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"You Have Beautiful Scars"

“Dear Old Me,” H. said. I was confused, the assignment was supposed to be a poem. It appeared that this student, H., had mixed up the assignment with an old one where the class wrote letters of wisdom to their younger selves. I wanted to stop him; he was supposed to be reading a poem he wrote to the class, but I let him continue. I think God was telling me to shut up and listen.

“Dear Old Me,” he began. Afterwards, I asked for a copy of his speech, which is below.

I know you went through a lot of pain and been through a lot a drama as a little kid feeling like your mother hated you because you’re not perfect and feeling like your daddy don’t want you trying to get even with your mom because of what she put him through so growing up was tough. Jumping in the streets looking for love and will do anything for it but came out broken every time you gave your heart out. You tried with gangs, family, women, and the streets itself so you proved your loyalty by shooting at others, robbing people, breaking in cars and houses. As you went deeper in the streets the deeper the scars was. It took loved ones, homes away. Then brought lonely nights sleeping outside family don’t want you around and the people who was next to you on the block doing or going to jail being a lifer they’ll never see the outside. Being close to death is a scary moment and you been close plenty of times watching your friends die next to you then ask God why he didn’t take your life it was for you to open your eyes and change your life style. There’s a reason the Lord kept you alive even when you tried to take your own life you got a future ahead a son to raise into a man and a family to help stand when they fall you a strong soldier you been through it all thug life was a gamble. I want you to use the pain as your strength and change lives with your story with your heart also your mind. You can be the leader you have always been. You was a convict, now you a convert in your mind.

You have beautiful scars.

Change for the better.

H. was one of those students who can be easy to give up on. He is loud, abrasive, can’t sit still, and is always looking for attention. But I have a newfound respect for him; I truly underestimated H. The courage it took for him to read this letter in front of his peers was incredible.

God can work with beautiful scars.

With thanks,


Program Director

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