My husband Ryan and I have rented a 3-story, 100 year old townhouse in Central, PA since we got married. It sits right on the corner of two busy streets with a pointy, castle-looking rooftop. The stairs are steep and the dining room is floor to ceiling pink-flowered wallpaper. The outside of the house is covered with ivy. Its growth is literally out of control. So much so that over this past summer, the ivy forced its way through a crack in our window and was growing in my kitchen! I honestly never knew how resilient ivy could be until living there.
My story, like most, has had its share of challenges. I’ve spent so many nights crying out to God, feeling like my tears were the only real thing left about me. Grief comes around trying to bury me alive, but like the resiliency of the ivy, I surprise myself with a steadfast determination. I see that determination in so many of us.
As I sit here and flip through the pages of my mind, I’m re-reading the words that were spoken to me when I thought I couldn’t go on. The encouragement and support I received saved my life more than once, and I am struck by the enormous need we ALL have for genuine validation when we are facing dark times.
So many of us have emotional health illnesses that make us feel completely misunderstood. We desperately want those who are close to us to talk to us and care for us, but instead we are met with cliché phrases or silence as so many people “just don’t know what to say.”
Hope Noted is on a mission to create an environment where people who are struggling can feel authentically seen, accurately heard, and openly supported.
It’s so exciting to be a part of this community and I am so thankful you found us. I truly believe that we are all like the ivy climbing it’s way up the walls: resilient and filled with an unpredictable growth.
With the right support system, there’s just no telling how far we will go!
Photo by Jasmine Sweigart