I struggled off and on with insecurity of the scars that are splotched across my left forearm. I often questioned cosmetic surgery and hid my scars in shame. Fear of judgment, memories of my past, and disgust were just a few of the battles I fought in my head when looking down. As time passed I fought through these battles, but the battle of judgment flipped from peers and dating relationship to professional relationships.
What will my colleagues think of me?
Will they think I’m incompetent to work in the mental health field?
These types of questions floated through my mind and when I first entered graduate school I covered myself when meeting classmates and professors for the first time. I soon realized I was being more judgmental of myself than anyone else. The more I let my guard down, the more God was able to use me and continue to mold me into what he has planned from the beginning.
Now working in a psychiatric hospital with a high crisis population, every now and then an adolescent will come up to me and say something along the lines: “Ms., you used to cut yourself? You were like me… you get it.” Something that used to bring me so much shame now opens up the door without me having to say a word.
God can use even the most darkest of times; what you think may be a big black mark on your life, is never big enough for God to transform. I think back now about how many times I wished my life were different, how much I fantasized of being someone else, somewhere else, living a life that was nothing like mine. After battling through the messes and taking my life back, I now couldn’t imagine my life any differently.
“Courage is to tell the story of who you are with your whole heart.”