Inked Hope: Self Harm
Inked hope everywhere I could. Scrawled it
on bathroom stalls. Doodled, in
the margins of homework. Sketched
fragile bird, freed from captor’s
cage on my binder. Etched freedom
in bright red ink on my arm.
But whether cage or page, freedom wasn’t
tangible. It was a temporary ink, tattooed on
broken flesh. I was chained to a demon
past that roared and laughed
at all attempts to write a new story.
You took the pen from my hand, rewrote
my story with your love. Inked,
on your own wrists, side, and feet. No more
ink left. My well drained dry of any possible sacrifice.
You inked forgiven into my soul and
hope became firmly impressed into my heart.
Turning My Page: How God Inked Hope Through Jesus
Night and day among the tombs and on the mountains he was always crying out and cutting himself with stones.Mark 5:5, ESV
I attempted to ink hope into my life in a multitude of ways. Abused, I tried desperately to take control of my circumstances through self-harm. So hard to express pain, when I didn’t have words for the emotional, physical, and spiritual wounds I experienced. There is simply something I needed that this world could not give me.
Like the man who cut himself and cried out, nothing anyone has done has brought me relief, and then I saw him. Getting out of the boat, and something in my spirit stirred in recognition. Is this the one everyone talks about? The one who heals the sick and casts out demons. Maybe, just maybe he can ink something different into my soul. Hope. Oh, hope that will finally bring relief…
From the moment I met Jesus, twenty-four years ago, my self-harm ended. The yanking out of hair, the cutting, the anorexia, and the drinking. I have no other reason or explanation to give you, but a real tangible encounter with Jesus. It started with Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen” (NIV). God showed me what that verse meant through tangible provision.
I still feel pain, but I no longer want to escape what I feel, because Jesus has written something different in my life. He wrote hope, faith, and love into my soul, and nothing I experience in this life will ever compare to God’s love in my life.
Turning Your Page: Where to Find Hope
Self-harm can become addictive and therefore very difficult to break. It relieves for a moment the pain you cannot express. You are not alone, and if we are honest, there are many that attempt self-harm in small and big ways. Look for the transforming love of Jesus. His truth about your identity is etched on a cross. You were worth dying for and your pain is not the end of his story for you.
Here is an excellent resource to begin connecting with a God who cares for you and your suffering: