A stigma, as we all know, is a mark of shame or dishonor that is associated with something or someone. We hear this word quite a bit when speaking about mental health.
A stigmata is the plural form of stigma, but it also refers to the marks left on Christ’s body by way of crucifixion.
So, why would I name my book something that is associated with such negativity?
Well, one portion of the book addresses how we are living in a time where going to counseling and seeking mental help is more accepted, but many are still not willing to go this route or speak in depth about it. There are many people that still believe that they "have it under control" when they may not, or they simply claim that "God will handle it." Even though I believe these things to be true to an extent, I also know that God, The Source, provides us with resources and it is up to us to utilize the tools for better health. The stigma is what holds us back from reaching optimum mental health.
The term “stigmata” comes into play when you think a little deeper. When Christ died for our sins by way of crucifixion, we were able to be made whole, be healed, be forgiven, and be born again by His stripes.
This all connects to the novel because it is about the process of a young lady who is on a journey towards becoming whole, encounters many unique and difficult obstacles along the way, and finds healing through the resources of which she soon realizes were a part of God’s plan for her to utilize.
How do the terms “stigma” and “stigmata" apply to your life?