Two weeks ago I celebrated a milestone that I honestly thought I would never reach.
One year of recovery from self harm.
This is a road that I’ve been on since 2005.
That’s a long time.
And while I don’t by any means think that I’m fixed now or that I’ll never struggle with this again, I’ve fought harder than I ever have to reach this goal.
And I wouldn’t have made it without a group of incredibly wonderful people that have had my back in more ways than one over this past year.
I am part of the most incredible body of believers that I’ve ever had the privilege of worshiping with.
They welcomed me in and made me feel like I had always been a part of their family.
Being a part of the same church for twenty years, it was incredibly scary and difficult to walk away from all of that and into unknown territory.
But it’s been one of the best decisions I have ever made.
I’m so thankful for every person that has poured into me since I’ve been there and am thankful for the opportunities to pour into others and to share my story.
I have an incredible best friend that is more like a sister to me than a friend.
Her and her family have never made me feel like anything less than an extended part of their family.
She has been by my side through every triumph and every setback and has provided many laughs along the way.
My struggle with depression and self harm will never go away.
They will always be a part of me, but they no longer control me.
Will I still have bad days? Of course.
Will there still be moments where I would rather run and hide than deal with what’s going on? Absolutely.
But I am stronger because of each of those moments.
Every time I choose not to cut, it’s a victory.
Every time I choose to stay and fight, it’s a victory.
Every time I fall, but get back up, it’s a victory.
And with the potential opportunity to serve alongside the organization that has saved my life in more ways than one, I am thankful for every struggle that I’ve had.
There is a part of me that wishes I would have never started cutting when I was 16.
There’s a part of me that wishes that struggle hadn’t continued for as long as it has.
There’s a part of me that wishes there weren’t forty plus scars scattered across my body.
But because all of those things are a part of me, I have the opportunity to pour into the lives of young people that feel like those are the only options they have and remind them that there is hope. That there will be a day when it gets better, but that they have to be alive to see it and to celebrate it.
We are living, breathing stories still being written.
Our time is now.
We are the only ones that can tell our stories.
Stories of pain.
Stories of brokenness.
Stories of hope.
And stories of redemption.
I choose to take my story of pain and brokenness and turn it into a story of hope and redemption.
I’ve been redeemed.
I have hope.
I have a purpose.
I have a story, and it’s not finished yet.
Chapters are still being written.
There are characters that haven’t shown up yet.
There are pages left to be filled.
If you find yourself written into the pages of my story so far, know that your part has been written in permanent marker.
It cannot be erased.
You cannot be erased.
If you don’t find yourself in these pages, it’s my honest hope that we can change that.
After all, I have a whole cup full of permanent markers of all colors.
You choose the color.
We write the story.
Much love to you.