And how many more of us are susceptible to the same trap? Of letting our idols rule our identities, and steal our very lives.
I say all of this not to judge Kate Spade or to pretend I know more about her life or death than I actually do, but rather to release a message I think the world needs to hear…
Because how many suicides are we going to sit here and headline with tears and prayers before we say what ACTUALLY needs to be said?
I lost the Kate Spade purse my ex-boyfriend gave me many years ago (I promise there’s a point to this story), so the only thing I have left of her is an iPod case that I still use to this day — yeah the old school kind.
And I’m so grateful, because now every time my runner’s feet pound the pavement with the musical device wrapped in her beautiful handiwork, I will look at her name and remember…
I will remember that fame isn’t enough.
I will remember that talent isn’t enough.
I will remember that an iconic fashion empire isn’t enough.
I will remember that money can’t buy happiness.
I will remember that husbands can leave.
I will remember that a picture-perfect life is a lie.
…and that mental illness can steal your mind.
I will remember that no matter who you are, you too, are a victim of this broken world — a broken world that can ONLY be redeemed by the precious blood of Jesus Christ.
A few years ago, after leaving an inpatient facility for depression much like the one Kate Spade’s sister was trying to get her to go to, I had a mini-revelation during my run with the very iPod that is now encased by the designer’s work — and I’d like to share it with you:
“This is the park trail I run through every day. It’s not glamorous nor nestled amidst a breathtaking view of redwoods, morning glories, or majestic heights. Constituting of concrete, a little gravel, and a lot of grass, it’s strikingly average, remarkably plain. Thus, it is not the environment that cultivates my connection with the Holy Spirit here, but the path.”
“It’s fire in my lungs, the release of pressure, and the remotest sense of peace that momentarily pierces confusion—a gift so dear to a mind in which clarity is a rarity. It’s the restoration of dreams channeled from iPod to eardrum and through my very veins as I rhythmically pound pink to pavement, bringing bold color to a bland canvas [much as Kate did]. It’s the reminder that perseverance precedes overcoming and that what saves a man is to take a step, then another step. It’s where I someday imagine that sidewalk morphing into a red carpet, a runway, or a yellow brick road, and on the same token reflect that perhaps those are all merely this same concrete lost in translation—often crooked & always hard, adorned by the aspirations of a fallen world. People often ask me, ‘Why do you run? Where to? What for? What from? How fast? How long?’ With all due respect, I think those are all the wrong questions…I pose, ‘Who with?'”
So if you’re struggling, my charge to you is STAY in the race.
If you’re having thoughts of suicide, please remember that what saves a man is to take a step, then another step — with Jesus.
If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, or text “START” to 741-741.
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