Tag Archives: guest post

By His Wounds… Guest post by Kadash

I hate it when you go to those church services where people pray for each other and then they fall over. Why would you fall over praying? That’s just stupid. At least, I thought so but then one day it happened to me. I fell over.

How did I end up falling over? I had gone to one of those ‘prayer and healing’ services to see what happened. I’ve been a Christian all my life but still, I was sceptical of healing ministries. I was in a good mood that day, the sun was shining and I felt quite happy. But as I was praying I felt as though I should go forward and be prayed for. So I did. They asked me if there was anything I needed prayer for and I said “No, not really. Just pray for me please.” I shut my eyes and prayed and they held a hand up and prayed for me. In theory I was praying for my future, for guidance, but in reality I was just trying to hide from my past.

I can’t speak for others, but my story of self-harm started shortly after a traumatic break up with my then girlfriend when I was 17. During the break down of the relationship it seemed that everything I tried to do to fix things just made them worse. When we broke up, I blamed myself and it wasn’t long before I decided to punish myself. One cut a day for 50 days across my shoulders. Punishment. I told myself that was it, but it seemed that I could never go more than a few weeks, maybe a couple of months, before something would upset me and I’d cut again.

That time as I was praying, it had been maybe two months since I’d last cut myself but the urges were coming back and I didn’t know how long I could last. As I was praying for guidance, I fell.

I wasn’t pushed, and I wasn’t attention seeking. I just felt my knees crumple underneath me and I fell forwards and crashed down on my side. Half of me was still praying, the other half was like ‘What the ****?’ I half rolled onto my back and carried on praying, the other person placing their hand on my shoulder and praying in tongues for me. I sawimages flash before my eyes, but I don’t remember what they were.

And then it happened.

Everything went quiet and dark and I heard a strong but soft voice say: ‘If you need to cut, I’ll be your knife.’ Suddenly my brain was dancing around from thought to thought, Bible reference to Bible reference and it all made sense! I remembered Jesus and I remembered him hanging on that cross. Not the clean and mildly sexy Jesus of paintings but the bloodied and beaten Jew with nails through His wrists and blood flowing from gashes and wounds that covered His body. I remembered Isaiah 53.5:

‘But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.’

And as I remembered, I knew that I didn’t have to punish myself for the things I’d done wrong. Whether that was for the things I did wrong to my Ex or to God or to myself, I knew that the punishment had been dealt with by Jesus on the Cross. I knew that whatever my struggles or urges to cut, I could pray and Jesus would take them upon himself.

As I lay there on the floor I realised someone was still praying for me with their hand on my shoulder. Awkward, I was ‘done’. So I said ‘Amen’ out loud and opened my eyes and looked up to see who was praying for me. There was no one there; there was no one within three metres of me.

Since that day, I’ve only wanted to cut myself once and I didn’t. I prayed and five minutes later the urge was gone. I’m 20 and it’s now been over one year since I last cut myself. I may still have the scars on my shoulders, but I also have the truth that Jesus died for my sins on the cross and who was raised to life three days later to prove that he was greater than any sin we need to be freed from.

My prayer for you this Easter is that you’ll look beyond your circumstances, your past, beyond whatever is keeping you down and look to the Cross and the man on the Cross. I pray that as you look to that Cross you’ll see that sin and death are real, but that they cannot keep Jesus pinned down and I pray that you will join in the freedom of Easter day when Jesus came back to life as the Lord of all; our savour! Amen.

Guest Blog by Hannah Malcolm on Depression

It is strange to think that 4 years ago I was essentially a happy and content teenager. That’s the thing with depression as a result of circumstances beyond your control – it is a dramatic alteration of your personality and basic outlook. I have close family members who have struggled with much longer-term depression, a kind of permanent setting in the brain that lasts a lifetime. Often, it takes a while to recognise that in someone, but when it is acknowledged, it is clear that it has a lengthy underlying basis. Depression as a result of circumstance is harder to understand. Horrible stuff happens to lots of people, and they largely move on with their lives and live quite normally once it’s over. For me, a series of unfortunate events when I was around 16 have affected me in ways I never thought they would at the time. I thought that by now I would be back to ‘normal’, back to how I was before and not still relying on medication and checks with the doctor every couple of months to assess my progress – generally not promising. I had hoped I would just need a little chemical boost to help me get through the nasty stuff before I got on with living.

That’s not what has happened. This morning, my eyes filled with tears while I was looking at a flying bird. Why? There is no rational explanation for such a response. I was just suddenly overwhelmed by a feeling of disconnectedness to the rest of the world, and longing to feel part of it in a way I don’t feel I am, past the wall of numbness that seems to define me a lot of the time. That is, of course, a nonsense – and over the last year or so I have got increasingly frustrated at myself because of my failure to ‘get better’, despite the fact that actually my life is incredibly blessed in many ways. Some things are still hard, but not to any kind of extreme. I think other people find it confusing, too. There doesn’t seem to be any reason why a painful past would actually alter my personality so permanently, and I have had to acknowledge that the likelihood is that I will be ‘sick’ for a long time yet.

As I have mentioned in other posts on my blog, this change has led to my becoming incredibly sensitive and guilt ridden – not only in the choices I make, but in the very fact that I am depressed. I feel ashamed that for some reason I don’t feel that deep joy and peace that we are promised as Christians. I feel angry that God won’t lift this burden from me, and then I feel guilt at my anger. I feel fear for the future and whether this will ever go away. I fear the way it will affect current and future relationships with those around me. Life feels very, very long. Of course, medication (and for a long time counselling) has helped me enormously. I feel entirely ‘functional’ (whatever that means!) the majority of the time, and I do experience wild moments of joy like other people. But I don’t want to be reliant on pills. It’s hard to accept that about myself. I want to be stronger than I am.

Fortunately, Christ is more than sufficient, and his strength is made perfect in my weakness. It’s important to know these things about the one who has longed for us from eternity. A lot of the time, I don’t feel them, because my feelings are damaged. I have to know them instead – to lock them away, treasure them up in my heart and turn to them, running to the arms of one who has known deep grief, rejection and anguish, and accepting his love.

Hannah Malcolm, purposefulpurity.blogspot.com