A trickle of light flows in and catches on my clothes. I pinch the light between my fingers, but grab only the cotton fray in my sweater. The speck of light continues to saturate. The paper clip I used to scrape my wrist lies next to me – I imagine it has absorbed the fear, the guilt, the pain.
I would have cut deeper, but then someone would notice. And maybe the fear of being found would hurt much worse. The pain comes in waves like an ocean nearing high tide. The pain of the wound and the pain of my inside feelings clash with each other and I can no longer decipher between the two.
At 13, I was hurt in every which way it came.
God’s promise states: “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” Although I didn’t know that verse by heart then, I know it full well now at 37. I know when I look back at a time when I wanted to give up so much, God sat right beside me trickling in from a barely open window, catching on my clothes, wanting me to know he could cover it all.
Friends, sometimes it’s hard to know that God speaks to us. It’s hard to see the light in such a dark place. In retrospect, God has always been there. When we claim Jesus, we can see all the times he filtered through. Not too bright and not too silent.
I used to confuse miracles as great bursts of light saving someone from an infinite death, but for me, miracles are woven into the fabric of our being. This great miracle unfolded for the next 20 years. Slowly, God worked on my heart. He worked on my ability to rationalize between pain and fear. God taught me to walk toward him instead of looking at my flesh as if it was the enemy. The flesh is not our enemy. It is what God gave us to inhabit on this earth. It is his vessel for walking in light through this world.
“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psalm 13414 (NIV)
God needed me to take 20 years to understand his faithfulness. He needed me to walk in trenches and mud puddles so that one day I would understand how that hurt could help someone else. There have been a handful of people near and dear to my heart whom have walked through cutting. I have been blessed to be able to speak to that mess. And although the miracle is not sudden, I know God will need to work in them, as he did in me, before the light is fully expressed.
Now, when pain begins to rise like high tide, I look out of the window. I close my eyes and remember when the light caught on my sweater at 13 years old. I remember the paper clip sitting next to me. I remember the tears streaking down my face because I wanted someone to hear me. God was there. And he never left.
Carolina Hinojosa-Cisneros is a mama, wife, writer, and sharer of light at cisneroscafe.com. Her work has appeared in the Acentos Review, Mudroom, Lookout Magazine and others. Her roots grow deep in San Antonio, Texas.