I have a big scar on my thigh. It's about the size of an American fifty cent piece or a New Zealand $2 coin. It's a reminder to me of about 5 weeks of pain. I contracted a staff infection in the hospital when Adam was born and the scar on my thigh is just the eye of the infection that developed. Once it finally opened, and the pain before that was worse than the C-section that I had just had, I changed bandages for weeks and weeks over a deep cavity in my leg while it healed.
Adam is nearly 11 so that scar's been with me for some time now. It's gotten less red over time but it still sensitive to the touch and unsightly. I decided quite some time ago, however, that it's just a part of me and that I don't need to hide it. (It's my Fiji scar!) Somehow I've become even weirdly fond of that scar---because it's just me.
Even after all these years the scar on my leg is still sensitive but it is unique and it's representative of a story to tell.
Gari Meacham says, "Scar tissue heals, but doctors say it never heals the same. In God's kingdom this can be a good thing, because he tends to heal the tissue of scars more profoundly than before, making a scar useful instead of just ugly."
Useful. I like the sound of that. I'm getting to the stage of my life that while I still would like to be attractive I'm caring less and less about that and more about who I am and how that reflects on the outside. That means not hiding imperfections gathered in a lifetime. Places that have healed over can be beautiful. And can be stronger than before.
Our scars tell stories, make us who we are, and represent healing in our lives.
Years ago I was at a conference and spoke to the wife of the husband and wife speaking team in a break. I was feeling a stirring in my heart to become a better communicator and asked her specific questions about her own story and how she 'got started.' I don't remember much of what she said that day but one thing has stuck with me ever since.
She said, "But first of all you have to have something to say."
I feel like my life since then has been about gathering things to say. I often feel like my repertoire is getting plenty full of enough things to say for now, as well as things to say in the future when the time is right and the scars have healed. There's been enough grazes, bruises, and downright injury already, thank you very much! But then there's another lesson. Another experience. Another chance to heal and grow stronger than before.
Yesterday I was, uhem, 'talking' (maybe not so quietly!) to God about providing me with yet another chance to grow. He patiently listened as He always does and then spoke softly to my heart:
"For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you." (Is. 41:13)
A promise from our Healer.
And the reminder of this, "My (God's) hand is the only thing you can grasp without damaging your soul." (Sarah Young)
We need to grasp HIM, not try to take control of things around us. Grip That Hand tighter instead of reaching for the healing itself. Certainly not look in our own feeble hearts for the answer. And we need to remember:
Sometimes the journey is hard. Bloomin' hard. Sometimes we feel like all we have to bring is brokenness.
But He is the Author of the story that He wants us to tell. He is the Healer of our wounds and the Keeper of our scars.
Just hold on to Him.