How many scars do you have? Have you ever taken the time to count them? Maybe you have one on your knee from the time you fell learning how to ride your bike. Maybe you have one on your hand from the time you were burned cooking dinner for that very special occasion. I find it interesting that every scar has a story attached to it. I’ve never talked to a person that had a scar magically appear out of nowhere without them knowing exactly when and how it came to be. In most cases, the stories behind our scars carry a shameful connotation, with a certain level of trauma associated with them. That’s why we can always recant our scar stories as if the event had just happened, although years may have since gone by.
Flesh wounds usually tend to heal pretty quickly, and in some cases, once the wound heals, it barely leaves a scar. On the other hand, emotional wounds tend to cut deeper, hurt longer, and bleed heavier than the wounds that mar our flesh. Some people even reach an emotional impasse when it comes to the traumatic events that caused the wound in the first place. Growth and progression can even be halted as a result of emotional pain, fear, and anger (among other issues). Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines a “scar” as a mark left (as in the skin) by the healing of injured tissue. I’m willing to say that this is how we most commonly think of scars. However, there is another definition:
“A lasting moral or emotional injury”
Our hearts are designed to be the seat of our emotions. From our hearts, come our life “issues” and how we perceive our world; this, in turn, determines the truth that we live in. In essence, our emotions tend to color our perceptions about life, about others, and about ourselves. Part of maturing in Christ involves knowing how to separate our emotions from the vital decisions that we must make on a daily basis. Whether it’s responding to a family crisis, or responding to a co-worker, we must constantly work to keep the emotional skies of our hearts pristine and clear. That’s why the Bible states in Proverbs 4:23:
“Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life”
Even in this, however, things can sometimes blindside us emotionally. Unlike our physical bodies, that begin the healing/immune response immediately upon injury (i.e.-clotting), sometimes our hearts don’t even realize when we’ve been injured emotionally. Often, it’s not until we’ve had time to process a particular series of events do we begin to feel “some kinda way.”
Beloved, I feel an urgency to encourage you right here…right now. Lift your head up. You are NOT what happened to you…you are who you choose to become. As you’re reading these words, I speak healing into your life today. As people of faith, we believe and receive by speaking…so what are you saying?
Yes…your wounds will heal. Yes, they may leave a scar, but not all scars are bad.
A few weeks ago, as I was checking in at the front desk of my gym for a workout session, a conversation ensued between myself and one of the trainers on staff. She was a tall, athletic woman with a jovial personality. After our initial introduction, she told me that she would probably ask for my name a few more times because she didn’t have any short-term memory. Initially, I thought she was being mildly facetious, so I chuckled at her remark. That’s when she repeated what she had said initially, and proceeded to inform me that she was a brain cancer survivor. “Some years ago,” she said, “I underwent surgery to remove a tumor from my brain, which obliterated my short-term memory.”
As she was telling me her story, she proudly turned her back to me, and parted her hair to reveal a scar that traveled from the top of her head down to the base of her neck. That’s when she told me that her scar is a reminder that she survived what should have killed her.
I was taken aback a little bit, because I wasn’t expecting that to be her story. Just looking at her, I would have never imagined that she had experienced that. This set off all kinds of bells and whistles in my mind, and gave me a whole new perspective on the things that we suffer. So, I say to you, your scars are a sign of healing. What once was a gaping, gushing wound, is now proof positive that you’re a survivor. Our scars tell a story of past pain and trauma, but they also testify to the fact that the pain no longer has power over us. Never allow the shame of what happened to you offset the glory that shall be. Your story innately contains a healing salve for others.
It may be true that some scars carry a shameful story, but some scars are salvific, because they bring salvation and healing to others. Where would we be if Jesus had never been scarred? Think about the scars in His hands and His feet….the wound in His side. Not every scar is a mark of shame; some are considered a badge of honor. They tell a story of survival, salvation, and grace…of what could have happened, but didn’t. It matters not the story behind your scars, just be encouraged and know that you survived what tried to kill you, and now you have a story to tell…
So, what will your story be?
As always, thank you for visiting Wisdom’s Quill. See you soon.
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