the story of her strength


I saw the scars on her wrists, her arms, her shoulders. Tiny marks she had tattooed to herself, as she ripped the blade into the depths of her skin.

I don’t cut. I’ve never cut. The thought of cutting myself makes me wince, because pain isn’t something I’ve ever been very good at dealing with.

But she cut. And she’s smiling.

I try not to stare at the scars, because I don’t want to make her feel uncomfortable. And yet, I’m overwhelmed by their raw and tangible beauty. She’s standing there, smiling, scars on her arms and strength in her voice, and I see those scars not as shattered flesh, but as things that tried to kill her, and yet didn’t - and there she stands, tall and victorious.

And she is strong.

She doesn’t cut anymore. Instead she smiles. She smiles a lot, actually.

And those scars bear proof of her strength. She may think them ugly, but I think they’re beautiful. 

Her scars tell the story of her struggle, but they also tell the story of her strength. 

I think our scars and our struggles and our strength go right there, hand in hand, and that beauty comes from the depths of our pain. It is real and it is human. And maybe that’s why the scars are so beautiful to me. Perfection is incredibly unattainable, isn’t it? It’s something so many of us desperately strive for, and yet it’s simply a facade no one can possibly keep up.

But raw, broken, scar-worthy beauty? That’s human. That’s real. And that’s beautiful.

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I look at her again, and this time I don’t see the scars, or even the smile that lights up her entire face. Instead, I see a girl who once was broken, and now is on her way towards becoming whole. Who once needed the companionship of a razor blade to feel complete, and now rests in the comfort of Jesus. Who once thought seclusion was the only way to live, and now knows authentic relationships with people brings healing.

She is the face of one girl, but she represents so many.

We as people, young or old or in the middle, can share - not only about our scars, our struggles and our strength - but about the hope that is formed in the midst of it all.

Our scars tell the story of our struggle, but more than that, they tell the story of our strength.