We all have them and none of us want them.
Scars are technically areas of fibrous tissue that replace healthy, normal skin post injury. A scar is the result of the biological process of wound repair in the damaged skin; thus scarring is a natural and necessary part of the recovery and healing process. Emotionally though, scars are physical reminders of deep wounds we carry from our past.
Our shoulders bear the burden of painful skin scars, sensitive & passionate heart scars and unfathomable, penetrating soul scars.
I have scars; they are now pretty little souvenirs of distant memories. Each one is a gentle reminder of a deep, penetrating wound that once was; both painful and ugly. The special thing to remember about a scar, though, is it does not remain painful and ugly forever.
The healing process inevitably begins.
Scars have stories to tell. The best homemade lasagna I ever tasted caused a three inch reminder on my left forearm to be more mindful of the red hot oven rack. Below that one, a tiny discoloration remains of a stab wound and holds a scary memory of a late summer night when I became the object of a boyfriend’s rage. The most prominent and the most recent little scar lives six inches unconcealed on my left ankle and reminds me to always be mindful of my surroundings, stepping carefully and purposefully lest I may fall again. Those are the physical injuries that my body has healed and time will eventually fade from existence.
It is the soul scars that stay with me. The body will always do its part to heal itself of physical scars; but only the God of Heaven can step in and bear the full weight of our sin scars– the ones that leave the deepest mark on our souls. Sin scars are the wounds that never seem to heal; the wounds that stop just short of healing, thus remaining open, exposed, painful and ugly. The direct result of sins we think cannot be forgiven; the result of the times we were not walking closely with God. These are sins we think simply cannot be overcome because of the deep disappointment and shame we brought upon our loved ones, ourselves and our God. I am a sinner, though I try hard not to be. I am not alone, we have all sinned. Romans 3:23 assures us we are not alone, “for all have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God”. Just because we fall short doesn’t mean we stop trying to pursue God and His mercies, for in Psalm 136 we are once again assured that “His mercies endure FOREVER”.
Forever is a very long time. The Lord our God will never leave us alone in our plight, never stop extending us mercy and He will always be patient with us. He is always there when we cry out for His help.
I tried all of my youth to appear that my life was completely together, that I had no sin scars and I had never done wrong. As an adult, my children were perfect and my relationships were all perfect. My home and car were clean and perfect. My job was perfect. I led Bible studies, mentored younger women and was as involved as time would physically allow. Life was fun on the outside, miserable on the inside. As I was cooking dinner one evening, I cracked an egg, something I had done thousands of times. Yet the Lord used this one cracked egg to speak to me. Of course it was a gentle whisper saying, “Shannon, that egg is round, white and perfect on the outside; but perfectly useless all the same. But when you cracked it open, its possibilities became endless.” I thought about that.
I immediately thought of my hidden sin scars and realized as long as they remained hidden, the Lord couldn’t use them for His Glory. My life was as useless in building the Kingdom of Heaven as that egg.
Until my brokenness was exposed, my potential was lost.
Once my armor was pierced and I learned to channel the hurts, allow those wounds to scar and fully receive gifts of mercy, grace and forgiveness- my possibilities were also endless. Scars come as a result of healing. The God who created the Heaven and the earth can certainly heal your heart and restore you to His love.
It is in our brokenness that we become His greatest accomplishment.
When we stand before the Lord and give an account of our lives, I do not think He is going to much care for our education, our possessions, our wealth or our travels. He is not going to care how we deceived everyone into thinking our lives were simply perfect.
He is going to ask about our scars. The stories behind those blemishes on our bodies, hearts and souls are important to Him.
Important, not because we suffered; rather because we used our suffering to heal and enrich the hearts of others.
Sharing our stories, using our suffering to heal each other’s hearts, comforting each other in our brokenness is His way. I wish my scars were not so prominent on the surface of my heart. I wish I had always known the power of God’s love, that He was always near, and that I was His beautiful daughter of royalty. I wish I had always loved Him in return, known His heart for me and sought His will. Perhaps I would not have tried so hard to win the approval of people, thus leading to those scars on my soul.
But I do have those scars. We all have scars. Jesus had scars. That didn’t stop Him from changing the world.
What are you going to change with yours?