(I encourage you to listen to this song while reading this.)
A couple of weeks ago I received a referral. On 4/6 the referral submitted a brief questionnaire. I lightly reviewed the information and reached out to offer a time to consult about how I might serve them. On 4/7 while taking notes at church, I randomly made a note that read, * use this with (name of the referred). Days went by and I’d not received a response to my offer to consult. I followed up to alert to my availability. I received a response of apology that indicated they had not followed up because they had been hospitalized for suicidal ideation. We set up a day and time to meet. We met. What was to be a 30 minute free consult became a 75 minute consult. During this time, it became apparent to me why on 4/7 I made the note.
The person who referred this individual had no relationship with them. They encountered this stranger in a public setting, overheard a conversation and offered my information. Seemingly, this was what would be called a chance encounter. It wasn’t until I spoke to the individual that it was clearly evident, this wasn’t by chance—-AT ALL. I learned in our communication that on 4/7 is when she called a suicide hotline and as a result was hospitalized. While she’d had thoughts before she’d never felt the way she felt on that day (she’d come to the end of herself). She was able to not act on the thoughts for a number of reasons. I shared that on that same day, between 11:30a-12:15p I made a note and starred it with her name on it.
I told her that I was being specific about the time because it was important. I told her that not knowing really anything about her, her needs, nor if she was even a person of faith that would be open to receiving the information attached to my starred note with her name on it, that I made the note for her —- a stranger. I said, I don’t know what time on 4/7 you were struggling with those thoughts. I shared that I wasn’t sure what time she’d picked up the phone and called that hotline. I went on to say, that I had no idea what time she arrived at the hospital.
I shared that, ‘something tells me that between 11:30a – 12:15p is when those things were happening.’ On that same day, at the same time, on another coast over 700 miles away, I (a stranger) was writing her name. Two weeks prior to that, she met someone for the first time who connected her to me. I connected the dots of this timeline. Weeks before she would have thoughts that could have taken her away from her children and family; an angel, in the form of a person was placed on her path to help change the trajectory of her life. Another person, whom she had never met would pay attention and make a note on her behalf. That person would then share that information with her just so that in her darkness of wanting to end it all, that she would know people had been dispatched on her behalf.
I shared that she’d not been forgotten. I told her that He knows her name. I told her that she was overwhelmingly loved with a never ending love. I told her that while what she’s endured warrants the thoughts she had, that grace was working on her behalf. I told her that she is a survivor (and his tangible evidence of this). I told her that every trauma, every loss, every devastation, every situation, and every circumstance was with purpose. I told her that while she didn’t think she had the capacity to sustain, that she did. I shared that though it seemed unbearable, I was certain that she could bear it. I told her why I knew this. I shared my own lived experiences, while different, still monumental. I showed her my scars. I told her that if what she’d already come through hadn’t taken her out that this present situation surely wouldn’t. I gave her everything within me in those 75 minutes.
She said that so much of what I said she had heard before. She acknowledged how affirming it was. In transparency she disclosed how hard it is for her to surrender her control. She asked how to do this. I shared times where I’d had a similar challenge and how I did it and what the benefit was. She was encouraged. She is alive!
A parallel process of sorts was occurring. It is so important that we are attuned to ourselves i.e. discerning, intuition, listening to our subconscious, etc. It is vital, that we not hesitate or delay when we sense to call, connect with someone, or do something. We can’t allow uncertainty, shyness, fear, awkwardness, history, etc. to stand in the way of that.
Everything has purpose!
Absolutely nothing is wasted!
People need you to show them your scars. The scar is representative of your story. Your story isn’t just for you. There is no shame in having scars. Don’t allow yourself to be bound by that lie.
The linked song says, There’s no shadow You won’t light up — Mountain You won’t climb up — Coming after me — There’s no wall You won’t kick down — Lie You won’t tear down — Coming after me.
I believe that in her shadow (darkness of thought), the connections, and my conversation shed light (gave hope in dire situation), kicked down walls (of isolation believing she was alone), and tore down lies (distorted thoughts that caused her to believe that death at her own hands was an option).
Someone needs to know your story because their life is depending on it. Get over yourself and people. Your story is a balm, a salve that has holistic healing agents within it. Show them your scars! ~MGc
4 thoughts on “Show Them Your Scars”
Your words are so strong. Sometime reading your post, I can’t believe I know you. You come with powerful thoughts, ideas, beliefs! I’m so proud you are using yourself to strengthen others. 😍🥰
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Thank you so much for reading and reflecting. Ikr, quiet ole me. I learned some time ago that encouragement was one of my gifts so I try to infuse it throughout what I do.
Thank you for sharing this experience. It is a reminder of the importance of being calm, listening, and obeying God. Also, the power of self disclosure when used appropriately.
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You are most welcome! We just never know.