I woke up this morning only to see the headline: “Aaron Hernandez, a former NFL player, found dead in prison cell”
Part of me wishes I could have visited him last night. I wish I could have asked him how he was holding up. I wish I could have listened to his struggle. I wish I could have told him that there was still hope for his life, and that he had value.
I know this man was a murder, but so am I. I have hated someone in my heart and in Jesus’ eyes, that’s considered murder (1st John 3:15).
But, even when I was alone, at my lowest, Jesus met me. He didn’t shun me. He helped me. I wish I could have let Aaron know that there was a solution. He wasn’t alone. He didn’t need to take his life.
Most of all I wished I could have told him that he mattered. Maybe, after the death of his dad, when Aaron was 16, he felt as though he didn’t matter. Maybe he thought that if his dad couldn’t see him and approve him, he would be reckless. I don’t know.
Maybe he never felt good enough. Maybe he didn’t feel like he would ever measure up. Maybe he was just trying to find his identity, where he fit.
Since I can’t tell him, I want to tell you… YOU matter.
I don’t know what you have gone through in your life. Maybe you have always been overlooked. Or, you’ve suffered with a long term illness. Or, you have always had to work so hard for what you have and never quite had enough. Maybe you’ve been abandon, cheated on, abused.Or maybe, like Aaron, you lost your dad at a critical age. Maybe it wasn’t by death, but through mental illness.
But… YOU MATTER!
Even if the whole world says to you, you don’t have value. I know someone who endured the world’s cruelty in order for you to have someone to stand by you in the darkest of nights.
You, my dear friend, are precious. You have worth. You are priceless.
Don’t listen to the lies that say:
- You’re not good enough.
- Your deserved what (the abuse) you got
- You won’t amount to anything
- You are better off dead
No, you’re better off alive. You have a story to tell. You have experiences that others could benefit from. You are unique and your DNA says that there is NO ONE like you.
I know life can be hard, but don’t give up. Don’t give in. If you’re struggling, please reach out to someone close. You can reach out to me too.