Tuesday, February 8, 2011


I've written and re-written this a hundred times. It's still not "perfect" but it is my story. Thanks Chelsea for making me get it out there ;]

“So do not be ashamed of your testimony to our Lord…but bear your share of hardship for the Gospel with the strength that comes from God” (2 Timothy 1:8)

A while back someone told me "If everyone knew the things I knew about you, I don't think they'd feel comfortable around you." [To clarify, it was out of hurt, I doubt they really meant it] In the moment, I was furious. They were totally right. If they knew about My Chemical Romance fanatic, razor blade hiding, lying, lost me...They probably would never speak to me.

The summer after I graduated RFHS with the lead singer Gerard Way, of MCR

The truth is, I was not always one to cook three meals a day, call my friends just to see if I could pray for them, or resolve my anger issues by actually talking about them. I am the way I am now because of Jesus Christ. Let me tell you a little bit about it.

I was always kinda the weird kid in school, didn't have a lot of friends, the ones I did have used me to be the butt of their jokes, and be mad at just because. It sucked. In middle school I saw an episode of 7th Heaven [I was so cool] where one of Mary's "troubled friends" was staying with her overly reproductive family. Homegirl was "crazy" and they had to keep an eye on her so she wouldn't "cut." That was the first time I had ever heard such a thing. This idiot cut herself because she was sad. I thought she was a moron and a half at the time, but not long after seeing that, I got myself into a situation that I didn't know how to handle and the first thing I thought of was Mary's friend who hid in her bathroom, took apart a razor blade, and cut her wrists. I was in seventh grade.

By the time I was a sophomore in high school the little nicks had turned into cuts that not only needed to be covered by watches and bracelets, but hoodies and jackets. [In South Texas, a teenager wearing a hoody 24/7 when it's 95+ degrees 95% of the year, should raise some sort of red flags] My depression was deep and selfish, consuming every part of me. I became used to it, honestly, it's where I liked to be. It was comfortable there. It didn't take work to be depressed.

Then, after watching it from afar, my now husband sent me an email that wrecked me. While your mom tells you everyday how pretty you are, how much she loves you, how special you are, it never really takes hold in a teenager [dumb kids] I felt like I was cared for, like someone saw something in me that I hadn't seen in myself for a long time. We started dating shortly after, but I still wallowed in my depression like a pig in his own crap. It was going to take a lot more than a cute boy to make me better. One night, I had absolutely no desire to live [stress at school, fighting with parents, bitchy friends, it seemed way too much to handle] I took a steak knife I kept nearby [gag] and carved up my arm like a Thanksgiving turkey. It was horrible.

 "Guard my life and rescue me; do not let me be put to shame, for I take refuge in you." (Psalm 25:20)

It was then, for the first time in years, that I prayed. I begged God to save me from this pain, this pain that 20+ cuts couldn't compare to. I told Him I hated this life, and that I didn't really want to die, I just wanted that life to be OVER. Not only is there a promise of renewed life after death my friends, but there is a promise of new life NOW! I woke up the next morning, cleaned myself up and decided I had to stop living life for myself. I needed purpose, I needed to be healed. The cutting went from 3-4 times a day, to once a day, to a few times a week, to once a week, to once every few weeks, to once every few months, very, VERY gradually. I often used it as my last resort, which over time needed to be visited less and less. By my senior year 2-3 month stretches were normal and I decided [well, Jesus decided] it was time for me to be baptized, made new. I was saved and I was happy. Genuinely happy.  I was starting my life as an adult, but at the same time just born into the infancy of Christ.

A few months later the stress of college, a cuh-rappy roommate [do not ever pick your roommate based on A.) she was the first person you met at college B.) she tells you she likes Eisley] and the stress of this new identity that I was responsible for drove me to cut. It was September 19, 2007. That was the LAST time I cut. I went to the bathroom and cried and prayed and for the first time instead of hearing the devil laugh in my face saying "You weak, stupid, little girl. Just how much DO you love Jesus? You're so disobedient, so unworthy" I felt the Lord wrap me up and say "I STILL love you. You are still my child, it's ok!"

That's when He started to work on my heart, my mind, and my spirit. Now that the physical had been healed, it was time He started really making me His. Through working with a teenager at the CPS shelter who dealt with the exact same issues, to teaching me what Marriage truly means, to softening my heart into motherhood, the Lord has made me His for eternity. And I am so grateful for that. 

One year after my last slip up I went and got this tattoo. Any time you see a dove in stained glass windows, or with saints in beautiful paintings, it means the presence of the Holy Spirit is with them. I thought it suited me, and this location perfectly

When was the last time you shared your testimony? Shared about how hard it was, shared how easy it was? Gave Glory to God for the wonderful work He's done? I encourage you to just take the time and write it out, tell someone you've never told before, thank God if you haven't done it in a while! If you've shared your testimony on your blog, link it here! I'd love to read about it.

Have a great Tuesday, everyone!


Mommypotamus said...

Yay Mae! The line between authenticity and TMI is pretty hard for me to discern in my own life, but I think you hit is just right here. I have never walked away from a post about cutting ENCOURAGED until today ; - )

Stephanie said...

Thank you for sharing this, Mae! I agree with Heather, the line is hard to discern. I wasn't saved until I was almost 21, so there is A LOT of junk that goes with my testimony, different than yours, but still just junk. If it weren't for God's grace we'd all be, like you said, pigs wallowing in our own crap. Love you, Friend! :)

ForHisGlory said...

Awesome testimony, Mae! It doesn't make me want to run from you, it makes me love Him more! What a savior we have.

Charlotte said...

Wow, your testimony almost made me cry. Especially your tattoo. What a wonderful reminder of His love, and a beautiful way to cover your scars.

Chelsea said...

I love love love your story.

I hope it helps and that His love will also lead others who have dealt with the same issues, to deal and heal from their pain too.

Love you girl.

Mae Burke said...

Thank you ladies! I'm actually very intentional about how much I share, and how much I don't [especially the physical sensation aspect of it all] because I know what effected me most in my time of depression. I'm so glad that you were encouraged and that you also see how AWESOME our God is and what His love can overcome!

Chelsea: He's used it more times that I can count :] I get so much joy every time that He uses ME to do that for Him <3