The Light of the World
I have finally made a permanent mark on my body that I am proud of.
That's not to say that I'm not proud of my scars. They remind me that God can take a horrible and dark situation and turn it into a testimony and a story of victory.
But I finally felt like I was worthy of the tattoo I had wanted for so long. I knew I wanted one that marked one of the biggest struggles that I've dealt with in my life. But I also knew I couldn't get it until I was healed. And by the grace of God, I am.
My sophomore year was the first time I actually began to cut. I remember thinking my cuts up and down my arm were actually 'cool'. And I would wear short sleeves in the dead of winter so I could show my handmade marks.
My cutting began at such an ironic time because it actually should have been on of the greatest times of my life. I was in one of the best musicals I have ever done, I was blessed enough o tell the story of my Savior every night onstage, and I made so many great relationships in that cast. I finally felt like I could be in theatre and still praise my Creator. It was a beautiful revelation.
My life was so good, but the Devil wanted to get the upper hand because he sensed I was becoming what God wanted me to be.
And I listened to him.
So the cutting began.
I began to claim the identifiers of 'wounded', 'depressed', 'anxious', 'unworthy', and 'unwanted'.
The second you begin to identify yourself as something less than an heir of the King of the Universe, you are stepping out of blessings God has promised you.
God will never identify you with anything that is damaging or degrading.
Claiming words that are harmful allows the Devil to have his way in your life.
Now I claim the words of 'victor', 'needed', 'loved', 'overcomer', 'heir', 'healed', and 'known'.
Because of God's grace and loving nature, I am able to claim my birthright and live a life I love.
When I go back to my roots of self-harm, I always think about Godspell. The musical will always hold such a large part in my heart. It marked such a horrible time in my life, but also a beautiful time. It's bittersweet.
The song I actually sang for the musical was actually called 'The Light of the World'.
The song, like in every song in Godspell, was based on a verse or two in Matthew. I sang about how everyone has a light to share and promote the gospel, even though my light seemed little dimmer with the darkness I had spoken over myself.
For the next three years, 'The Light of the World' would come on a playlist, and I would always break into a huge grin and just remember how happy I always was in the moments I sang it.
But I continued to self-harm.
A lot of my posts have been about my journey in self-harm and with depression.
I don't need to get into it again, my tattoo isn't about my struggles, it's about God's victory.
I didn't get the tattoo on an anniversary of not cutting or anything. But I got it at a time that I felt happier than I've ever felt in my life.
This summer, I've felt complete joy, elation, and almost every good feeling God has granted to His people.
I was finally freed of all the claims I had continued to make for so many years. I had begun to listen to God and let His words and blessings define me.
My cuts are something that I gave myself because of my pain. They were a way of me playing God and punishing myself or trying to dull the pain with something physical. But my tattoo marks that the pain has turned into my testimony.
I get that a lot of people would rather I hide my scars and never talk about my depression again. But by doing that, I feel like I would 'extinguish my light' and not let myself talk about the greatest thing God has ever done for me.
God has given me a light, just like He has given all of His children one, mine is just a bit different than other's.
With my tattoo, I claim the blessings and promises that I now can embrace fully.
For the first time in so long, I want to be alive and rejoice in my God's glory everyday.
I am an overcomer. I am a victor. I am the light of the world, and that is my testimony.