Maddie’s story

Hello, my name is Maddie Larson. I am a junior in high school. I remember the first time I started listening to 98.5 ktis when I was in second grade, I was just fiddling with my radio when I stumbled upon the first song I heard from this radio station: My Lighthouse by Rend Collective. When I heard the song I fell in love with the music. I have been listening to 98.5 ever since then.
God has helped me through so many tough times. I struggle with Depression, anxiety, and PTSD. I went through an abusive childhood, as a kid my father would often abuse me physically and would say some very hurtful things to me that wouldn’t affect me until I was a bit older. Growing up my family was very catholic, I would go to church on the weekends and I would always find church boring as I was young but as I got older with time I found myself enjoying going to church. I would talk to God and pray.
However as I got older things got harder for me, I became depressed and it was hard for me to go to school and continue with life. When the pandemic hit in 2019 my family stopped attending church, though sometimes we would watch church virtually. During the time of the pandemic, I had gotten a guinea pig named Buttercup. He had helped me through my hard times during the pandemic. He was just like a little dog he would lie down and snuggle with me and he would even give me kisses on the cheek. During the pandemic I was at my lowest, I was distant from God, I stopped praying and became wrapped in a mess of negative emotions and I felt alone and scared. I lost myself.
As time went on, I became more distant from God. My depression became bad too and I tried to end my life. As a freshman, I went to the ER and stayed there for a couple of weeks recovering. While stuck in the ER it made me think more about life. Being stuck in a place for a while not able to go outside made me feel more grateful that I was alive and allowed to go to school and live my life. After coming out of the ER and getting additional help I felt better, and life kept going.
When I was a sophomore things at home got bad and I had to go back to the ER, I spent around the same amount of time as I did the last time in the ER. I had gotten so much help the last few years that time during my stay at the ER didn’t help.
Then I found writing. I found ways to put my emotions into words and those journal entries eventually became letters to god, every night before I would go to bed I would write to God about my day and how I was feeling. It had been a long time since I had talked to God. But it felt so good knowing that even if no one ever read the journal entries God would still hear me talking about it to him.
I had thought that God had abandoned me, but looking back now seeing things in my life that he had given me like Buttercup, he made me happy. Unfortunately, he passed away on October 7th,2023. It was evening and he died in my arms. He was in so much pain, I watched him die in my arms. It broke my heart so much, that I became so distant from God and my family. I had missed school and became sick.
I became upset, I kept asking ‘Why God? Why did you have to take him from me?’ He was the thing that kept me going in life. But seeing that he was in so much pain when he was dying and seeing him in peace when he finally left me brought some of the ease to me. But the grief just wouldn’t go away. I kept writing about my feelings to God, and I eventually started to write poems about my feelings and losing someone special.
Last year I got a Secret Santa gift from a teacher, it was a gift card to get another guinea pig. I was very surprised that a teacher had done that for me. It took me a few months to recover. I had often skipped going to the pet store to stop seeing other guinea pigs reminding me of the first time I had gotten Buttercup. Eventually, I went to the pet store and found a guinea pig the first time I saw him I wasn’t sure about getting him, but I took a picture to remember him and keep him in the back of my mind. Another two weeks went by and I was still looking for a guinea pig. In December of 2023, I decided to make a final decision and get a guinea pig. I went to a pet store in another town and found nothing. But then I went back to the original pet store and found that same guinea pig from two weeks ago. So after thought and consideration, I bought him he had been in the pet store for 3-4 months and we got a discount. I brought the guinea pig home and he had his new home. I ended up naming him Teddy.
Teddy has made me happy and he is a happy little man today. God has helped me in so many ways that looking back now I see that God has been through my life. I found a good way to cope with my mental struggles, with horses. When I was younger I used to lease a horse named Bella, she was such a sweetheart and we bonded instantly. I was close with her, but we only leased her. She was eventually bought by an owner and was moved to Chicago. For 7 years she was away in Chicago, but last summer I found out that she was back in Minnesota. I was brought to the farm where she was currently staying and I was surprised by her being there.
I have been through a lot of things in my life, I had pushed God away so many times thinking that he wasn’t there for me, but in reality, he was. Even though it didn’t feel like it. He was there showing me signs whether it was small or big things.
My journey in life and mental health is still going and I have much more to explore and experience in life. I just wanted to share my story with the world to tell others that they aren’t alone and that God is there for them even if it doesn’t seem like it.