Freedom From Self-Harm
by Caitlin Craft
My life was flat, gray and numb; there was no color, no joy, no hope. For years I was trapped in self-harm, living every moment of every day seeking relief for my deep despair and shame. Some momentary relief could be found at the end of a blade. With every cut and burn, I felt less and less, losing who I really was. My identity was placed on my sin and my name was “Caitlin, the cutter.”
But God is faithful! After years of struggle with the blade and the desire, I was brought to a place of complete brokenness. I saw that what I had searched for, what I used to fill me never would, but God could. God could take my pain, my heartache and my sin. He cleansed me, refreshed me and brought me from death into life. Not only life, but life abundantly—I could feel again in a whole new way! I could laugh and experience joy.
I felt peace for the first time. I felt like a person, growing, healing and becoming whole. I felt God’s presence, His love and His comfort over the shame.
This new life came by God’s grace, but required action on my part. I found victory when I took my thoughts captive, when I cried out to God, confessed my sins and found new ways to face and express the deep pain inside.
Here are some tools for your journey:
2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
Resources that I've found helpful:
Hope & Help for Self Injurers and Cutters by Mark Shaw
Relief without Cutting by Amy Baker
Self-Injury: When Pain Feels Good (Resources for Changing Lives) by Edward Welch
X-ray Questions: Drawing Out the Whys and Wherefores of Human Behavior by Dr. David Powlison from the Journal of Biblical Counseling. Volume 18. Number 1. 1999 (Google “X-ray Questions”)
13 Reasons Why Not by Matt Mizell
Her Life Liberated Me
By Lora Armendariz
All those tubes and monitors frightened me. Her tiny body lay a breath away from Heaven.
She pulled through. A new fear settled in my heart. We were bringing home a baby with special needs and an unsure future. Life would never go back to normal.
The first few months I battled terror and guilt. I was so scared. Her health was fragile and no specialist could tell us what her future would be like. Fears assaulted me in the quiet. Would she ever walk? Eat? Talk? Make friends? What would my life be like? Would I spend the rest of my life caring for a delicate child? Was there more that I could do for her? Did we have the right therapists? Doctors? Was I missing something?...
It became hard to hold our little Micaela and simply enjoy her sweet smile or the way she felt in my arms. And that, that inability to give her a single moment of pure love, scared me more than anything.
Desperate, I begged God to fix my heart. What kind of parent was I that I couldn't love her like I loved our older girl Adela?
God answered and He made a beautiful offer. If I would give up my tomorrows and live only in the day, then I could rest in His peace.
I've always been a planner. What I saw as a strength was an Achilles heel to my faith. I had lost that illusion of control and without it, I faltered.
Micaela's life liberated me. I had to let go. I had to give God all our tomorrows and rest in His provision of the day...day after day after day.
Today Micaela ate a Graham cracker in my arms and giggled when her favorite song came on. She is precious to me. Precious because she is my daughter. Precious to me because her life brought me freedom.
Are you striving to control your future or are you resting in God's promises?
To read more about Lora and her ministry, The Beautiful Day Project, go to loraarmendariz.com.