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The Girl With Dozens of Scars



There is a store that I go in most weeks.  The first time I went there and bought something was a few months ago.  


When I went to check out, there was a young lady who was the cashier. 

As I stepped up to pay her, I saw something that shocked me.  She was wearing a short-sleeve shirt and you could see that her arms were covered with scars. 


I don't mean just a scar here and there.  She must have over a hundred scars on her arms. 

 

The scars were obviously self-inflicted.  Scars from cutting herself with a razor blade or knife or scissors.


It was so sad.


Cutting is a serious issue that affects teens and even pre-teens.  It is normally a sign of deep emotional distress.  It can be difficult to understand why a young person would hurt themselves on purpose.  

       

Self-harm can become a young person's way to respond to pressure and sad feelings.


It's important for children's ministry leaders to know how to respond when you see a young person in this situation. 

 

It might be one of your teenage volunteers who needs help. It might be a young adult who is on your team.  It might be a pre-teen in your classroom.


Many times it comes from overwhelming emotions.  Cutting or self-harm is a way for kids to interrupt feelings that seem to be too tense.


Many times when kids cut or self-injure, they say it gives them a sense of control.  It is a relief to see and know where the specific pain is coming from. It distracts them from the emotions 

   

Others believe the relief is simply a result of being distracted from painful emotions by intense physical pain and the dramatic sight of blood.  Some young people say they don't feel the pain when they cut, but feel relieved because the visible results "show" the emotional pain they feel.

 

Cutting can be habit forming. Though it only provides temporary relief from emotional distress, the more a person cuts, the more they feel the need to do it. Whenever tension builds, the brain craves that relief and drives the teen to seek relief again by self-injuring. So it can become a habit someone feels powerless to stop.  This was the case of the lady in the store.  


I am praying for this young lady and looking for an opportunity to tell her about Jesus.  


Her scars can turn from being a sign of hurt to a sign of hope.  Jesus had scars from what He endured and from His stripes we are healed.  


He can turn scars into a testimony of grace. 


He can turn scars into forgiveness and hope.


He can turn scars into smiles.


He can turn scars into situations for your good.


He can turn scars into deliverance.


As you serve in ministry, you will encounter people with scars. Some visible. Some not visible.


Remember...each scar has a story.


Remember...God can bring healing to the inward scars they are living with.

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