I used to be shy about my story. I didn’t want to tell people out of fear - fear of rejection, fear of being made fun of, and fear that they would look at me differently. But over the course of the past several years, the Lord has taken that fear and whispered this simple reminder: “Carrie, I am going to take your mess and turn it into a ministry. Share what you overcame.” Sometimes it’s still a tug-of-war battle with God and I. I still get nervous, but he always washes that away. And as I type, and fingers still tremble a little bit, my heart still races a little bit faster, and I still get the urge to hit the backspace and erase what I’ve written so far.
When I was in early high school, I began to experiment with self-injury. In middle school, a boy cut himself in front of me, and I was curious. At that point in life, I struggled with self-worth, depression, and numbness. I needed to feel something, so I sat in my room and tried cutting for the first time. What started as a one-time thing turned into an addiction I carried with me for years. I came to college with the addiction and I just thought of it as something that would be there for the rest of my life. It was my normal.
But victory stories are the best stories. Stories of people in that rock bottom, climbing to the top, overcoming struggles, trials, weakness. Overcoming to become something new and something great.
That’s you. That’s me. That’s us.
Jesus came to give you that victory story. Jesus died to give you that victory story. Jesus came back to give you that victory story. I say we claim it again. It’s time throw off the shame, the guilt, the fear. Let’s share.
My story of overcoming was (and is) a long story. It was a process I had to go through for a while. It wasn’t overnight, and let’s begin with saying that’s okay. Your story doesn’t have to be a story that is instantaneous, it can take time.
I sit here and write now, free from that bondage. A survivor. An overcomer. And that’s all great. But how?
I had to get help.
I think a big part of overcoming is being vulnerable and honest. I had to speak up, with my trembling voice and say, “Here is where I am and I need help.” And I’ll tell you, it was terrifying. I told my parents and my closest friends. I started to see a counselor. I surrounded myself with people who spoke truth into my life. On the days I couldn’t get out of bed, I was encouraged and prayed for. And the Lord began to move in ways I could see.
I didn’t feel relief, freedom, or healing until I opened up. And community is such an important reminder that we need people to rally around us, encourage us, and cheer us on. There were days I tried to pray, but I didn’t know how. There were days I didn’t want to cut, but I didn’t know differently. And those people - my cheerleaders - talked me down, prayed over me, and showed me there was more to my story.
Do you believe that? You should, you wholeheartedly should.
Your story matters. So it’s worth overcoming. Every person plays a part, and every person will have a different story of victory - yours matters. Maybe your healing process looks differently than mine or your friends (I like to think of us as friends, is that ok?), but know it is intricately designed, perfect for you, fit for you, made by the God who made you and loves you.
As I stand on the other side, free and having overcoming, I will tell you one thing – it is so incredibly worth it.
Sisters, it’s time to overcome.
Written By: Carrie