By: Claire Froehlich | Chaplain, Juvenile Justice Ministry
I’ve been mentoring Heather for over a year and she shared this poem with me…
I knew a girl who liked to draw, she drew pictures that nobody saw. She was the most artistic late at night, in the bathroom out of sight. She kept a secret no one knew, she didn’t tell a soul and her gallery grew. Her drawings were different, no paper nor pen but needed a bandage now and again. We stood by the river under the stars, she rolled up her sleeves and showed me her scars. She felt embarrassed and looked down at her shoe, then I rolled up my sleeves and whispered, “I draw too.”
Heather told me she cuts herself to help manage her emotions. It seems strange that injuring yourself would bring emotional relief but for many, it is a distraction and a way of self-soothing physically what cannot be comforted emotionally. In the past she used drugs to deal with the trauma of past abuse but is now learning healthier ways to managing strong emotions.
“I love that you don’t judge me or think I’m out to kill myself. Sometimes I just need someone to listen and care about me when I’m feeling ugly and messy.”
Heather flip flops in her spiritual life but has grown a lot in a year. She was excited to get her own Bible this year through our Wreath of Light Christmas gifts for young people in facilities like hers.
“I like that it starts with an explanation at the front (of each book of the Bible) that I can understand. Otherwise it’s kind of overwhelming to try to read. I want to get a Scripture verse to tattoo over my scars.”
Thank you for bringing Heather and other young people like her the gift of hope and discipleship through mentoring.
Thank you for being a part of the ongoing conversation with youth in our city and helping us share God’s story. It’s our honor to be the storytellers on your behalf who meet kids right where they are and give life to their story.
Providing young people in our community with the opportunity to make an informed decision to be a follower of Jesus Christ and become part of a local church.