BY MADELINE BURDINE
Back in 2017, this happened:
Over half a million people read something I wrote throughout the course of that week. Something from my little, seemingly-unimportant-wannabe-writer's heart had pricked a chord in thousands of hearts.
I remember that day so well. Just posting another anthem from my little heart and picking the phone back up to people's response. People's pouring out of positivity in a post rather than the put-down-Coach-Freeze party that became the source of the South's social media feed.
I remember that day. I remember meaning what I wrote in those lines. Leaning into the brokenness and wishing we could wish it away. Wishing I could write it away. Writing what I could to call out the brokenness and hurt and evil and replace it with beauty and healing and efforts to forgive.
I meant it. I felt it.
Fast forward a year and a half. Here I am. Typing this in a study area on my college campus. Typing and trying. Trying to come to terms. Trying to tease those same words of encouragement and hope out of myself. But...
What do I do when it happens to me, though?
A couple months ago, it did happen to me. The ever-so-popular destruction that sent the Freeze family into the social media mocking whirlwind struck my life in its own unique way.
I was angry. I was confused. The core of life as I'd known it had crumbled, and I was left standing in the rubble. Rummaging through what was left and looking for answers.
Do I still believe in what I wrote back in 2017? I do, yes.
But here's the thing (from a super honest hole inside of me): I'm not sure how to reach the breakthroughs that I wrote about before I was standing in the middle of my own life gasping for air and gushing in sadness.
I'm not sure which steps to take that would transform the situation into anything even somewhat beautiful.
I'm not sure where full forgiveness is found and felt.
To sum it up:
I'm not sure.
The more I experience and see and feel and endure, the more I see the beauty in screaming at the top of my lungs for all to hear, I'M NOT SURE.
So, I'm back on my feet. Back tapping my fingers on these keys. Back breathing and being me (whatever the heck that even means, right?). Once again, I'm not sure.
But I'm here for it. All-out here for it. Because when it happens to me (and you), being all-present for it is really all we can do. Pushing forward. Praying forward.
We don't have to be the source of ultimate help and peacemaker that we are used to being. We don't have to brush it under a rug and hide at the thought of whatever threw our world into a whirlwind of chaos. We don't have to be sure.
If it's all you have to say, say it already.
I'm not sure.
Hey, at least you're sure of that much.
Madeline Burdine is a Communications major with PR concentration at Mississippi State University. As Editor of Mississippi Millennials, her passion is to push people to higher heights within themselves, thinking more and doing more. Pursuing a career as a writer, Madeline enjoys running, reading, and learning.