult yet either. A sometimes confusing, frustrating, yet beautiful age.
Now here I am today, at the dawn of turning twenty years old.
After today, I will no longer be a "teenager." My teenage years have come and gone.
I look back on the last seven years of my life and I'm amazing at how quickly they flew by. I ponder the fact that life is a vapor (James 4:14) and our days are numbered. They do not last forever. Time is a ticking clock that doesn't slow down for anyone.
The one thing about being young is that we feel we have our whole lives ahead of us. We think we have so much time. The common saying among teens today is "You only live once."
And that's right. You do only live once. But it's wrong, because it teaches that we can do whatever we want and not worry about the consequences because we can live however we want to. After all, when you're young you have so many years left to live well, don't you? Maybe. You don't know that.
The honest truth is that you don't know how many days you have to live.
You could die tomorrow. You could die in an hour. You don't know.
Yes, you may very well have your whole life left to live and may not die until you're old and have lived a long life. But what if you don't?
Would you be happy with the life you have lived?
It is so easy to put off stuff until tomorrow. Tomorrow is like a beautiful lie that we convince ourselves is ours to claim. We claim control of our lives and try to be our own master by treating our futures like they are certain. When they aren't.
We convince ourselves, "I'm too young to make a difference. I'm only a teenager. God couldn't use me. No one will take me seriously. I need to wait until I'm older to make a difference. When I'm older, then God will use me."
Oh, sweet friend, won't you let me tell a truth that is crazy awesome.
God wants to use you. Right now. Today. No matter how young you are. No matter how old you are. No matter how inadequate you feel. No matter what your past looks like. No matter what your fears are for your future. God wants to use you right here in the middle of your beautiful mess.
Because the great news?
He looks at your beautiful mess and He sees a story He has written waiting to be told. And this story doesn't begin when you turn 20, when you stop being a teenager, or when you become an adult.
No, this story is happening right now in front of us. Every moment God is whispering to you and asking you to join Him on the great adventure He has for your life. Right now He is asking you to let Him use your youth for His glory.
Time goes fast. Trust me, I know. When I was a young teenager--thirteen, fourteen, fifteen--I struggled so much with wanting to be grown up so I could "change the world." I wanted to do something big and great for God. I didn't think I could do that until I was older and so I wasted away my days dreaming about "tomorrow" when I would be old enough for God to use me.
Please, don't do that.
Please, don't waste your youth waiting to be older, waiting for God to use you. In the most mundane of tasks, God can use you to change someone's life, so don't you dare say for a moment that God can't use you right where you are. Because I promise you that He can. And He wants to! That's the amazing part of it. He doesn't need us, He wants us.
By God's grace I've published four books, started my own magazine ministry, created a blog, and have had other wonderful opportunities during my teenage years. God has been so amazing to me. I look back on what He has done, not just in the last seven years, but over my whole life, and I am blown away by His love for me. He loves to give good gifts to His children. He loves to give good gifts to you.
This is my challenge to you today.
Seize your youth. Seize today. Look to Jesus and ask Him what He wants you to do today to bring glory to His Name. What if it was your last day to live? What would you want to do today to show Him how much you love Him before you see Him face to face?
Serve Him today. Serve His people. Love Him today. Love His people. Glorify Him in everything you do. Let Him use your youth to do something amazing, something only He could do. You are not too young.
He has created you for this moment, right now. Seize it.
Make today amazing for Him, before today is yesterday. ♥
Isabella Morganthal (20) is a homeschool high school graduate who loves Jesus with all of her heart. She is a drummer, writer, creative arts director, and modern-day abolitionist.