Anyone that knows me, knows how much I value sleep. If I’m still awake after working a full 10 hour day, then whatever I’m awake for is important. If you call me at 3 in the morning, and I answer, you’re important to me.
Last night, I was exhausted, I had a headache (Still do), and my client was in a bad mood all day. All I wanted to do was get home and sleep. I stopped at a Circle K to get a lemonade (89 cent thirstbuster). I didn’t go to the usual store by my house, I went to one closer to where I was working, I just felt a random pull to that location. There was a girl there, around 16 years old, and she had on a long sleeve shirt (it’s 102 outside), she went to hand over the cash for her purchases and the sleeve on one side came up her wrist a bit, and that’s when I saw them, those marks that I have as well, the ones that scar my wrists, my legs, my stomach, my back; this young lady cuts herself. I knew before I saw them. But the second I did, I knew God had me go to this specific store…I had to talk with this girl. I didn’t want to. I’m happy to text you. I do well with writing things. But if I have to talk to you, and you’re a complete stranger? That freaks me out. But I knew I had to. Honestly, I’m moving to a different state because the Lord called me, but I can’t talk to a stranger? So, I handed the cashier my money and ran out the door hoping the girl wasn’t gone.
She wasn’t. She had started to walk towards her apartments and I called out for her to stop. She didn’t. Which is totally understandable because it’s almost 11 p.m. and I’m a complete stranger. But I knew God was backing me so it had to work out. Eventually she stopped, we went into a 24 hour donut shop. And I told her I saw her wrists, she immediately got self conscious, as I used to, and tried to pull her sleeves even further. I showed her my wrists and told her my past, I told her that I used to cut myself, that I knew what she felt when she hurt herself, I knew the control that she was trying to gain by doing that. I told her about myself, about my church. I told her that I’m going to be praying for her because I love her, and that I’ve got a whole church family that’s praying for her because they love her. She was crying at this point and asked me how people who’ve never met her can love her. So, I explained that, as believers, we have the love of Jesus in our lives. We need to let that love shine through us. I told her how there were so many people standing in the gap for me, praying and pleading that I would come back to the church, that I wouldn’t cut too deep, or push too much of the wrong drug into my system, people that never even met me until years later were praying and loving me. And because of those people, I’m able to be here to help girls like her.
She finally opened up about why she was cutting. Her parents are going through a nasty divorce and she feels like they both hate her. She told me that they’re using her to get information on each other and she doesn’t want to disappoint either of them. She told me that her mother said it’s her fault they’re divorcing. Which led her to believe that if she ended everything they’d be okay again…
My heart broke for this girl! I assured her it wasn’t her fault. I prayed with her and told her I’m here for her. I gave her my number and let her know that she’s always welcome at our church. We spoke for two hours, and when she walked away I knew she was going be alright. I knew the Lord was going to guide her steps. But I also knew that my part in her life was done. I will probably never see that girl again, but God knew we needed to talk!
It was a tough discussion. Anytime I have a discussion about my past it’s difficult for me. But if it stops just one person from going down the roads I’ve been down? Then I’ll tell my past to everyone. No hesitation.
On the note of self harm, if you suspect someone you love is hurting themselves, talk with them! Do NOT blame them. Do NOT say that they’re a bad person. Do NOT make light of the reasons they’re harming themselves. Everyone deals with situations differently. When I was harming myself, I was suffering from depression, and lacking control over so many aspects of my life. I thought that by slicing into my skin with a blade, I was gaining that control. In the moment, it worked. In the long haul, I’ve got scars that I’m going to have to explain to my children one day. I’ve got a past that I’m going to have to pray my kids never want to experience. It kills me when I see young men and women with scars and track marks on their arms, because I’ve finally realized that those people have parents and will be parents one day. When you become a parent you pray over your child, hoping that no harm comes to them. You don’t expect that one day they’ll shoot up to escape for a minute. You don’t expect that they’ll dig into their arms with any sharp object to control some aspect of their lives. You never thought that they’d cram a bunch of food down their throat, only to throw it up 20 minutes later to get skinnier. It’s tragic that these are actual struggles that we all face. There’s no special pill, no miracle diet, no specialist. There’s only God. It took me longer than necessary to see that. But I know it to be true. Without God, without complete strangers praying for me, I have no doubt that I wouldn’t have made it to my 21st birthday. The road I was on was miserable, but because I got myself there, I was certain I could get myself out. I was wrong. If you see someone in the darkness, be there for them and let them know there’s a light at the end and that you’ll help them get there.
As always, thanks for reading. If you have a topic you’d like to know about, let me know. Love y’all!!