Part of blogging is the lack of intensive editing, right? Well, here goes….
I have scars, both visible and invisible, eternal reminders of challenges I’ve faced. Words that cut deep may hide their damage away from the naked eye, but they are there. They are DEFINITELY there. Then we have the visible scars, badges of honor from animal bites and scratches, tumbles to the ground in my less than graceful moments, and cuts incurred while multitasking (read: slicing my finger to the bone while flirting with the cute dude at work as I was slicing lemons…. Yeah. LEMONS. Lemon juice. In an open wound. Good times. Incidentally, the lemon incident is far from the worst romantic moment of my life, but that is another story for another time.)
While we tend to respect the outward scars, we tend to keep the inner scars and their stories to ourselves. There is just no shame in a mark from falling out of a tree as a kid or an old football injury. People just aren’t quite as eager to share their stories of their unseen scars. Why are the stories behind the scars you CAN see so important and shameless, when the scars hidden beneath the surface are unspeakable and embarrassing? When we open up and talk about our hidden experiences, the shame is gone because the story is no longer in control. The story is transformed from shameful to beautiful. We become the real people we were intended to be, and we can begin to understand that God loves each of us unconditionally because we all share similar stories.
We are all unique, created for a purpose. All of our scars help us become the person we were created to be, and to impact others along the way. We are usually drawn to the unseen qualities in people. People who “just have something about them”, or who have been through similar trials. We all have certain people toward whom we gravitate. People who inspire us to keep putting one foot in front of the other because there is hope in seeing others succeed.
While we see a source of embarrassment when we think about our secret wounds, God sees us differently. He doesn’t want us to be afraid of our experiences because He will use them for His good. He turns our shameful flaws into beautiful miracles. He uses our experiences to connect absolute strangers and build relationships to further His Kingdom. He allows what we see as sources of shame to shine as beacons of hope for the lost. He takes our secrets and turns them into stories of inspiration.
God uses our scars to reach others and draw them closer to Him. Sometimes, yes, it is the physical scars that draw our attention. However, more often than not, the invisible scars are how we relate to each other. So why hide the scars at all? We cannot hide. We need to share our stories. We need to shine for others. We need to lift each other up. We need to come together as our honest, true, incredible selves. Celebrate the imperfections of this life. Scars and all. Battered. Damaged. Broken. Inspiring. Conquering. Beautiful. Amazing. Forgiven. Children of God.
Psalm 55:22 Cast your cares on the Lord
and he will sustain you;
he will never let
the righteous be shaken. (NIV)
2 Corinthians 12:9-10: 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships,in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (NIV)
*Originally published on March 7, 2017*