Okay. This is one hell of a difficult post to write, but I really feel I should be writing this regardless. I want to talk about self harm.
I’ve got a weird and jagged history with self harm. It’s been one of those things that has always made me sad whenever I’ve thought about someone I love resorting to it or considering it as the better option. It was always something I never thought I would have to do or even think of doing. But then I also remember watching a kids news program when I was about 8 and mental health awareness was something they were covering that night; a girl who was probably the age I am now was talking about her depression and said that she felt as though she would never be happy again. Never be happy again.
I can relate to this. Sometimes it feels like my emotions have gone into complete shut down and I can’t even feel numbness. It’s like I’m numb to the numbness I guess. Sometimes people self harm because they want to feel something. Sometimes people self harm because they want to feel something else, instead of the sadness they’re carrying. And sometimes people self harm because they feel it’s what they deserve. Honestly? I’ve been in all 3 of these situations. And self harm hasn’t ever made the situation better.
During the summer I was at one of those jazzy Christian conferences and me and my mum went to a talk about self harm. The lady at the front said many things, most of which I’m sure were fabulous but in all honesty I’ve only ever taken away this one phrase: my wounds are enough. She said that Jesus was screaming so loudly over us that he was so desperate for us to hear – MY WOUNDS ARE ENOUGH.
The bible verse I chose for this (or rather the verse that came to me for this, cheers Jesus) is Isaiah 53:5 – ‘But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.’
By his wounds we are healed.
I don’t really know what else to say. I hope I’m hitting this home as hard as I’m trying to; what I really want to say is that every time you cut, or make yourself sick, or scratch or burn or whatever else it is. Even bullying yourself each day in front of that mirror because you think that’s all there is left to do, you are so so wrong. Jesus was flogged, beaten, cut, pushed, abused, let down, abandoned and crucified for you. For YOU. Every mark you make on your body that God didn’t put there has already been etched on Jesus. On that cross, he took on your scars. He took on the sadness that made you reach for that weapon of choice and made you think and say these horrible words over yourself. He said them over himself so you don’t have to. We find healing in his wounds, not ours. We continue to cut? The pain and the gaping great hole in our hearts widens and changes us for the worse. We find our healing in Jesus’ wounds. Don’t you see? I don’t most of the time. Somehow when I’m reduced to this, which isn’t regularly but I know that sometimes this can be the case with different people, I don’t think of Jesus dying on that cross for me. I don’t think of his tears and his sadness as he wept over me and loved me. What do you think God says when he sees me or you or any of his children doing this to themselves? I’ll let you know now. He cries. Because every time I do this, every time I know of someone who does this or has done it, my heart breaks. And suddenly I remember my Saviour and my Creator weeping for me. Dying for me. This is the truth of the gospel, this is the truth of God’s great love for us. We can’t save ourselves from our suffering and the messy sin in our lives. We can’t save ourselves from illness, be it physical or mental. But Jesus can. And he performed the greatest act of healing and compassion and grace and mercy on that cross. By his wounds we are healed. Not ours. His.
Sure, I know that self harm seems like the easiest thing to do. It seems like the easier option and the safe way out. Well, it’s not. It makes it worse. Guilt sets in, your body starts to hurt or bleed or ache or whatever. It’s counterproductive.
Jesus loves you. I can’t stress that enough. And I’m saying this to me too: Jesus loves you Annie. He loves us more than we will ever know or comprehend. And his wounds are enough for us. They are the ULTIMATE wounds. The ULTIMATE price paid. And the ULTIMATE expression of love for you.
You’re chosen. Jesus says so. And not only healing you in his wounds, he’ll bandage yours up in the process. Best plaster ever!
Praying for you all if this is something that you struggle with. Jesus has you and he’s holding you. So so tight.
Peace and blessings x
Picture taken from Rachel Javedan on Pinterest ☺️