Each house we drive by has a story unfolding inside. The chapters belong to the faces of whoever lives inside those walls. None of us knows exactly what’s happening as we blindly drive by.
It’s the girl walking down the road in her pajamas with a bloodied face and beaten up spirit.
It’s the eyes you lock with that show more raw emotion than you ever thought possible.
It’s the teen trying so hard to hide what’s happening behind closed doors. The addiction that has them trapped, but they have no idea how to crawl out of the shackle of shame.
It’s the person who grabs one more carton of ice cream and chokes it down to ease the pain inside….or the one refusing to eat at all because it’s the only thing they can control.
It’s the little child who cringes at voices. The one who’s quiet in a crowd. Over looked. Full of fear. Learning to lie to survive and even worse….starting to believe the lies about themselves.
It’s the overwhelmed mom in the store screaming at her kids. Lashing out at the wrong people for hurt someone else caused.
It’s the man in the middle of the intersection who hops out of his car to start screaming at the person behind him. A once little boy turned into a bully full of rage.
It’s the family wondering where their next meal will come from or how they’ll pay the stack of bills on the counter.
It’s the one crying in the bathroom as they harm themselves. Or looking at another negative pregnancy test…or another positive one.
It’s the one who hides in the closest trying to find a safe place to be.
It’s the addict who looks at all their pill bottles, consumed with the thought of how they can get more. How many more surgeries can they safely have. How many more doctors can they see before someone starts to connect the dots.
It’s the picture perfect family with the terrible secret. They really don’t resemble a family at all. The silence is piercing. The emotional abuse is suffocating.
It’s the one all alone.
It’s the house full of joyful drinking. But the drinks are no longer an option. Lives are being controlling by them.
It’s the one who acts like they’re strong, but they know what others don’t. Words and actions don’t match.
It’s the freedom fighter who isn’t really free themselves.
It’s the one who can barely crawl out of bed some days. The pain is too much. Everyone else is to blame for how they got there. They are trapped in their own reality.
It’s the grieving soul. Struggling to make it through the next minute. Shattered. Lost. Broken.
It’s the one who never follows through. There’s been no growth in years. Just excuses. The mountain of lies took years to build.
It’s the overworked. Striving for some false type of success that is never achieved. Ten years go by. Then twenty. And five more. The work never stopped and now there’s no time left.
It’s the one wondering why no one sees what’s happening.
It’s the person burying all their hurt. They feel like they have to or it will swallow them when in fact it already has.
It’s the one who bought into the hustle mentality. Seeing each person as a potential prospect. Frantic from one month to the next trying to reach quotas and missing out on genuine relationships and the very people around them.
It’s the one left with only photos to look at.
It’s the person who can’t take one more empty apology…or never gets one at all.
It’s the person who is always the victim. Always suffering at the hands of others. Always giving themselves permission to stay right where they’re at.
It’s the one reading their diagnosis for the tenth time. Hoping somehow someway, if they stare at it long enough it’ll change.
It’s the parent who’s overtaken with grief. They haven’t seen their child in years and have to face that they may never again. Or… they stand beside a grave marked with the name they chose for their child. And it just doesn’t seem real.
It’s the one who knows scripture but won’t let it transform them.
It’s the person always taking care of everyone else as they continue to weaken from lack of self care.
It’s the one saying I’ll get to that tomorrow, but tomorrow never comes.
It’s the one full of fear and anxiety trying to make it through each day. Stuck in the cycle of trying the same thing over and over.
It’s one the who still hears the taunting voices of others twenty years later. The one who let their identity become what others falsely claimed.
It’s the one who never got to say goodbye.
It’s the one curled in a ball praying with all their might.
It’s the one who just can’t take anymore. The one who’s tried to save her family and lost herself in the process. The one seeking answers, any answers. Something to make all this stop.
It’s the one who’s always right. So right that they’ve pushed everyone away.
It’s the one who can’t out run, or exercise away the ache inside.
It’s the tear stained pillows.
It’s the hardened hearts.
It’s the spouse left with once was while they face what is.
It’s the abuse cycle being passed down from one generation to the next.
It’s the person sitting in the chair. Frozen. Wondering how this could have happened.
It’s the one trying to start over. Trying to put back the pieces of their life.
It’s the one experiencing horrific things that no person ever should.
It’s the one who’s lost all hope, and has no one who’ll listen.
It’s the person who was so hurt by their church that they now blame God.
Every house, every person has a story. Cars may sit outside. Toys may be in the yard. But inside things are happening that no one sees.
Thankfully there are many houses where things are ok inside. My fear is there are too many where things aren’t. How often do we miss what needs to be seen.
It’s easy to head to our next destination with schedules and activities on our minds. What if during all that busyness we paused and took time to pray for every house we drove past.
You never know how badly someone inside might need it!
And if you’re one of the unseen…I’m so sorry. Do you know how I could write these potential scenarios? Because I’ve lived at a few of these addresses. And the one thing I want you to hear is this- there really is a God who loves you and sees you. He is very near. Circumstances won’t always make sense, but He can be trusted. In my hardest moments is when I feel His deepest love.
If you need help please reach out. You don’t have to suffer in silence.
Wrapped in His grace,