Wednesday, January 21, 2009

To Write Love on My Arms

Many people have rallied around the ministry To Write Love On Her Arms. The ministry offers grace and healing to people who suffer from depression, addiction, self-injury, and are at risk for suicide. Lord, have mercy, I've known some of those affictions. I wish I had their help back in the day.

On a very bad day, sixteen years ago, I etched my pain into my wrist. I was young, a battered woman, and so depressed I prayed for God to give me cancer so I can die without the scandal of committing suicide. God, my merciful Father, did not give me what I asked for, praise His holy name. But that day, I didn't wait for cancer. I carved one jagged unsure line in one wrist with a stolen razor blade. I watched my blood bead on the surface, and I still wanted to die. Then I carved another into the other wrists, this time a firm resolved line. But God was good to me. Something still alive inside raged against the dying of the light. I called an ambulance lovies, and became my own hero. There was no TWLOHA to offer me assistance, or if it were, I didn't know it.

That was a long time ago, and even now as I recount this I'm in tears, grieving for the lost beloved child I God I was.

My act marked me, of course. I used to want to cover my scars with bracelets, but I don't like too many bracelets, and it's hard to find one that fits just right. Later, after I'd gotten my first tattoo, I thought one day I might put a tat there. I could never quite think of what would be right. My bff, Lisa told me a pretty famous writer we know has a dogwood flower she got in her seventies, lovies! She thought dogwood flowers were perfect for my scars, and for a while, so did I. I also thought about roses. If you've read Wounded, you'd know the significance they have for me. If you haven't read Wounded, read it lovies. I'd like to stay in the writing business, and can't if nobody buys my books. LOL. Once I got the dogwood flowers on my shoulder I wondered if that really was the symbol to go there, as much as I loved the symbolism. Then one day, on an artist I love's blog, I saw a tattoo that stunned me. I knew that was the one. I only told my family and one friend, and she cried when I told her. My family didn't love the idea, but the fact is, love really does cover a multitude of sins. If anything should cover my scars it should be love. Simply that.

I am honored to have such a talented husband, who creates such beauty and shares it with me. Tonight, he joined Jesus in writing love on my arms, or rather, my wounded wrists.

Isn't it magnificent? I don't know if you can sense this too, but it seems like this is the beginning of a lot of healing for me. I'm so happy I can hardly stand it.

love,
mair-francis

16 comments:

mystele said...

so cool! what a testimony!

ragamuffin diva said...

God is good, Mystele. :)

Lisa said...

beautiful!

ragamuffin diva said...

Thank you, Lisa.

Elysa said...

Sniffing over here...and I don't think it's just the allergies.

BTW, Rhonda dropped off WOUNDED at my house today. I'm looking forward to reading it in this completed state though it was already beautiful when I read it's very rough version months ago.

Sarah said...

Beautiful is right.

And you've got to stop making me love you even more - you're also a fan of Luci Shaw! I love that woman. I live in Vancouver and she often speaks up here at Regent College. I love to go and listen to her read her work. And she told that story about the dogwood last time I heard her at Calvin College (I was travelling in MI).

Just lovely. He is so faithful.

renee altson said...

hey sister!

a few months ago, i had "HOPE" in kanji tattooed on my wrist. here's the link to a pic of it:

bright light

less light, a little more pleasing to see

congratulations on your own beautiful story!

ragamuffin diva said...

Fabulous, Renee. I hope you are well. I know it's been quite a journey for you. I love you, girl.

ragamuffin diva said...

Ha, Sarah! I didn't know if anyone would catch that it was Luci! I met her at the last Calvin Festival. I wonder if you were there. I think Calvin is my favorite writer's conference.

Elysa, I haven't forgotten about you. We don't have a car and it's hard to get to the post-office. I'll send your books as soon as I can get there. For now, enjoy Wounded. Rhonda really liked it. :)

Elysa said...

No worries and no pressure, Sisi.

BTW, are you as stinkin' jealous as I am about some people we know being back over in Swaziland this week?!? Can you believe it's been a YEAR?!?!?!?!

ragamuffin diva said...

I can't believe it. I want to go back, so badly. But I'm not going empty handed. I'm so sad I didn't sell my Africa book, but God has a plan. He always does. I just have to trust and be patient.

I'm crazy envious that Lisa is spending time with our friends. What takes the sting off is the fact that I'm supposed to see her next week! LOL.

Elysa said...

Oh...I'm so glad you'll get to be with Lisa. But then there's another happening for me to be envious about. Bad me, bad, bad. Be content. Be content. Be content.

Okay...so that's out of my system.

Glad you'll get to be with Lisa. Hope y'all have fab time!

And btw, I saw your post over at Seth Barnes blog giving a blessing to a Swazi widow or orphan. I think it's so cool that you brought back Swazi dirt with you. I'm wierd enough to wish that I could be buried there but NOT in some steel coffin so that I'd become truly a part of Africa some day. Like I said, wierd, I know.

Or is that wEird?

Too many allergy meds this week.

Love you! Give Lisa a big-haired, lipsticky kiss for me.

Sarah said...

Yes, I was at that festival! My first writer festival. I just wandered around, soaking up all the writer-ly people and feeling like a fraud but so thankful to be there, listening!

I've read Luci for years now though. She lives just over the border in the States (Washington) so is often up here. You should come up sometime! Regent College...she speaks here often.

Amy Leigh said...

Hi Mair! Sorry to pose an obscure question amid your beautiful blog.. but I've just finished Death, Deceit, and some smooth jazz and I have been looking (unsuccessfully) for the third book in the Amanda Bell Brown Mystery Series. Is it not out yet?? And if it is, where can I find a copy! I can't seem to put them down! Thanks for your amazing stories... may God bless you 100-fold. -Amy Leigh

Rhonda Jeanne said...

Simply perfect.

M. Nole said...

I'm so glad you introduced me to "To Write Love On Her Arms." Not only was I a "cutter" for many years, but I am just starting to recover from battered wife syndrome (the battering was emotional but cruel).

Two months ago I cried after my doctor told me that the lump in my breast was almost certainly benign. I actually thought that my children would suffer more from divorce than if I died young.

TWLOHA is a ministry that I need and will support. Thank you, mair-francis!

"the other mair"