WEEK 1

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things (Philippians 4:8 NIV).

TAKE AWAYS: 

  • The more serious situations become in our lives, the more we hide them and make sure they stay hidden. This can happen in a lot of areas, but tonight we're talking about self-harm. 
  • Whether or not you struggle with self-harm, maybe the biggest question is: What do we do about it? 
  • Self-harm takes on many forms: burning, pinching, intentionally hitting or bruising yourself. Tonight we're talking about the most common way: cutting. 
  • When it comes to why people cut, the simplest way to put it is one word: relief.
  • People who cut are hurting so badly in their minds and emotions that they just want to stop feeling that kind of pain. So they transfer their pain from their heart to their body. The physical pain is a means to take their mind off of their emotional pain. 
    • Emotional Pain + Physical Pain = Relief From Pain
  • Even if you don't cut, you've probably seen this cycle play out in your life. You've looked for ways to relieve emotional pain in your life, even if you know it will hurt you or aren't good for you. 
    • Cutting isn't just unhealthy or addictive...cutting doesn't work. Many people who cut, cut again. Why? Because the pain isn't relieved, it's just numbed for a little while.  
  • So is there anything we do or say to ourselves, or a friend, that will even help? 
  • What I am saying is that a guy in prison, who had no control over anything, tells a group of people that they have power to control their minds. We get to decide what our brains think about. 
    • Our mind also control how we feel. 
  • When Paul wrote the word "think" in this passage, in the original language it meant to "take into account the facts." 
  • We don't choose not-true messages on purpose, but when left alone, our minds will naturally drift towards those messages. 
  • That's why for everybody who struggles with self-harm, one of the most powerful things you can do is open up and be honest with another person
  • The first step to freedom from self-harm is simply believing that freedom is possible.
  • The next step...Refuse to stay in hiding. Practice:
    • Vulnerability- Find someone you can trust.
    • Authenticity- Keep it real all the time, not just one time. 
  • Self-harm grows in isolation and self-hatred. If you move out of the darkness, however, and bring the honest you into the light, you will begin to take away self-harm's power. 
  • If you have a friend who's self-harming, be someone who communicates truth about who they are, someone they can be honest with, and encourage them to find some adults to be honest with as well. 
  • Bottom Line: Hiding grows harm, but honesty helps heal. 

NEXT STEPS: 

If you or a friend are struggling with self-harm, was don't want you to be alone. We want to be a support and place for you to begin finding freedom. Click here to email us so we can pray for you and reach out to you to talk. 

DEVOTIONALS

DAY 1

PRAY // One of the biggest ways our feelings can overwhelm us is when they convince us that no one else cares. These moments of loneliness can lead us into desperate and even harmful circumstances. But did you know that in those moments, God actually wants you to talk to Him? He cares about what you’re feeling and wants you to get those feelings out by talking to Him. Today, take a few minutes to talk to God about one thing that is causing you to feel anxious, stressed, or depressed. He cares for you and wants to help!

DAY 2

HEAR // When we’re feeling down, sometimes it’s hard to go about our daily lives. Our heads may be full of thoughts, questions, or feelings that consume us from morning until night. Did you know that God wants to help you through those feelings? He wants you to be able to walk through life with your head held high and your thoughts in a healthy place. He wants to be your shield against the lies that try to bring you down. Today, be comforted knowing that God wants to help you get the most out of your life.

DAY 3

LIVE // Did you know that it’s okay to be sad? It’s a normal part of being human. Sadness becomes unhealthy though when it turns into harmful activity or damaging thoughts. This is why it’s important to choose to praise God even when we’re feeling down. When we do this, it reminds us that He is with us and that we are valuable to Him. You can praise God for other people, the beauty of nature around you, or even for a good meal that’s really satisfying. This week, choose to find simple ways to praise God—no matter how you’re feeling.

DAY 4

PRAY // We’ve all dealt with pain, difficulty, or sadness in unhealthy ways from time to time. From hurtful behavior to being too hard on ourselves, our responses to emotional pain can leave us brokenhearted and hurting. The good news is that God wants to heal us and care for us in these moments. When we feel like we’re broken or hurt, He is there to help us move forward. When you open up to God and show Him your emotional pain, He can heal you. Next time you’re feeling down, tell God how you’re feeling and ask for His help and healing.

DAY 5

TALK // Believe it or not, you might be able to have positive impact on someone who is hurting. Your words, encouragement, or kindness could actually be what those around you need most. Every day you’re surrounded by people who are hurting in ways you might not know. Don’t miss the opportunity to do something good in their lives by showing them you care. Today, find one person you don’t normally talk to and say something encouraging to them. Or have a deep conversation with someone you know who might be in an emotionally difficult place in life right now. Who knows how YOU might help them!