The day God cut self injury out of my life

Column Post by Glenda Harbinson

The pain ran so deep I didn’t know where it started and couldn’t see an end. I tried to run from it, ignored it, prayed God would take it away. I donned masks in public, not wanting everyone to see the pain in my eyes and know my soul was bleeding out, with no way to do anything about it. I was dying inside, powerless to help myself or let anyone else help me.

I did find one way to dull the pain. It made no sense, and I lived in horror of being caught. I knew it was wrong, would hurt my family if they found out, but the physical pain of self-inflicted injury was the only way to relieve the emotional anguish that crushed me.

I don’t have a high tolerance for pain. I was scared and sobbed through every episode, pleading with God to do something, to send someone to stop me. One person tried to help but had no idea how. I fought back, fought for my only release from the agony in my heart. I desperately wanted to quit, yet I fought against the only person who tried to help.

Only God could look down at the mess I had become and love me with agape love—undying, selfless love that wanted nothing more than my healing. God wanted even more than I did for my heart to be whole.

I don’t know how the healing began. As I sat there wounded, knowing I had hurt God by hurting myself, I realized the first step had to be mine. I had been pleading with God for His help but not allowing myself to be helped. I began fighting harder against my own desires. I didn’t always win, but I tried.

I found ways to hold myself accountable, whether getting on the phone with someone or sitting myself down with one of my children; I put myself in positions where I simply couldn’t hurt myself. Over time, the damaging desires came less frequently. But they still came. For many years they still came. God sent people into my life who were able to help me lessen the frequency and see consistent victory.

One day just a few short months ago, something happened. I guess you could say I broke. Dad prayed. I cried like I seldom do. Something was repaired that night and God healed me of those long-lived desires to hurt myself to deal with emotional pain.

Satan tried to throw this in my face last night to sideline me and get me off the battlefield. For a short moment temptation taunted, and then I kicked him in the teeth.

God is truly good. He is here with us, holding us and loving us through everything we experience. He wants what is best for us, and He will help us get there. There is always a new start, a brand new tomorrow.

And He is there to hold our hand as we walk toward it.

. . . . . . . . . .

P.S. We’d love to know your thoughts, so please be sure to comment below. Each of our commenters will be entered in a drawing for this month’s FREE book giveaway, Mothers & Daughters: Mending a Strained Relationship by author Teena Stewart. 

Glenda is a homeschooling mom of four in New Brunswick, Canada. She also fosters one teen and provides respite care and tutoring for another. She and her paramedic husband Mark have been married for 24 years. Glenda’s writings often reflect her personal experience parenting and teaching children with developmental and learning differences, as well as a particular empathy for moms with chronic illness. She blogs at and can be reached by emailing

Read more encouraging stories from brave-hearted women here. Be sure to grab your free copy of inspirational quotes and writing prompts while you’re there. (Look over on the right hand side!)

2 thoughts on “The day God cut self injury out of my life

  1. powerful. thank you for sharing your story, it takes courage and strength but it helps others to know they are not alone and there is Hope. I struggled with self injury myself, even while being in the church. It was a dark secret but once i let others in and truly let God into my pain my healing began. I have been free from it for a little over a year. praise God that He heals our wounds, minds, and hearts and makes us new and sets us free. Keep moving forward in the Lord. May He bless you and keep you as you walk this journey.

    Ps 147:3 He heals the broken hearted and binds up their wounds.

  2. Oh, Glenda! How brave you are to share your victory with others. I am so thankful for your journey toward recovery and pray that the Lord will continue to strengthen and heal you. In double portion for your bravery in bringing hope to someone (and ones) out there who know the pain of your journey.

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