Posts Tagged: cutting

Inked Hope

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,
BELOVED
CHOSEN
BRIDE
FREE
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.

Inked HOpe
You Gave Me Freedom

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:

Help For Cutters and Others Who Self-Injure in Some Way

Hands Cut for Me

My heart cries out for you if you are currently cutting. I understand the deep heartache, hatred, and pain that goes into this cycle. It took an act of God to stop mine, and I pray the same for you. Your life is so valuable to Him and to me.


This is how God’s love was revealed among us: God sent His one and only Son into the world, so that we might live through Him. --1 John 4:9 BSB

Therefore, every second, even the abuse and hardest moments you experience matter to him. He died for them. Keep turning your page to find out what happens next. Live. Reach out and allow others to reach in. They won’t do it perfectly, but share your heart because you need to, and they too need to know they are not alone. We are created to connect with others. We need each other. I am encouraged by each breath you choose to take. And I thank God for each breath I take.

(Poetry response to a person contemplating suicide.)


When I can’t take anymore and decide to give up …
Hope seeped into my blood
A resurrecting transfusion of truth
Captivating the germ of thought
like a head-turning shape,
A glimpse of His hands, cut
for me. Stopped my cutting.
My self-destructing. God wore my hate,
my shame, like I’m worth
saving. I couldn’t fathom a fearless
night, but when Jesus held my broken
soul, I felt whole.

What is this life?
Life. Nothing more,
nothing less–PRECIOUS
Why am I here?
To encourage, to speak life,
testify to what I’ve seen and heard. I no longer
fear when I can’t take it anymore, I’ve given up
and decided to live, no matter what hell hurls at me.

Testimony Tuesday: I Am Lost

Proverbs 3:6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.

The Problem

Lost.

That word evokes so many things. Fear, flashbacks, loneliness, and panic. For me it means I’m not meeting someone’s expectation and I tend to get agitated and more lost. I was in a new and unfamiliar area today and I might have well been on Mars. I have a debilitating fear of asking for help in these situations. But, I pulled into Kroger’s parking lot and called the imaging center. She gave me directions from there, including landmarks (all of which I found by the way), but I was at a different Kroger. I wasn’t even close to the location. Even more lost.

Directions often get jumbled in my brain and the GPS didn’t help, it sent me to their previous location. So you have one lost, flustered woman, trying to get to an unknown destination. To add insult to injury, I really needed to go to the bathroom! I stopped at two locations, but neither had a public bathroom. One gave me directions to the imaging place, though. So I tried again.

Nope, wrong imaging place. Then came the aha moment.

God, I surrender to you that I am lost.”

We have been working on taking my thoughts captive and making them obedient to Christ since the day I said I was ALL IN, three weeks ago. I had multiple problems to address. Which one was the most pressing and easiest to relieve? Yes the pun is not lost on me. I was late, that was certain. A few more minutes wasn’t going to change that fact. I walked into the wrong imaging center and used their bathroom. Now, to the desk to explain my situation and get proper directions from people who live in the area. She wrote out directions and gave me distinct landmarks. (Mental note, return to this imaging center if I give up on the other). I returned my car with a fresh new perspective.

I called the office and asked if there was any point in trying to make it to them, or should I return home. They could still fit me in. No longer flustered, I found my way.

The Lesson

Can I surrender to being lost? In other words, can I surrender to being vulnerable and human in the sight of God and others? Part of what God is teaching me about surrender is that there are no “have to s”. I am already loved, already chosen, and already found! This kind of lost was a temporary circumstance. I already have experienced being so lost that I thought cutting, alcohol, sex, anorexia, and finally suicide, would somehow help me to find my way out. The biblical directions, might as well been for Martians. I neither understood this God who was seeking me, nor that I was that one sheep that he left his whole flock for.

I am no longer, permanently lost. Now, I am safe, secure, and most certainly not alone in a foreign land, because God is with me. I have directions for living in this life and the promise of the new life to come.  I can have joy in this moment of being temporarily lost because he knows my struggle and makes my path straight.

You are already loved, even if you feel lost right now, he has chosen you, and may my testimony be a landmark in your journey. You can cry out to be found, even from the darkest pit.

 

 

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Suicide Hotline

National Suicide Hotline

If you or a loved one are in immediate danger, call the National Suicide Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or go to the website at  SuicidePreventionLifeline.org.