Day Twenty-Eight: Brave Enough to be Honest
"I just never thought I'd be here, you know?" her voice was small and tight.
The scars on her arms were white, baby skin, translucent and she ran her fingers across them.
"I never thought it would be me, that I would be someone who cut themselves. It's weird saying it out loud."
I knew what she meant.
None of us think we're going to be that person. That girl with the eating disorder, the couple divorced, the college drop-out, the one with the addiction.
Those people are the ones with the problems, the dysfunction, the inability to get it together. Then all of a sudden its us. It's our marriage that's breaking, our body that's wasting away, our life that feels like it's crumbling into nothing and we can't believe it.
It's like that person is someone else, someone you watch through a fish bowl. You look through, not touching, distancing yourself from what's really going on because it hurts.
Several years back, I sat in counselling with a therapist, nervously twitching, waiting for the worst. I had come because I didn't know where else to go. I had questions I didn't have answers to and I had pain that needed to be seen.
"According to this mental health survey you've just taken, you're severely depressed," he took off his glasses and looked me in the eye.
It wasn't good news, but it washed over me, more comforting than any of the consolation my friends and family had offered in the previous weeks and months.
I wasn't going crazy, something was wrong. And for the first time I was taking an honest look at myself.
And as I sat there with my friend, arms bearing the scars of her pain, I could see the familiar look of relief in her eyes as she uttered those words.
This is me, her eyes said. Now that I see that I can start to heal, I can stop pretending I'm not someone who needs to run to Jesus for help.
He can restore because he's been through it all, the scars in his hands and side, the hunger, humiliation, the death of someone loved. He sees you, and he asks you to take an honest look at yourself. This is a part of your story now, and though it's painful, achy and oh so very thin, it can become somewhere beautiful.
And he can turn scars of pain into reminders of faithfulness. He can make a way.