Jamie Tworkowski, didn’t set out to start a nonprofit organization. All he wanted to do was help a friend and tell her story.
When Jamie met Renee Yohe, she was struggling with addiction, depression, self-injury, and suicidal thoughts. He wrote about the five days he spent with her before she entered a treatment center, and he sold T-shirts to help cover the cost.
When she entered treatment, he posted the story on MySpace to give it a home. The name of the story was “To Write Love on Her Arms.”
“Renee is 19. When I meet her, cocaine is fresh in her system. She hasn’t slept in 36 hours and she won’t for another 24. It is a familiar blur of coke, pot, pills and alcohol.”
Renee has agreed to meet Jamie’s friends, to listen and to let them pray.
They asked Renee to come with them, to leave the broken night. She says she’ll go to rehab tomorrow, but she isn’t ready now. It is too great a change. They pray and say goodbye and it is hard to leave without her.
She has known such great pain; haunted dreams as a child, the near-constant presence of evil ever since. She has felt the touch of awful naked men, battled depression and addiction, and attempted suicide.
Every Scar Tells A Story
Her arms remember razor blades, fifty scars that speak of self-inflicted wounds.
Six hours after they meet, Renee is feeling trapped, two groups of “friends” offering opposite ideas. Everyone is asleep. The sun is rising. She drinks long from a bottle of liquor, takes a razor blade from the table and locks herself in the bathroom. She cuts herself, using the blade to write “F____ UP” large across her left forearm.
The nurse at the treatment center finds the wound several hours later. The center has no detox, names her too great a risk, and does not accept her.
“For the next five days, she is ours to love.
We become her hospital and the possibility of healing fills our living room with life.”
To Write Loves on Her Arms
It is unspoken and there are only a few of them, but they will be her church, the body of Christ coming alive to meet her needs, to write love on her arms.
As they arrive at the treatment center, she finishes: ‘The stars are always there but we miss them in the dirt and clouds. We miss them in the storms. Tell them to remember hope. We have hope.’
“We are called to hold our hands against the wounds of a broken world, to stop the bleeding.” Don Miller
Read more about Jamie and the ministry of TWLOHA here… To write love on her arms.
APPLICATION: Please leave a comment below.
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I had a dream once about walking through the mall wearing shabby and dirty clothing. I thought I looked pretty good in my dream as I caught a glimpse of my reflection in the store window. As I walked, I saw a sign that said, “Sale!” Of course I went in. All the clothing in the store was made of white fabric. I chose a dress and went to the change room to try it on. It fit like a glove. Perfect. Made for me, you might say. As I exited the change room to look in the 3-way mirror, the sales clerk came up to me and told me that the sale meant that everything in the store was FREE! As I returned to the change room, I saw my old clothes on the floor and realized how filthy they were. Like my eyes had been opened. I left the store wearing the beautiful new white dress I just received for free. 🙂
God’s grace and transformation is awesome!