Thank you all for graciously responding with messages of support over my recent article, “Lay Your Weapon Down: Invitation to Cutters.” Obviously the subject matter is not easy to read, but the truth remains that the Lord has a special, tender place in his heart for children who fight against self–harm. He does not consider those dear ones to be outcasts, but instead welcomes them to his heart and empowers them to fight on toward walking in the freedom they have been given by Jesus. Through his grace, he helps us all overcome ourselves—and that hurdle looks different for everyone, be it cutting, eating disorders, addictions, or any other indulgences we partake of to manufacture temporary control and joy in our lives.
I was recently contacted by a reader who wanted excerpts from the article to use as phone lock screens (words shared by permission):
“I was sitting in the library at my university today feeling hurt, upset, and frustrated. So I got up and walked into the bathroom and hid in a stall and cut myself. Once I finished, I came out of the stall and was just scrolling through Facebook (RIGHT after cutting…I hadn’t even left the bathroom yet), and as I scrolled through my newsfeed, there was your article about the invitation to cutters. Like God put it exactly in my path right after I cut…It was SO of God to put it there for me. I’ve wanted to cut more today, but I haven’t since reading your article. I normally would have met with my counselor today, but we weren’t able to. So God used your article instead to help get me through the rest of this day. I loved this article. So much truth that is so specific for a cutter like me.”
To be clear, I do not pretend that this article is anything more than me sharing my own experience with this particular darkness, and how the Lord has personally ministered to me on the battlefield. I do not suggest this article is a saving grace to cure someone of a self–harm issue they have struggled with for any length of time, nor do I tritely assume in this offering of words that counseling and/or the possibility of medication are/is not warranted. You’ll note I do not offer any opinion on those things whatsoever, and this article was not intended to do so.
Don’t miss the heart of what is being shared: A suffering Savior fighting side-by-side during an attack of intense proportions. A hope for the hurt, that true freedom and peace can be found as we labor to lay our weapons down by faith.
What I did intend to do, however, is share with you the precise words and Scriptures that the Lord has used for me when I am tempted to regress into an old, dark habit. In the heat of the moment, there is little that will “stay your hand from the bleed”—that is, unless Jesus’ words ring loud and true that very instant. I believe that he can, does, and will do that for others…because he has, does, and continues to do so for me.
So, while the issue of self–harm is immensely complicated, I have not intended to offer any quick fixes. I am simply a wounded soldier pointing other wounded ones to the Christ who makes all things new, the Jesus who bled so we would not have to, and the compassionate Savior who does not turn away from those with broken hearts and minds.
All of that being said, I have gone ahead and put together some phone lock screens for those who want to take these words and let the Holy Spirit use them as gospel reminders. And, if they help someone literally put their weapon down in a moment of enraged passion, then praise the Lord for those enormous victories.
Available Lock Screen Downloads from the “Lay Your Weapons Down” Desiring God Article
Additional Biblical Counseling Resources that Address Self–Harm Issues
Offering Hope and Help to Women Who Self–Injure (Janet Gustafson/IBCD) | Audio & PDF Outline
Counseling As If a Life Depended On It: Anorexia (Martha Peace/IBCD) | Audio & PDF Outline
Note: This is not an exhaustive list. Some of these resources are available at a no or minimal cost.